laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)
[personal profile] laurashapiro
Note: This post is addressed to friends of mine in the vidding community who have expressed anger and frustration that the current discussions around Vividcon's policies, accessibility, and trigger warnings are taking place.

Vidding is my fandom. For me, Vividcon is its nexus, the highlight of my year, my favorite place to be, where almost all of my very best friends are. It's where I see great vids and have great conversations, where I dance my ass off and have my mind blown. All of it is made possible by a fastidiously-organized concom and the vidders and vid fans who volunteer and participate. I love it.

Vidding is my fandom. Vividcon is my con. I am part of it. I feel responsible for it. That's why I'm making this statement.

The VVC concom asked people to offer concerns and suggestions about their Background and Policies document. The fact that many people have done so does not mean they are "bashing the con", just as giving critique in vid review does not make a person "mean". I have complete confidence that when the concom says "VividCon welcomes comments and feedback on the VividCon Background and Policies statement. We would like to express our gratitude to those who have taken the time to make a comment or write to us about their concerns" they mean exactly that. I respect the people on that concom, some of my best friends in fandom, and I know that they are sincere in wanting to hear criticism so they can learn and improve -- the same way many vidders who come to the con sincerely want criticism on our vids so we can learn and improve.

This is not about being "politically correct", a phrase that I have a lot of problems with. This is about trying to make Vividcon accessible and fun for everyone.

Regarding the trigger warnings debate specifically, I'm going to quote [personal profile] thuviaptarth here because she says just what I would have:
Last year's discussions about warnings in fanfiction changed my mind about warnings. I am firmly opposed to censorship. I don't have triggers myself. Generally I prefer to avoid vid warnings. I am almost certain that my position on my premiering vid will be "Choose not to warn." And I am in favor of implementing warnings for common PTSD and physical triggers, preferably as a separate list rather than included on the vid or in the vidshow itself.

...

The thing is, I am opposed to requiring warnings for "offensive content." That's something I consider a free expression issue. I am in favor of warnings for "triggers," which is more of a disability and accessibility issue. I don't feel that my artistic freedom of expression is best served by my incapicitating people with flashbacks or inducing a migraine.


Her entire post is worth reading.

A person who requests trigger warnings is not a crybaby. They are a survivor of trauma or a person with disabilities trying to protect themselves from serious harm. They are not asking other people to take responsibility for them. They are taking responsibility for themselves.

To return to the subject of the con itself: in order for to make Vividcon accessible and fun for everyone, some things will have to change. Change is upsetting, and it takes work. It's particularly hard for people who have loved VVC for years just the way it is. We feel protective of VVC and of the people who make it happen.

But I want to work for the change, because I believe that my pleasure is not worth more than other people's pain, and because as much as I love Vividcon, I believe that it's possible for it to be better. I want to be sure that everyone who is interested in coming to Vividcon can come, can feel welcome and safe there the way I do, can return home with the same cherished memories of fannish delight and deep thinkiness and social hilarity that I do. I want everyone to love it the way I do.

I want everyone to say, the way I do, "Is it August yet?"

ETA July 1, 2010 4:35 pm: I am reading every comment but I may not be able to reply to them all. At this time I am also not moderating comments, but will do so should it become necessary. I am working full-time, busy tonight, and going away for the weekend, where Internet access will be limited. But I am taking it all in. Please do continue to discuss among yourselves.

on 2010-07-02 12:20 am (UTC)
fan_eunice: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] fan_eunice
And what I am reading here is that when a disabled person is angry and hurt and frustrated in the way they express their criticism of Vividcon and expresses that anger and hurt forcefully, that their hurt should be taken seriously and their concerns addressed. (I agree)

But

When a disabled person is angry and hurt and frustrated because they feel their voice isn't being heard, that the reality of their life and concerns are being dismissed and unwelcome in the discussion, and expresses that forcefully they should...be told to watch their tone?

This, this is why despite actually being a disabled Vividcon attendee who is *directly affected* by what is happening here I have essentially disengaged from the whole thing. Because what I'm seeing is a whole lot of people claiming to speak for me, who don't seem to have the slightest interest in listening to me.

I do feel erased in this conversation. Just not by Vividcon. And that's...you know what, I still don't have the energy to have this conversation. Take this comment as you will, do with it as you will. I don't actually have any faith it will make any difference anyway.

on 2010-07-02 12:46 am (UTC)
deepad: black silhouette of woman wearing blue turban against blue background (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] deepad
With due respect to your reading, I was not telling [personal profile] milly how she should or should not express herself; I was explaining my reasons for disengaging.

For what it's worth, I am reading all the comments made in publicly accessible posts, and I am interested in your opinion on the vividcon accessibility policy as well as your con experience, if you choose to share it. I also understand that for a variety of reasons you may not wish to, I certainly don't presume to have earned your (or anyone's) trust to the extent that I can demand participation in a public discussion.

on 2010-07-02 01:07 am (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
Speaking as for your comment came across to me, it was a very "I don't like your tone, so I'm not gonna dismiss your opinion." I don't care how you spin it, it's still how it came across.

on 2010-07-02 01:07 am (UTC)
milly: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] milly
That was me, sorry.

on 2010-07-02 01:08 am (UTC)
milly: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] milly
*so I'm now going to dismiss your opinion.

on 2010-07-02 01:15 am (UTC)
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (hermit)
Posted by [personal profile] arduinna
I honestly don't see how "I don't like your tone, and therefore I'm not going to talk to you any more" can be considered anything BUT the tone argument. It very much implies to me that if only she'd modulated her tone to one you approved of, you would have continued to discuss things.

on 2010-07-02 02:41 am (UTC)
thuviaptarth: golden thuvia with six-legged lion (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] thuviaptarth
I'm sorry you're feeling erased by the conversation. I am not seeing how the problem with Milly's comment--

Don't try to read my comment to be what it's not, and don't try to shame me, because you're fighting a lost battle there. *I* am a person with triggers, PTSD and an actual physical condition that affects my vid viewing experience and causes strong nausea and migraines. Apparently, I have to show my victim card for my opinion to be taken seriously - if it differs from the rest, I must absolutely be a priveledge, pristine, unaffected person, right? Wow. You're being judgmental while not knowing the slightest thing about me and that's incredibly offensive.


--as a response to Deepa's question is a matter of tone. I am seeing the problem as several assumptions about Deepa's motivations and responses not based on anything she has said in this conversation.

I would like to talk about how "hypothetical" the other people (besides Milly) affected by triggers are, but I think I will save that part of the conversation for tomorrow and elsewhere. I do want to say that I've been reading what you've said in the conversations about disability and thinking about it.

on 2010-07-02 03:01 am (UTC)
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] arduinna
I have read this three times now, and don't understand it. The only thing I can think of is that you missed the intervening comment from [personal profile] deepad addressed to [personal profile] milly:

"As for the rest of your comment, it contains a level of hostility that disinclines me from further engagement with you."

Which to me is pure, unadulterated tone argument. What else does this say, beyond "I don't like your tone, and therefore won't talk to you anymore"?

That is what [personal profile] fan_eunice was responding to, and very rightly so. Not Milly.

on 2010-07-02 04:59 am (UTC)
milly: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] milly
She cast judgement on me in her original comment.

For my own clarification, could you please explain which needs of the many (or perhaps just you in particular) are being compromised or not met by the provisions being discussed that meet some of the needs of some of the disabled and trigger-able individuals?

She, without knowing anything about me, cast me very clearly on one side, and trigger-able individuals on the other. She made assumptions about my intent.

I considered that she was being judgmental and I explained exactly why. Apparently, this is considered to be hostile now, because I disagreed with her original comment or judgment of me. It's the tone argument.

on 2010-07-02 12:08 pm (UTC)
thuviaptarth: golden thuvia with six-legged lion (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] thuviaptarth
I don't see how her phrase "some of the disabled and triggerable individuals" excludes you from the set of "all disabled and triggerable individuals."

I also don't see where she brought up privilege, ignorance, or shame.

on 2010-07-02 03:11 pm (UTC)
milly: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] milly
Well, clearly then, you don't come from the same place I do. You're basically trying to justify weither I should take offence or not, or feel attacked or not. Sorry, not your place to decide.

And weither I take offense or not, it was still and never will be anything other than the tone argument.

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laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)
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