Yeah, I got nothing.
I want to give you guys some humor and distraction, but I don’t think I can. I am so sad and angry at the same time right now. It swings from one to the other. Everyone at work is in the same boat for the most part. We’re all anxious and upset.
I’m currently grounded from the News and Social Media so can maybe sleep more than 4 hours a night.
Oh, I’ll be back on it. My willpower is not that strong, and my desire to stay informed is really strong. But a 24 news diet is not such a bad thing every so often even when the world isn’t on fire.
A friend of mine pointed something out to me the other day, he told me, “If your work does fund-matching for charitable giving, if the bail fund you donate to is a registered charity (501c3 or the like), save your receipts and see if your work will fund match, if that is safe for you to do.
Ok, so geek relevant topic which is also very relevant to the situation going on right now.
I have blogged about this before, but it’s been awhile. At a panel about running RPGs and the social contract, the Geek Husband What Rules and I talked about how you have to curate your space, and that it’s ok not to want to play with people with whom you do not mesh personality-wise, politically, socially, or behaviorally, for many reasons.
To which someone said, “It sounds like you’re advocating excluding people.”
Yes. Yes, we actively exclude people who are actively racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, or just plain assholes. Because while the idea that EVERYONE is welcome is cool, it is not practically feasible, because EVERYONE includes nazis, racists, and a whole score of other assholes.
The point is, in order to make sure that people of color, queer people, trans people, women, disabled folks and other diverse people feel comfortable in your group you MUST exclude the assholes who would treat them poorly.
If you want women to play in your games, you MUST exclude people who sexually harass or assault them, or hell, even just talk down to them constantly because of their perceived gender (actual or otherwise).
If you want want queer people to play in your games, you MUST exclude homophobes, transphobes, and TERFs.
If you want People of Color to play in your games, you MUST exclude racists.
Because no one should have to run a fucking gauntlet to play with you.
Honestly, I really wish people had accepted this sooner, because it would have saved me soooo many raped characters.
It also would have saved us a cast of constantly revolving players when we didn’t feel like we could throw someone out who was the problem.
You can’t just blanket say, “Everyone’s Welcome!” You have to choose who is actually welcome, what behaviors you will allow, AND how you are going to enforce those norms.
The people you hang out with are a decision you make, regardless of how “consciously” you make it. But I urge you to take a look around, and if all your friends, and the people you socialize with look demographically identical to you, maybe reassess.
Unless that’s what you actually want.
In which case, fucking admit it. And quit lying to yourself and everyone else.
Just don’t be surprise when that admission loses you some of those friends that you think are just like you.
You’d be surprised how many of them actually aren’t, and they just didn’t trust you enough to tell you.
Conversely, if you find yourself gaming with people with whom you do not feel you can be your own honest self, maybe look for a new group.
Life is too short to be miserable while you’re “having fun.” And that’s what gaming is supposed to be, fun.
I think I may need to go pretend to be a shark for awhile tonight.
Hang in there. I love you all.
One thought on “Geek Girls Rule! #666 – Oh, how charmingly apropo…”
Everything of what you said.
I’ve been working to not be on news and social media as much because.. well, there’s a lot going on and only so much I can do. I am doing plenty of reading, sharing, and whatever donating I can do because I want to stay inform and better myself.
But I also have to step away some too.
And yeah, what you’re suggesting, excluding ignorant pricks to make the game more inclusive, friendly, and safe for others who are marginalized is a good way to work against systemic injustice, racism, bigotry, sexism, all of that. Heck, promoting games made by and for black people and other marginalized people is also good, and that’s something people who can’t get out to protests either because of time, money, accessibility issues can do.