Saturday, 16 April 2011

Safe space detonator

It's ironic, the other day I was defending "safe spaces" in the sense of what's the superior alternative? My point was, the so called "free speech" shouting down or erasing certain voices doesn't define or indeed respect free speech itself or there wouldn't be any need for these spaces for those who's points are logical and worthy of consideration, whether you agree or disagree with them.

I've never been at ease with the concept, apart from anything, they aren't as safe as all that. My feeling was not so much safe as space to explore what the mainstream has to squeeze out. Fat acceptance is because it has to be and I couldn't see how the ideology of the crusade could get beyond that without changing its objectionable nature, more or less wholly.

If it wanted to do that, it would exist in the first place.

I took myself off the fat feed because I didn't feel my feel for "safety" was in tune with what seemed to be the general view. Despite feeling I'd regularly been called out unfairly, I accepted if it was that regular, my feel had to be off, whatever I felt about it.

Although unsure about safety myself, I've not experienced all the horrors of the world so it's not my place to speak to the needs of others.

The way I saw FA spaces was a bit like one sees a college of law. If I crash a lecture on family law, insisting forcefully that I wish to discuss crochet, on the grounds of exercising my freedom of speech.

I'm still going to get told to leave because people are there to learn about law and wish to do so in an environment conducive to that. They put it on the tin "Law School". Fat Acceptance, see that? To attract the interested, but to dissuade the unwary.

I'm not being prevented from discussing the art of craft, and to insist that I am  merely because I wish to impose myself into any context I feel like is churlish in the extreme and goes against any freedom of speech beyond my own idea of what that must be.

Creating a tyranny surreptitiously via free speech, yes, that is possible if certain things cannot be said. Yes I know that may sound to many like Orwellian newspeak, but it is actually their rigid idea not of what free speech is, but how it is maintained or works in reality as opposed to the romantic abstraction most of us cherish to some degree.

Linearity is often an abstract construct ignoring the way things are really more circular. That if you just keep going on and on in what feels like a straight line, without care you often end up coming back around on yourself beginning to achieve the opposite of what you were previously.

The feel and form maybe different, bu the effect becomes the same. That is why results, feedback, have to inform at some point.

There is a lack of faith in humanity here, if it was really so easy as freedom versus tyranny, this side of the line or the other that would be simple. They'd be no wars, no conflicts. Are there really people out there who believe these things happen because people just feel like eschewing clearly demarcated lines for bloodshed and turmoil?

Its the difficulty of managing an optimum balance and all the myriad cross currents of experience and belief that trips us up over and over and causes and increase strife between those with differing, sometimes similar views.

The thing about safe spaces is that this particular knot is subtle and hard to foresee (specifically). When you do not confront bigotry directly, however good the rational for that is, that impulse does not go away if anything, the confidence and conformation of like minds, strengthens and clarifies it.

Which means even if anyone on the same side pokes their head above the parapet in a manner seen as vaguely awry for any reason, no matter how trivial or even irrelevant, that can become the detonator of those frustrated impulses.

People in safe spaces need to try and keep in mind all forms of conduct have their limitations which have to be assessed along with their value.


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