söndag 28 december 2014

A look at kindness and intent in writing

Drawing of wonderkarin with the text, "If they want to stop me, they will have to stop me"Introspective post below.

I could say I am on an arduous journey. But that would be hyperbole, as what I am going through, I guess is common.

As many feminist activists I from time to time encounter the beast of feminist burnout. When there is just so much energy sunk into defending my and my sisters rights and not enough rest for myself. Eventually the energy goes down, and so does my mood.

So I'm thinking of strategies to conserve my strength, so that my loved ones do not have to spend their days with a very grumpy version of myself. One idea is to have a kinder approach online. To seem more amicable. Well, people who know me in person says I'm a funny and warm person when spending time with people in the flesh so to say, but I don't know if I would invest to much into that. There is always a risk in starting to believe what other people say about you.

But it is true that a lot of the time you get what you send out. I still have the ethic that I ought to warn people who are transgressing my limits or those of other women and if that warning is not heeded I will probably still make a stand. It's kind of like a second nature to me after all these years. But I might need to conserve my strength for those moments when action is needed.

One way that might help is this, in online conversation I am often brief and direct. This is due to the background I have where a message needs to be just that, brief and direct. Longer messages are often confusing to the people I hang with a lot.
But I do realize that in the bigger context, this can be read as harsh and uncaring, even unkind and I can amend that by simply "using more words".
I have also been afraid of showing my whole motivation for doing what I do. Part of that is because my ethics is not based on what I or other people intend with our words and actions, but what results our words and actions bring (for the group and in the long run). Therefore I often saw my intent as irrelevant. Also I was afraid that those who see themselves as my counterparts would use my stated intent as a vector to attack me. Even if I am very active online and a lot of people see me as emotionally naked I am in fact a very private person who keeps a lot of things to myself due to my integrity (and my trust issues! Don't forget those!)
But I have come to realize that a lot of people (most in fact) care about intent and would have a much easier time understanding what I'm writing, saying and doing if I stated my intent more often. My intent being less of a mystery increases empathy in other people, who then to a lesser degree project malicious intent upon my actions.

This is also why I have come to think about what I long for in conversation. And a lot of the time it's common courtesy. At least from the people in power. As I think it is totally fine and a fitting reaction to actually have a negative reaction to not being treated with respect by people who have more power than you do. You know, like spiderman says, with great power comes great responsiblilty.

A lot of these thoughts have to do with the swedish larp scene I am part of, and how we talk to each other within this scene. What demands we have of each other and how we treat those who are not like use. It also comes from the limited understanding I have of the Knudepunkt larp conference scene, one that has only become partly visible to me in the years since 2011 when I participated for the first time. It is a scene that hopes to bring forth more larp, but it does not have that effect on me, even though it has put me in contact with projects I have had fun participating in. 

2 kommentarer:

  1. Hate begets hate.

    1. I don't agree completely. That depends on what one means with "hate". Sometimes hate begets freedom.