So, life is like a party, yeah? And sometimes at a party you can happen to be in the bathroom when something happens and you wander down to find the atmosphere has suddenly changed and everyone is staring daggers at each other.
Well in the current party it feels a bit like I’ve come into the living room to find that someone has done a massive transphobic turd in the middle of the carpet. Or more specifically someone’s plus-one has done a massive transphobic turd in the middle of the carpet. This is a huge what the actual fuck kind of moment that’s suddenly made a whole lot more WTF when a bunch of people openly side with carpet-shitter, gathering round and saying they’re glad someone finally had the courage to shit on the carpet openly.
Then a few people pipe up to say that a lot of the pro-carpet-shitting faction has actually been quietly shitting in some people’s shoes for a while now and they’ve been asking them to please, for fuck’s sake, stop shitting in peoples shoes. At which the pro-carpet-shitting brigade start howling inconsolably asking why everyone is being so mean to them.
To talk about “wading in” to a discussion in this circumstance has unfortunate (squelchy) connotations, and to talk about picking sides suggests a level of legitimacy on the pro-carpet-shitting side that I really don’t think is warranted.
I’m, broadly speaking, anti-carpet-shitting.
That said I want to speak to a certain sentiment that I’ve seen floated a few times in recent days, of people feeling disillusioned/disappointed in the sex positive/sex-blogging/sex-
writing community. And, I get it. We were having a lovely party, but now the whole room smells a bit of shit and some people we thought well of, it transpires, are shoe-shitters. But this doesn’t invalidate the party, it doesn’t stop it from having been fun and mean it won’t be fun in the future. Sure, right now some people need to be asked to leave, and the windows probably need to be opened to help get rid of the smell (in this analogy I’m not sure what actually cleaning the shit off the carpet is but I’m pretty sure a half-hearted “I didn’t really mean to shit all over the place” and “I’m sorry if my actions made some people feel like they could smell shit” from the pro-carpet-shitters on their way out the door doesn’t really cut it).
One of the best book’s I’ve read for navigating not just the kink space, but a whole range of communities is “Playing Well With Others” by Mollena Williams-Haas and Lee Harrington, which contains the wonderful phrase, the community is a microcosm, not a utopia. Those words have been immensely helpful to me in various contexts, reminding myself that if I meet an asshole it doesn’t negate the existence of all the lovely supportive non-carpet-shitting people I know, love and respect.
For more detail on what tha actual has been going down please see this post by Mx Nillin.
Thanks to On Queer Street for sensitivity readign this post.