Thursday, September 15, 2016

We're Totes Taking A Stand Against Harassment

We here at _______ are taking a stand against harassment!

Oh cool. Are you going to donate to legal efforts against harassers?

Well, no, sorry.

Ok, that's maybe a little much to ask. So you're just going to call out the harassers?

Um, no.

You're going to privately take steps to see that they don't harass people?


You're going to block them on social media?

Mmmmmm...not that either.

You're going to stop advertising their stuff?

You're going to stop buying their stuff and donating to their Kickstarters?

Oh hells no. Gotta keep doing that.

But if there's an accusation of harassment, you're going to read up on it and see if it happened? To be, like, informed?

YeahhhNo. No time for that.

But you'll at least not allow it in spaces you control?

Uh. Actually gonna totally allow that. Wouldn't want to upset somebody by telling them to shut up.

Not gonna like commit it yourself, at least?

I mean, I don't think so, but...

What is harassment?

I don't know. I can't, like, define it.

But you're taking a stand against harassment?



  1. I would say that this sounds like However DOES do something in cases of harassment. They block or ban the people being harassed.

  2. This sounds like it's directed at someone in particular, but I don't get the reference.

    1. It isn't. I never subtweet. If I had someone specific in mind I would say--I'm addressing a general trend.

  3. Let's all wear colored ribbons and make PSA commercials that are black and white and serious and repeat the same phrase over and over again. That kind of sanctimonious paternalism should fix everything.

  4. Part of it is the lifecycle of an idea - when a position confers status, it begins to lose its rigor.

    Part of it is that many harassment policies are intentionally vague so they can be applied unevenly, usually to protect the people in charge or attack peopke they don't like on whatever pretenses.

    Whether or not something qualities as harassment is really a battle of linguistic skill, expressed almost ritualistically through an ongoing "conversation" about "space" and "dialogue" and "where we want to go as a society."

    Because it's always a fluid thing everyone has to pay attention to the ritualistic conversation to know if they on within bounds, and that steers power and influence to the people that control that conversation.