I just created a label in my editor’s gmail for @DrunkenBoat: Harassment. I know from experience in other leadership positions that this is a label I will have to use all too often, even in the supposedly progressive field of literary arts. This is a label I need to have because I need to keep records of the men (it’s always men) who can’t handle rejection (par for the course in literary publishing), or can’t handle correction, or can’t handle any woman who doesn’t immediately center them and their right to say offensive things and not be held accountable for them. I need to keep these records because these men will try to undermine my credibility, my professional standing, my emotional safety, and possibly even my physical safety. This isn’t my first rodeo, I know the tactics these men use against vocal women.
Let me tell you a story. Because I believe in accountability, and I believe in not accepting that I am a target for any man who wants to impose his toxic fragility onto my time and energy. If I’m going to have to deal with this, I’m going to get something out of it. This article is an attempt to get something out of it, even if it’s just letting other women in positions of leadership know that they are not alone. Even if it’s just explaining how not to be this person.
Monday, June 13, 1:38 PM I accept a friend request from Jason Arment. I’m a public persona, and I generally accept friend requests from people who have 10+ people in common with me. Facebook is where I do a lot of my advocacy work for my art and my activism.
I’m queer, latinx, and Puerto Rican, and have been hit really hard with the #PulseOrlando nightclub shooting. I’m on social media a lot that day, sharing, educating, and arguing against Islamophobia. This is the context impacting me, and people like me, on this particular day. It is also a national tragedy. A quick cross-section of the many many things I posted on that day were:petitions to ban AR-15s, tweets rejecting using queer latinx people as props for furthering any kind of bigotry, the Poetry-A-Day For Ramadan project, an article that talks about how half the Orlando victims were Puerto Rican, and on toxic masculinity’s role in our culture of violence. I was posting several things an hour on Monday, almost all of which had to do with queer, latinx, and Puerto Rican responses to the Pulse shooting.
I was supposed to be finishing a syllabus for a course I’ll be teaching next semester on Experimental Poets of Color. I’d been meaning to ask for recommendations on Arab-American and Arab-Canadian experimental poets in my wide network on Facebook of wonderful artists and writers. And so I did. I’m going to let the screen-caps speak for themselves about stage 1 of this interaction, my very first with Jason Arment, mere hours after accepting his friend request on Facebook.
© and read the rest: Accountability, Harassment, and White Male Fragility (medium)