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  1. says

    Ogvorbis, if you stop by, You. Are. A. Real. Survivor. and don’t you let anyone tell you different, not even yourself.

    Fuck, I’m angry. Not at you, Ogvorbis. I love you to pieces. Always.

  2. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Portia,

    another example that helps explain the racist dynamics at work in sex-related feminism (and, yes, anti-rape activism is “related to” sex even though rape isn’t sex): when white women were advocating for access to abortion, women & trans* folk of color were having their fetuses aborted without the consent of the pregnant person by white doctors. moreover, it was actually pretty common to permanently sterilize women of color immediately after giving birth while the woman was still sedated.

    Of course, white women were being denied voluntary surgical sterilization at the time, and feminism’s lesser told story of fighting for surgical sterilization on demand had the effect of marginalizing the stories and needs of women of color. Imagine being forcibly sterilized and going to a meeting of feminists discussing women’s sexual rights that is focussed on **more sterilization** and when you say “whoa, nellie, white lady” they tell you that your story is too dangerous to include b/c it might jeopardize white women’s access to their preferred method of birth control.

    yeah. it’s like that.

  3. Portia says

    Crip Dyke,

    Many years ago I read War Against the Weak. I’d be interested to do more reading that’s on point with what you’re talking about. I’ll have to look into it.

    Thanks for the perspective on that particular area of nasty silencing and erasure.

    Ugh.

    People can be horrible.

  4. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Jacob Schmidt:

    no. I admitted to sexual assault. The only reason I did so was to make Anon 143 feel less alone, and to reinforce hir point about demonizing.

    I apologize and retract. Long thread, sorry.

    I also didn’t think that you were doing anything wrong, but I was attempting to point out to -who was that again? oh, yeah: cyranothe2nd- Ct2 that she was enforcing on others a standard to which she did not hold herself. She **could** have focused her ire on people who weren’t survivors talking about assault on a thread that was for survivors. I think she still would have been wrong, but she wouldn’t have been hypocritical. I went for my strongest argument, which wasn’t supportive of you. I don’t really feel bad about that, though maybe I should. I didn’t mean to treat you as an object, a means to end, and I hope I didn’t.

    In any case, your correction is noted and accepted. I hope you understand where I was coming from with Ct2.

  5. Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally says

    Crip Dyke @ 462,

    If you can’t deal with that story, fine, don’t read it.

    That couldn’t be done without a specific trigger warning, which was not included in the post. Which is something that was talked about after I made my post, as well as posted on the “new rules” thread. It’s also something Ogvorbis pointed out in his comments to me.

    That’s really all I got–it’s not like this was fun for me. I wouldn’t have read it if I’d know it was there.

    I’m not trying to “ghettoize” anyone, but to try to point out that a safe space where victims can also talk about hurting other children is not a safe space for me. There’s a choice to be made here. If that choice is that not everyone can be safe in a safe space (as seems to be the consensus from other commenters in that thread)–so people like me that are triggered by stories like that can’t participate–then so be it. But I’d like that fact to have been made explicit. I did not go into that thread looking to be triggered. That’s what happened, and I do think that, had I known that the thread would include stuff like that, I would not have participated at all.

    Finally–to Ogvorbis–I don’t know if you saw my reply to your apology in the Stunned Silence thread but I want you to know that I don’t blame you and I’m not mad at you. I understand that you’re a good person who did not mean to harm me. Others found your words valuable and helpful. The fact that they triggered me doesn’t take away from what others got from them. Take care of yourself, please!

  6. Jacob Schmidt says

    I went for my strongest argument, which wasn’t supportive of you. I don’t really feel bad about that, though maybe I should. I didn’t mean to treat you as an object, a means to end, and I hope I didn’t.

    I’m not sure why I should be supported. Your concern is noted and appreciated, though. Thanks.

    I’m not sure there’s any way to fix that problem. I do think survivors should have a safe space to talk about any abuse they committed along with abuse they received. That will necessarily hurt survivors who don’t want to hear about or support abusers. The only solution I can think of is to wrap stories of abusing others in trigger warnings.

    But attacking the survivors and ignoring me, twincats and Grumps was weird. If anyone deserves some ire on this, it would be us.

  7. Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally says

    But attacking the survivors and ignoring me, twincats and Grumps was weird.

    This was not intentional. I missed your comments, or I would have included them.

    The only solution I can think of is to wrap stories of abusing others in trigger warnings.

    I think that this would be a really good idea.

  8. Portia says

    I don’t think Cyranothe2nd attacked anyone. Or rather, since we’re not supposed to talk in the third person.

    Cyranothe2nd, I don’t think you attacked anyone. I don’t get the sense you feel defensive or need defending, I just wanted to say I don’t think that’s a fair characterization.

    Jacob, I don’t have a beef or anything I just wanted to make that note. And now I have. So I’ll shut up again :)

    I also think everyone involved in this disagreement(? discussion?) is acting with a lot of class.

    *hugs* all around to whoever wants some.

  9. Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally says

    Thanks, Portia. I am thinking I need to take some time off from Pharyngula for a while.

  10. Portia says

    Do whatever you need to do, and take care of yourself. Hope to see you back sometime if it works out for you.

  11. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’m not trying to “ghettoize” anyone, but to try to point out that a safe space where victims can also talk about hurting other children is not a safe space for me. There’s a choice to be made here. If that choice is that not everyone can be safe in a safe space (as seems to be the consensus from other commenters in that thread)–so people like me that are triggered by stories like that can’t participate–then so be it. But I’d like that fact to have been made explicit. I did not go into that thread looking to be triggered. That’s what happened, and I do think that, had I known that the thread would include stuff like that, I would not have participated at all.

    Let me say that I’ve found other comments of yours valuable, so if I pick on this particular occurrence, it’s not about some inherent fault in you, but about specific thinking and choices that *I* find particularly problematic.

    I wouldn’t want you to be unable to participate in the thread. That would be a sucky outcome. But look at your statement – you want the choice made explicit that some stories will trigger you?

    What’s the trigger warning: “Trigger warning: I raped someone”? If you have a brain – which I know you do – you have all you need to get it spinning about someone posting that stuff on this survivor thread. You can’t unread that and imagining the details is often worse than reading them.

    If you read it, you can see where a story is going and drop the comment like a hot potato at a location that is functionally essentially equivalent to “I raped someone”.

    Again, the brain is set spinning even if you don’t read the rest of the post.

    So do trigger warnings actually function the way you think that they will? Not really. You can choose not to read the details, but you can do that without the warnings just by paying attention to what you’re reading. If it really does come out of the blue, well, so does, “Trigger Warning: I raped someone”.

    All this is tragic. I really would like you to be able to participate in the same thread with a survivor like Ogvorbis. What makes your statements upsetting are a couple of things. These I’ll get into in another comment in a minute – baking for kids’ first day of school PAC fundraiser.

  12. says

    Ogvorbis.

    This is surely a trite expression that I’ve put out there before. It’s how I still feel and what I want to say when I read your story. If I’ve said it, and I probably have, then I’m sorry for the repetition but not for the sentiment.

  13. Portia says

    I just realized I have a huge personal context that colors how I view this whole discussion about survivors listening to people who realize that they have victimized (that’s the most diplomatic way I can put it), so I’m bowing out of the discussion. Not that I was making any great contribution. But, at the very least, this has all helped me realize some of my issues surrounding …this issue. (I’m such a coward, I can’t even use real words). Which is half the battle right? Seeing some of your issues? Anyway.

  14. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Before I go further, I want to reiterate, Cyranothe2nd, that I believe you are a good person and that your heart is in the right place. This doesn’t guarantee we don’t fuck up. I’m going to take on your statements and what I perceive to have been your mistakes because I want this to be the best place it can be. i don’t want to do it to make you feel bad or for revenge or what-have-you. When I was called on some piece of my racism a long time back, someone told me that they weren’t calling me out because they thought I was awful. If they thought I was awful they would have walked away. Instead, calling me out was an act of generosity, an act of faith in me that I was a good person who would want to reevaluate my choices and actions in the light of new information.

    It can be hard hearing criticism in that light, but I give to you the same gift that I received from that person so many years ago.

    I also understand you may be taking a break from Pharyngula and might miss these comments entirely. I hope you’re taking care of yourself, and perhaps others can gain insight from what I write. I thus continue despite knowing you might not be around to read these. Even if you do read these, you of course have no obligation to comment back.
    ====================
    Okay, what makes your statements problematic is a series of assumptions

    1) You seem to be placing responsibility for your own triggers on someone else. While “I raped someone” is reasonably certain to trigger people, I was triggered by a certain shade of skin on the back of a hand moving on the edge of my vision. Should people who swing their arms as they walk (read: everyone) give me a trigger warning as they pass me?

    You might say of course not, but why not? Clearly hands moving on the edge of vision has to be a stimulus that many, many beaten women experience as scary-as-F. Why shouldn’t people who move their hands near me have to provide a trigger warning when, statistically, they KNOW that eventually they are going to trigger someone with the way that they move their hands? Sure, statistically people who assaulted someone know that they are very likely to trigger people at a greater rate when telling those stories than when moving their hands, but the argument is the same: your actions are certain to trigger someone. out of respect for survivors, give us a heads up.

    Why doesn’t this argument work? It doesn’t work because other people are not, in fact, responsible for our triggers. I got triggered off a glass of milk once, fFs. (I went vegan almost immediately after getting out of my abusive relationship). Our abusers are responsible for the damage they caused. The fact that that damage persists is not the fault of anyone else. Nor is it the fault of those other people if that damage is aggravated temporarily by things that would not injure us had the damage not been their originally.

    While trigger warnings can be helpful, treating the failure to use trigger warnings as harmful in itself makes survivors like Ogvorbis responsible for taking care of **others** at the precise moment when they are at their worst.

    I support the voluntary use of trigger warnings, but trigger warnings do not create safe space. Nor are persons other than our abusers/assaulters/rapists responsible for the damage.

    2) You responded as if you owned the place.

    Their are reasons to ask rapists who aren’t talking about raping in the context of their survivor stories to back off from certain threads or spaces, but here’s the thing: that thread *never* was established as a place for survivors to tell stories and rapists to piss off. Early on people were talking about making damaging choices. That wasn’t shut down at the very beginning. The space was evolving, becoming what we were making it (well, others were making it, I didn’t get a chance to put in a substantive comment until much, much later).

    It’s true that it didn’t work for you. It’s true that you felt triggered and hurt. But not every space is your space. Not even every space where survivors are telling survivor stories is your space. You seemed to believe that if someplace didn’t feel like an okay for you, that was the same as saying it was inappropriate and disrespectful of survivors generally. You took the attitude that what is bad for you is bad for everyone.

    3) You also took the attitude that what is good for you is good for everyone.

    You did not for a second call out clearly not-okay crap that affected others but not yourself. Here I will call out Caine, b/c I know that I can & she’ll get it without being hurt by it. Caine (as well as others whom I will not now bother to track down & name) often stressed that by doing X and so a person was hurting *women* survivors. I get why she did it. It was often in response to people who were trying to corral the thread in a certain direction. I think she even did it with you, Cyranothe2nd. It seemed to me that she was tailoring her message to her audience.

    But while some message tailoring is good and necessary, if I tailored my message to a white supremacist rape survivor [who was saying x and so can't be on this thread] by replying, “But if we follow your formula, you’d be hurting some actual *white* survivors” she’d have my ass. And rightly so.

    but I didn’t take Caine’s head off b/c taking persons’ heads off would have felt inappropriate to me in that thread, because I understood that regardless of the dismissal of trans* survivors inherent in the tactic that she doesn’t actually wish to dismiss trans* survivors and she takes pains in other contexts to include us, because I believe that the dismissal of trans* survivors is so relentless that one more trans* dismissive comment could hardly break the back of a camel who surely must be a bloody, pulpy mass by now, because, like the damn camel, I didn’t have the spoons, and because…wait for it…the thread isn’t all about me. Sure Caine triggered the hell out of me with the choice of that trans* minimizing tactic, but spending time in the thread fighting would have turned off other survivors. I was already triggered – that couldn’t be undone. No point in triggering other people just to educate Caine on something she surely knew anyway.

    But hey, that’s my choice. I’m a trans* person. I decided I didn’t have the spoons. I don’t have the responsibility for ending trans* oppression.

    But what about you? Are you non-trans*? Why is it you can take on the things that you find triggering, but things like the gender binary – which really does hurt all women, all survivors – you don’t protest because they don’t bother you?

    It comes across as you thinking that what is good for you is good for everyone. Just like the white feminists of 40 years ago and pro-sterilization activism or the white activists of 2 years ago and the slut walk. When combined with the thinking above that comes across as “what is bad for you is bad or everyone” it really comes across as being all about you, while you use the stick of my experience as a survivor to help beat others into line. If it’s about you and only you, don’t make it about “survivors” generally. If it’s about survivors generally, try to think about the needs of survivors who aren’t you.

    4) You apparently believe that there is and/or should be a generally safe space for survivor stories.

    This

    Is

    Wrong.

    The hypothetical white supremacist rape survivor I mentioned above? It is absolutely not safe for survivors of color to be in the room with her. But she deserves support **even before she’s able to uproot her racism**. She might be a child raped by a racist father in a relentlessly white supremacist family at age 12, coming to a group before she’s even able to get access to unbiased info about race. She’s still going to be a dangerous person to be around for people of color (and those of us who deeply love one or more persons of color). She might have been raised with lots of access to good information about race and racism and have consciously chosen to join Stormfront. She still deserves a place to go with her survivor story.

    Seriously, if people had to be non-oppressive or to avoid rape apologia to access survivor groups, those groups would be pretty empty. I don’t know of any trans* people who don’t excuse the rapists of trans people on the basis of those rapists being raised in a society that so relentlessly hates trans* folks. I hear this from every single trans* person – most of them survivors – with whom I discuss anti-trans* rape.

    I don’t know of any non-trans* survivors who never use the phrase “men and women” as if that includes everyone in the world – thereby erasing the existence of trans* people, the exact goal of so many anti-trans* rapists.

    Do they not get to have a support network b/c they have bought into anti-trans oppression? Does that include you? Do you not deserve support?

    We can’t have the white supremacist survivors in the same groups as the survivors of color, but all those survivors have to have someplace to go.

    All of them.

    I don’t give a flying F if some of them are the most trans*-hating folk on the planet. They get support for hte same reason I said Og gets it.

    If you insist that a place for survivors be a place for **all** survivors, then you are insisting that some survivors…aren’t. Because they dont’ deserve to be. Because they were raised in the KKK, because they chose to join Stormfront as an adult, because they were raped as a kid and chose to abuse another kid before they figured out boundaries and consent.

    There is no such thing as a safe space for all survivors. You have to decide if a given space is for you, and I hope Pharyngula can be a place where you can be supported and grow and learn.

    But if it isn’t, that isn’t enough evidence to be certain Pharyngula is anti-survivor.

    Be big enough to let the space that supports Og support Og. Stop using the language you used when you said:

    that forgiveness or personal growth should not come at the expense of victims who are going to read about you raping and feel victimized about it. I’m sorry, but what you did is NOT OKAY

    Victims, plural? Name the ones besides you.

    This isn’t a slam. You are valuable. You are so valuable that you shouldn’t have to assume you know what’s best for all victims. You can speak from your own experience and that’s enough. If we as a community decide that we want Og to feel supported even if it means that you don’t, I am sorry, but that’s just the shape of this one particular survivor-oriented space. It’s still oriented toward survivors. That it’s not oriented toward your needs doesn’t mean it’s not oriented toward survivors’ needs.

    There’s something else, but I have to go. I have law school in the morning and my brain needs to function for it.

    I hope you continue to feel better over the long haul – like climate change, I’m sure there will be bad-weather days, and winters and summers over the course of years, but I hope that you see a steady warming that over decades makes your baseline better and better for you.

  15. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Portia, 515 –

    I hope you can still read and that you get better and better over time.

    law school starts for me in, oh, 7.66 hours, and I’ll need you again come finals.

  16. John Morales says

    Portia:

    I don’t think Cyranothe2nd attacked anyone. Or rather, since we’re not supposed to talk in the third person.

    John Morales reads this and is bemused, as he is not aware of any regulation regarding which grammatical person that commenters wish to employ — but then he begins to wonder whether some new rules have been instituted in his absence.

    (It is quite likely that he will investigate further)

  17. John Morales says

    So, wading through the rules suggestions thread now.

    Rules are but restrictions.

    I can navigate any rule-set, but beyond a certain amount of gaming it stops becoming fun.

    I guess that since I managed to comment at Camels with Hammers*, so I can probably still have fun here.

    * Before Dan’s pecuniary need motivated a move to the pathetic place.

  18. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    John,

    Hm, I don’t see how these rules would require any gaming from you. Except maybe the recommendation about taking into account that others might find your comments difficult to understand.

    Maybe I am just terminally naive. :)

  19. John Morales says

    Beatrice, I don’t know whether they do; I’m only up to comment #202 there.

    (Basically, I can’t see how they could even approach the restrictiveness of Dan’s ruleset, so I figure I’ll be good, this particular iteration. But I do see a pattern)

  20. says

    Morales: If you threaten to game the system here, I’ll tell you about the consequences. You will be banned. Try to say something with actual substance rather than wasting our time looking for loopholes.

  21. Jacob Schmidt says

    Portia

    Jacob, I don’t have a beef or anything I just wanted to make that note. And now I have. So I’ll shut up again :)

    No no. Speak your mind.

    “Attack” is not a value laden term to me. I use it neutrally. I didn’t mean for it too come off that way.

    Cyranothe2nd

    This was not intentional. I missed your comments, or I would have included them.

    I figured. Ours were easy to miss if you were skimming.

    I just want to make a correction: twincats is a survivor. I realized that I’ve erased her experience by saying she wasn’t. I’m sorry.

    Crip Dyke

    Victims, plural? Name the ones besides you.

    By my count, we’re at 3 survivors who’ve spoken up saying they were hurt. Elyse, CT2 and Dani Wells.

  22. Muse says

    If you are a member of PET, please take a look at the current pinned thread for information about important changes. This is time-sensitive.

    If you have no idea what PET is, don’t worry about it. :)

  23. pHred says

    Okay – I am terrified of posting in the Thunderdome but I have been kinda bugged about what happened in the Stunned Silence thread.

    I agree with this from 516 Crip Dyke

    1) You seem to be placing responsibility for your own triggers on someone else.

    The whole thread was terribly triggering for me – I don’t even read fiction with explicit consensual sex because all sorts of weird things will set me off. But I found it really important to skim through since it also helped me enormously to know that the same things that I have been dealing with my whole life are not because of me. Some people remembered to put trigger warnings, some people didn’t. I took responsibility for skipping posts and pacing myself. It is generally hard enough to type out some of those stories without worrying about remembering to put the correct trigger warnings on them. I think it was implicitly obvious that the thread as a whole would potentially be triggering. The whole thread was deep and potentially dangerous and prone to undercurrents that could go in any directions.

    I think it is terribly unfair and uncharitable to get upset about something that someone posted with no ill intent. I saw the way that Ogvorbis’ post was going and I skipped it because I knew it was going in a direction that was bad for me to read (sorry if this is a third person thing – but I don’t know how else to reference this ?). But I would never think of calling someone out because of my personal issues in a thread like that.

    I think part of the process is trying to take control of your triggers – I don’t know. But I do know that I can’t blame my responses on people who are not trying to do damage. Now the MRA bunch – they should be called out and harshly.

    I also think trigger warnings are much more important in threads that are otherwise innocuous where you can suddenly be blindsided by something out of the blue.

    I don’t know if this adds anything or not.

  24. John Morales says

    pHred:

    I don’t know if this adds anything or not.

    I think it does; it’s a datum.

    Incidentally, I see the Mollies page is gone.

    (not unexpected)

  25. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Jacob Schmidt.

    I’ve made a case why we shouldn’t believe Elyse was speaking of Jane Doe, at least, and possibly not Og as well.

    Dani Wells was speaking before Og’s post of 425, and was addressed “to the man…” which precludes addressing Jane Doe.

    Even if she had e-mailed the other 2 names on your list and they agreed with her analysis in private, by not naming them in public she uses a generic, general “survivors” set to bring more power to her condemnation.

    Ct2 is a human being and worth more than all the gold that exists. I will weigh the pain caused to Ct2 very seriously indeed. But this undifferentiated “survivors” especially when there **are no other survivors** to which it obviously applies in specific seems appropriative of my experience, and that of all survivors generally.

    If all survivors were the same and the needs of all survivors were the same, this would make sense. But we aren’t, and they aren’t. I feel ill used here.

    What makes it worse is that
    1) She seems not to have actually read the thread – 143 and 425 stood out for her, but she didn’t even remember others talking about victimizing people? And what about people talking about how the “good survivor” meme **hurts survivors**? She shows no evidence of any knowledge of this at all.

    2) I’ve always found “ladyporn aficionado” [however spelled] triggering, but I didn’t say anything about it, for a few reasons:
    a) autonomy in naming is more important than autonomy in just about any other area. Really. It’s vital.
    b) My name, tongue in cheek as it is, is triggering to some – if I defend my right to name myself as I will, I cannot then deny that right to others
    c) There is a reasonable interpretation of the phrase that is feminist – specifically it could be interpreted as taking a side in favor of believing certain women doing sex work that the work was positive for them and that their participation in it was not forced. This contradicts the insistence of some feminists that sex in porn is inherently rape, and that consuming porn (even free internet porn, which gets money from advertising to you) is funding the rape of women in the industry and the patriarchy’s general oppression of all women inside and outside of the industry.
    …Given Ct2 is conversing with us on a specifically feminist website and holds many views consistent with feminism and was arguing for the benefit of women survivors, I gave this interpretation primary weight.

    Let me be clear: I’m still not criticizing Ct2 for choosing that handle. I bring it up to make note of the following:
    When I mentioned this to Ct2 as in contradiction with her position on not bringing potentially triggering things into a thread for survivors, she stated that she was completely unaware of feminist critiques of porn! Here she was, making a statement that seemed to be pulling me into supporting her condemnation of the insensitivity of Jane Doe & Obvorbis towards survivors when she hadn’t given one second of thought to whether **porn** might be triggering to survivors.

    Really? You’ve never heard of porn being triggering? Really?

    I mean, okay, but it takes some serious chutzpah to lecture other people on what’s good for survivors in the plural when you haven’t even heard of the existence of a major, commonly cited trigger for survivors [even outside the industry, as many survivors experienced their partners' porn use as part of their abuse at the hands of their partners]. To Ct2’s credit, she acted completely consistently with her values by changing her ‘nym. But it’s astounding that she was unaware of the existence of this critique.

    So in addition to not reading the thread, she hadn’t read feminism.

    3) She claimed Elyse was backing her up, but Elyse was arguably not backing her up. Her follow up’s description of offensive responses by people admitting assault seemed to contradict Jane Doe’s account. At the very least, Elyse [judging by her post] doesn’t agree with the condemnation of Jane Doe.

    So she hadn’t read Elyse very well, though she had clearly read Elyse.

    ===========

    All this can be reasonably be explained by the fact that Ct2 was triggered and we aren’t at our best when we’re triggered. I don’t want to make this about Ct2 isn’t a good person or that Ct2 can’t speak up unless she does so perfectly. F that noise.

    Ct2 is welcome in my home anytime. I stand by that.

    [Whether she wants to be in my home is another matter and I am not at all offended if she doesn't ever want to be, either because I've handled the current topic or for any other reason.]

    But I was hurt by Ct2’s actions, and I also feel that
    1) making other people responsible for our triggers, which is one completely legit interpretation of Ct2’s comments, is a practice that needs to be discouraged for the good of survivors.
    2) trigger warnings, while a sign of our mutual respect, can be good but enforcing “proper” use of trigger warnings merely creates the danger that a survivor will be bashed for improperly labeling a post. I don’t want to see it used as a rule. I like it as it is, a practice that communicates respect and enhances choice.
    3) speaking as if with the support of all survivors when one is really only speaking for oneself
    …supports the myth that we aren’t valuable enough on our own to matter – that change will only come for others, not for ourselves, and
    …forces the false homogenization of survivors in a way that harms survivors.
    4) Ct2’s statements, as they stand (and I know that she’s retracted this part, but it does partly motivate my writing now), call out survivors for participating in victimization while children, and do so in a way that makes them no different from adults making the choice to victimize children. I can’t speak for Jane Doe or for Og, but acting in this way as child survivors, figuring out consent despite how they have literally been taught the opposite of good practices, is quite common. I want it on record for the childhood rape survivors among lurkers that they don’t deserve sympathy only if they handled their childhood sexual experimentation with perfect respect for others’ consent.
    5) I feel that discussing these statements can benefit the Pharyngula community generally
    6) I want to jump up and down on the myth that it is possible to have one “safe space” for all survivors. This is as impossible as having “fully accessible” spaces where Deaf folk want music to be loud enough to feel, hard of hearing folk want speech to be loud enough to interpret, and folk easily triggered want quiet to maintain a fragile ability to participate socially.

    I hope that spells out what’s important to me in this conversation with sufficient clarity.

  26. Thumper; Immorally Inferior Sergeant Major in the Grand Gynarchy Mangina Corps (GGMC) says

    John McCain slapped down some racist arsehat on Fox News!

    Brian Kilmeade implied that saying “Allahu Akhbar!” made you a terrorist, and McCain said “Would you have a problem with an American person saying ‘thank God?”

    I have an odd feeling… I think… No, I don’t know what it is. But it feels good to know that even McCain can do a good thing sometimes :)

  27. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @pHred:

    I think part of the process is trying to take control of your triggers – I don’t know.

    yes. Absolutely. I don’t want anyone to get the message that they can’t take the power into their own hands to make good choices around their triggers in ways that minimize them while they exist and ways that aid the triggers in getting gone from out lives completely.

    Trigger warnings communicate respect and can be valuable, but they do not cure the situation and their use cannot be enforced. People aren’t “wrong” for failing to use them while in a vulnerable moment telling a difficult story. But more important, survivors’ own brains and skills are more powerful than any specific trigger warning. We can do this.

  28. Bicarbonate says

    I’m just so fucking angry at all these politicians lying about Syria ! ! *listening to French radio* All the media here support bombing. Our best independent newspaper was sold to corporate forces about two years ago. They’re all sold out, all in the same mold.

  29. says

    Crip Dyke:

    I get why she did it. It was often in response to people who were trying to corral the thread in a certain direction.

    Yes, and I did that to make a point. In doing so, I was letting my anger do my talking, and that was a mistake and I seriously fucked up. I would never do anything to cause you pain, Crip Dyke, and I am so very sorry I did. I apologize, unreservedly. I will make every effort to be more conscious, more aware, and to not cause such harm again. I am sorry.

  30. Forelle says

    When about two hours ago I wrote

    I’m a bit alarmed by references to “safe spaces”

    on the New commenting rules thread, I hadn’t skimmed yet the Stunned silence thread, nor read you, Crip Dyke, here. If PZ still awarded Mollies, I’d ask for three or four at once to be given to you for these comments of yours since the thread was reopened. Thanks for such thorough and clear explanations. (And if I may, I’d like to send big hugs to Ogvorbis.)

  31. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ Caine

    Part of what allowed me to let is slide was that I know you know this stuff. I fuck up around race all the time, and you’ve never been anything but gracious to me. I trust that you are acting from a good place, and though intent isn’t magic, it definitely tells us something about how and when we should speak to or trust a person.

    I don’t trust you to be perfect. I trust you to be very, very good. We’re okay.

  32. Pteryxx says

    …I don’t have anything direct to add but that I’m listening as hard as I know how.

    Crip Dyke, if I may make a suggestion, I think that after Elyse’s comment it would be useful if you linked your explanations above in the Silence thread itself, so they don’t get lost to history as the Thunderdome rolls on. Usually that serves as a buffer zone but in this case, as long as the Silence thread stays up and people come to read it, they should have access to the insight you’re laying out for us.

  33. says

    Pteryxx:

    it would be useful if you linked your explanations above in the Silence thread itself, so they don’t get lost to history as the Thunderdome rolls on.

    Yes, please do this. I don’t want these to be lost either. I have so much to learn, and I can’t express how much someone taking the time and having the patience to write so clearly means to me.

  34. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    By my count, we’re at 3 survivors who’ve spoken up saying they were hurt. Elyse, CT2 and Dani Wells.

    Actually, now that I’ve checked (and I’m not even at #100 yet), Grumps’ comment was the first that was about being the abuser at #62, and both Happiest Sadist in 69 and rabidtreeweasel in 70 said that they didn’t feel good about it with rabidtreeweasel in particular having been specifically triggered.

  35. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    To be clear:

    You’re asking that I write a comment in Stunned Silent that links to my comments here in Thunderdome – I have that right?

    Say yes & I’ll do it, no problem.

    =======================

    Appropros of nothing: My Intro to Asian Legal Systems comparative [structural and procedural more than substantive] law class starts in 1 min 11 sec.

    Professor not yet here.

    57 sec.

  36. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    I just want to add that I’m as complicit in this mess as anyone else. I saw it, saw the thread had moved on, got caught up again in how powerful people sharing their stories was, and just didn’t properly notice that people were upset and triggered because it wasn’t me.

  37. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Thank you Gen. It may seemed like I ignored them, but that was because I was interested in who was standing with Ct2′s critique of Jane Doe and Og. The posts you reference were made before the posts of 143 & 425 that Ct2 specifically called out and thus could not be expressions of support for Ct2′s position.

    I hope that makes it clear.

    However, in reference to something else I wrote, about how the thread evolved, that is a relevant addition and I think it’s necessary to qualify my [cursory] description of the thread’s evolution with reference to those posts.

  38. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    The posts you reference were made before the posts of 143 & 425 that Ct2 specifically called out and thus could not be expressions of support for Ct2′s position.

    I hope that makes it clear.

    Oh yes, no, I didn’t mean CT2. I was riffing off of Jacob in 325 and then what you said in 328 about Elyse’s point and just the whole idea of trying to make as safe a space for survivors as possible.

    Elyse was totally right on this one.

  39. Pteryxx says

    Crip Dyke:

    To be clear:

    You’re asking that I write a comment in Stunned Silent that links to my comments here in Thunderdome – I have that right?

    Say yes & I’ll do it, no problem.

    Basically yes. Given the nature of the discussion I think you should have the opportunity to link your own words as you see fit, rather than me (for instance) linking it and saying “For more discussion see here” or some such. Although maybe Caine could do it more gracefully than I could. <_<

    (Besides, IIRC you did say something about taking the discussion to Thunderdome, but without a specific link. That was sufficient navigation in the moment, but not as the threads continue to progress.)

  40. says

    Pteryxx:

    Although maybe Caine could do it more gracefully than I could.

    Eh, I think it’s better if Crip Dyke does it. I think I’ve filled my quota of seriously fucking up for a while.

  41. says

    Ok, I’ve had a few drinks and I shouldn’t be posting this but it’s been bugging me and inhibitions are lowered so here we go:

    I’m a bit pissed off at the horde and have been for a few weeks now and it goes back to the suicide thread.

    A lot of time and effort goes in to making this place a safe harbor for victims of rape, and I support that with every fiber of my being. I understand the need for trigger warnings and that survivors come first, so it was disconcerting to me to see the horde so apathetic about suicide and the damage it does, the lack of empathy for the survivors of suicide, and the patting on the back that was done for the person about whom the thread was dedicated to.

    I’ve survived two major suicides in my life. One was my de facto stepfather when I was 13 and the other was my best friend when I was 22. Both affected me, still affect me, very deeply, but for different reasons.

    My stepfather was an abusive asshole and I was glad he was dead. For my mother’s benefit, I had to pretend otherwise for a lot of years, but I remember the day the cops showed up to deliver the news vividly, I was happy, he was gone, I didn’t have to live in fear anymore.

    But my mother was devastated, as were others in our family. He abused her physically on multiple occasions, including the night before he did the deed, but she still loved him and depended on him and his death sent her in to a tail spin that it took years for her to recover from.

    I was the victim of his suicide as it wrecked our home life for a decade at least. I became a latch key kid with an alcoholic single mother. It would have been better if he had just left, at least then she wouldn’t have blamed herself for his death.

    Then we have my best friend, my brother for all intents and purposes, who shot himself when we were 22 years old. The questions, what could I have done? What could I have told his mother who called me asked about his state of mind? The blame, the hurt, the guilt, it crushes me to this day when I think about it.

    So it pisses me off when the horde goes on about what a noble thing Martin Manley did, what a great guy he was, how we should all be so dignified in our choosing our own time of death.

    FUCK THAT! You fight! You survive! you stay alive! If not for yourself, then for those that love you. Suicide is never the fucking answer, with one exception, avoiding suffering at end of life due to terminal illness. I do support assisted suicide under such conditions, but otherwise, suicide does damage, massive damage to those that love you and depend on you, and even those who hate you.

    FUCK YOU HORDE for patting this guy on the back and for acting like suicide is a victimless act and a personal choice. I’m sorry, it’s been at the back of my mind for weeks and I had to say something.

    /rant

  42. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Since this is the ‘Dome and I’m just coming off of a suicidal spot, I’ll take that on if you don’t mind, Eric. The biggest issue (and it’s something that kept me angry and defiant and frustrated while seriously depressed) is:

    Suicide is never the fucking answer, with one exception, avoiding suffering at end of life due to terminal illness.

    That’s true, but why is it true? We allow suicide in these situations because these people are in severe, often unbearable, unimaginable pain (and they’re dying in any case). But aren’t we all dying? Why is physical pain more legitimate than psychological pain?

    Because lemme tell you, when you’re at that point, it becomes all about escaping the pain.

  43. gertrud says

    Erikthebassist, I have a great deal of compassion for you here. You’ve been through a lot and that must make it extremely difficult for you to deal with that kind of thing. I can understand feeling victimized–and, in the first case you prevent, it sounds like you are absolutely correct.

    However, please understand that most people who commit suicide are ill, every bit as much as someone with cancer, and it is their way of ending the illness. A lot of them are killed by depression or other mental illnesses every bit as much as a patient of a “physical” (to acknowledge the bullshit false dichotomy our society places between physical and psychiatric illness) illness can be killed by it. I am not saying that suicide itself cannot be an act of abuse (see: Thomas Ball), but that does not mean that most people who do it are thinking of anything other than making their suffering, which is every bit as valid and, according to their brains (which are lying assholes, as are everyone else’s), terminal, as that of someone who suffers from a chronic and fatal illness.

    That is unfair of you. Your suffering is completely valid, but so is that of someone who cannot live with their mental state any longer.

  44. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Sorry, should have said first, I’m so sorry for your losses. Having lost someone I cared about deeply to suicide recently, I completely get where you’re coming from. Hell, I’ve been suicidal as recently as a week or two ago and the fact that this person I cared about so much was in so much pain that she committed suicide (as opposed to some other thing that could have ended her life) STILL fucks me up beyond measure.

  45. says

    erikthebassist, I am very sorry for your experiences, truly.

    All I can say is that all instances are not the same, and I feel that:

    FUCK THAT! You fight! You survive! you stay alive! If not for yourself, then for those that love you.

    this effectively tells me I have no choice in the matter. I’m in my mid fifties right now, with assorted chronic pain problems. At the moment, I have tools to cope, my mind is still relatively good, and I’m enjoying myself, so I don’t want to die. That may well change, however, and I have discussed this issue with my partner of 34 years. Suicide may be something either one of us decides on, and we have come to terms with that. I don’t think it’s anyone else’s place to make that decision for either one of us. I have no desire to live in misery, nor do I want to keep on breathing if I’m going to lose ‘myself’ (Alzheimer’s disease.)

    FUCK YOU HORDE for patting this guy on the back and for acting like suicide is a victimless act and a personal choice.

    I hope you feel better now. I am sorry, however, I feel that suicide can be a personal choice.

  46. says

    That is unfair of you. Your suffering is completely valid, but so is that of someone who cannot live with their mental state any longer.

    Mental states are temporary. I understand how devastating depression is, I deal with myself. The ONE THING that keeps me from stepping in front of a train is knowing what it would do to the people who love me, the pain it would cause.

    Being in pain is not an excuse for suicide, it is not a victimless act.

  47. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @erikthe bassist:

    This is the place to say it. Than you for your honesty, thank you for your openness. Thank you for your story. I didn’t really read that thread, so I can’t say if I’m someone who would have agreed with the “back patting” that clearly felt horrible to read.

    I hope that saying it allows you to feel like you’re fully participating here.

  48. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Being in pain is not an excuse for suicide, it is not a victimless act.

    That’s true, but neither is being in constant pain (and it’s not just a mental state that blows over, Eric. At all) nor is living with someone in so much constant psychological pain.

    Once again, if you’d rather not discuss this I’d be happy to stop. I’m just jumping in because this is actually something that’s still raw in me from both sides of the spectrum.

  49. says

    You know, I’m going to repeat one other thing I said in the suicide thread: Just because a person has a mental illness does not mean they are unable to make a rational decision regarding suicide.

  50. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    With respect, erikthebassist, filing for divorce is not a victimless act. That said, our society permits divorce at the initiation of either party for any reason. We trust that it’s too big a decision to put in the hands of someone other than the party divorcing.

    I’m glad others are engaging with you. I’ll back away since this really isn’t simple for me (I fight for the right to suicide while I fight against many of the arguments of people who agree with me on that right b/c the arguments frequently assume things that value some lives less than others). If I had the spoons, I’d engage more significantly, but I have enough going on with Elyse/Ct2/Ogvorbis related discussion.

  51. says

    Being in pain is not an excuse for suicide, it is not a victimless act.

    Given that none of the people who’ll survive me have life-long depression and suicidal ideation, they can go fuck themselves. The smaller amount of pain they’ll suffer from me dying does not entitle them to make demands on my bodily autonomy, which includes the right to call it quits on a life of extreme pain.

  52. says

    erikthebassist:

    Mental states are temporary.

    No, for many people, they are not. Did you even read Xanthe’s posts in that thread? About how she has one last chance to live a happy life, and if it doesn’t work out, she will opt out of life? Xanthe has done every single thing which can be done. The one thing which is unacceptable is to continue suffering. That is not your fucking call, whether you like it or not, and I’m not seeing any compassion or sympathy or empathy for someone in that situation. Fuck, I understand you are angry and in serious pain here, but this is over the line.

  53. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    I mean, Martin Manley built his website for more than a year before killing himself. So for more than a year he was in so much relentless pain (Pain that doesn’t respond to any drugs, keep in mind) that it continuously overcame one of the most basic and primal instincts in life (survival) and meticulously detailed the reasons and whatever else he put on the website (I haven’t looked at it).

  54. annejones says

    Okay, I was asked before to show what “Anne’s world” looks like, so here goes.

    I’ve long believed that there are numerous liberal policies that have contributed to the moral decline, and collapse of marriage and family, in the US and UK especially. Here are some changes that I’d like to see. Feel free to tear into it if you think you have better ideas.

    I think other people should make similar lists, they might spice the forums up a bit. It would be interesting to see what your world would look like, and might spark some debates.

    1. Abortion- Life begins at conception. Abortions may only be performed in approved medical facilities by licensed doctors, in the case of rape, incest, child molestation, or legitimate concerns for the life of the mother and her future reproductive ability. If such abortions involve a minor, her parents/legal guardian must be notified prior to procedure and consent given. No one, in any position, other than a parent may suggest, or make recommendations to a minor about abortion. Anyone performing an unapproved abortion, or willfully contributing to the death of an unborn child will be charged with murder.

    Abortions will be outside the scope of practice for all agencies such as Planned Parenthood, whether public or private. Women seeking counseling or services relating to abortion will be referred to the appropriate medical professionals.

    2. Divorce- Changes will take effect 6 months from today. No-Fault Divorce is gone. In order to obtain a divorce, the plaintiff must show abuse or neglect of spouse or children, or adultery. During the 6 month grace period, currently married couples may still file for divorce under the no-fault law. The new law will not effect any divorce currently in progress.

    3. Marriage and Parenting- Marriage is defined as one man and one woman. Current relationships not meeting that definition, yet recognized as a marriage, are immediately dissolved.

    All marriage licenses will go back to showing one husband and one wife, only. All birth certificates will list only the biological mother and biological father.

    A parent is defined as a biological mother or father, adoptive mother or father, step-mother or step-father, foster mother or foster father. A homosexual may be recognized as a parent only if they are the biological mother or father. Procreation by those living openly in a homosexual relationship is discouraged, and repeated offenses by homosexuals will subject them to criminal penalties. Any person, homosexual or otherwise, who knowingly assists a homosexual in becoming pregnant, or with the procurement of a child, with the intent of that child being raised as part of a homosexual “family”, will be guilty of a felony, if convicted.

    4. Adoption- Adoption exists as a means of providing a loving home and family for children whose biological parents are unable to care for them. Children will only be adopted by married heterosexual couples that have been licensed by the state’s child welfare system. These laws are also applicable to all private agencies, surrogates, and private citizens willfully terminating their parental rights in favor of adoption, as well as adoption from foreign countries. These laws will not affect any current placements, or adoption proceedings currently in progress involving married heterosexual couples.

    *Exception- If deemed beneficial to the child by mental health professionals, children who have suffered trauma from sexual abuse, rape, etc., may be adopted by single males or females. These single parents will be licensed as other adoptive parents are, in addition they will have specialized training provided by the state for dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse in children.

    5. Assisted Reproductive Technologies(ART)/ Surrogacy- The use of ART or surrogacy will be confined to married heterosexual couples, who have been married for at least one year. It is illegal to obtain or provide ART or surrogacy services by or to any non-married individuals or couples, or same-sex individuals or couples. Sperm banks are also forbidden from providing donor sperm to non-approved couples or individuals.

    Anyone acting as a surrogate will register with, and be licensed by their state’s department of health. They will undergo medical and psychological evaluations by state approved professionals, as well as criminal background checks. Surrogates will obtain insurance, and be held financially responsible for reimbursement of expenses in the case that she is not able to deliver a child to the prospective parents. The surrogate will bear the full expense of all insurance and licensing requirements, and the state may impose a licensing fee to help cover administrative costs.

    Any private citizen who fails to fulfill licensing requirements, or knowingly assists a non-approved couple or individual in obtaining a child, or pregnancy, shall be guilty of a felony upon conviction.

    6. Sex-Reassignment- Sex change operations and hormone replacement therapy are banned. If a person wishes to go to another country to obtain such services, they will surrender their US citizenship. This does not apply to people who are born with gender irregularity or ambiguous genitalia. Those situations will be dealt with by parents and medical professionals. Whatever procedures and therapies are necessary will remain available for those affected individuals.

    7. Alternate Lifestyles in the Public Arena- Alternate lifestyles such as homosexuality or transgenderism in one’s private life will not be made illegal, but expression of those lifestyles shall remain private. Further, propaganda portraying alternate lifestyles in a positive light will be banned. Fines and penalties for disseminating propaganda, written or verbal, or public displays to or around children below 18 will be doubled.

    8. Sex Education- Schools will offer sex education courses as an elective, requiring informed written consent to the curriculum, by the parents/guardians. These courses will be segregated by gender and will focus on personal responsibility for any and all sexual behavior. They will encourage children to wait until married before engaging in sexual activity, and will stress that sex between a man and a wife is the only acceptable form of sexual expression. Students will be taught the available methods of birth control and disease prevention, but school personnel will not assist students with obtaining such. These issues will be referred to the parent/guardian.

    9. Other School Issues:

    a) Corporal punishment will be re-instituted in public schools and will be enforced by the Principal, at his/her discretion, but will be used only after 2 other attempts to change the offensive behavior have failed, including parental notification.

    b) Schools will include a strong campaign against bullying. This campaign will be all-inclusive, not favoring or focusing on any group in particular. It will stress the importance of treating all people with respect, and bullying against any person for any reason, on school grounds, will be dealt with by appropriate disciplinary measures. This campaign will also strive to teach children the difference between protected rights to free speech, and bullying. It will encourage students to respect free speech rights even when they don’t like what is being said.

    School officials will not take action against a student, or be held responsible for any behavior not occurring on school grounds. This includes all electronic devices, unless the offense is committed on a school computer. If school officials become aware of such behavior that is occurring away from school, they are required to report the behavior to administrators who will contact the parents.

    Continued

  55. says

    This will piss some people off, I’m sorry;

    To me, any act that you engage in that you know will bring about immense suffering is an act of selfishness. If you choose to rape someone because you just can’t withstand the undeniable urge to do so, you do it without regard for the damage you do.

    If you choose to kill yourself, because you just can’t stand the thought of living any longer, you do it without regard for the damage you do.

    Theses are both selfish acts, they both disregard the health and well being of those affected by their actions.

  56. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    erikthebassist,

    I am very sorry about the pain that you feel, when it comes to your friend’s suicide, the way your stepfather’s suicide affected your whole family and when it comes to your depression.

    That said, I very much disagree with your conclusions about suicide. I realize that I can’t argue about this without probably stepping into shit and probably saying something hurtful, so I’m just stating my disagreement and as far as my opinions on this go – from what I’ve read from Caine about this on previous occasions, I think our thoughts about this are similar.

  57. says

    FUCK THAT! You fight! You survive! you stay alive! If not for yourself, then for those that love you.

    go fuck yourself and never fucking dare tell me that I have an obligation to suffer for the benefit of others.

  58. annejones says

    Part Two

    c) Schools will have at least one teacher or administrator per wing, trained, licensed, and in possession of a concealed weapon. In lieu of school personnel, licensed guards may be hired.

    d) Prayer is a reasonable form of religious expression and will be allowed in public schools. No one shall be required to take part in prayer, and shall not be discriminated against for not doing so. If religious beliefs require a child to pray at different times throughout the day, he will be allowed to go out in the hallway and do so. No other special accommodations shall be required of public or private schools, voluntary measures are at the school’s discretion.

    e) Religious studies will be made available at each grade level, as an option. Curricula will be designed to distinguish between empirically supported scientific facts, and theoretical science. That which is theoretical shall be presented as such, with other theories also presented, with no preference given to any particular theory. Micro-evolution may be taught as a legitimate scientific theory that is supported by evidence. If macro-evolution, Universal Common Ancestry, is taught, it must be taught as a belief akin to Creation Theory, until such a time as it is proven to be the origin of biological life on earth. The same applies to any theoretical claims for the origin of the universe.

    10. Hate Crimes- All hate crimes legislation shall be abolished. All violent crimes are hate crimes, and more severe penalties will be handed down for violent crimes.

    11. Protected Classes and Discrimination- Reasonable attempts will be made to guard against discrimination of people based on race, nationality, gender, age, or physical handicap.

    Discrimination should be discouraged, however property rights and ownership must be respected. A business owner, landlord, etc., shall not be required to employ or rent to, anyone that he doesn’t see as a good fit.

    No organization that owns property shall be required to rent that property, or allow its use by any group, or for any purpose, that it deems counter to its mission.

    12. Religion- Public displays such as the Ten Commandments and nativity scenes will be allowed on public property as no one is harmed by their presence. Anyone filing suit on religious grounds must show actual physical or mental damages caused by the alleged action. Plaintiff will be held responsible financially for all court costs and attorney fees if his complaint is not upheld.

    13. Recreational Drugs- All recreational drugs are illegal. No such drugs shall be sold, or possessed, by any entity for any purpose. Drugs used for medicinal purposes shall be approved by the FDA.

    14. Firearms- Citizens must be 18 years of age to own a firearm, and must pass a gun safety course, which will certify the owner as a safe operator, and a qualified shooter. Hunting rifles and shotguns are excepted, with parents/guardians held responsible for youth ownership and use. Criminal background checks and psychological clearance shall be required to purchase any firearm. Concealed carry permits also require a background check and yearly psychological clearance, and require registration of carrier as well as his/her weapon/s, with local law enforcement. Anyone convicted of a violent crime or felony will not be allowed to purchase or possess any firearm. No further restrictions on ownership will be allowed.

    Any building, public or private, may require registration of concealed weapons upon entry, but may not ban, or otherwise interfere with, a legal carrier of a registered weapon without cause.

  59. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Comment by annejones blocked. [unhush]​[show comment]

  60. says

    Ok I’ll walk back the “mental states are temporary” comment, that’s isn’t accurate or what I meant. I understand depression isn’t a temporary inconvenience, but rather a life long disability for many.

    I’m deperessed, have been for years, maybe decades. I think about suicide all the time, but again, the reason I won’t do it is because of the carnage I know it will cause.

    If all of my family were gone, and I had no friends left that cared about me, I’d do it. If only a few friends were left and they understood why I had to do it before I did it, then their loss should be mitigated by my needs, understood, but Manley was healthy and only 60 with plenty of surviving family.

  61. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    erikthebassist

    To me, any act that you engage in that you know will bring about immense suffering is an act of selfishness.

    This also applies to conceiving offspring and prolonging someone else’s life when they don’t want it prolonged, though. Trying to avoid all suffering is an impossible task when it comes to life. All we can do is try to minimize it. Because life causes suffering, for some people not having a life is the best way to minimize that suffering. My mother (who really should have been childfree) has often talked about how having children is one of the most profoundly selfish acts there is. Some people (most) consider that an acceptable form of selfishness. Some people consider opting out of life to also be an acceptable form of selfishness.

    I am very sorry for your loss and pain. My father killed himself when I was a young teen and it still hurts to this day. This is a very painful subject and not one that’s at all easy.

  62. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Okay, I wanted to get back to something that I apparently managed to fail to cover. This from Ct2:

    I’m not trying to “ghettoize” anyone, but to try to point out that a safe space where victims can also talk about hurting other children is not a safe space for me. There’s a choice to be made here. If that choice is that not everyone can be safe in a safe space (as seems to be the consensus from other commenters in that thread)–so people like me that are triggered by stories like that can’t participate–then so be it. But I’d like that fact to have been made explicit. I did not go into that thread looking to be triggered. That’s what happened, and I do think that, had I known that the thread would include stuff like that, I would not have participated at all.

    When someone asks for this space to be explicit about whether or not their triggers will be present and thus whether or not they “can” participate, it reveals an entitlement that infuriates me.

    I will take care, again, to say that I’m sure Ct2′s heart is in the right place and that I harbor no ill will whatsoever against Ct2.

    I harbor massive ill will against the sentiment in this statement.

    Again, picking on Caine not b/c she deserves it but b/c it makes an easy example, she used language dismissive of the existence of trans* survivors.

    Was the thread supposed to carry a NSFT* warning at the top? If not, why not? Does my distress count for less than yours?

    “My triggers are so important as to require advance notice of exactly how a dynamic thread will develop; yours aren’t an issue at all” is a sense of entitlement that is unearned and pretty F’n harmful.

    Making everything “explicit” for you, so you can protect your safety with no thread at Skepchick or Pharyngula that I’ve **ever** found being labeled explicitly “warning: trans*-hating assumptions at play below” seems like a massive, massive privileging of oneself.

    There, had to say that. I’ll support TW on threads here for whatever Ct2 wants when and only when PZ can predict the future and warn me of impending trans* hatred.

    until then, i’m responsible for my triggers. Ct2 is responsible for hers. She can have my sympathy and my support. If there’s something I can offer over the internet when she’s triggered, I will, but I won’t slap a TW on Ogvorbis when nearly all y’all here say messed up things on trans issues at some point.

    Finally, the type of TW she seems to want is a binary: yes, participate in this thread; no, don’t participate.

    But that also feels like a keep out sign, determined by others for my own good. F* that too. That raises all my anti-ableism hackles.

    A couple years back (pretty sure it was 2010) a bill went through the Massachusetts legislature criminalizing audio or visual depictions of real people with disabilities or real people age 60 or over having sex.

    it didn’t matter if you were married for 40 years to someone 7 days older than you, and you both get hot & bothered videotaping your mutual exploits. Your sexy, 60th birthday bash with your spouse is the evidence that you belong in prison.

    To be clear, there were already laws in place against such recordings/depictions where capacity to consent did not exist. This was strictly for people who lost a foot in the Iraq war but still felt that they wanted to get their freak on.

    Why? Because obviously if you lost your foot in the Iraq war you can’t possibly know for yourself what kind of sex you want to have – disabled people don’t want or have any sex at all! This is for your own protection that someone not-you determines your consent to something you are doing.

    No. No one’s triggers are more important than my triggers and no one else is taking away my autonomous decision about whether or not something is good for me to read. I’ve already had plenty of my autonomy stolen, thank you.

  63. says

    FUCK THAT! You fight! You survive! you stay alive! If not for yourself, then for those that love you.

    I’m sorry, but I can’t agree with that. I think that’s a really bad reason to keep on living. It’s downright unhealthy, even.

    I certainly get that suicide is a huge blow to the people left behind and I don’t blame anyone for whatever emotions they might have as a result of a suicide in their circle of friends or family. I won’t deny that it can seriously screw a person over if someone they care about kills themselves.

    Still, I don’t think that’s a good reason to keep living. I really, fundamentally don’t like the idea of asking people to endure whatever shit they’re going through, simply for the sake of other people. At some level, the person has to want to live for their own sake, or it just isn’t healthy.

    To me, any act that you engage in that you know will bring about immense suffering is an act of selfishness. If you choose to rape someone because you just can’t withstand the undeniable urge to do so, you do it without regard for the damage you do.

    If you choose to kill yourself, because you just can’t stand the thought of living any longer, you do it without regard for the damage you do.

    Theses are both selfish acts, they both disregard the health and well being of those affected by their actions.

    And what if you ask a person to keep on living, despite them being in immense amounts of pain, simply because you’d feel sad if they died? Isn’t that a selfish act also?

    I’m sorry for being this blunt about it, but I really feel it has to be said. Yes, killing yourself to escape pain, despite the pain you cause others is selfish. However, asking someone to keep living and enduring pain, so that you can avoid the pain of losing them is no less selfish.
    I see the matter as pretty even, and so I go to the default: The person whose body it is makes the decision.

    I really hope this isn’t too nasty for anyone, ‘cos the last thing I want to do is put people through shit when they’re already feeling bad, but I honestly think this is an important point.

  64. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    To me, any act that you engage in that you know will bring about immense suffering is an act of selfishness.

    So, filing for a divorce is an act of selfishness then, because we all know how horribly divorce impacts children, especially when there’s no abuse. Right?

    Coming out as gay/trans* is an act of selfishness then, because now your loved ones will be hurt by your rejection of their “values”. Right?

    Comparing choosing to die with choosing to rape? That’s not okay, Eric. One involves your own body and the other involves violating someone else’s body. That’s a fucking huge distinction.

    I know you said you were drunk, so keep that in mind. You might be better off sleeping it off and then engaging with this still honestly (it’s okay to be angry and frustrated at people who kill themselves, especially if you loved them) but still in a way that’s acceptable.

  65. says

    I do support assisted suicide under such conditions, but otherwise, suicide does damage, massive damage to those that love you and depend on you, and even those who hate you.

    what someone does to their own body is not about you, and fuck you fir thinking you have a right to decide for others what they can do with their bodies.

    Mental states are temporary.

    if they’re so temporary, then the suffering caused by someone else’s suicide is, too. Seriously, you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

    Being in pain is not an excuse for suicide, it is not a victimless act.

    Given that none of the people who’ll survive me have life-long depression and suicidal ideation, they can go fuck themselves. The smaller amount of pain they’ll suffer from me dying does not entitle them to make demands on my bodily autonomy, which includes the right to call it quits on a life of extreme pain.

    To me, any act that you engage in that you know will bring about immense suffering is an act of selfishness.

    then you are engaging in extreme selfishness when you demand that people not kill themselves. you are demanding that they suffer just so you don’t have to.

    If you choose to rape someone because you just can’t withstand the undeniable urge to do so, you do it without regard for the damage you do.

    If you choose to kill yourself, because you just can’t stand the thought of living any longer, you do it without regard for the damage you do.

    you fucking dare compare the violation of someone’s bodily autonomy with someone’s exercise of their own bodily autonomy?

    - – - – - – -

    Why is physical pain more legitimate than psychological pain?

    That’s not even a real dichotomy, since depression hurts physically. It feels the same as physical pain, but more pervasive and non-localized in many cases.

  66. says

    Did you seriously just compare suicide to rape?

    Like, for real reals here, dude?

    Yes I did Gertrud, but only in the strict sense that it’s an act of selfishness that shows callous disregard for the victims / survivors.

    I understand they are not morally equivalent acts and wasn’t trying to say they were, but the resulting damage can be just as or more severe depending on the circumstances.

  67. says

    It’s a matter of degree.

    bodily autonomy trumps all, sorry. And if I were to play that game, let’s just say that the last 20 years of my life, and the next 40 years thereof, outweigh any pain my suicide would cause, because it wouldn’t make people suffer a lifetime of what I’m suffering

  68. says

    <Yes I did Gertrud, but only in the strict sense that it’s an act of selfishness that shows callous disregard for the victims / survivors.

    you compared violation of bodily autonomy with someone’s exercise of their own bodily autonomy. this is how anti-abortionists argue.

  69. gertrud says

    erikthebassist, it sounds like you are in a really bad place right now and drunk to boot. I sympathize. That has been happening to me a lot lately. It sounds like it would be a really good idea for you to take care of yourself and collect some spoons before continuing this discussion. It’s so easy to say the wrong thing or to say something the wrong way when you’re feeling like that.

  70. says

    Crip Dkye:

    Again, picking on Caine not b/c she deserves it but b/c it makes an easy example, she used language dismissive of the existence of trans* survivors.

    Could you either point me to, or give me a quick Language Guide for the Terminally Stupid when it comes to language to avoid, and good language (words, phrases, etc.) to use? I am in need of some serious learning here.

    Oh, and it’s fine to use me as an example. Perhaps others won’t repeat my mistakes. Here’s hoping.

  71. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Okay, I was asked before to show what “Anne’s world” looks like, so here goes.

    You are one sick puppy.

  72. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    it’s an act of selfishness that shows callous disregard for the victims / survivors.

    Since both LykeX and Jadehawk already said it much better than I could, I’ll just quote them.

    then you are engaging in extreme selfishness when you demand that people not kill themselves. you are demanding that they suffer just so you don’t have to.

    And what if you ask a person to keep on living, despite them being in immense amounts of pain, simply because you’d feel sad if they died? Isn’t that a selfish act also?

    Also, drunk or not, rape and suicide are two completely different solar systems. Stop comparing them, you’re doing damage (maybe even “immense suffering”).

  73. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Comparing rape to suicide is like comparing murder to alcoholism / drug abuse.

    and forgive me if that is put poorly or triggering.

    But the comparison at all is frankly a bit disturbing on it’s own.

  74. cubist says

    Hello again, annejones! I see that you still haven’t touched your blog… the blog you explicitly “created as part of a debate [you] have began at FreeThoughtBlogs, regarding [your] Creationist/ID views”… during the time since your past comments here at Pharyngula. Perhaps you might want to respond to some of the 12 comments in response to that lone post you made on your blog, or at least make a second post to your blog? You can obviously do whatever you deem best, annejones, but honestly: Doesn’t it seem odd, and maybe even a little unChristlike, to make all that noise about wanting a “debate” and a “discussion” and all that, and then completely fail to follow through on the promised debate? Me, I’m an atheist, so it’s perfectly okay by me when Christians behave in a less-than-honest manner (because, hey, the more examples there are of Christians being dishonest/hypocritical/bad people, the easier it is for people to see through the bullshit of the Christian belief system). But seeing as how you’re a Christian, annejones, I would have thought that you might have reservations about making Christians look bad…

  75. says

    If I do something that causes suffering to others knowingly, I’m committing a selfish act. I make sacrifices all the time to avoid hurting others. It’s part and parcel of living a just life afiac. The question becomes, at what point to we stop making sacrifices and start making decisions that are self serving at the expense of others?

    Is bodily autonomy the only line in the sand as some here are suggesting? Isn’t psychological damage just as gruesome sometimes? My body vs your body? What about my mind vs your mind?

    I’m honestly struggling with this. Maybe I’m thinking about it wrong and maybe that might alleviate some of the suffering I feel as a result of these suicides in my life, but I’m afraid of getting to where you are Jadehawk, I’m afraid of having a logical justification for suicide in lieu of other options.

    I’m sorry for comparing rape to suicide, especially here, I was trying to make a point but that was a poor way to go about it.

  76. says

    The question becomes, at what point to we stop making sacrifices and start making decisions that are self serving at the expense of others?

    the moment we tell others what to do with their very own bodies.

  77. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    So wham what I can tell, annejones wants to turn the US into a Christian version of Iran, yes?

    My bet is she really wants it to be more like a Christian pre-US invasion Afghanistan, and she wants to be Mullah Mohammed Omar

    She’s just trying to warm us up to it.

  78. says

    My body vs your body? What about my mind vs your mind?

    you are fucking suggesting someone doing something to themselves is a violation of your body?

    what the fuck is wrong with you?

    I’m afraid of getting to where you are Jadehawk, I’m afraid of having a logical justification for suicide in lieu of other options.

    being afraid is fair. using your fears to restrict what other people may do with themselves is thoroughly fucked up.

  79. says

    seriously though, “selfish” is bullshit anyway. This is, like I said, exactly the way anti-abortionists argue, and I reject the notion that I cannot take ameliorating actions in my own life, regarding my own body, if they cause any measure of harm to someone else.

  80. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    My body vs your body? What about my mind vs your mind?

    Lets take this to another thought.

    I’m married to you. I decided I no longer want to be married to you. You still want to be married to me.

    We divorce. You suffer incredible emotional (mind) pain.

    Am I selfish for this act? Is your psychological pain more important than mine?

  81. cicely says

    I will not be packing to move into annejones’ world any time soon.
    -

    To me, any act that you engage in that you know will bring about immense suffering is an act of selfishness.

    (My emphasis.)
    I am not unsympathetic to your obvious pain, but this is way, way too broad, erikthebassist.
    To someone who is deeply and sincerely religious, having their child change to a “false” and “soul-endangering” religion or (*gasp*) abandoning religion altogether, will quite probably cause them immense mental/emotional suffering.
     
    I’m not going to “Find God” in an effort to make others happy.
    There is no “there” there, and I will not pretend.
    -

  82. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    erikthebassist

    I’m sorry for comparing rape to suicide, especially here, I was trying to make a point but that was a poor way to go about it.

    I’ll accept it.

    The questions you ask are really, really tough for me too. At the end of the day, though, what it boils down to is: you cannot force your will on someone else, no matter how much you love them.

    TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide, explicit discussion of both the act and the aftermath

    I struggle with the suicide of my baby cousin a LOT. Like A LOT a lot. It’ll be 2 years this December, but it’s still raw as if it happened yesterday.

    One of the things I struggle with is this anger, frustration and guilt. She didn’t leave a note and though she’d been diagnosed with bipolar a month or so before, I was in the midst of my own breakdown at the time and didn’t really pay attention like I should have. Also, it looks like it was an impulsive (or not very well-planned) act, and she didn’t even leave a note. So I feel that there’s a very real possibility that if I’d only reached out to her, she’d still be here because no one knows better than me what effect something like that can cause.

    On the other hand, I was also relieved that she wasn’t suffering anymore and (and this is freaky, I realize) kind of proud of her that she nailed it the first time. She hung herself and though they were able to resuss her (after 20 minutes of CPR!), she spent 2 weeks on machines in a coma and never regained consciousness before suffering a stroke (because of the physical/physiological trauma in the neck area, that’s why it happened apparently). Her parents decided to turn off the machines when there was no more brain activity after the stroke.

    On the other other hand, her parents decided to donate her organs and in doing that, helped save/prolong the lives of something like 9 other people. Which made me happy.

    Like I said, these questions, these issues. Man, they’re brutal and there are no easy answers. It’s okay to be angry and hurt and frustrated and whatever else you’re feeling. Your feelings are valid.

  83. says

    RBDC:

    Lets take this to another thought.

    I’m married to you. I decided I no longer want to be married to you. You still want to be married to me.

    We divorce. You suffer incredible emotional (mind) pain.

    Am I selfish for this act? Is your psychological pain more important than mine?

    Ironically, I left my wife of 7 years and knew it would hurt her, but felt I had no choice. I understand implicitly the point you make here.

    I get it, we all make choices that we have to make for our own sanity, sometimes regardless of the impact to others. I have done so and probably will do again at some point in my life.

    So I ask again, where is the line in the sand? Where do we cross the line? Is it strictly bodily autonomy? I don’t think it can end there:

    Shouldn’t we pressure some one who is a known bone marrow donor to donate? It’s their body, but they can save a life. Yes ultimately, ethically they can choose how they feel, but don’t the rest of us deserve to pass some judgement on someone who knows they can save a life but chooses not to because it’s “their body”?

    My right to bodily autonomy states that I should be able to masturbate or expose myself in public. It’s mine and I can do with it what I want, right?

    It’s my body so I should be able to stand in the middle of a busy rush hour freeway and hold up traffic right? I’m not violating any one else’s bodily autonomy after all.

    I could go on, but your line in the sand is easily dismissed via Reductio Ad Absurdum.

    I agree bodily autonomy is a very important concept and should have an extremely high priority in the list of human rights, but there are exceptions, and I consider suicide in lieu of better options to be one of them.

    P.S. I’m kind of addressing Jadehawk’s bodily autonomy argument along with RBDC’s comment here so it got a little muddled.

  84. says

    Yes, the issues surrounding suicide are often brutal. I think that’s all the more reason to stop stigmatizing suicide, and to allow people to rationally consider suicide and make their own decision.

    For me, the bottom line is this: No one else gets to decided how much suffering I am undergoing. No one else gets to decide what I do with myself. Those rules get applied to me, too: I do not get to decide how much suffering anyone else is undergoing. I do not get to decide what someone else does with their self.

  85. says

    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    It goes beyond the pain, at 40 years old, I’m able to reflect and see how these events changed everything for me. I made bad choices because of these two major events in my life, countless relationships destroyed almost beyond repair and the years of counselling and talking it out to try and repair them.

    I might have gone to college instead of going to right to work in an effort to flea my fucked home life, a home life that was fucked up due to the devastation of suicide.

    My buddy was my rock in the world, the person who drove me to want to be successful, and I drove him. How much might I have achieved if I didn’t spend the next 3 to 4 years drinking the pain away?

    For me, the ramifications run deep, they are everlasting and will be until I die because I can’t roll back the clock.

    So no, I can’t force my will upon them or anybody else, all I can do is tell my story, and hope someone hears it, and stops to think for long enough that they make a different decision, a decision that they are glad they made later in life, a decision that those around them are glad they made.

  86. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    So no, I can’t force my will upon them or anybody else, all I can do is tell my story, and hope someone hears it, and stops to think for long enough that they make a different decision, a decision that they are glad they made later in life, a decision that those around them are glad they made.

    And that’s fine, and a far cry from what you said earlier.

    How much might I have achieved if I didn’t spend the next 3 to 4 years drinking the pain away?

    Yes. And how much might *I* have achieved if *my* life was different? Like oniongirl said so very, very beautifully in the Stunned Silent thread, about surviving abuse:

    I cannot deny wondering what I could have been, what I could have done, what I could have made, if I had the luxury to spend my life focusing on my place in the weaving instead of unknotting my twisted thread.

    The brutal fact at the end of the day is: shit happens to us, with us and sometimes because of us.

  87. Arawhon says

    Annejones you are just as nasty a person as a member of the Taliban. You are the Christian version of the repressive nasty people who want to create sharia law. You are a bigot, plain and simple. You seem incapable of caring or empathizing with a large amount of humanity and makes you come across as a sociopath. In my ethical outlook you are evil, because you want to spread misery and suffering.

    If I’m breaking the new rules please tell me so, but annejones deserves to be told how much of a disgusting person they are for the views they hold about the world. I figured she was a nasty person, but not to the extent she just displayed. What is it with extreme religious views and the love of weaponry?

  88. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    If I’m breaking the new rules please tell me so,

    Nah, I think you’re good. Annejones is a long-established troll quarantined here for that very reason.

  89. says

    I’m going to have to flag down Crip Dyke, but I’ll leave this here for when I next see them.

    The class thing we were talking about is called FORGE: Writing to Heal and is run by Loree Cook-Daniels and Michael Munroe. The link is here.

    And they asked a question of me that I want to ask her and possibly others wandering around. They were looking for some videos, recordings or writings that talk about shame from a non-gender-divisive trans* or at least trans*-aware perspective. And I thought you might know best on that (but if anyone else has something certainly let me know).

    Okay, now to track her down.

  90. says

    ericthebassist
    You sound like you’re hurting a lot at the moment.
    My hugs and sympathy if you want them.
    Can I give you my perspective?
    Nobody close to me has comitted suicide, but I had a suicide threat wielded against me in order to bully me into a certain behaviour, so I’m a bit touchy in that area as well.
    OTOH I’ve been in the place where I looked at the wall or bridge pillar while driving thinking about driving straight into them instead of driving around the corner. Damn, it would have been over.
    That was when I actually was living my life for the benefit of others. You can ask the Horde about the Great Giliell Breakdown of 2011. It was not nice, it was not pretty.
    You know what actually kept me from doing so? It was not because of my husband, or children, or sister. It was not because they would have suffered so much without me. It was that tiny bit of myself that still enjoyed being alive. It was not because my kids would no longer have a Mama. It was because I actually still wanted to spend time with my kids.
    And I understand your outrage. Especially suicides where people add unnecessary suffering to third parties like train conductors make me angry.
    You are right, it is in a way a selfish act. But that person is also paying the highest possible price: their own life. We’re atheists, we don’t think that there’s a better place to come and I don’t think that most believers do, either, or they wouldn’t cry just like us at the dead of a beloved person. They are not only ending all their suffering, the are also forfeiting all possible happieness.
    Depending on circumstances, that is an easy calculation.
    Also, think about the consequences: You’re not necessarily minimizing your own pain by forcing them to stay alive. Not only will their life be miserable, they will also not make a positive contribution to your life.

  91. says

    Yes. And how much might *I* have achieved if *my* life was different? Like oniongirl said so very, very beautifully in the Stunned Silent thread, about surviving abuse:

    I cannot deny wondering what I could have been, what I could have done, what I could have made, if I had the luxury to spend my life focusing on my place in the weaving instead of unknotting my twisted thread.

    The brutal fact at the end of the day is: shit happens to us, with us and sometimes because of us.

    fuck you, in a good way, I’m crying right now. The suicide thread made me angry, it still does, I can’t countenance the tacit approval of unwarranted suicide, but I know I have a lot of thinking to do now, so thank you, in some weird fucked up way that I can’t vocalize atm.

  92. says

    I’m done talking to eric. Comparing feeling like running around in traffic to being in excruciating pain is bullshit.

    If I wanted to be told that I need to suffer forever because otherwise I’m selfish, I’d join Quiverful.

  93. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    fuck you, in a good way, I’m crying right now. The suicide thread made me angry, it still does, I can’t countenance the tacit approval of unwarranted suicide, but I know I have a lot of thinking to do now, so thank you, in some weird fucked up way that I can’t vocalize atm.

    *safe appropriate hugs if you want ‘em*

    It fucking sucks, though. It really, really does. On both sides of the issue.

  94. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Cerberus

    Laughing my head off. Still a small world, trans anti-dv work.

  95. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Sorry, I always hit post too soon. I wanted to also add:

    There does come a point where there really just ARE no good options left, eric and unless you ARE that person, you don’t know when/if that point has been reached.

  96. says

    I can’t countenance the tacit approval of unwarranted suicide

    All the hugs, Erik.

    That done, you really, really need to grok that the judgement of unwarranted suicide is not yours to make.

    You are putting yourself in the same position of a nasty ass god, who thinks they get to make all the decisions for everyone. You aren’t a god, Erik, and you don’t get that privilege.

  97. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    the Great Giliell Breakdown of 2011

    2011 sucked. Fuck 2011.

    Sincerely glad you at least feel better now, though, Giliell

    It was that tiny bit of myself that still enjoyed being alive.

    That’s true for me too. I told my therapist the other day, one of the reasons I didn’t pay so close attention to my cousin after she was diagnosed was that I’d forgotten that I barely survived my teens, and only because of sheer stubbornness to the point of stupidity coupled with a kind of intellectual curiosity about how things would actually turn out.

  98. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, AnneJones is still one sick delusional person. She can’t show her deity isn’t imaginary. She can’t show that her holy book isn’t just mythology/fiction, but she sure can show hatred, bigotry, and irrational thinking based on those twin fallacious presupositions. It isn’t the bigotry of her imaginary deity she shows, but rather the personal hatred she have for those who don’t bow down to her fuckwitted and perverted ideas. Fuck off bigot.

  99. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    As for shame videos, it’s funny you should ask. I’ve written about shame, but I don’t do videos or podcasts. I still hate my appearance and dislike my voice. i don’t think they are bad in some existential sense, or insufficiently feminine. It’s a combo of 1) I’m just another woman taught to hate her body in a sexist world, and 2) I’m just another trans* person taught to hate hir body in a trans-hating world.

    it doesn’t particularly matter if I don’t buy into appearance standards for others. I’ve been subject to a lot of hateful criticism and I can’t entirely shake it.

    I kind of wish that I could turn some of my pieces into videos, as I know that some people will interact differently with the content (and some people will interact at all with video when they wouldn’t at all with the written word), but I don’t know that I can.

    Even if you convinced me to make the video, I have no time to learn video editing software and be a parent and go to law school and look for a job (work permit as of last monday – Yay!!!). So, no, I don’t have anything directly for you there.

    Qwo-Li Driskill has done some work on shame in live performances, but I don’t know about videos. Raven Kaldera has written on it. Hmm, 2 indigenous folk, one FtM and one I(forced tF)tM. (Interesting that those names came up for me first…is that a product of a more explicit conversation about shame in some communities more than others? A bias in whom I choose to get to know? Random? Again, interesting.) Can I think of an MtF peformer who has done something on shame??? No, but ZOMG I’m an idiot: Eli Claire – check out his work. Although I don’t think he’s doing videos, his partner Samuel might. I’ll have more later.

  100. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Caine,

    Thank you very much for posting that link to Terry Pratchett’s speech. I cried and laughed.
    You just have to love that man.
    And now I’m crying again when I think of his illness.

  101. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    On a more general note, I think people often misunderstand something about depression.

    I’m busy watching the video Caine linked a bit earlier and this bit just struck me. Here Terry Pratchett writes (it’s read by one of his friends) about his father, dying from cancer:

    And in that time, he stopped being him and started becoming a corpse, albeit one that moved ever so slightly from time to time

    And I think that many people don’t understand that when you suffer from depression, that’s kind of what happens to you and you’re watching it happen, in horror.

  102. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Caine

    it’s fine to use me as an example. Perhaps others won’t repeat my mistakes. Here’s hoping.

    yeah, I figured. It was the kind of thing where I was frankly relieved to have as an example a mistake by a regular familiar with the culture of constructive criticism on difficult issues.

    More on constructive language later.

  103. says

    tacit approval of unwarranted suicide

    YOU DON’T GET TO DECIDE WHEN SUICIDE IS WARRANTED

    My best friend was 22, was drafted by the dodgers, had only started playing the drums 18 months earlier and was the best drummer I knew at the time. He still holds records at U of A for hitting and fielding. He went through a brief period of manic depression, was tossed on massive amounts of lithium for claiming he was the next coming of christ, all inside of two months.

    Are you seriously going to fucking tell me that had he been monitored or gotten better mental health care that he couldn’t be alive and well today? Are you seriously going to fucking contend that all suicides are warranted? That sometimes those close to the suicidal shouldn’t step in and stop it?

    Fuck You Jadehawk

  104. says

    erik @619

    I know this is an already existing back and forth and there’s pain on both sides, but if I may interject, I don’t see anyone here saying that all suicide is “warranted” and certainly not that suicide is somehow a good thing overall or that we wouldn’t want to have people we lost or carry the scars of when we ourselves were nearly lost.

    Rather that its a really fraught issue. Suicidal people go through a lot of shame about it and it can feel dismissive of those spaces when we really thought that suicide was the best option. Additionally, some people have been abused by loved ones who used the threat of suicide to keep their partners trapped in loveless and abusive relationships.

    It’s a complex emotion, which is a shame because those emotions deserve something akin to the rape thread, where people can tell their survivor’s stories of either surviving their own attempts or surviving ones who didn’t, and a lot of it is deeply personal and tied to really hard gut-level stuff.

    I damn well know that. I’m a survivor myself. And not all of it as in the past as I would like (I’m on a good keel now, so you all don’t have to worry about me).

  105. says

    ericthebassist

    Are you seriously going to fucking tell me that had he been monitored or gotten better mental health care that he couldn’t be alive and well today?

    You miss him, and it makes you a wonderful person to miss him that ferociously and mourn him that fiercely after all this time.
    We always think that everything could have gone well. But we never know.
    [TW suicide]
    A friend of mine’s mother recently killed herself. She killed herself after 30 years of depression. For 30 years she did what you say she should be doing. She fought, she hoped. She got medical care, and monitoring and treatment but nothing, nothing helped. Nothing could aleviate the pain. It was 30 years of suffering for everybody. Your friend could be alive and well today. He could also be my friend’s mother.

  106. Nightjar says

    erikthebassist,

    Are you seriously going to fucking tell me that had he been monitored or gotten better mental health care that he couldn’t be alive and well today? Are you seriously going to fucking contend that all suicides are warranted? That sometimes those close to the suicidal shouldn’t step in and stop it?

    I’m really sorry to hear about your friend and you have all my sympathies, but please understand that this is not what people are saying. Helping people and giving them all the mental health care and emotional support they need to get them out of that place is desirable! It most certainly should be done!

    What you shouldn’t do is shame and blame them for opting out or trying to opt out once they have reached that place. You are not in their heads. You can try to change the circumstances they are in, and you should. But you cannot decide for them if the circumstances they actually are in are or aren’t bearable, warrant or don’t warrant suicide. Because that’s simply not your call to make.

  107. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    For Pterryxx, Caine & other interested parties:

    Posts 698 – 700 are up at Stunned Silence to document the ongoing conversation here.

  108. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    K, I’m out for now, it’s late and I still need to exercise or I won’t be able to sleep. Caine thanks for the video. It was SO good, and so sad, and so funny. Eric good luck. It’s hard on both sides of this issue so look after yourself and if you need to, get some help in dealing.

  109. says

    I have another best friend who may or may not be alive today, I don’t know, she hasn’t communicated with me in close to a year and I have no way to reach her. Mental health hits home with me, but just as we fight cancer, just as we fight any disease, we should fight depression and bi-polar disorder. We should fight suicide, not accept it as a fact of life and the beginning of the end.

    We should fight all of these things that diminish our capacity to live and be healthy. The suicide thread was to me a diminishment of that human spirit, and acceptance

    Suicide is giving up, it’s a failure to fight for the hope of a better day. In some instances, it’s justified, but only rarely.

  110. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Suicide is giving up, it’s a failure to fight for the hope of a better day. In some instances, it’s justified, but only rarely.

    And who gets to be the arbiter of that?

  111. anonymous1 says

    Crip Dyke @ 513

    So do trigger warnings actually function the way you think that they will? Not really. You can choose not to read the details, but you can do that without the warnings just by paying attention to what you’re reading. If it really does come out of the blue, well, so does, “Trigger Warning: I raped someone”.

    CD, maybe i’m misreading you, but this sounds like you’re saying that if someone was triggered by what Ogvorbis wrote, it was our fault. we weren’t careful enough. we should have known what he was going to say. etc., etc., etc.

    this sounds just like what many of my abusers said to me (and society as well when they discount my experiences and blame me for them). am i reading you correctly? bc i am usually a very careful reader and i had NO CLUE that Ogvorbis was going to talk about sexually abusing three young children in his comment. none. i’m fairly certain i would have chosen to not read his comment had i known that.

    although the comment wasn’t directeded at me, i strongly disagree that trigger warnings don’t function the way i think they do. i was a member of an online community for survivors for years. we used trigger warnings and debated them extensively, made changes to them, etc. a specific trigger warning would have helped me, i can assure you based on my YEARS of experience with them. even if i had read, i would have psychologically prepared myself for what i might read and i can assure you that my reaction would not have been what it is now.

    i really hope that i misread you (and i may have, given how triggered, dead tired, depressed, having massive flashbacks, etc., i am about this whole thing still) bc if i read you correctly, what you said there is extremely triggering and problematic on its own.

  112. anonymous1 says

    PS to crip dyke: there’s also the message that i don’t really know or understand what i want or what might be good for/work for me.

    if i’m not reading you correctly, i hope you will clarify. thanks in advance.

  113. says

    RBDC,

    Hopefully those around them, those closest to them who have compassion in their hearts, so long as their is a discussion about it. It’s the impulse suicides that I think do the real damage, not the well thought out and carefully considered. Although I think Manley fit both descriptions and I think his was not justified.

  114. NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase says

    Oh fuck, not this again.

    I found this quote somewhere, it really does sum up what depression/depressive episodes take from you. Pity I can’t find the source.

    “The living dead don’t commit suicide, they lay their bodies to rest. Very few of us desire to leave life simply because there is no
    rational need to. Courage to fight the good fight requires strength.
    When we wear down, we become dead because hope and love have become
    inaccessible. When we cease to exist our burden is lifted. The
    consequence of this act is unknown.”

  115. says

    The living dead don’t commit suicide

    WTF we aren’t talking about vampires or zombies here, we’re talking about people. If you are thinking, you are living. Granted this says nothing about the quality of life but calling the depressed the “living dead” is fucking horrible.

  116. NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase says

    It’s…what it feels like. Like, I got to the point where I was just so fucking exhausted that I. felt. dead. Like. Killing myself wasn’t the end of me, I was already done, game over, and just needed to finish the job, and I didn’t have the energy to do so.

  117. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    this sounds like you’re saying that if someone was triggered by what Ogvorbis wrote, it was our fault. we weren’t careful enough.

    No. I said very clearly that our abusers/rapists are responsible for the damage done to us and the creation of our triggers. They are further responsible for all the hurt caused by the activation of those triggers even long after the last time we see our abusers/rapists. Saying that the author of a comment is not responsible for triggering us s not the same as saying we are at fault for triggering ourselves.

    **However** I am also saying that we have the power to minimize exposure to triggers, and we have that whether anyone places the words “trigger warning” at the top of the page or not. We are not helpless in the face of the damage done to us, but our power to avoid or minimize hurt does not mean we are responsible for the hurt that remains.

    I say again: our abusers/rapists are responsible for the damage.

    My message above was one of a) hope, since we are not helpless in the face of our triggers, and b) realism, in that while trigger warnings can be used well, coming across “Trigger warning: I raped someone” is in practice just as triggering as coming across, “I raped someone,” to too many people.

    Trigger warnings may work for you b/c you know how to use them and because you’re practiced at using them. But that might be true only in a certain community (where the specifics of a warning are negotiated, for instance) and in other contexts lead to you either a) being triggered by the warning, or b) missing out on posts that would not have actually triggered you.

    For me and for people I know, the information is the same, regardless of whether we read it in the body of a message or the header.

    For this reason, you cannot say that TWs make a space “safe”.

    To the extent that TWs are asserted to make a space “safe”, I disagree. They don’t work that way. TWs are one indication among many that we as survivors can use to make choices around our interactions with others and other behaviors. We can read carefully, we can avoid whole blogs, we can do lots and lots and lots of things.

    Even in the face of alternative methods, if TWs were adequate to create safe space, however, I would be happy to mandate their use.

    But in mandating use, we would be punishing survivors for failing to use them when they were needing support the most, because in those emotional spaces is when they are least likely to be able to follow formal guidelines about when to use TWs and how to phrase them according to policy.

    Further, such rules will function in a way that biases the regulars – who have plenty of opportunities to tell their stories here – and against those who aren’t rigorously familiar with our community standards.

    So if you expect that TWs will increase the number of people who delurk (or come here for a first time) to tell a survivor story, you may not be expecting something that will actually come true.

    I’m open to research that says that TWs function in the way others have said – for everyone but me and the specific friends I already know to be exceptions.

    But you aren’t describing how TWs work for random delurkers. You are describing how they worked for you, and only when you participated heavily and actively in a community over some time. The very renegotiation you cite as making TWs work in that other community is the evidence I would cite that TWs don’t make a space safe: if they did, you wouldn’t have had the damage that necessitated the renegotiations, right?

    Remember, I didn’t say TWs don’t work. I said:

    TWs: they don’t work like people think they do.

    Finally, I repeat myself on another topic:

    There is no safe space. Talking about rape is F dangerous.

  118. says

    WTF we aren’t talking about vampires or zombies here, we’re talking about people.

    Yeah, we are, Erik, and you don’t get to decide who gets autonomy and who doesn’t. FFS, get that through your head. You have seriously upset and offended a number of people in this thread, and continue to do so because you just can’t handle the fact that yes, people have the right to manage their lives AND their deaths.

    There is one fuck of a difference between living and existing. Not the same thing. You’re acting as though you’re in Lord of the Rings, and you have the One Pain To Rule Them All!

    Your pain, no matter how deep, cannot be extrapolated to cover every other fucking person on the planet. Your situation, no matter how utterly shitty it was, and is, cannot be extrapolated to cover every other fucking person and their situation.

    You are telling people who suffer from depression and other illnesses that no, your illness is not like that, it’s what I say! Jesus, knock it the fuck off.

  119. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @anonymous:

    PS to crip dyke: there’s also the message that i don’t really know or understand what i want or what might be good for/work for me.

    Could you point out where you got this, so that I can look at it & try to clarify for you? I’m certain I was never saying you aren’t the best arbiter of what works for you.

    If I said that a given person didn’t really know or understand what that person wanted, that might actually be true and there’s nothing wrong with admitting that or talking about it. But whether you know what you want or not doesn’t make me **more** knowledgeable about what you want than you are. I will always be less knowledgeable about your internal process and desires than you will be, however unclear or clear that process might be at any given moment.

  120. gertrud says

    It’s…what it feels like. Like, I got to the point where I was just so fucking exhausted that I. felt. dead. Like. Killing myself wasn’t the end of me, I was already done, game over, and just needed to finish the job, and I didn’t have the energy to do so.

    Incidentally, from what I understand, this is why suicidal folks who start antidepressants need to do so under supervision: the antidepressants give energy first, and then they provide a lift in spirits. When a suicidal person suddenly has the energy to do something about it without the removal of the feeling, that can be dangerous.

    This is a real feeling. I’d highly recommend Allie Brosh’s narrative (content note for discussion of suicidal feelings and depression) to give an idea of how that works. Right now I’m inbetween feeling like that and just panicking, so I grok it.

  121. NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase says

    Yeah, Hyperbole and a Half’s depiction is….really damn awesome.

    [I was involuntarily hospitalized and fed antidepressants.]

  122. Nightjar says

    Suicide is giving up, it’s a failure to fight for the hope of a better day.

    Erik… please don’t do this. I mean it. You are effectively condemning people for not wanting to endure an amount of pain that they find unbearable. You are blaming them for not being able to cope. You are shaming them for not being strong enough. This is all kinds of fucked up. I know you are in a bad place right now, but you are upsetting and hurting people all around, me included. Please stop.

    I think his was not justified.

    This is not your call to make. You were not the one living his life.

  123. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    *threadrupt*
    There are at least two distinct box turtles that come to my patio to feed. I’ve been marking and releasing. One is male and the other female.
    carry on.

  124. says

    A titbit for the Trigger Warning discussion, from when we had the same discussion at Shakesville, where it led to the now-used “Content notes” on posts and links there. I looked for a link to that discussion, but I can’t find it. Part of the discussion had to do with not expecting writers (or commenters) to be aware of every possible ramification that might cause harm to a reader, and to make judgements as to whether something might be triggering.

    The end result, in any case, was that the contributors there try to add “content note:” at the beginning of posts or links, as you may have seen me do a couple of times here, where anything that might seem reasonably likely to be difficult for someone to read (any -ist/-phobic stuff, nonconsent, suicide, et c.) is noted. For example, see this post, a collection of links: http://www.shakesville.com/2013/08/friday-blogaround_23.html.

    For instance, in my comments in the alcoholic comic thread, and in the stunned silence thread, I added these notes to the part of my comment that might cause issues. I think one said something like “content note: non-graphic description of child sexual abuse”. Some might find it triggering, some might not, but they’ve got the sense of what’s coming, and can make their own decisions.

    You’ll also note that I, and several other people, added comments saying “I can’t read X now, but…”, looking after our own feelings, recognizing that stuff may well be said that’s going to be hard for me, and that I simply don’t have the spoons for it.

    But! And it’s a big but. Disqus allows comment editing (though showing that there have been edits, it doesn’t show what they were), which also easily allows their crew of mods to update comments with appropriate content notes if they’re forgotten.

    We don’t have that functionality here, so we’re stuck with at best encouraging people to mention that stuff might be hard for folks to hear.

    In the end, we’ve each got to be aware that there are things that can reach us, and have some thought about how closely to read a thread where heavy things are going on. We’ve got to be responsible for ourselves in that sense. But I don’t think there’s any bright line rule one can draw that says “these things deserve trigger warnings, and those things don’t”.

    I don’t know how much help that is; I certainly get why TW can be helpful, as I definitely have my own triggers, but as we learn more about the huge number of ways in which people can be hurt, abused, or triggered, it becomes obvious that it’s always going to be difficult trying to predict all the possible things that can be bad for someone to read, so do your best to add some sort of note when you’re saying something that might harm, be gracious if you find out you missed something, and try not to make judgements about whether someone else “can” or “should” be triggered by something.

    Wow, that was a long, long sentence, and used the word “trigger” and its grammatical variants a lot.

  125. Portia says

    CaitieCat:

    just fyi, I answered your email, in case the Spam Folder Struck. :)

    Leaves a pile of hugs on the floor, scurries back to Lounge.

  126. morgan says

    *threadrupt*

    Antiochus – box turtles normally have a relatively small “home turf” and if removed from there their survival rates fall precipitiously. Just watchin’ out for the turtles.

  127. anonymous1 says

    Crip Dyke @ 639

    You can choose not to read the details, but you can do that without the warnings **********just by paying attention to what you’re reading.***********

    i don’t see how anything in your reply that addresses the part where you said that i can choose not to read the details just by paying attention to what i am reading. that, IMO, is the part where you are blaming those of us who were triggered by O’s post for being triggered *because we didn’t read carefully enough* or, to track your exact words *because we weren’t paying attention to what we were reading*.

    do you understand that objection? (i’m not sure if i’m being clear enough since that was my main criticism of what you said but you didn’t seem to address it in your reply.

    we have the power to minimize exposure to triggers, and we have that whether anyone places the words “trigger warning” at the top of the page or not.

    i’m not trying to suggest that i have no responsibility to avoid being triggered. i am asking how was i supposed to do that in this particular case. again, i am a careful reader and i’m pretty sure i read at a higher level than the average person. I HAD NO CLUE that O was going to talk about abusing three young children in that post. how was i supposed to intuit that?

    For this reason, you cannot say that TWs make a space “safe”.

    where did i say (or even suggest) that if by “safe” you mean completely safe (as you seem to mean here)? IMO specific trigger warnings make a space SAFER, not completely safe. there were people in the online community i participated in who were like you. TWs did not help them at all. but they did help the majority of people there, including lurkers (at least those who later joined or who would delurk to say that the TWs did help them).

    Even in the face of alternative methods, if TWs were adequate to create safe space, however, I would be happy to mandate their use.

    so because we can’t make it perfectly safe, we shouldn’t make it safer?

    But in mandating use, we would be punishing survivors for failing to use them when they were needing support the most, because in those emotional spaces is when they are least likely to be able to follow formal guidelines about when to use TWs and how to phrase them according to policy. Further, such rules will function in a way that biases the regulars – who have plenty of opportunities to tell their stories here – and against those who aren’t rigorously familiar with our community standards.

    how does this follow in any way? people make mistakes and forget to use trigger warnings. or maybe they’re a newbie who didn’t lurk before posting (or, in the case of the community i participated in, read the FAQ before posting). if they made a mistake people called them on it but they didn’t tell them to GTFO the forum. they told them that they needed to use a TW, pointed to the FAQ, offered their support for the thing that the person posted about, and (if the person was new), welcomed them to the group. did it always work that way? no. there were a few people in the group who might attack them for the mistake (but those were the same people who often attacked others for a lot of other things, surprise, surprise). but then people would call out the person who had attacked and say THAT WASN’T COOL. overall, based on the feedback we got, TWs helped lurkers and new participants. they weren’t an impediment to their participation, as you claim here. they made it easier for them to participate, both because they knew it was ok to say triggering things below the TW (without feeling any responsibility for others’ reactions, and that’s a big problem for many survivors) and because they felt safer reading in the group when they could regulate/titrate their exposure via TWs.

    But you aren’t describing how TWs work for random delurkers. You are describing how they worked for you, and only when you participated heavily and actively in a community over some time. The very renegotiation you cite as making TWs work in that other community is the evidence I would cite that TWs don’t make a space safe: if they did, you wouldn’t have had the damage that necessitated the renegotiations, right?

    how does this show in any way, that TWs don’t make a place safer? it only shows that TWs don’t work perfectly, a claim that AFAIK, no one is making. even when TWs were refined to more suit the people in the group (and it was an open usenet group that was very active and where the majority of posters were often new), they had worked better than no TWs before that refinement.

    i don’t think you addressed the part of my comment about your implication that i don’t really know or understand what i want or what might be good for/work for me. i would appreciate it if you would explain how that was not what you said.

  128. anteprepro says

    Incidentally, from what I understand, this is why suicidal folks who start antidepressants need to do so under supervision: the antidepressants give energy first, and then they provide a lift in spirits. When a suicidal person suddenly has the energy to do something about it without the removal of the feeling, that can be dangerous.

    If I remember whatever psychology class this mentioned in correctly: If someone goes in and out of depressive episodes, suicide is most likely to occur either when the slide into deep depression begins or when the depressive episode is slowly ending. The depths of that kind of depression are essentially paralyzing (which, again, is why the “living dead” description is apt). It’s when you are on the verges of depression, either going into it or out of it, that gives you just the right of feeling awful and feeling motivated that prompts suicide attempts. But take this recollection with a grain of salt, because I can’t seem to find the articles that support this.

    ( Also notable : In some cases, it isn’t clear whether antidepressants in adults lead to increased risk of suicide attempts, while in children and adolescents, it adds to both increased suicide attempts and increased suicidal ideation.)

  129. says

    Are you seriously going to fucking contend that all suicides are warranted?

    No, I’m saying you don’t get to decide which ones are and which ones aren’t.

    And don’t tell me how promising your cousin was. what the fuck do you think I was, when I was 20? What do you think most horribly ill people are, before their illness eats them? It means nothing in the context of their illness, or their chances of ever recovering from it.

    but just as we fight cancer, just as we fight any disease, we should fight depression and bi-polar disorder. We should fight suicide, not accept it as a fact of life and the beginning of the end.

    fighting depression is not the same as shaming people out of no longer being willing to put up with suffering. you don’t fight cancer by telling people they can’t commit suicide when it gets too much, and you don’t fight depression that way either.

    Suicide is giving up, it’s a failure to fight for the hope of a better day.

    you’re going to tell me that I’m supposed to have “hope” after 20 years even though I know better? You’re going to tell me to believe in God next, just because not doing so hurts the feelings of Christians?
    Sorry, but you don’t get to do that. You don’t get to tell other people what they can or cannot do with their bodies based on how that makes you feel, or based on how you think they should feel or experience existence?

    In some instances, it’s justified, but only rarely.

    you still don’t get to decide this, no matter how pissy you get at me.

    Granted this says nothing about the quality of life but calling the depressed the “living dead” is fucking horrible.

    feels pretty fucking accurate to me.

  130. says

    Caine:

    You have seriously upset and offended a number of people in this thread, and continue to do so because you just can’t handle the fact that yes, people have the right to manage their lives AND their deaths.

    And I have been seriously upset by you, and a number of others here who think suicide is just dandy and fine because it’s a personal choice and an autonomous choice. Fuck y’all, I don’t want to have anything to do with a bunch of death mongers who think it’s just swell to encourage people to commit suicide, that’s fucking sick, you are all sick. I’m out.

  131. says

    also: keep in mind that a potential future is also an anti-choicer argument. The potential for something in the future is simply not even remotely close to enough reason to violate someone’s bodily autonomy at present.

    To get back to the cancer analogy: fighting against cancer doesn’t include shaming patients into taking aggressive treatments forever if what they want is to stop further treatment; and fighting depression doesn’t include shaming people into living, either.

  132. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @anonymous:

    i don’t see how anything in your reply that addresses the part where you said that i can choose not to read the details just by paying attention to what i am reading. that, IMO, is the part where you are blaming those of us who were triggered by O’s post for being triggered

    You have the power to read or not read. You are responsible for reading or not reading.

    You do not have the power of not being triggered. It’s not your choice. Therefore, being triggered is not your responsibility.

    i’m not trying to suggest that i have no responsibility to avoid being triggered.

    Then I’ll suggest it: you are not responsible for your triggers or the activation of same in any way. Full stop. That’s on any fucking rapist or abuser who hurt you. Full stop. Every time you get triggered, I feel perfectly justified in being angry all over again at what that person did to you.

    You are never responsible for your triggers or activation of same.

    That you can take some action which prevents triggering or mitigates the hurt of trigger activation does not place a moral responsibility on you to take those actions. you might chose to deliberately risk triggering yourself to apply for a job at the same school where, in a different department, you were harassed and raped. You might know the campus will bring up those triggers and yet still visit the campus. You have done nothing wrong.

    You are never responsible for your triggers or activation of same.
    You have no responsibility to prevent activation of your triggers or to work on eliminating them.

    Preventing activation and eliminating triggers have positive effects. Early in our healing, the positive effects somewhere in the future might be worth less to us than conserving the spoons by avoiding the work right now. I fully support that choice. There is no responsibility to prevent activation of triggers or to eliminate same. We do it when it works for us, because it works for us, and our abusers and assaulters are responsible for all the damage anyway.

    where did i say (or even suggest) that if by “safe” you mean completely safe (as you seem to mean here)?

    You didn’t. Others did. You are asking me to clarify remarks made in response to other statements. The nature of those statements is important to understanding what I’m saying, but it doesn’t mean that you have to agree with those statements or to have made them personally to understand what I’m saying.

    how does this follow in any way? people make mistakes and forget to use trigger warnings. or maybe they’re a newbie who didn’t lurk before posting (or, in the case of the community i participated in, read the FAQ before posting). if they made a mistake people called them on it but they didn’t tell them to GTFO the forum.

    We already encourage the use of trigger warnings. I praised them using the following language:

    While trigger warnings can be helpful, treating the failure to use trigger warnings as harmful in itself makes survivors like Ogvorbis responsible for taking care of **others** at the precise moment when they are at their worst.

    I support the voluntary use of trigger warnings, but trigger warnings do not create safe space. Nor are persons other than our abusers/assaulters/rapists responsible for the damage.

    and

    trigger warnings, while a sign of our mutual respect, can be good but enforcing “proper” use of trigger warnings merely creates the danger that a survivor will be bashed for improperly labeling a post. I don’t want to see it used as a rule. I like it as it is, a practice that communicates respect and enhances choice.

    Since our community already supports TWs, and since Ct2 said Og was “wrong” and “inappropriate” not to use one, the only interpretation is that there are or should be rules requiring use of trigger warnings in at least some cases.

    Note that I didn’t say that **having** trigger warnings was a barrier to new people. I said **enforcement** of a TW policy was a barrier to new people.

    I want you to have access to TWs since they work for you, but since
    a) mandating trigger warnings does not create some magical “safe space”
    and
    b) the mandate and its enforcement will penalize survivors in a state too fragile to follow a formal TW code

    I do not support any TW rule system or mandate.

    how does this show in any way, that TWs don’t make a place safer? it only shows that TWs don’t work perfectly, a claim that AFAIK, no one is making

    A claim that you are not making, but a claim that was implicit in the wording used by both Ct2 and Elyse.

    part of why I was writing what I was writing was to make this claim *ex*plicit – because then I believe that as reasonable people, as feminists, as persons who care about survivors, they would agree that a mandate was a bad plan.

  133. anteprepro says

    And I have been seriously upset by you, and a number of others here who think suicide is just dandy and fine because it’s a personal choice and an autonomous choice.

    You seem to be assuming a false dichotomy. Yes, suicide is often irrational, and often causes grave emotional harm to survivors. Yet, the people committing suicide are often in tremendous pain. And some of the people who commit suicide are making an incredible patient and rational decision, carefully weighing the pros and cons, and choosing suicide as a way to overcome insurmountable, excruciating pain. It is both possible to think suicide is a serious matter (something that is painful and should be avoided), and something that shouldn’t be stigmatized, shouldn’t be considered irrational and selfish, shouldn’t be off the tables in all scenarios. It certainly doesn’t help people who actually are suicidal to continue to crusade against suicide as something that is Beyond The Pale.

    Fuck y’all, I don’t want to have anything to do with a bunch of death mongers who think it’s just swell to encourage people to commit suicide, that’s fucking sick, you are all sick.

    This is a sensitive subject. Not just for you, but for everyone. Yes, even the people you are arguing against. Your response here is simply unacceptable. Even if you are triggered, characterizing the others here in this fashion is Not Cool.

  134. says

    One last thing before the parmaflounce

    You can not on one hand argue that it’s impossible to consent to having sex while you are drunk and then on the opposite hand argue that it IS possible to consent to DIEING while depressed, both are altered states of mind in which rational decision making is not possible.

    I have a ton of respect for some of the work that you folks do but you are off the fucking rails now and have been for a while. I can’t deal with this any more.

  135. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    i don’t think you addressed the part of my comment about your implication that i don’t really know or understand what i want or what might be good for/work for me. i would appreciate it if you would explain how that was not what you said.

    I didn’t address it in part because I have no idea where I would have said it.

    Please quote me saying it or something that has that as one reasonable interpretation. Then I can admit error, apologize for ambiguity, or explain how it was reasonable of me to write a particular way without meaning the above.

    if I said it, I was wrong. But you haven’t shown me saying it. I’m just trying to figure out where you got this. I asked you for a citation before, but you’ve only reiterated your claim without a cite.

    i’m really trying to be helpful here, and I know were both coming from a good place, but I can’t help further on this point without a quote or citation from you. I don’t believe I actually said that.

  136. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    *still threadrupt*
    morgan: being very careful. One of the turtles has been coming to feed for four consecutive summers. We try not to molest them. But I need to know how many turtles I’m dealing with. So at least two at this point.

  137. anteprepro says

    You can not on one hand argue that it’s impossible to consent to having sex while you are drunk and then on the opposite hand argue that it IS possible to consent to DIEING while depressed, both are altered states of mind in which rational decision making is not possible.

    If your logic was actually accurate, then it would be impossible for depressed people to consent to sex. Or to sign legally binding contracts. If what you were saying is true, then depressed people should not be expected to or able to consent to anything. Yet they can. Because the alternative is to strip depressed people of rights. Because depression isn’t as temporary of a state as being drunk.

    What exactly are you advocating here?

  138. gertrud says

    You can not on one hand argue that it’s impossible to consent to having sex while you are drunk and then on the opposite hand argue that it IS possible to consent to DIEING while depressed, both are altered states of mind in which rational decision making is not possible.

    You do not understand what consent is. The first scenario that you mention is permitting someone else, who has a vested interest in having access to your body and who may not be interested in your well-being, to have access to it. The second is something that you do to yourself, generally speaking, without the assistance of others. I don’t believe it is relevant whether or not the person is reasonably able to consent to suicide. It is something that they choose to do to themselves and, at the very least, they do not deserve to be shamed for it. (For that matter, you are making a dangerous comparison in which, since it is acceptable to shame people who are not in their right minds for suicide, it is also acceptable to shame people for being raped while drunk.)

    We are absolutely not arguing for attempting to help people who are suicidal. We are arguing, simply, that you should not shame and blame people after the fact, because you were not in their heads and do not know their individual situation.

  139. John Morales says

    erikthebassist:

    And I have been seriously upset by you, and a number of others here who think suicide is just dandy and fine because it’s a personal choice and an autonomous choice.

    I think your attempted hyperbole has crossed into falsehood.

    I know from experience that the demonstrated attitude of your interlocutors is that suicide is tragic, but that sometimes it’s unconscionable to deny someone that choice.

  140. morgan says

    *still threadrupt*
    Antiochus: yay for you for being good to turtles. May you and they all live long and prosper.

  141. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    This is something written about modes of suicide by a person who ultimately killed himself. I didn’t used to understand suicide, and I think I do better because of this. And of course, because of other people who have the courage to write about it.

  142. says

    Fuck y’all, I don’t want to have anything to do with a bunch of death mongers who think it’s just swell to encourage people to commit suicide, that’s fucking sick, you are all sick.

    How sweet. I’m just all over sorry that you don’t get to fucking run any life except your own. My life, not yours. My death, not yours. My right to autonomy.

  143. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Fuck y’all, I don’t want to have anything to do with a bunch of death mongers who think it’s just swell to encourage people to commit suicide, that’s fucking sick, you are all sick. I’m out.

    Ok I’m sorry but this is just plain fucking stupid.

    Saying someone has the autonomy of self and encouraging suicide are not the same thing and your hyperbolic temper tantrum does not help your cause.

    Fucking learn to read.

  144. Jacob Schmidt says

    Trigger warning for explicit description of suicide method

    This is a longish tangent. Skip it if you prefer.

    RE: Selfishness vs. Selflessness

    Being selfless may have kept me alive. Maybe. I can’t be sure. I did encourage me to try to live.

    See, I knew people loved me. I didn’t feel it, but I recognized the actions of my friends and family as acts of love even if I was, at times, unable to believe that’s what they really were. I know that makes little sense, but it’s a strange place to be. So I decided not to kill myself. I would hurt my mother. I would hurt my siblings and my father. I would hurt my step father and step mother. I would hurt my friends. I would hurt the driver of the bus of which I planned on walking out in front, as well as any people on that bus. I didn’t want to hurt them, so I didn’t.

    I stagnated. I didn’t get better. I had some good days, but most days I felt little to nothing. Other days, I felt oppressive anxiety that made it difficult to carry a conversation, let alone be in a close relationship with someone (which was something I really wanted). I didn’t talk about my pain unless I absolutely needed to. I didn’t want to burden others with my pain (after all, that is a selfish act; I wanted to be selfless).

    One day I was going through my usual routine: freaking the fuck out over literally nothing. And it clicked in my head: fuck being selfless. FUCK THAT SHIT. I wanted to be happy again. I wanted to smile real, spontaneous, cheek aching smiles. I wanted to stop being so god damn afraid. I wanted to cry in happiness at a particularly sweet ending to a heartbreaking story , rather than being constantly on the verge of tears for reasons that, in hind sight, seem so fucking petty I have to laugh at my old self.

    So I went to my parents for help. I was more open to my friends. I saw a therapist who, despite my distrust in therapists, was very good. I got better. I allowed myself to seriously consider suicide. I still go back to that dark place from time to time, but I know I deserve better than that. That helps me find my way back.

    What’s been described is not selflessness. What Eric has asked me to do is to put my personal well being below that of others. Without intending to, Eric has argued that I and others were less than human; less important than the people around us. That what they want from me is more important than what I want for me. That is terrible place to be when you can’t convince yourself that you’re worthy of love and compassion.

    True, my “selflessness” may have kept me alive long enough to realize what I needed to do to get better. But you know what? Compared to what others have described, my illness wasn’t that bad. I had my good days; I had people around me who loved me. I had constant reminders of what it was to be happy. The same can’t be said for everyone. For some, the pain can be terrible enough that living on just isn’t worth it.

    And my “selflessness” came at a price. It hindered me from getting better. Once I started being selfish; once I considered suicide seriously as opposed dismissing it out of hand for the sake of others; once I allowed others to help me with my pain; I felt far more empowered to be better and seek happiness.

    Please don’t tell someone in a terrible place to put their happiness 2nd, or too suffer for the sake of others. Please don’t tell them to take options off the table. Please don’t make them feel guilty about what they want. You might keep them alive, but you might also make them feel trapped. You’ll, without intending too, teach them that they’re happiness just doesn’t matter. You might just break whatever spirit they have to fight to be better.

  145. says

    This also shows considerable into into the impulse to suicide–particularly the hopeless rage that often attends it:

    FOR THE SUICIDES OF 1962 by Donald Justice

    in memory: J & G

    If we recall your voices
    As softer now, it’s only
    That they must have drifted back

    A long way to have reached us
    Here, and upon such a wind
    As crosses the high passes.

    Nor does the blue of your eyes
    (Remembered) cast much light on
    The page ripped from the tablet.

    *

    Once there in the labyrinth,
    You were safe from your reasons.
    We stand, now, at the threshold,

    Peering in, but the passage,
    For us, remains obscure; the
    Corridors are still bloody.

    *

    What you meant to prove you have
    Proved: we did not care for you
    nearly enough. Meanwhile the

    Bay was preparing herself
    To receive you, the for once
    Wholly adequate female

    To your dark inclinations;
    Under your care, the pistol
    Was slowly learning to flower

    In the desired explosion
    Disturbing the careful part
    And the briefly recovered

    Fixed smile of a forgotten
    Triumph; deep within the black
    Forest of childhood that tree

    Was already rising which,
    With the length of your body,
    Would cast the double shadow.

    *

    The masks by which we knew you
    Have been torn from you. Even
    Those mirrors, to which always

    You must have turned to confide,
    Cannot have recognized you,
    Stripped, as you were, finally.

    At the end of your shadow
    There sat another, waiting,
    Whose back was always to us.

    *

    When the last door had been closed,
    You watched, inwardly raging,
    For the first glimpse of your selves
    Approaching, jangling their keys.

    Musicians of the black keys,
    At last you compose yourselves.
    We hear the music raging
    Under the lids we have closed.

  146. anonymous1 says

    Crip Dyke @655

    Then I’ll suggest it: you are not responsible for your triggers or the activation of same in any way.

    i didn’t say (or i think imply) that i was responsible for my being triggered by what i read. i do think that i’m responsible for trying to remain as emotionally healthy as possible by avoiding things that i know may trigger me *when i can reasonably predict that i’ll be triggered* (which i could not do here) and when i judge (correctly or incorrectly) that the benefits of avoiding that situation/post/whatever outweigh the negatives.

    but i still don’t understand “You can choose not to read the details, but you can do that without the warnings **********just by paying attention to what you’re reading.***********” how? when there is no indication (to me, in any case) that the comment i chose to read would contain a description of abusing three young kids? how was i supposed to “choose not to read the details” when i had no inkling about what those details would be? i’m lost here.

    Note that I didn’t say that **having** trigger warnings was a barrier to new people. I said **enforcement** of a TW policy was a barrier to new people.

    and that’s part of what i addressed in my reply to you. in my experience, enforcement of a TW policy makes it more likely, not less, that new people will participate. obviously, that depends on how that policy is enforced (as well as the specifics of the policy itself). as i said in my previous post, based on the feedback the group got over a period of years (both before there was a TW policy and during various specifics re: that policy), having an enforced TW policy encouraged new people to read and participate. obviously, that was only one forum but you haven’t backed up your claim that enforcement of a TW policy would be, overall, a barrier to new people.

  147. Jacob Schmidt says

    *their happiness

    That’s what I get for changing sentence structure without giving an offering to Tpyos.

  148. Jacob Schmidt says

    and that’s part of what i addressed in my reply to you. in my experience, enforcement of a TW policy makes it more likely, not less, that new people will participate. obviously, that depends on how that policy is enforced (as well as the specifics of the policy itself).

    Having a general policy that is lightly advocated would probably be beneficial. People would know what to expect most cases, and hurt survivors venting wouldn’t be held to a strict standard.

    I think the confusion is the word “enforcement”; it implies a strict policy with strong admonishment for deviating. That would hurt survivors who want to vent while their hurting, which kinda defeats the purpose of a safe space.

  149. says

    You seem to be assuming a false dichotomy. Yes, suicide is often irrational, and often causes grave emotional harm to survivors. Yet, the people committing suicide are often in tremendous pain. And some of the people who commit suicide are making an incredible patient and rational decision, carefully weighing the pros and cons, and choosing suicide as a way to overcome insurmountable, excruciating pain. It is both possible to think suicide is a serious matter (something that is painful and should be avoided), and something that shouldn’t be stigmatized, shouldn’t be considered irrational and selfish, shouldn’t be off the tables in all scenarios. It certainly doesn’t help people who actually are suicidal to continue to crusade against suicide as something that is Beyond The Pale.

    I concur, except I’d probably say: “shouldn’t always be considered irrational and selfish.”

  150. John Morales says

    aaronbaker @669, for me, poetry sucks at conveying information, so no, no insight whatsoever except about the attitudes of the writer.

    Basically, all I get out of it is that Donald is wistful.

    (bah)

    In contrast, the linked piece by Antiochus Epiphanes @664 was most informative and information-dense, though it too used metaphorical and allusive narrative.

  151. anonymous1 says

    Crip Dyke @658

    Please quote me saying it or something that has that as one reasonable interpretation. Then I can admit error, apologize for ambiguity, or explain how it was reasonable of me to write a particular way without meaning the above.

    if I said it, I was wrong. But you haven’t shown me saying it. I’m just trying to figure out where you got this. I asked you for a citation before, but you’ve only reiterated your claim without a cite.

    here’s what i was responding to:

    So do trigger warnings actually function the way you think that they will? Not really. You can choose not to read the details, but you can do that without the warnings just by paying attention to what you’re reading. If it really does come out of the blue, well, so does, “Trigger Warning: I raped someone”.

    and

    Remember, I didn’t say TWs don’t work. I said:

    TWs: they don’t work like people think they do.

    i missed your reply to me @641. i apologize for saying that you didn’t address the comment. you hadn’t posted @641 at the time i wrote my reply to you @649.