I just read your “No Flat Girls: How Allies are Born” post, and thought it was very well-written and unfortunately true. These people have been in literally every computer-related class I’ve ever taken, and I regret not having spoken up more. However, one thing I didn’t understand was, did speaking up yourself occur to you at any point? Please understand that I’m not condoning the behavior of your friends, but it doesn’t exactly seem fair to lay the blame solely on them.
I am giving you the benefit of the doubt here and say you are probably not aware that you are edging on troll-like behaviour. (I’m not saying you ARE trolling, just that you’ve got one foot under the bridge.) Perhaps you are new to feminism discussions? There are many ways in which people of privilege begin engaging feminism. However, telling someone how they “should” have acted is an incredibly common form of trolling. I understand where you are coming from, but the rhetoric of demanding women (or LGBT or people of color or or or) always fix a situation that is not their fault is damaging.
I suggest reading Feminism 101 and Derailing for Dummies. It’ll show you the sort of comments feminist bloggers deal with on a pretty daily basis, and can help your commentary stand out from a crowd.
Now, I’ve read Derailing For Dummies, and I understand that people can use all sorts of strategies to avoid confronting the issue being discussed or undermine the person bringing up the issue.
But, look. It’s not unreasonable to ask why the writer calls her friends’ actions a ‘betrayal’ and doesn’t seem to acknowledge her own failure to speak up. That’s an odd omission.
And yes, some of the friends were responsible for organising the event and should be expected to take particular responsibility for helping manage people’s behaviour at their event. But that doesn’t remove the burden of individual responsibility.
I propose an alternative view of the story: a group of friends were confronted by behaviour they felt uncomfortable with, failed to confront it directly and felt ashamed that they didn’t. I am not blaming the writer, nor saying it was their sole responsibility to start a confrontation. I’m just fascinated that the writer chooses to blame their friends for a failure they shared.