*On abusers and repentance: If you want to “help” someone who’s transgressed, you only need to offer it once. Then move on. They know where to find you if they need to. Like, the problem is their overabundance of options, not lack thereof. Where’s the support and restoration for the people who actually need it? That’s what matters. Be wary of a continued focus on the perpetrator to the victim’s detriment.
*And we do need to consider context for who to trust and inform and maintain ties with: those who don’t know what was done, those keeping an eye on perpetrators to actively keep them from doing harm, and those who just dgaf.
*Speaking of harm: I'm thinking of that scene from The Craft: I bind you. I bind you from doing harm against yourself and others.
^that is basically the goal and requirement for bystanders who need to become anti-abuse agents. The point is massive harm reduction, barring healing (which takes forever, and often never)
Ask Some Questions of Yourself and Others:
- Is there a power imbalance?
The difference between hurting and abusing is always power (as opposed to responsibility and accountability).
That’s why it occurs nearly everywhere, even within “social justice” and “feminist” spaces. Colonization and evo psych have distorted our thinking to the point where people assume hierarchies, competition, and barbarism are natural, normal, and the default for humanity.
It is absolutely not! But that’s an exploration for another time.
The point is that concentrated power inevitably will draw abusers and will lead to abusive dynamics and systems. It doesn’t matter if you call it democracy or utiliatrianism or communism or socialism; if you are concentrating power, you are building a foundation for an abuse culture to arise.
I’ll discuss ways to avoid that elsewhere.
Abuse is power gained — nonconsensually — at the expense of another. It is not hurting someone’s feelings. It is not merely rudeness; some of the worst abuse is perpetrated via niceness. Abuse is inertia. A limit. A purposeful distortion and delusion imposed upon reality.
It is the opposite of emotional intelligence; it is making other people responsible for your feelings instead of dealing with your own shit. It…