Never read the comments.
I have not been following this rule. And I keep stumbling into situations where breaking it is very, VERY bad for my emotional health.
Last night I stumbled upon the account of a Jewish woman in the SCA who was sent death threats and disinvited from an event when she complained about someone harassing her.
Tonight, while looking for fun blogs to read about people’s adventures in making garb, I stumbled across what is essentially a thread of people talking about why they hate/left the SCA.
Now some of this seemed to be people forgetting that any group is gonna have some assholes (because people are people), and some of it….. was genuinely upsetting.
Some of it was also people bitching about how they tried and tried and didn’t get a peerage (mostly a Laurel) and guys. I get that it is upsetting to not be recognized, but if you’re only making/researching because you want an award, that’s a shit reason. Do it because you love it. And yeah, there are people in the SCA who absolutely deserve a peerage and don’t have one. I am strongly of the opinion that my SCA dad should be a knight, and he isn’t.
Then there’s accounts of rape, and racism, and people in power misusing their station, and those are really upsetting my stupidly active hyperempathetic brain.
What I’m struggling with here is finding a balance. I want to listen to these people because their complaints are valid, but also remember that for me, so far, the SCA has been a fantastic resource full of people whose presence in my life makes it better. My two closest friends, the only people (other than my mom) I talk to every day, I would never have met if it were not for the SCA. At the very least I am grateful that they were brought into my life (Hi Darrin! Hi Tanis!), not to mention that I suddenly have this outlet for my creativity and my skills in a place where they are recognized and appreciated. That’s more than a little intoxicating.
So that’s my exercise for the week– listen, but do not let what you hear overwhelm you. Recognize that this is a place that should be safe for all. Maybe not everyone who thinks they deserve it will be a Knight or a Laurel, but no one should be assaulted, harassed, or raped.
Maybe I need a new Rule #1– I like Marina Diamandis’ suggestion of “you gotta have fun”