I understand the impulse to write a post like “Being Right Doesn’t Guarantee That You’re Not Wrong“, Jacques Rosseau’s guest post at Martin Pribble’s blog. I really do.
In this fight over making our movements more welcoming to women and other marginalized groups, there have been a lot of people complaining that they’re being shot down and mistreated for asking questions. There have been a lot of people offerning up naive statements and opinions pulled out of thin air and feeling mistreated over the response. There’s been a lot of personal narrative offered up to humanize the problems we’re talking about.
It’s been working, too. Most conferences are considering inclusion when setting their speaker lists, if not yet setting themselves a goal of parity. More people are recognizing the role of pseudoscience in maintaining inequalities. More events are accessible locally, on a budget, and with child care. More groups are setting anti-harassment policies in place and listening to the corporate world in figuring out how to enforce them. More prominent people are stepping up to point out how marginalizaion occurs online and to demand that it stop. Progress has been painful, but it has been remarkably quick.
Given all that, it’s an easy thing to advocate caution. “Surely one side of this can’t have a monopoly on truth. Surely all this emotion has to have a downside. Surely we need to make accommodations for those who are bewildered by the pace of change. Surely some of these complaints must have merit.” Eh, maybe.