Feel the Love

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tw: prioritizing abusers

Susan Wright:

Personally I think we need to empower the physical BDSM groups and events more. If someone is abused by another member, they should be able to make that accusation and get a hearing from the group. I was elected the Arbiter of TES for several years, and we had to deal with hard issues like this. An arbitration would give abusers a voice, and it would give those accused a voice.

When I first read that last line, I was annoyed and amused at the order in which she listed abusers and accusers, as if that’s how she mentally prioritized these groups - abusers first, then accusers.

Then I went to share it with somebody…

And I noticed it.

An arbitration would give abusers a voice, and it would give those accused a voice.

I was wrong. That second group wasn’t accusers, it was those accused. Ya know, otherwise known as the abusers.

In fairness, this is only a word slip in the midst of a longer comment. I highly recommend reading it and the next several that follow here. It’s entirely possible she meant to say “An arbitration would give accusers a voice, and it would give those accused a voice.” It’s an easy slip to make. Hell, I originally misread accused as accusers myself just because it’s what expected from the sentence structure.

Yet I note that she frames most of the debate in terms of accusations and false accusations and ruined reputations. She hardly mentions victims at all, except of course victims of false accusations. In her mental world, victims of other kinds of abuse barely seem to exist.

Sure, she mentions them, because they’re the ones who cause all these problems for her and the people she defends, but their issues somehow just don’t seem to be all that real or legitimate because of the epic hoards of deceitful butt-hurt people she apparently spends a great deal of her time defending people against.

The thing that bugs me about Susan is that she seems consistently to come down on the side of the accused. Because that’s her job:

… Yes, my survey was about people being persecuted because of their kink. That’s what I do, and that’s what NCSF does. Anything else is outside the scope of this organization.

She even gives an example, one which she says she regrets:

I think I’ve made mistakes along the way – in one instance I spoke to the accused and the witness to the scene, and soon realized he had made a technical error combined with newby ignorance, and I recommended he apologize deeply to his victim and be removed from his staff position to make it clear to anyone who knew about the situation that it was being taken seriously. I didn’t personally speak to the victim, which in hindsight I should have insisted on doing so.

Ya think?

I think the work Susan is doing to destigmatize BDSM through the organization she founded (National Coalition for Sexual Freedom) in 1997 is great - people shouldn’t get persecuted for their kink like they do. But I’m mad at hell that she (as spokesperson for the NCSF) is being looked to as the one to lead the discussion over whether victims of consent violations and rape be allowed to talk openly about what happened to them on Fetlife.

Because while she may talk about transparency, she advocates private arbitration, which she has no evidence works in these sorts of scenarios. And talking openly about the things that are fucked up about the BDSM community and don’t meet its projected ideals is very against the positive PR work the NCSF tries to do. I think there’s perhaps an internal conflict of interest and/or mission here that may not perhaps be obvious to those deepest involved.

EDIT: And then there’s this:

It is irresponsible to sweep the actual abuse happening in our community under the rug because it might make the co…

you dont have to speak out about abuse to incur the wrath of merely speakin out is enuf

Do you have a link documenting someone from the NCSF telling you to shut up? Because I’d love to see that.

was present when I spoke w Susan Wright from the look on my face said it all thus her blog in my defense

I had worked w re: media so Susans sex shaming screaming tirade a day after they reposted my feature left me in shock

love to send you a DM w more details haven’t spoken out til now too traumatized and needed time to figure it out in my head

yes I was there. Total slut shaming on the NCSF’s part. *insert snark*

so said you wanted a link to the post there you go.

Ah. I hadn’t realized it was a first person account.

I was in the room and I could hear NCSF chick on the wireless phone thing. Across the sofa. SHE WAS LOUD AS A MOTHERFUCKER

She was talking to someone else?

she was screaming so loudly I could hear every single word

and that is when I politely stepped out of the room to try and handle it civilly but it was too late

yea DV left room for maybe 5 minutes but that meant I heard most of it. Yelling turned to screaming.

the yelling started when I refused to gag myself indef like S Wright suggested and told her Id done nothing wrong

oh you mean she’s naturally loud cuz whole part I heard sounded like yelling. Screaming is few decibels higher