A bunch of folks are asking why some people are angry about @TRUCEconf. Here’s what I come up with when I imagine being in the shoes of one of those folks who are angry.
- the organizer hasn’t specified “the problem” she wants to solve, but implies that it’s the problem of women in tech being treated badly.
- however, her description suggests that the problem she wants to solve is certain feminists being angry &.attacking people they don’t agree with
- she never says this directly, but used words like “bullying” and “war” and has also said “we” need to get beyond anger. [correction: Sean McMillan pointed out that the word "war" was used by Shanley here]
- she uses “we” though it doesn’t seem like she thinks of herself as needing to stop bullying and get beyond anger. Who is “we”?
It seems natural to me that folks would not feel included and heard. They sense judgment, rejection, an attempt to fix them. And it hurts and is frustrating.
1. _If_ you want to have a conference for people who are taking one approach to solving the problem (an approach you see as friendly, loving, empathetic), just do that, and don’t invite people who tend to a more confrontational approach.
Be honest about how your approach differs without attacking the folks who do it other ways (and especially without attacking them in confusing, indirect ways, with nice language and sideways hearts)
2. _If_ your purpose is to build unity with folks whose anger is hard for you to hear, and whose strategies seem off to you, first notice that your strategies may also seem off to them. Then, instead of rejecting their anger, deeply listen to it, with love and care and curiosity. Drop the accusations of bullying & war, and invite them to dialogue. Respect their choice about whether to participate in dialogue with you.
Figure out strategies you like better than theirs, and go do those, without making them the enemy.