Sunday, 25 January 2015

mokie: Stonehenge with the sun shining through the stones (holiday renewal)
Today is a day for fixing missing stairs.

That's the term coined by the Pervocracy to describe a person whose crap you get so used to working around, like a missing stair, that it becomes normal for the group to compensate for it and work around them.
"Just about every workplace has that one person who doesn't do their job, but everyone's grown accustomed to picking up their slack. A lot of social groups and families have that one person. The person whose tip you quietly add a couple bucks to. (Maybe more than a couple, after how they talked to the server.) The person you don't bother arguing with when they get off on one of their rants. The person you try really, really hard not to make angry, because they're perfectly nice so long as no one makes them angry."
Ah, yes, those people.

The Pervocracy is a BDSM blog, and its original example is a person that the group knows to be a rapist, but is reluctant to oust because of a warped sense of fairness in which the feelings of the rapist are so very important that they outweigh the safety of past and potential victims. Feminist blogs embraced it, and use it for abusers and harassers that the group refuses to call out because nobody wants to get in the middle of things, or make things uncomfortable.

But, as per the quote, it's not always that extreme. Sometimes it's just the asshole friend/relative that nobody wants to call out because, ugh, drama. At the less terrible end of the spectrum, maybe we're all that person to someone at some point. Maybe your relationship drama had everyone walking on eggshells around you, and you didn't even realize it. Maybe there's that one person in your group that you just dislike and you make it known, and nobody else calls you out on it because there are things going on with you now, and you're not usually like this, and blah blah blah, and, eh, that other person is new anyway, right? Maybe the rest of the family looks forward to you stepping out to call your friends and rant after Uncle Fred leaves, because the only thing worse than his racist jokes is you lecturing everyone on how his racist jokes are just an example of how this holiday is so oppressive, cultural genocide really, and how it's unbelievable that they served meat knowing you're a vegetarian and no having a vegetarian side dish does not make it okay.

Life is too short.

I made nice with too many missing stairs over the years, because I was convinced that I wasn't good at groups and they always were, and I felt like I couldn't afford to rock the boat. All that gave me was a knee-jerk nuclear reaction to people who disregard boundaries and a twitchiness about mixing my social circles, lest douchery leak into all corners of my life.

I've gotten better about learning to stand up for myself, even when the group tries to shush me, and better about leaving those groups, even when they try to cajole me with talk of doing something about That Guy one of these days, eventually. And I've gotten better about recognizing when I'm being the asshole - though, in fairness, surrounding yourself with people willing to call you out instead of smoothing things over helps a lot with that.

By extension, I think a big step in fixing a missing stair is taking a word of advice from Maya Angelou: "When people show you who they are, believe them the first time." I've been surprised more times than I care to recount by someone being awful in a way that aligned perfectly with earlier talk/actions that I had ignored, as part of the group, because they weren't aimed at me. It's an embarrassingly stupid position to be in, because how could I be surprised when this person bragged about petty acts of revenge, or learning to manipulate people, or how they sometimes throw hissy fits because eh.

And, yes, it makes me think: what am I showing people about who I am? Is the message I put out consistent with the person I am? Is the person I am consistent with the person I think I am/want to be? I am definitely a DIY work in progress.

About dream/reading tags

y-* tags categorize dreams.

For types: beyond the obvious, there are dreamlets (very short dreams), stubs (fragment/outline of a partially-lost dream), gnatter (residual impression of a lost dream).

For characters: there are roles (characters fitting an archetype), symbols (characters as symbols), and sigils (recurring figures with a significance bigger than a single dream's role/symbolism).

x-* tags categorize books.

Material is categorized primarily by structure, style and setting. If searching for a particular genre, look for the defining features of that genre, e.g. x-form:nonfic:bio, x-style:horror, x-setting:dystopian.