On Respect   13 comments

One of our fellow trees in the forest made what turned out to be a somewhat controversial post regarding the issue of exclusion from a guild based on gender after coming across a recruitment thread that had done just that.  In her post she used a certain guild that practices this exclusion as an example.  The actual portion of her post that dwells on this is only about two paragraphs long, and she fairly respectfully states something along the lines of “wtf, I can’t believe people do this, I just don’t get it”.

The post in and of itself was fine…and was K, in her own amusing way, addressing an issue she felt was a problem.  What was not fine, under any stretch of the imagination were some of the commentaries, many from the guild in question, that did nothing but be flat-out mean for no reason other than to be mean.  As I read through them I grew more and more incensed at the audacity of these people to begrudge K for expressing her opinions ON HER OWN BLOG.  She was respectful enough to respond to every one of you, no matter how nasty you were to her.  Had it been me I would have told you to go fuck yourselves.  You know *insert cartman voice* “it’s my blog, I do what I want!”.

Sorry…I digress.  *takes a deep breath*

Now, people have every right to dissent when they disagree with something, but for fuck’s sake be respectful about it.  There is absolutely NO excuse to EVER:

  • Name Call
  • Make Sexual innuendos
  • Make Racial Slurs
  • Make references about personal appearances

Seriously, what do ANY of those things have to do with telling K that she is wrong?  What, because she’s an attractive female she must have fluff between her ears and looses the right to form an opinion?  Christ.

Do you not realize that all you did was bolster K’s assessment for the majority of her reader base?  Quite the opposite effect that I think you wanted to have, no?

Because my small, albeit highly educated, female mind tries to be constructive on occasion, I would like to give people a crash course on how to properly and respectfully construct a dissent.  In doing so, keep the following advice from Eleanor Roosevelt in mind:  “Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people”.  The goal in making your dissent should always be in the category of “great minds”, no matter how mad someone makes you if you respond poorly it is unlikely what you have to say is going to be heard.

  1. Develop a constructive  counter-argument to what your opponent is offering.  In said argument, provide examples and facts that lend weight to your point of view.  Present your thoughts in a way that is worth a listener’s effort to hear you.
  2. Remember that personally attacking someone will always turn your audience off.  You need to provide a well thought out argument that relies on facts and experiences, not on the person on the other side of the spectrum from you.
  3. The best way to dissent is to get your audience to second guess themselves.  If they are agreeing with the original presenter’s point of view, you want to stand up your facts in a way that will make them consider what you are saying as an alternative.  You want to get them scratching their heads, because even if they don’t leave having changed their minds, if you can plant a seed for thought it is more likely that they will may be more willing to accept your point of view.
  4. Remember that there is rarely a “right” or “wrong” way to look at things.  There are just “different” ways to view them.  It is OK.  If we all thought the same all the time we’d be a horribly boring race of individuals.  It’s important to accept that people may have a different view-point from your own, and that doesn’t make them bad people.  It just means they think differently.
  5. Understand and respect your opponent’s argument.  The single best way to knock down someone else’s argument is to think like them and understand where they are coming from.  Being so obtuse that you fail to recognize that there are many ways to skin a cat will mean that you will always have hugely one-sided arguments that will never meet their full potential.

When dissenting, be a great mind.  Discuss ideas.  If that is too much to ask, at least show a little bit of respect.  I know that this is the internet and all, and you are anonymous, but I still harbor the false belief that people should be accountable for how they behave.

Posted November 3, 2009 by Beruthiel in /rant, Tree Love

13 responses to “On Respect

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  1. Good points! :) This is also helpful for the person who is attacked — keep being sensible and people will end up on your side instead of your opponent’s.

  2. Aw Beru.

    You know its bad when the comment thread was compared to the WOW Forums. I do wonder if they realize that they are just supporting my assessment with some of the comments that have been left. Though honestly most of the comments have amused me more than bothered me (except for the one with racial slurs that I had to delete).

    But they did probably feel attacked because I made the mistake of specifically calling out their guild. I do feel bad about that and should have been more general in terms of guilds which similar recruitment policies.

    Though at the end of the day, if I am called a bitch because I am a female who doesn’t take any crap and can argue her point of view, well I wear that label very proudly. :)

    /hug

    • I just get so mad when people forget respect.

      I mean…disagree, go ahead! But keep to the argument. There is no need to get personal.

      I will say though, that it certainly made for some interesting reading and thinking! I was actually a bit surprised all the hullabaloo it stirred up :)

  3. While I agree that they are free to have any type of recruitment criteria that they wish, the way they flaunt it just makes them a joke.

    I have learned a ton from both Keredria and your blogs. If these people really think that you are less skilled because you are female, they are clueless.

    • I do think that the flaunting of it…and their “reasoning” behind it are what make it so contreversial.

      I won’t like though…you know that spot in BFD where you have to jump (by the murlocs)? Yea…I still fail that jump probably 50% of the time I go there. And I will admit that I joke “Sorry guys, everyon knows girls can’t jump in video games” when I fail. That being said, I’m usually just with Brade or a group of friends who know that I’m just kidding…but perhaps comments like that, even taken in jest, are what keep stereotypes like this alive.

  4. you’ve made good points here. IMO, when NCA had to attack Keredria personally, they lacked a good counter-argument. their no girls allowed policy is a joke, and a narrow-minded, immature, unprofessional, lazy way of dealing with drama/junk players/whatevers.

    and it is sad to see that people in America still discriminate against others. don’t they realize how that drags us down and keeps us from moving forward?

    • I don’t think discrimination is limited to America, sadly. I do feel that it’s a world wide issue…Americans just have big mouths and talk about it more ;)

      I do agree though, once they started attacking K on a personal level, they lost 100% of their credibility, and any portion of their argument that had any validity went out the window. All it takes is one stone.

  5. I was once GL of DotH, and am still a member of both DotA and DotH, though nowhere near as active as I used to be (Llane taking up way too much time these days, but I’m working on it!).

    We didn’t really actively recruit anyone. When we were working on raiding in the Kara days, we did occasionally post a recruitment post in the Livejournal forum from which we spun off. But we have never been hardcore raiders.

    Should we be called out because we discriminate? Whether or not there is a sisterhood behind it all, we do still not let you in if you don’t identify as female. Perhaps because we’re smaller and we don’t recruit actively and we don’t hardcore raid it goes by unnoticed, but it’s still there, at the end of the day.

    And I probably should be posting this on the other blog, but I know you, Beru/Earen. :)

    • Ru- I think that you should absolutely give K your thoughts! I bet she’d love to hear them. I think one of your DotH guildmates did make a statement on her site :)

      Eh…it’s a touchy subject, for sure. But honestly, you aren’t discriminating because “boys can’t play WoW” or because “all boys cause drama”, you are creating a unique environment in which you want to play…without making a statement other than “must be a hen to join the hen party”. I think it’s hugely different, at least in my opinion.

  6. I just caught up with this business and I’m still reeling from it. i genuinely can’t believe anybody would think it was in any way appropriate to leave a comment like that Keredria’s own damn blog! Disagree, fair enough, but that kind of random abuse – ye gods!

    Also there’s an incredible sense of ignorant entitlement in male only guilds not present in female-only guilds. I can completely understand and support he latter, whereas the former merely re-affirm all that is wrong with gaming culture. There’s a huge difference between a safe space and discrimination.

    And let’s not forget that male-only guilds are just plain dumb. Girls are fun.

  7. Pingback: TotC: the disco « Righteous Orbs

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