I was having a conversation / thought stream on Twitter today, after seeing days and days of discussion on the concept of ‘blogger exclusion’. Specifically, the idea of a ‘clique’, feeling left out, etc. This is something I know me and other folks want to work to fix, and my best way of handling huge issues like this is to break it down into smaller parts.

We talked about the understanding of the word ‘clique’, as it was being thrown around as both a general descriptor and an insult. The consensus was that a clique was a group of individuals that actively, consciously, purposely reject others from entering into their social circle. It was not a catch-all phrase for a group of friends or like minded individuals. Once we got that out of the way, we zeroed in.

I came to the conclusion that we were talking about two sets of individuals in this excluded group. The first group are those newer/smaller/quieter folks who haven’t actively been excluded, but for some reason feel left out. Many attribute this to their own self esteem and mental health, but the overwhelming voice was this group just feels left on the sidelines. I think this would be the easiest group to help – it will take effort that some might not have, but it’s simpler things like encouragement, signal boosting, conversations, etc.

The second group were those that actively engaged with others, but for some reason were rebuffed. Many of these folks have been subject to a ‘call out’ and were not able to unpack/digest what was being said to them. Their reaction was to lash out, which given the circumstances was an understandable reaction at first. Others were left behind when group activities were happening in physical-world circumstances. This is a much more difficult task to tackle. It includes dealing when you’ve been called out, finding constructive ways to call others out, and to really examine the group dynamics when in physical-world settings.

So I sat on my thoughts for a while, watched the twitter stream roll by, chatted in DMs with a few, and a third group seemed to bubble to the surface – those that make waves for the sake of making waves. There are these sorts of people all over, so I wasn’t sure why I assumed that these folks weren’t in the sex blogging worlds, too. These are the ones that refuse to own their errors, to stir the pot when things have settled down, gaslight, insult, subtweet, play ‘the victim’ – I think you know what I mean. These people are in our community and are contributing to the current upheaval going on.

This group is where I don’t know what to do. They gaslight to create dissent, and double down when addressed. But I can’t ignore it as they are creating issues in our community that need addressing.

Filed under: Ruby on Writing

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