wendwriter (wendwriter) wrote,

An Open Letter to Everyone

Well, it's come to this: I'm out of the Tolkien fandom on LJ and associated fansites.

This means I won't be posting stories anywhere except fanfiction.net and my own blogs, and will not take part in the contests or challenges I usually participate in. I've left of my own accord, not because of the people behind all the wank, but because everybody else has either deserted me or sided with the people who have been trying to push me out for over three years. In this fandom, drama is common, and includes intimidation, harassment and other unpleasantness that everyone else ignores because they don't want to deal with it.

A former friend has posted an open letter to me in which she calls me a liar. This is what she had to say the last time this crap came about:

Dear Running Ink or whoever you are,

as one of the "minions", i.e. a semi-regular poster on this forum, I feel called to say a word or two on this issue. I am well aware, as are most others here, that Wendy has flamed in the past and that she's had unpleasant feuds with people. I am also aware that she doesn't do it any more and wants to move on from that phase of her life. One of the things I believe as a Christian is that people shouldn't be nailed down to something they've done in the past. If Wendy is being helpful and supportive of people these days, it's not because she's put on a mask that hides some terrible secret, but because she's changed her attitude and the way she interacts with people. It is not true that she is only friendly as long as one agrees with her - I've had plenty of arguments with her about a variety of matters and as you can see, I haven't been hit by the ban hammer. If somebody feels they have to drag up old things all over again, and without saying clearly who they are and what their connection with the past events is, and in a manner that implies that all posters here are somehow idiots, then I do wonder what kind of issues they have.

Edited to say: I think it would be best if everybody involved in a scenario like this would stick to rational argument. You know, the kind that goes like this: "I feel strongly about the case of XXX, which has been handled unfairly in my opinion, because blablabla..." and the response would be along the lines of "I disagree with you about this issue, because blablabla..." Abusive language, snarky comments, sarcasm etc do not serve any sensible purpose, no matter which "side" employs them.

She certainly didn't think I was a liar then.

Why does she think I am a liar now? Because her friends say so. If she didn't hang with those people, she wouldn't think anything of this, either way, she'd just stay out of it. Because she does, she's been compelled to take sides, and now, to paraphrase a message from her, she does take her cues from them. Like everyone else who gets sucked into "teh dramaz," she never had a problem with me until the drama started. In fact, only people who associate with the people at the forefront of this nonsense have a problem with me. I get along fine with everyone else.

Decent people would have kept this quiet and let it go away, but that lot haven't and they won't. Fact is, I have to cope with this stuff two or three times a year. This time it's the same shit, different toilet. See for yourselves.

The number of lectures from people who told me to let go of stuff that happened three years ago has sickened me to the point where I can't take it any more. Three years ago? I get it all the time from every corner! Mostly in private where people can't see it.  This is happening now because I'm not being allowed to own my stuff. When I went as far as asked, she demanded that I list people's names. I refused, so she and her "matey's" have gone postal on me. And people are conniving at this by either ignoring it or joining in. And some of these were people I was stupid enough to think were my friends.

This is what the bullies want: for me to leave. When I thought there were reasons to stay I refused to go, but now that I've got none, I'm out.

I have said again and again that this behaviour could be made to stop if people stopped rewarding bad behaviour by giving prizes to the people responsible. The prize-givers won't stop because they either can't see anything wrong with that behaviour or they're in denial about the fact that it's connected to the stories and the prizes. Of course it is: it gives them the influence to intimidate others and to set policy on a range of websites and communities. I've seen one where drama is supposedly banned used as a platform to wank about me. Only those individuals can do that: anyone else would be kicked off in a hot second. And the reason they're permitted to do it is because they are prominent and the reason they are prominent is that people give them that prominence. And look the other way when they misbehave.

The kind of intimidation that causes people to refuse to take part in stuff lest they be caught up in the dramas perpetrated by others is rife in this fandom, and nobody does anything about it. It's also common for people to be compelled to leave fandom, as I have. And nobody does anything about it.

Most leavers do so quietly, but I'm making this a matter of public record: the Tolkien fandom on many fansites is being dominated by a small but vocal minority who only have the ability to do so because the other members permit this. If ONE had the courage to stand up and be counted, I'd support them to the hilt. And I wouldn't quit.

But people are afraid, and completely unwilling to even engage with the problem. In a tour-de-force of Rename File (e.g. calling wanking "venting frustrations") outright denial and sophistry, the individuals I speak of have persuaded even my friends that I'm unreasonable at best, a terrible person at worst. That people want to believe this is too painful to deal with, and that's why I'm out.

To be a target is to be alone. "Wendy's the target 'cause y'all won't stop talking about her."

Anyone who thinks this crap will stop because I've quit the Tolkien fandom is wrong. It's not going to stop until I quit everything. But as long as I've got one friend to stick by me in the other places I post, I'll stay in those places.

Just sayin'.



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