This is a lightly edited reposting of a “thing” I posted on FetLife.
Coercive power structures.
Lots of things in life just don’t translate. I would hope that most can recognize the dangers of a group pressuring an individual to conform to group standards, but I won’t hold my breath. I’m not into that kind of breath play.
Today on Fet, there has been a number of interesting posts about handling criticism, from group to individual level. My ax is totally ground on the group level.
I’ll make this super simple. So you’re the group leader and you want to ban someone. I hope you have some sort of rules, bylaws, something to reference so when you inform the person of their ban, you then cite the problem issue.
That’s it. Done. Don’t drag it out. You don’t want that person around anyway. That’s what banning is. But that’s not how I see it being used.
What I am seeing is this; Group says…if you don’t do this x, y and z then we will exclude you for x amount of time or until you change and comply with x, y, and z and by the way, none of this is covered in the bylaws, rules or anywhere. That sends a clear ass message-submit or leave. Well, Fuck You.
And organizers wonder why some people get seriously ticked the fuck off?
Fix your rules and bylaws. Stay on target. Don’t flinch.
But wait, that’s not the real issue here, is it? That action is like ban-lite or even a pre-ban, isn’t it? It’s the, you broke a rule and get slapped on the wrist, say your sorry and come get hugs. But that’s not the issue, not really.
It’s deeper than that. Much deeper. Some things are clear cut. I don’t want a known rapist attending a munch I organize. I won’t invite a stalker to my house for an event. And I’m a dick. I won’t let the drama brigade cross my threshold. That’s all me, an individual dealing with other individuals. But groups are a creature weird, different and strange and already screwed up.
Small Group Dynamics aka. “the local community”
The larger the group structure, the greater the power plays it contains.
Humans are weird. There is a general lack of consense for social norms, for traditions, for values: group or individual, for any number of things. But they form groups to set a standard in the things the group finds important. And then they enforce their own values and rules upon its members. Most of the time, this is agreed upon. Sometimes, someone takes exception. And this leads to a second factor dealing with bans.
You are a Heretic. Shame! Shame! Shame!
Ah, so you’re the one facing a group ban. You stepped on someone’s toes. You threaten to upset the power structure and naturally, you were removed from the group. Sorry, but your lack of foresight led to this. Really, does anyone believe that when Martin Luther nailed his points on the church door, that the church wouldn’t strike back and strike back hard? It was just the hill he felt was worth dying on.
And it split the group. Welcome to the next level of group evolution. Congratulations, you just birthed a splinter group. If you fail to act fast and with love and humility you just might lose any control of your ideological child. Eh, well, groups rarely make good parents. It can happen. Maybe it can happen to you. Worth a shot? Make a friend now so you don’t have an enemy later, hmm?
You can only do so much. You can’t stop peoples’ dickish behavior. You can set boundaries, ie. rules. You can hold those boundaries, ie. enforce the rules. Too often, anything more than that or less than that creates the dreaded drama monster. That drama monster can eat the entire community for breakfast.
It takes a Dick to herd cats. It takes a Dick with rules to run a community.
And some Dick’s just aren’t worth dealing with.
Yup. No advice here, none given. Just commentary.