Shame, Perfectionism, and Redemption How Community Clean Things, Restore Justice, and Heal #cconheal

by Reid on August 21, 2019

Shame, Perfectionism, and Redemption How Community Clean Things, Restore Justice, and Heal #cconheal

 

 

 

Cathy: To overcoming shame and perfectionist….perfectionism in the sex positive community, we want to promote a culture that enhances intimacy growth in community. I’m really glad you’re here today, I think this is a very difficult topic but we’re trying to balance having a very high level of discussion and we’ll be really inclusive and careful about what we say and also growing and bringing you into new areas where we might make mistakes and how do we balance that so this is an ongoing discussion. We don’t have like this is the right answer always, it’s more like these are some guidelines we think might work so we’re delighted that you’re here.

 

 

Dr. Liz: So what we want to do as we start is talk about some guidelines for the room because we are discussing very challenging topics, topics that may bring up very strong emotions in people and that can be very polarizing, we wanted to make sure that we’re all on the same page about the kind of space we’re creating in here and so in this panel, what we’re aiming to create is a brave space as opposed to a safe space. So in a safe space the idea is that we work very hard at making sure that we are not going to create distress or hurt in others around us. Safe spaces have a very important place especially for people who are marginalized and the kinds of things that are required to make a space safe can in some ways impair the ability to try out new behaviors or to learn and grow. So for this space, we want to brave space and a brave space we all agree to take chances, to experiment, to clean up when we fuck up and to come as our best selves and be willing to accept feedback and learn and grow. Part of what’s going to make out a brave space for us is confidentiality. Now you…we’re all volunteering for you to Tweet about us, I would ask that if I say something really stupid or…or

 

 

Cathy: or me

 

 

Lola: or me

 

Dr. Liz: any of us or something that you have a really super strong reaction to, as much as you feel empowered to, please raise your hand and let’s talk about it. I know that it is really easy when things upset us to feel as though there isn’t a space for discussion, none of us up here are saying that we are infallible or we have the absolute answers, what we are talking about is what our thoughts are and so please if you disagree, if you think that we’ve said something that is not okay, I would so much rather you tell me that in front of this whole room so that we can all discuss it and get into a better place about it than that you take that with you and…and either internalize it and feel badly about it or like take it to Twitter and like “let’s shame the shit out of Dr. Liz.” Right? I don’t think any of us are looking for that to happen to us and that includes all of you and so unless you know that the person you’re about to tweet about has consented to you tweeting about them, for this panel I’m asking that we keep what setting here confidential so that we can all take that space to experiment and try out new things.

 

The next thing, respect. Use people’s pronouns as they indicate them mine or she, her, they, and them. If you don’t know someone’s pronouns, ask what they are before using pronouns or try out they, them until you know for certain that it’s a she or he or whatever else they may use. In terms of live tweeting, we’re talking about really complicated stuff that people write entire huge books on, so 140 characters may make it challenging to express what’s happening in here. I do encourage live tweeting, I think we all encourage live tweeting and I think it’s important to bring mindfulness to how the ways that we have to abbreviate things for certain media can make it easier for things to be misconstrued or misunderstood or to lose the nuance and richness that is important in these discussions.

 

 

Cathy: We are also videotaping this so if you want to have….if you have a question, we will repeat the question. It’s not picking up your words well but if you don’t want to even risk your voice a little bit in the background just tell us “I do not want to be…this to be on the on the audio.” We will remove it from the audio and before we post it and this is put up with bitly over there. Bitly./CCon17Shame if you use that, if you sign up there you will get the hand….or electronic copy of the handout and we’ll send the video out after once it’s up, we’ll send you an announcement so if you have friends and family or anyone in your community you think should see this or could learn something from this, you are free to share about this.

 

 

Dr. Liz: I don’t know if the bitly has an email signup but bitly haven’t

 

 

Cathy: Oh.

 

 

Dr. Liz: just goes to the

 

 

Cathy: Okay.

 

 

Dr. Liz: [Inaudible 00:04:25] free so it will be better to ask..

 

 

Cathy: So, I will make, I’ll make one

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah we’ll, we’ll put one together.

 

 

Cathy: Yeah

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah

 

 

Cathy: So Lola would you start by sharing why you think this is important? Why you’re here? Why you got up this morning to be here?

 

 

Lola: So for me, this topic is really important because I live…I live online. A lot of what I do is internet-based and a lot of my activism is on the online as well and seeing what happens when someone messes up and myself included in in sometimes how I’ve jumped onto things and gone after things. I want I want to do better and I want others to do better but also I think that as a whole and as a community, we need to find a way to allow people to mess up, allow discussion without it becoming that we’re totally shutting someone out or say you can’t be in this space or I don’t want no one should work with you because you did this. I’d also like to see for my own self, the people that I have decided I can’t work with, I would like there to be avenues to where if those people would like to make amends that it can be done in a way that we are able to view it so that we can make decisions ‘coz right now I have my own shit list. I have like people I won’t work with because

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah

 

 

Lola: I don’t like their ethics, people I won’t work with because I know things and that as a community maybe those things are being ignored but for myself I refuse to ignore them until I see these things and it’s not something I can put on a larger stage without it becoming a kerfuffle so I would like there to be a better way but when someone does fuck up or there is something brought to the attention an avenue created and we can only do that if we start having this conversation so that’s why I’m here today.

 

 

Dr. Liz: So I think for me similarly, what I see when we when we look at how we treat leaders in our communities and people in our communities or people who are having discussions online about issues related to sex positivity or social justice, there is this way in which unless you are perfect, you are terrible sometimes and I think that there’s this binaristic – you’re either perfect or you’re wrong, you’re either right or you’re terrible, we either do nothing or we ban you. And whenever we limit our options to those kind of strict binaries, we’re going to find ourselves in really challenging positions. If I believe that my only options are if someone messes up at one of my events to ban them or to do nothing then I’m probably going to default to nothing a lot of the time because banning is a very big deal. If my options in a conflict with someone are either I murder them or I do nothing, I’m not going to choose murder, right? Even if they’ve done something really terrible and so when we limit the tools that we have available to us and the options we have available to us, when we find ourselves acting from the depth and strength of our emotions rather than from taking the time to figure out like from a centered place like “what is this need; what is the most appropriate course of action here; am I helping or hurting?” I think that we create a lot more problems.

 

 

 

Cathy: Thank you. What if we we’re going to write this on the board or else make this as an email sign up for the video right after? It’s the http://theintimacydojo.com/ and then we’ll send [Inaudible 00:07:58] and I’ll make an email sign up so we can….because we want to have the video ready right away.

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah

 

 

Cathy: Thank you both for sharing that. I really value this community, all the work you did. For 14 years, I was I struggled with…I’d been healing from sexual abuse and I didn’t know where to get help on how to be actually sexual. I had…there were lots of avenues for therapy to get past PTSD but there was no….I didn’t know where to look PTSD research scientist totally lost, no idea where there were there wasn’t information. And 14 years I didn’t date because I was terrified of sex and because I thought I was too big and within two weeks of finding the sex…sex geek community, I was out there dating and having a life that….so this community is so…so precious to me, it gave me my life back and I know there are millions and millions of people just in the U.S. and millions in Canada and wherever you’re from, there’s billions of people on this planet that don’t understand their own sexuality, they don’t understand how to connect with people and the work we’re doing is so…so vital, it’s literally life-changing, it can save people’s lives and when we’re fighting amongst ourselves, there’s certainly times when we have to say

“I’m sorry. You do not belong in here. I have to say no, you have to leave.” I’ve done that to a couple of people in my community like “I am so sorry you’re just not getting this.” But there there’s that holding on it’s like they said, in between where we don’t know how to handle it and our….in our community because we’re trying to be very sensitive and victims have been ignored for so long, we want to be that strong advocate for them, there’s no nuance in between. It’s black or white you’re…you’re in the community and you’re great or you’re a bad person then you’re out and that fighting and that conflict, it takes away from our mission, it takes away from what we’re doing and so while this is a really difficult conversation I really honor that you’re here because if we’re starting to talk about it, if we have that dialogue, meaning I don’t always know what to do, I really struggle with when is the line to tell someone “I know that you want this so badly. I had to do this with a person that cuddle party in Dallas. I know you’re craving touch, you’re craving connection and we worked with you really hard for six months and you can’t understand, you cannot come back to my parties.” And it’s heartbreaking sometimes and it’s…it’s confusing than humans, part of the…our community don’t like to deal with confusion. We’d like you to be like “oh, you’ve got….you’ve five miles over the speed limit so you get this ticket” or “you’re like you’re going to jail for this long” and we don’t have our guidelines or we don’t have guidelines like that partly because we’re inventing where we are today, we’re expanding this comfort zone and we’re like “oh, that’s not okay. This was okay last week but now we know more and so we need to push this further.”

 

So this dialogue is so critical to me that’s why we want to make sure that people that you know can’t be here can maybe hear some of this and have their questions so they can feel free to pass it by. That link will be valid after…I have to make it right after this talk but you know Liz and Heather Elizabeth is part of this and Lola, just having these deep discussions has been really powerful for the community and some are really, I thought we’re really blessed that we’re all here talking about it.

 

 

Dr. Liz: And like on a personal note, I’ve been shamed out of a community. When my ex-husband and I separated, our marriage largely ended because I cheated on him and everyone knows that because he posted at a public Facebook note about it with all of his theories of everyone I slept with and he told everyone that was our mutual friend, everyone who could read it including my mother who found it that everyone needed to choose sides and if they said they weren’t choosing sides, he would know which side they’ve chosen. I lost most of my friends, I lost my entire community, I lost so much overnight. I got I started getting the….we haven’t found out about it ‘coz he blocked me from the note, made it public otherwise. As I had a few friends all of a sudden be like “oh my god, are you okay?” I’m like…like “what’s new? I don’t…I’m getting divorced, everything is terrible like why are you asking?” And they’re like “oh you didn’t…you haven’t seen David’s note?” And one of the copy, they pasted it in for me and like granted he was wrong about who he thought I’d slept with. I see why he had those theories but they were inaccurate but like frankly I’m still banned from the largest blues dancing event in this country because of that note. I am still unwelcome at many of the dances I used to frequent, I lost. There are people who I thought were my friends send me emails telling me I was garbage because of that and like yeah, cheating is terrible and I should not have done that and did I deserve to lose all of my friends and all of my community and my hobby and the things that I loved because I cheated on my husband?

 

So when we talk about this, I’m talking about this as a person who has been the person in the mob and who… the person who has been mobbed and the person who has watched it from the sidelines and who has had a loved one be the one being attacked and it is so fucking hard in every position and I think that we need better solutions.

 

 

Lola: I’m coming at this from the point of view of I know a lot of people which means I know just….I know a lot of people and I know a lot of things and I tend to be a person for whatever reason that people come and ask questions when something goes down. Sometimes, I don’t even know what’s going on I’m like “What are you talking about?” But people are like “tell me about this person” and it’s become a thing where I know things like especially like in our local New York community there’s been a whole thing a certain community, I had a problematic person and a problem arose and because I live in New York, I was getting a lot of “what do you know?” And I’m like “Well, I don’t really frequent see these parties, I know this person, I know the community but I’m not in that community but then I just saw it disappear.” I saw the victim coming out and…and people on their side telling everybody what happened and I saw one repercussions and then I’ve seen it disappear and now I have…when things pop up, I have to slip in and be like “This is what you need to know about this place. There’s a set of an abuser in the space that has not addressed what’s going on and still attends these parties you can make your decisions, I’m just trying to let you know what’s going on.” I’m….and for me it’s infuriating and stressful because I one feel gossipy and I don’t like feeling like that but I also don’t want people that I care for or that come into New York that are a part of this community going into a space that I know isn’t safe, going into a space that you know if you’re in that space people are going to look at you like well why are you there because this is what we know and why did you work with them so it becomes this thing of like well how do we put this out there and without it becoming like you’re just being a gossip and how do I protect people I care about knowing the things that I know and that’s what I’m…the….where I’m coming from here.

 

I tend to be a conduit for fucking information and it’s a gift and a curse and I would like to be able to move more out of the whispers in the back room which happens a lot, I mean a lot of people it is a lot because there’s no other place to do it, there’s not there’s no other place and when you do come out and say something that it didn’t happen to you, all…oh…hell can rain down on you and it’s not that I give a fuck about hell raining down on me I can take that but I also want to I don’t want people standing back and going…the people and a lot of people that come and ask those questions and stay away from those faces won’t speak up and go “well, we know that too.” So I…I need a better avenue and I need help with making that happen. So that’s my point for where I’m coming from today.

 

 

Cathy: Thank you. Thank you very much. Do you want to go ahead this?

 

 

Lola: Yes, so we have some words that we all know what these words mean, we’re not giving you the definitions we don’t think you know what they mean, these definitions of more of how when we’re referring to them, these are the definitions that we’re…we’re using. We’re not going to give it all?

 

 

Cathy: No.

 

 

Lola: Let’s going to do some so

 

 

Dr. Liz: Let’s share about some yeah

 

 

Lola: So I’ll…I’ll do with the first two. You too? Okay. Victim – a person harmed, injured or killed as a result of a crime, accident or other event or action. Abuse – treat a person or an animal with crude, cruelty or violence especially regularly or repeatedly.

 

 

Cathy: Gas lighting – it means to manipulate some of the psychological needs into questioning their own sanity. And one of the one of these that we’ve discussed is that we feel like that that trip has been stretched in some ways like if I try to convince you that red shirt, that blue shirt is purple and I get other people to help you I’m gas lighting you. If I disagree about whether it’s maroon or burgundy, we’re having a discussion that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily trying to gas light you and a lot of it seems like in this community that it’s a way sometimes that some groups will shut people’s down, there’s no further discussion allowed because if you disagree then your gas lighting someone and we want to be very cognizant of not easy, not manipulating people or not having them doubt their what their perception is because that’s….that’s a really powerful and scary thing to do but the fact that sometimes we disagree does not mean that some of us is trying to gas light you or making you feel crazy.

 

 

Dr. Liz: So I want to talk about the difference between shame and guilt. I hope all of you have read Brené Brown’s works. Brené Brown is a phenomenal shame researcher, I believe she’s on our resource sheet. So she distinguishes the difference between guilt and shame as guilt is “I did something bad.” Shame is “I am bad.” People…so shame is one of the most powerful emotions. It is ineffective generally to try to change someone’s behavior through shaming them because what shame tends to do is perpetuate negative behaviors. If you look at the research on for instance, sex addiction and sex addiction treatment because the treatment models are highly shame based, what we tend to see is that shaming someone for their use of sex or porn actually increases out of control or perceived out of control behaviors related to those media because when we feel shame, we will do whatever we can to escape from it and porn, sex, drugs, internet, working are often ways that we name our shame.

 

Perfectionism – is a way that we try to avoid shame. We develop often at a young age the belief that we were just good enough, that if we can just be perfect, we will never have to experience shame again. Who’s a perfectionist like me? Yeah, what’s up? Super painful and generally ineffective. The perfect is the enemy of the done, the perfect is the enemy of the good. Who in this room is actually perfect?

 

 

Cathy: [Inaudible 00:18:48]

 

 

Dr. Liz: I mean, you’re close you’re so close. So the thing is we’re all going to fuck up and if you come from a perfectionist or shame based approach to your fuck-ups, what you are going to do is have much more trouble learning and changing because any single mistake means that you are terrible and wrong and bad. It is hard to learn from I am bad, it is easy to learn from I did this badly.

 

 

Cathy: Thank you. And I think the last that I want to define is blaming because this is something I struggled with too. If someone does something and I feel bad afterwards I have to I have to remind myself that it’s not instantly their fault. There’s often stories I tell myself about the experience oh, the person was looking at their phone while I was at dinner. I feel like my story is I’m not interesting and I have lot of insecurity in social situations. Obviously, I’m not interesting enough, it’s easy to blame them for the story I’m telling versus their actual actions. So blaming someone is putting the responsibility on someone else’s plate and there are times when people do things they need to be blamed for, they did something wrong and there’s times when it’s my own head that’s creating it or my own past experiences and it’s really easy to crunch those down so the experience right now is all of the other person’s fault versus well, this is reminding me something when I was five, it really sucks but that person didn’t do it to hurt me so I think that that’s something I’m constantly struggling with when is you know like where is the grey line between you this is something they did that was actually bad and this is something that I need to find a therapist or just realize that stories really old.

 

Lola: Sociopath – a person with a personality disorder and manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience. I feel like I feel like I’m coming across more and more of those people and…and within consent in communities and so…yeah.

 

 

Dr. Liz: So as a psychologist and someone who diagnoses these sorts of things, I see a lot of people using terms like narcissistic abuser or sociopath very casually in a way that is both ablest and highly stigmatizing and also inaccurate and more about our perceived hurt than about whether that person is actually those things. I think that it is very easy to read like a BuzzFeed listicle about how you know if you’re dating a narcissistic abuser, it is much more challenging to know whether that is actually the truth. As a psychologist when I was in training what they told us is that it’s impossible to diagnose anyone you’re particularly close to because you can’t actually see what’s happening

 

 

Cathy: Yes.

 

 

Dr. Liz: you’re too close in there.

 

 

Cathy: It’s most…it’s the most fun to diagnose these persons too.

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yes, it’s the most fun to diagnose yourself second most fun to diagnose those closest to you but everyone, do this with me take your hand with your palm towards you notice where the fingers and the palm begins pretty easy, right? Now touch your palm to your nose, where do the fingers end, where does the palm begin?

 

 

Cathy: I can’t see.

 

 

Dr. Liz: You’re too close, right? When we are in the middle of something it’s this, we can’t see it clearly, we can’t see it objectively that doesn’t mean that we don’t still have valuable feedback to give from it, that doesn’t mean that we can’t still talk about our perception of it, it means that what we are seeing is not necessarily objective truth.

 

 

Cathy: So first thing we want to talk about is consent violations because they happen…I mean people any…put more than one person in the room then consent violation is going to happen, it doesn’t always mean someone meant to do something wrong. I’ve had friends that we set boundaries and a year later, I’m not carefully walking around the boundary and they’re like “oh, that was just for that day.” I’m like “I’ve been doing this for a year.” People’s boundaries often I mean healthy boundaries will move depending on where we’re at, what was going on the situation we’re in and we can very innocently cross someone’s boundary. When….Reid actually talks about this I’m really…Reid Mihalko talks about “if the boundaries are really close to you and someone steps over it, it hits you.” So when we hold our boundaries, we don’t say when we’re having mild things that are bothering us we wait until they hit us in the face then we’re really mad that’s that may be that we’re not setting boundaries early enough, that people are…that people were going to have times we step on people’s toes it’s just a human thing.

 

I think that again, the gray area, how did we define when someone’s cons….like ignoring our requests, how do we pay attention when someone’s really being a violator versus innocently stepping across it? You know a dog notices the difference between someone who accidentally trips and kicks them versus like someone kicking and says it’s stupid dogs how do we…how do we distinguish that? Any…

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah and I think you know what I see is that over a long enough timeline when we are all going to fuck up big when it comes to consent. I have. I’ve fucked up really big when it comes to consent and I… there’s this way in which when we sometimes talk about someone who violated consent, we treat everyone as though they are necessarily a rapist and an abuser and someone who is doing this on purpose and does it all the time. It is true that consent violations are grossly under reported and so it is true that oftentimes, one report is reflective of a larger pattern that is not necessarily always true and I think in the….when we come from we are all raised in a culture that is based in a carceral approach to approach to justice. The carceral approach if any of you have read Michel Foucault’s, Crime and Punishment or what is that? History of mmm anyway I’ll…I’ll remember. So they talked about the evolution how we think about crime and how we then adjust to the punishment. In more medieval societies, if you stole something they cut off your hand. Your hand was the offender as soon as the head was cut off you were fine, problem had been removed, right? When you killed someone for the crime, they could still go to heaven because the crime had been removed.

 

When we began to think of crime instead is a sin something that came from the soul that was a sign of character, we began incarceration and monitoring because you can’t cure that in the same way, you can’t cut out the piece of the soul that is blackened so when we look at how we respond to in our communities these kinds of accusations and these kinds of problems it comes from this idea that it is something about the person that is creating that problem and therefore it is likely to be persistent and it is likely to be pervasive. Those terms from the psychological perspective, persistent it’ll continue overtime; pervasive there will be across contexts. I think that there are some times and some contexts and some situations where we are going to be more prone to fuckup. If for instance I am highly intoxicated, I am less likely to be able to perceive people giving me subtle warnings of boundaries. If I’m very highly intoxicated, I may be unable to perceive any notice people give me of boundaries. That doesn’t make what I do while intoxicated okay, it means that when we talk about that kind of a consent violation it’s very different than I got someone else highly intoxicated so they couldn’t say no.

 

So when we think about these situations moving beyond carceral mindsets to ones founded and restorative justice and transformative justice, models that came to us largely from communities of color and indigenous populations, the approaches one of restorative justice we set to the needs of the person who was harmed and we find out how we get them back to a space of feeling as   they had gotten the amends that they need to move forward; transformative justice which I personally prefer looks at on the larger level how did the community we are in create the circumstance where this happened because the factors that lead like people don’t just randomly wander in and be like “this is a safe place where I can assault someone.” There’s something about that space that helps create the conditions that make that more possible or less possible and we can never completely eliminate these factors but if we’re willing to take a look at how we have set up our communities, how we are communicating things, how we are setting up our expectations that will give us a much greater chance of being able to prevent problems in the future and to continue  to respect that everybody is still a person that is worthy and belonging and deserving of love. The final aspect of carceral approaches is that we treat people as disposable, then if you have done something bad you are no longer valid or worthy that’s why you can’t vote anymore, that’s why we won’t give you jobs, that’s why we don’t care if you go back to prison because you’re disposable person you aren’t worthy anymore, you don’t belong. Restorative and transformative justice is approaches believe that no one is disposable, that everyone has value and when we come from that space of curiosity and compassion about the people who have hurt others we have a much better chance of finding ways forward.

 

 

Lola: I’m sitting here and listening I’m like it was heavy for me too. So with when things like this happen my first thing is one, is the person is like are you okay or are they okay because sometimes we don’t even find out it’s not from the person it might be from somebody they’ve asked to speak for them and then I want to know what happens like what happened. I’m….that is part of my process it’s not that I not believing it’s that I want to know how I need to proceed because there are differences in what and how people use language like somebody might say consent violation and actually mean right and somebody might say consent violation and mean that they were they didn’t stop time yeah but it…it there’s just diff…like no I’ve had people used it

 

 

Dr. Liz: He walked up and hugged me without asking first.

 

 

Lola: Yeah and people use so I’m like “I need to know what this is, what…what how far has this person gone?” Because I need to know how to approach it that’s been one of the problems for me is I feel like people use language in varying ways and then rumors get started, stories start to change nobody knows what goes on, somebody thinks this extreme thing happened and it’s something that happened that wasn’t great but it wasn’t this thing and now you have people reacting who weren’t even there, who don’t know this person, who don’t know they don’t know anybody and they’re online writing things about it and then you’re like “What the fuck is happening?” This is me often

 

 

Cathy: It start spiraling

 

 

Lola: It starts spiraling out of control and then it becomes “well, now how do I handle this person when I see them or how do I handle if they can come to my event or I work in a sex shop when we do workshops like do we want this person to come work with us?” I need to know information so I can know what to do and that can be a really hard thing to…to do in these situations because one, it becomes like hurting the…the victim even more by making them talk about the situation or if you don’t know them directly it could also feel like “well, why are you questioning what they’re saying?” And I’m like “you’re not saying anything.” I like you’re saying there’s a problem and something happened to you but when you’re not giving everybody the information to process what happened then it becomes this thing of like I feel like I’m in limbo because I want to support victims and I want to be there for them but I also am in a space where I need to know what’s happening.

 

 

Cathy: I’m going to look at the camera. How do you know how to balance talking about it with not having the victims retraumatized by talking about it?

 

 

Lola: Yeah, so in some cases there’s people…oh, there’s oh look

 

 

Dr. Liz: So on your handout, there’s a link to the pods and pod mapping worksheet so this is a resource that was developed by some folks I believe in Oakland, I think believe people of color in Oakland who talked about that everyone should have support pods, these are pods for when something happens to you and pods for when you do something to someone else. So if you are harmed, who are the people you aren’t going to turn to for support? Plan that out ahead of time for different kinds of harm is it different people and make sure you know who they are and then if you are in this case the victim or the person who was harmed, you can let folks know like “I’m not talking about it. Here are the people who are going to talk about it.” If you fuck up, the pod is the people who you trust to support you and call you out and do the things that you need in order to come back from fucking up. It’s good to know these people ahead of time because a lot of us will look at that worksheet and go “oh, I don’t know who that would be.” If you don’t know who it is that you can rely on to call you out and support you and help you come back and make amends it’s going to be much harder to do it when you’re in the middle of all of the emotion related to finding out you fucked up. So I would recommend everyone go home and fill out these worksheets and think about as many different scenarios as you can so that you can figure out who your pod would be and then in the middle of this conflict, the person who was harmed can say “This is my pod, if you have questions about what happened, talk to them. The person who is accused of harm can say “I’m doing my work, these are the people I’m going to be telling about it if you have questions about what I’m doing talk to these folks.” Because what I’ve seen is that when we try to get all that information from the two people directly involved, it all spins out of control much more quickly.

 

 

 

Lola: Right and I mean this is part of why we’re doing this is also looking at where you are in this whole thing. Are you a friend and responding in a…this happened to someone I personally know? Are you somebody who works with this person that may have created this problem and done the abuse and now you need to decide how to move forward or are you just on the hundredth degree you’ve never met this person, you don’t work with this person, you’re just watching and then if you are that person way in the back of the room maybe it is not your place to reach out and try to figure this out because at that point maybe you’re just being nosey

 

 

Cathy: Yeah

 

 

Lola: And maybe no, I mean really ‘coz it’s

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah

 

 

Lola: It’s at the end of the day there are people that I know I will never work with and it’s like “okay, I’ve heard these things, I don’t work with them, they’re not even ever if they’re not in my circles, they’re not even in my state, they’re never at anything I attend I do want I’m tucking it in the back of my mind for if they come across my path but I’m not going to be a part of the online onslaught because why I am just adding to the problems for the people who are in their inner circle, who are trying to sort this things these things out.”

 

 

 

Cathy: Heather Elizabeth, Heather we did this talk with her as well and I really liked what she said she said “Are you adding… are you in this to help solve the problem or to just kind of make yourself feel good or feel part or something just kind of that check am I am I here to actually be of service? Am I finding out so I can be of service or is it kind of that titillation of like I’m part of this drama which all humans love

 

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah

 

 

Cathy: I mean we like to be it’s kind of exciting and fun and when you’re really stressed out about trump or whatever it’s like this immediate problem we can get involved and it can…can sometimes feel like a relief but you know I’d like the way she shared that

 

 

Lola: Right

 

 

Cathy: like just kind of check “where is this coming from?”

 

 

Dr. Liz: I see your question. I want to see…go ahead. Oh, there’s a…are we…

 

 

Cathy: Oh, I think we’re out

 

 

Dr. Liz: Are we out? So

 

 

Cathy: If you want my copy, come on up

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

 

 

Cathy: Yeah

 

 

Dr. Liz: Okay.

 

 

Cathy: And you can get them…if anyone else comes in you can go to the Intimacy…

 

 

Lola: Oh, we’re

 

 

Cathy: Oh. Okay that’s

 

 

Dr. Liz: Okay

 

 

Lola: Oh.

 

 

Dr. Liz: So, second to the last article about pods and pod mapping as a way to create space for accountability. You’re welcome. I think part of why I see this happening is that we use the word community to mean a lot of different things and because we are not precise in our use of that word, it causes a lot of trouble. In a community, people have accountability to each other, communities that can hold that max out at about 150 people. When we call ourselves the sex-positive community, we’re really a set of a bunch of disparate communities from different areas with different value sets, different kinds of expectations, different leaders, different models of handling conflict and problems so if we say this person is accountable to the sex-positive community that doesn’t actually really make sense because there’s no way for that community this larger disparate set of communities that we call one to hold someone accountable because there’s no leadership structure, there’s no shared set of values, there’s no shared set of expectations, there’s no shared set of behaviors we don’t have any way as a huge large far-flung Facebook group community to actually act the way a community act.

 

 

Lola: And what…and what will be okay for some of us as an I feel you’ve made amends is not going to be okay for others and that’s a lot of our issues too like you see that clash and that “well how could you how could you be okay with this?” It’s like “well, this was my checklist of what I needed to be okay, maybe that’s not your checklist.” And then people get upset about that like

 

 

Dr. Liz: Right. He has done you’re…an apologize from

 

 

Lola: Right

 

 

Dr. Liz: your enabling people and I think the concern that I have is that when we think of ourselves as a community, when we are not really actually a community like many of us don’t actually know each other very much. How many of y’all on this room have my phone number in your phone?

 

 

Lola: What do you mean?

 

 

Dr. Liz: Raise your hand if you have my phone number.

 

 

Lola: Oh.

 

 

Dr. Liz: Programmed into your phone, so y’all are my community. If you don’t even know my phone number you’re probably not my community, right? So if I fucked up, am I accountable to people in here who I’ve never met before who I don’t know their name? Maybe but like what does not even look like, how can I get a countable to a person that I don’t know and how can I make amends to them?

 

 

Cathy: As leaders people are role models in the community there’s a feeling like the community like has some say in what they do, I think that as people get higher up there’s also that thing where people like see there’s more visibility and it’s harder to be perfect and…and then the accountability like what you talked about if you if you made a mistake how would you like to find out about it? How…do you want to go on Facebook tomorrow morning and see that “oh, this person like did this horrible thing that everyone’s talking about it” or do you want someone to reach out and talk to you directly and say “Hey, could you explain?” I had an example of this I was talking with someone and I had emailed and they were very upset about my email and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and we finally had a chance to talk at this event and I realized that I weren’t used the word comforting amended as a positive thing, they wanted to bring something that was comforting to them, they took it as I was trivializing what they wanted to bring. I meant it as a very positive thing, they just it was a it was a word choice and there was no way for us to really resolve it by email but we could sit down and see each other’s faces it was like a five-minute conversation and we’re like “oh, we’re both really good, we’re both on the same page.” It’s fine versus if we you know it couldn’t have blown up quite big as me not mean respectful and I wouldn’t want to find that on Facebook.

 

 

Dr. Liz: And I think like I think one of the things that I see is that in some ways, the ways that our community currently responds to information that someone has fucked up would make it really hard for any of us to feel good about stepping forward and say like “hey, I fucked up” because I mean like even sitting up here, every time we come to do this panel I have trouble sleeping the night before because I’m worried that this is the time that it’s going to come back to bite me, this is the time that someone’s going to be in the audience and decide that I’m a terrible person because of what I’m saying and I’m going to lose my job and I’m going to lose everything that makes me money and I’m going to have to move to fucking Southeast Asia so where I can afford to live on my army disability pay.

 

 

Lola: Fuck Dr. Liz. That was going to happen.

 

 

Dr. Liz: I mean we joke but like for real, I am petrified of that

 

 

Cathy: Yeah.

 

 

Dr. Liz: because someone who I care about deeply had that happened to them and it happened to me, it has happened to me before. I have lost everything before and if I fucked up as much as I work really hard at living these values I would try to talk publicly about it and be open about it, every time I did I would feel like “well, this is it. Taking my life on my hands right here, this is the end of everything I have.” When it feels like any discussion of things that we’ve done wrong is a life-or-death discussion, it’s going to be impossible for us as a community to grow and learn and change together because no one can talk about what they’re fucking up on. How many of you have fucked up this year? How many of you have talked publicly with your communities about the ways you fucked up this year?

 

 

 

Lola: I mean part of community

 

 

Cathy: Parts of it.

 

 

Dr. Liz: Parts, parts

 

 

Lola: Yeah.

 

 

Dr. Liz: Right, yeah. Wouldn’t it be great if we had communities where you could go to your community and keep it like “hey, folks I fucked up” and they’d be like “wow, tell me about that. What did you do?”

 

 

Cathy: “Let me learn from that.”

 

 

Dr. Liz: “Let me learn from this.”

 

 

Cathy: Yeah.

 

 

Dr. Liz: “How can we support you and getting better here?” Instead of “you what? You need to get better now if you don’t get better you’re not welcome here, we don’t like people like that here.” The ways in which we hold each other in our mistakes, if we it triggers our own shame to see someone fucking up. If we are trying so hard to be perfect all the time, if we are busting our asses to use the right words and to use people’s right pronouns and to be aware of social justice and to respect victims and to honor people in what they say and then we see someone who messed up we’re like “I am putting in all of this fucking energy and you fucked up? How fucking dare you. I’m exhausted all the time trying to do it right.” And it can make us feel like we have been betrayed because someone else didn’t do as much work as we feel like we’re doing.

 

 

 

Cathy: Yeah, it’s terrifying ‘coz even if you don’t have my phone number, I consider you like the bigger community it’s a lifeblood for me, it’s an inspiration, you inspire me and I don’t want my…if people that are fighting a fight with me to suddenly pick me inside. I don’t want to lose my family the heart …family that I have so and really like how can I admit that I made this mistake that I have said to this person or how can I get help and then we don’t grow, we don’t do as much work as we can to make a difference in the world because we’re holding back.

 

 

Lola: Right and I when…whenever I do this talk right this….this bit of me that worries that people think that we’re not valuing victims and the support they need and one of the things that I’ve come to and what I work really hard to do is to be two people. On the left and the right hand, I will always hold victims and their struggles and what they’re going through and try to protect them but I also have to have the side of me that is open to holding space to be witness to or helping the person who fucked up do better. Whatever that looked like or at least say this is where you need to be until you can do better but I think people choose sides is exactly what Liz said, we pick a side, we pick a side and we decide that this is the side we’re on and that it’s the right side and that anybody not on this side is wrong instead of realizing that we need to be on both sides because on the one side we need to provide protection and on the other side we need to do the due diligence to make sure their problems are being taken care of. This is how we fix the broken fucking stare, you don’t fix by only going on the right side of the staircase, you fix it by saying “Here’s the fucking hammer but also here’s the caution tape and I’m going to put that up to protect who needs it but I’m here to fucking get the job done.” That’s what we all need to be doing

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah

 

 

Lola: And…and that’s what that’s the action item for me for people is

Dr. Liz: Yeah

 

 

Lola: if we can start learning how to hold that space while still do the work because I have bandwidth and not everybody has bandwidth and I always say that I have the bandwidth a lot of times to go into the trenches and say like “Here, what needs to be done or what…what are you going to do?” I don’t know if you’ve seen my Facebook videos but when I put a video up and it’s about a specific person, I’m not putting that video up first, I’ve probably spoken to them first in depth before we’ve got into. The video is like “oh, you’re being disrespectful and this is where you are so now I’m letting everybody know what has taken place and where I am in whatever is happening,” that’s how I operate. I don’t operate in like “Don’t ever talk to this person again tadadada…” It’s just like “No, I’m going to…let me talk, let me give them my time and my energy. Okay, well I gave them my time and my energy so here’s…here’s what it is.” I want more of that, I want I want more people instead of a thousand comments on someone’s post supporting the one side and people adding in things

 

 

Dr. Liz: And sending me Facebook messages to everyone who’s still friends with that person on Facebook and asking “Why you haven’t unfriend them yet?”

 

 

 

Lola: Right

 

 

Dr. Liz: And asking like tagging everyone who shared a post and asking “Why they haven’t spoken out yet?”

 

Lola: Or deciding to take up a cause that they have nothing to do with which happens a lot. I…I want more of how can we do better to make things better because that’s a that’s part of the problem it’s is people getting caught up in the melee and not doing the work to kind of feel like “wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait what do we need to do and also can I be a part of….should I be a part of what needs to be done?”

 

 

Cathy: Yeah, I really loved what you said about holding both hands. I was abused by my father when I was young. I definitely needed to be protected from him but there was also no help for him. If he had talked to a policeman, a clergyman or a therapist he wouldn’t have been put in jail immediately and that wasn’t….the jail was not going to fix him. He needed education, he needed help, he needed healing and when I think a lot of times we think that supporting the victim means that we have to throw away the person who perpetrated and I don’t think that’s true, I think that we can protect the victim and also have compassion on the other side. My dad was an amazing person in so many ways, he was so confused and lost and some other reason, I value this community because we’re putting information out that can help people get unbroken and we don’t have to throw away the person. It doesn’t mean we have to say…we can say “you don’t belong in my bed.” We can say “you don’t belong in this group” but that doesn’t mean that they have to be evil and thrown away in the trash and….and be put down by some other people and…so I really loved that. Thank you.

 

 

Lola: And I think too that there is there is a way in which the way that our current our community currently responds and incentivizes folks to come forward with allegations first, that when there are complex situations or people are being toxic to each other, the first person who talks about it is the one who’s the victim and then no matter what the other person says there’s not any space for them to be heard. In a lot of situations toxic stuff is going both directions, in a lot of situations people are pulling out the worst in each other and when I see folks who like as soon as one person is accused nothing they say is good enough unless it is exactly what people have told them to say, that is really a problem because again my ex-husband public Facebook note theories of people I fucked, right? There was nothing I could say at that point because if I said “This isn’t true” people wouldn’t believe me, if I said “This is true, I’m so sorry.” It wouldn’t be enough of an apology like there’s no coming back from that moment. If we aren’t willing to hold that the person being accused is still a human being, still has value and might have a different perspective that is also valid. It is really hard for us to know on the outside how much of what someone is telling us about their experience of something is this versus like objective truth and we may never know objective truths. Things are going to be complicated and we have to hold space for that.

 

You and then you. Yeah. Sure so, so the question is looking at subjective versus objective reality and the ways that emotional challenges doesn’t…doesn’t show up in conflict like how do we help people take those different perspectives? What I have personally been doing that is not necessarily the answer is when I see stuff starting to spiral usually on Facebook, I’ll jump in and I’ll say like “Hey, here’s what I’m hearing, folks are upset about this and this and this. I’m hearing this is what’s been reported, I’m wondering like what is it that we would like to happen here like what’s our goal? What’s what are we hoping for?” There was recently an issue with a website that some folks have their blogs syndicated to where people found an article that had been revised in 2016 and originally published in 2014 and people in September of 2017 we’re saying “This website is terrible. Why is this article on there?” And like I get it, the article is fucking awful. It’s…it’s just terrible but it’s three years old. Why are we making an issue of it now, why is it now the…everyone needs to pull their shit from this website and why are we having this huge blowup thread about how terribly these people are for daring to publish this article? So my question was like given that this is a website that doesn’t do editorial review of most of their posts like what is it we want here; is it that we want this article taken down; this author has other problematic works we want all of their stuff taken down; what does that mean; do we want a forum for us to publish response articles that are linked to in the initial one like what is it that we’re looking for here; what’s realistic; what can we ask for; who are the people we need to talk to about it?

 

 

Cathy: You’re sure of this rather than carceral

 

 

Dr. Liz: Right and…and so I think just like coming in to make that comment and talk about like “Hey, we’ve got…we’ve got a lot of emotions, totally makes sense, this is a really upsetting article” but like what do we want? Let’s take a step back, helping people move out of that fighter flight system is one approach. If you know the folks who are getting involved in whatever spiral it is you can reach out to them say like “Hey, so it seems like there’s a lot of really strong feelings coming up for a lot of people in this and you know the Internet is forever I’m wondering if this is worth sitting on for a day, is this something worth…worth taking a little bit of time to think about before we all respond? Is taking a day really going to change something here?”

 

 

Cathy: Slipping on it, slipping on is actually a good advice.

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah. Absolutely

 

 

Cathy: Yeah

 

 

Lola: Oh yeah.

 

 

Dr. Liz: Well, let me…

 

 

Lola: Right

 

 

Cathy: Yeah

 

 

Dr. Liz: So

 

 

Lola: Yeah

 

 

Dr. Liz: So do you want to repeat the question?

 

 

Lola: I’m…oh [Inaudible 00:51:42]

 

 

Dr. Liz: So the question was, do we see there’s that there’s a space for banning people even without a more extended process especially more extreme cases of things like rape or more extreme situations?

 

 

Lola: So that was the situation I was talking about in New York that was what was reported, this person, and this community runs play parties. As far as I know this person has not been asked to not it wasn’t reported to the authorities so that like you can’t go in and report for them, they don’t want to take it that far but why is this person still running parties? Why are they teaching sexual things and doing private classes? And my job at the sex shop, my boss was like “We want to pull them in to go to party.” I was like “hell no. This is what I know, I can’t ban them” and that’s the thing now I’m on the outside of that community meaning like it exists, I know a bunch of people who go to those party, I’ve never been to a party. I will never go because I know like there’s not much I can do as far as that community because they’ve decided to just go like this so you know what I can do, I can talk shit about that community I mean and that’s where I am is that I’m going to say they allow a sexual abuser to go to play parties. Please don’t go to these play parties because I don’t know…”do you know this person? Like I have to make wanted posters.” “Yeah, I do. Do you know…?” You know I mean I mean because that’s what it feels like you have to do because if they admitted to…to the consent violation FYI they’ve said, “Yes this happened. It was it was it was XYZ” which is “Okay, so you did it but nothing’s being done.”

 

So I’m all for kicking somebody out at that point and not saying like if you don’t want to go jail but you need to go get help and there’s…you should not be allowed to be doing these things and at that point, yeah that’s not something where I’m like “Hey, don’t try to ruin their life.” And I’m like “I’m not trying to ruin their life but I also don’t want you ruining anybody else’s.” Right?

 

 

Cathy: I think it’s a lot about bandwidth which for me, I evaluate partly if this person was like if someone’s been in the community for a long time, has a good record in general did something bad I’m going to work longer and harder with them then I’ve had someone come to a play party I threw and argue with me and the other co facilitator about how important it was to trick women into sleeping with them and that they would never in their right mind sleep with a man and it was like we’re like “we just ran this the whole welcoming circle is about consent. I’m sorry” you know like we talked for an hour like “Okay, now you need to leave and do not come to another play party.” So it’s….you get to decide for yourself, this is not like you know like not at all telling people they have to do a lot of work

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah

 

 

Cathy: We’re inviting thoughts and discussions so that there’s like some guidelines in your own head that worked for you for this.

 

 

Dr. Liz: I want banning to be one item on the buffet of options.

 

 

Cathy: I loved that. I loved that option.

 

 

Dr. Liz: I want there to be so many fucking options that we can choose from so that when we’re choosing banning we’re actually choosing it not defaulting to it as our only other option than do nothing. In terms of like who we choose to ban? I, my personal concern is that we as a community talk a lot about wanting to move beyond carceral systems and like “fuck the police and whatever” and then when it comes to our own how we handle shit in our own houses, it’s right back to carceral approaches, it’s right back to “I don’t want to put in all the energy. It would take to do this differently so I’m just going to ban them.” So I would question, when you’re evaluating your bandwidth like why is it that you don’t have bandwidth for putting in more of a process? And maybe it is this person did something that is just so heinous that it is not something you want to work with but I’ve seen stuff that is pretty grey area and pretty liminal that the community was like “It would take a lot of energy for us to deal with this differently so we’re just going to uninvited this person.” And I think that when we espouse values of inclusivity, when we espouse values of moving beyond these kinds of problematic systems that our culture has created and then we don’t actually live that because it would be hard for us, that’s disappointing to me.

 

 

Cathy: I think there’s balance with that too because we worked with some for a long time, for six months in the cuddle party

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah

 

 

Cathy: facility, he was taking more energy than everyone else in the group and it that he was pulling from the community so much that we’ve decided that was enough.

 

 

Lola: Sure but that’s like six months, right? Like we’re recently at a conference where we were all going to, someone was asked not to attend because some folks were like “We’re going to boycott this conference if this person is there.” And rather than organizing a sort of justice session for folks to talk about this or to talk about their concerns or to figure out what do amends look like, how do we move forward with this    person it was they’re gone, no problem. And that’s an organization that in particular talking about moving beyond carceral models, about reforming justice systems, about reforming the way that we do things, when we don’t live up to the values that we are espousing, that is a problem. If you as a community say like “look, we don’t have a lot of time as organizers so if you fuck up, you’re out.” That is a very different thing that if you’re saying in your community “We’re aware, we’re social justice oriented, we believe in our sort of justice models but like oh wait, fuck that actually takes a lot of time and energy so never mind easy option.” And I think we need to be aware of like what are we choosing and why and that’s not to say you have to find somehow the resources to do huge enormous processes use of everybody. It’s…are you making this decision out of expediency or because it’s what’s actually best for the community, the person who was harmed and the person who is accused and like we were making these decisions.

 

Those are the three entities we need to think about, we need to think about how do we help this person who feels they were harmed; how do we take care of our community at large and how do we address the needs of this person who fucked up? Because if someone comes to one of Cathy’s parties and fucks up and Cathy kicks that person out, they’re going to find another play party that isn’t as tough on things and that’s not…that doesn’t mean it’s Cathy’s job to fix them but I think that we have to be aware that just taking people out or trying to do things that are easier for us doesn’t really change anything.

 

 

Lola: And I but I also…I feel like a lot of this, we also need to be doing for ourselves independently like when I go home to New York, I’m really I’m home. I work a lot, I don’t go to a lot of things and I don’t go to a lot of things because there’s a lot of problematic stuff that I just don’t want to be in the middle of and I don’t want to be involved in so I just rather see my friends and not be a part of these communities and have shit pop up and have to be the part of it but what I’ve created for myself is my own private shit list. I…I have one and I think everybody needs one because here’s the thing, there’s always going to be somebody that you feel like for whatever reason like “I can’t work with them, I felt like they’ve done this and…and you will see that nobody else is on that that train.” That doesn’t mean you have to give in and work with them that means the things you have control over you can decide, you will make sure they are not a part of those things – that is what I’ve taken upon myself to do.

 

I’ve also and…and…and I’ve also made decided my own checklist of what I feel like is immense for some certain situations. I have people that come to me and ask like “How do you feel about this, this person?” I’m like “I can’t answer that for you because all I can do is tell you what I know about the situation, tell you how why I feel the way I feel about the situation and the decision I’ve made based on what I know and how I’m going to move forward.” But I can’t make that decision for you and I don’t want to make the decision for you. We kinda need to stop being sheep, we need to stop following the crowd and deciding because everybody is doing this, we’re going to do it too without making our own decisions because sometimes if you stopped and thought about it, you go “Well wait, I feel like they’ve done this this and this I’m…I’m okay with them.” Yeah

 

 

Cathy: I think

 

 

Lola: Oh [Inaudible 00:59:32]

 

 

Cathy: Yeah, ‘coz I want to finish about that.

 

 

Lola: Yeah

 

 

Cathy: I think it’s also like you have to find out what the victim actually wants

 

 

Lola: Right

 

 

Cathy: because a lot of times we just decide like we’re…everybody jumps in and starts trying to fix it but also what the victim wants and the relative offense and how that fits in the community values like how much where do we as a community feel like that’s a fair exchange because if I accidentally step on someone’s toe and maybe they’ve just had trauma around if someone’s happens, they might find the offenses up here whereas the community as a value might say “Well, you know that that’s…that’s a little excessive for…for doing that.” And other times the victim might be like “That wasn’t a big deal. I don’t care.” So different people

 

 

Dr. Liz: Right

 

 

Cathy: different situations but it’s really important to find out what the actual victim wants and then how heinous was the crime and what is the community or what are the values and philosophy of the community

 

 

 

Lola: Or what are…are retraumatizing the victim by constantly shoving this in their face

 

 

Dr. Liz: Right

 

 

Lola: when they maybe haven’t even asked for this but you’ve decided to be

 

 

Cathy: Even if [Inaudible 01:00:34]

 

 

Lola: The savior, right

 

 

Dr. Liz: Or

 

 

Lola: you’re going to fix it and so I’m going to keep talking about it.

 

 

Dr. Liz: Or on the flip side the victim wants things that just aren’t reasonable ‘coz sometimes that happens, sometimes the person is so hurt and what they want doesn’t line up with what the rest of the community feels is appropriate in terms of needing amends and so what do you do if this person is saying “Well this person hurt me and I won’t come to your stuff if you ever let them back.” And you’re saying “Well, I think they did the work and like I from what I’m seeing they’ve stuck with it, they’ve worked really hard and I think it’s okay to bring them back.” You’re going to piss someone off.

 

 

Cathy: That’s a tough situation.

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah. Yeah.

 

 

Cathy: I wanted to…so just to repeat her question is like what if you apologize or you…you have a communication in private, you’ve feel like you’ve post loop but that nothing’s changed, that person’s still upset. One thing I love is that there’s the book it’s called When Sorry’s Not Enough, The Five Languages Of Apology, I….he’s super really just….he’s somewhat homophobic but the book is amazing and it….maybe that person didn’t hear an apology that they received, so many different people receive apologies in other ways and it might be useful to say “What would it take? Could you tell me what…what would make it feel like it’s a close loop for you?” And having that discussion if that person is important enough to you to do that and again get to choose on that. So and…and sometimes people just…we all have baggage, we all have stuff we come forward with and even if we do I’ve done 20 some years of therapy and I still sometimes I’ll get, I’ll react to something that “Oh my god, this is not about that person at all. It’s about something that happened when I was five.” So we’re all carrying stuff like that, it may not be about you at all and I think we should do our best to leave a really clean space if we can. It’s nice not to have resentments in the community but there may be times when it’s like “I’ve done what I feel I need to do for the level of offense and then I’m just going to have to be okay with that person not being okay.”

 

 

Lola: And that’s I think exactly what Liz was just stating is that you, you did the work. You’re like I’m….I’m…I’m doing what I needed to do to make amends and I feel like this and like it’s okay and then it’s still a thing and so like what if that had been done publicly and on

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah

 

 

Lola: a thing and then everybody sees it and it’s pitchfork, pitchfork, pitchfork, pitchfork and this person is like still not satisfied, neither are we, neither are we, and then that becomes the problem.

 

 

Dr. Liz: Right

 

 

Lola: where’s

 

 

Dr. Liz: and then there’s no way for you to fix it.

 

 

Lola: Right

 

 

 

Dr. Liz: Right

 

 

Lola: So that that is what part of this is can we like put down the pitchforks?

 

 

Dr. Liz: Well, I want to be mindful of time so we’re going to do your question and we’ll try to get through it quickly and then we’ll go through action items on the hand-out.

 

 

Cathy: Yeah

 

 

Dr. Liz: So the question is about calling in versus calling out. Aida Manduley has really great work that they have done on calling in versus calling out and when it’s more appropriate to call in and when it’s more appropriate to call out, looking at their work is fantastic. On Twitter they are @neuronbomb

 

 

Lola: I think on their website also that they may have a link or it’s too that the actual like document where they talk about that and its sup…it’s just super helpful because it’s it outlines it in…in such a way that way better than we could ever talk about here

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah

 

 

Lola: but I think it’s helpful for all of us to kind of learn these things so that when we find ourselves in these situations, we have those skills because that’s how we’re going to fix this, it’s not going to be fixed by we…we can’t give you the exact answer but it’s going to be by meaning like arming ourselves with specific tools and how we react going forward because if we can take care of ourselves first and how we’re going to respond and…and I think that’ll go a long way to helping situations at least come to some kind of close whether enclosure for…for all of us.

 

 

 

Dr. Liz: In the army we talk about like handle things at the lowest level so like if your Private fuck’s up, it’s not supposed to be the Brigade Commander who’s dealing with that Privates fuck up unless it’s a really big fuck up, it should be their Squad leader, it should be you know someone who’s closer to that level. So if your friend fuck’s up you talk to that friend, you don’t get everyone you fucking know to talk to that friend, right? Unless you try talking that friend, that friend has some issues, you try talking again to that friend like we’ve seen Lola do a couple times this year so handle at the lowest level yeah.

 

So action items breeze on through these, these are action items that we all just kind of brainstorm together of you know what….what do we do here. So what do you do? I wish we had like a really concrete like here are the steps for being great at handling problems, that’s not real so we have instead of questions for you to think about because these are questions for you to consider. First one, when you make a misstep, how would you like to receive that information? Fill out your pod mapping sheet.

 

 

Lola: Oh, okay. What would have helped you create change after that?

 

 

Cathy: How would you felt about social media of judging you a blast like show up with all of the stuff?

 

 

Dr. Liz: I’ve got a hand-out and have one.

 

 

Cathy: Oh

 

 

Dr. Liz: Hand-out

 

 

Lola: Oh [Inaudible 01:07:09]

 

 

Dr. Liz: for you is how do you [Inaudible 01:07:10] in creating change?

 

 

Lola: Aha!

 

 

Dr. Liz: What’s your…whereabouts to the problem?

 

 

Cathy: We were born in different ways

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah. Who…who is in your support networks for cheerleading and for accountability?

 

 

Lola: How are you….you’re going to read that.

 

 

Dr. Liz: Okay

 

 

Lola: What desires and or feelings are driving your decisions and reactions?

 

 

Cathy: How can you offer support to those affected and also respect the humanity of the accused?

 

 

Dr. Liz: Can or should you reach out to the people directly involved to ask for information and offer support?

 

 

Lola: Can you add to the conversation in a way that strengthens the community and creates and create social justice?

 

Cathy: How can our community gather together and compassion and not for support to those affected?

 

 

Dr. Liz: What are ways you can allow and encourage healing discussions and balance?

 

 

Lola: If you’ve stepped on toes, how can you make amends?

 

 

Cathy: How can we create a community that makes space for people to admit their fault?

 

 

Dr. Liz: And then we’ve got a whole ton of links here that go over a lot of different types of resources. We’ve got stuff about rave spaces, we’ve got stuff about for those of you that are community leaders, https://www.consent.rocks/ is a model of dealing with consent violations, it’s not the model, it’s not the be-all end-all but it’s a way of approaching things and then there’s great things about apologies, pod mapping, lots of stuff.

 

 

Cathy: And I know there’s a lot of resources we need to….I think I list that all down

 

 

Dr. Liz: You list that all down?

 

 

Cathy: Yeah

 

 

Dr. Liz: Yeah

 

 

Cathy: So, and we’d love to hear from you too if you have….you’re welcome to email any of us or Tweet at us and we you know a few suggestions upgrades, thoughts we’d love to…this is a really important topic when the community as a whole.

 

 

Dr. Liz: And thank you all for showing up for it.

 

 

Lola: Thank you.

 

 

Dr. Liz: It’s a big deal.

 

[Applause]

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