Jan. 23rd, 2012

So... [S.]

Jan. 23rd, 2012 04:46 pm
amorpha: (Default)
How do you show support for a person who's one of the kinds of people regarded as hateable, who has been harassed and cyberbullied constantly and relentlessly to the point where they're having horrible nightmares, and doesn't seem to really have a great support network, but you don't even know them and have just sat back watching this all unfold at a distance, not knowing what to do?

This has been bugging us for a long time now. I've seen it happen to several people but one in particular, who is still fairly young and doesn't seem to know any better, or didn't until recently, that continuing to stay in the places where you are being bullied to "show the bullies you're not afraid of them" is not going to help you. (FWIW, there was a time when we did that too. And we weren't even "out" as anything considered particularly hateable-- just in a place where people frequently said we were crazy based on our atypical reactions to various things, especially when under stress, and a couple of people started declaring we were a troll because of it. And a couple of bullies decided they were going to "get rid of" everyone they considered undesirable in the community by flaming and trolling them constantly, and we were one of them. And we ended up having the horrible nightmares from it too eventually, even after we stopped going to that community-- dreaming that the bullies had tracked us down and knew everything about our life, and managed to convince people in so many places we were hateable that there was no longer anywhere we could go and be taken seriously, and that people were coming to our house threatening to kill us, things like that. And this is scarily not too far off from the reality of what has happened to some autistic people who spoke out very vocally against certain things.)

I keep thinking about the "Make It Better" stuff. And that it shouldn't apply just to queer and disabled people but to everyone with an identity that is considered hateable by society for some reason or another. (And I don't have the spoons to engage in an argument here of trying to make fine divisions of who does and doesn't deserve protection. Speaking just for myself, I refuse to make a bunch of ideology-based distinctions about who does or doesn't deserve protection from being treated like shit, regardless of whether you agree with their beliefs or not. I tend to apply a rule of common sense here, rather than deciding we must all construct and agree on a giant complex ideology of Who Does And Does Not Deserve Protection before actually doing anything while people continue to get hurt. And I think from a common sense perspective, people should be able to agree that going on a giant bullying campaign against a teenager who committed the "crime" of having an unusual identity, trying to spread as many lies about them as possible and encouraging other people to troll them, is never okay.)

(oh yeah, comment screening is on here, so if you want to say something privately to us about this kind of stuff, go ahead.)

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