Stan Shebs wrote:
> I would be ashamed to be associated with a project for which the only
> option is that members run and hide.
on 8/2/07 5:44 PM, Steve Summit at scs(a)eskimo.com wrote:
Your shame is misplaced, I think.
It's like saying you'd be ashamed to dock your boat in a marina
in which the only option for coping with rising and falling tides
was floating docks. Or that you'd be ashamed to live in a world
in which the only option for coping with rain was umbrellas.
Or that you'd be ashamed to live in a La Mancha in which the only
option for coping with distracting windmills was dark sunglasses.
King Canute didn't manage to beat back the tide with his sword.
Don Quixote didn't manage to slay too many windmills with his.
I am no less sorry than anyone else to say this, but: the trolls
are out there. They are not going to go away. Most importantly,
they are *not our fault*. To imagine that they somehow are "our
fault", to pretend that we can do anything to make them go away,
is a futile, perhaps even delusional folly.
In any case, running and hiding is not the only option. You can
ignore them. You can stand up to them. If they threaten you in
real life, you can sue them in real life for assault. (Yes, I
know, these are not always easy options. But whatever option it
is we're pursuing now isn't easy, either, and it's not even clear
that it's working.)
In my book, what's not an option is to react to the trolls and
the harassers and the abusers and the Daniel Brandts with anger,
histrionics, or all this damn drama. They *love*, they devour,
they thrive on anger, histrionics, and drama. If you decide that
your appropriate response to them involves any of these elements,
you hand them enormous power: they can make you jump, make you
cry, make you do a little histrionic drama-dance, any time they
want to, just by pushing one of your well-advertised buttons.
I refuse to give my enemies that kind of power over me. People I
love and respect, maybe. But trolls and harassers don't get any
buttons they can push -- if they're not worth my respect, they're
certainly not worth my anger.
As I have said before, when shouting is met with silence - all that's left
is the echo, repeating itself over and over again until it eventually fades.
Certainly, running and hiding is quite an appropriate choice under the
appropriate circumstances; but I want to be able to make that choice
situationally. And shame on anyone who tries to rob me of that choice.
Running and hiding is a reaction. Ignoring someone is neither running nor
hiding; it is simply not reacting - not feeding them. It takes real
self-control, honest, true self-assurance, to accomplish this. But, when you
have accomplished it, you have stripped them of their power, and your life
it truly yours.