David Jay (to another asexual volunteer/activist):
Look, I don’t have time to babysit the AVEN admod team, nor am I responsible for what they post. I did not appoint them to those positions. The community elected them.
I am not going to apologize for what they post on my site. You are just going to have to take the personal attacks and defamation for the sake of the asexual movement.
Aww, DJ, you didn’t really say that, did you? Because if so, I am disappoint. Do we have a source for this?
*whistles* Wooooow, DJ. Also disappointed, if it’s true.
Although I’m totally unsurprised to see that he’s completely checked out on the forums of AVEN, honestly—it’s been very clear to me for several years now that DJ has nothing to do with those forums and is not involved with them in any meaningful way. I don’t think he’s played any active role on them for at least three or four years at this point.
That said, the forums are still present on his site, and if he doesn’t want to be responsible for what happens on them, particularly with respect to the often appalling behavior of the admod team, he should act in some way to publicly distance them from the parts of AVEN (that is, the visibility/education work) that he is involved in. AVEN is DJ’s project, and if he doesn’t want to be responsible for the forum’s conduct he cannot just say “fine, not my problem” while still promoting those forums and AVEN as a whole as the face of ace communities. He does have to actually decide whether or not those forums should still be a major part of his site, and if so they and the behavior of their moderation remain his responsibility to deal with.
I’m more concerned about the bit in bold. What kind of movement will we have if it’s built on personal attacks and defamation of community members? What kind of community are we if we let those things slide?
Seriously. I agree with you completely—to be frank, the main reason I didn’t comment more harshly on that statement is that in terms of community centrality, I think AVEN is sharply declining. I think its reputation for crap like this is beginning to precede it, and so it’s easy for me to say “well, fuck AVEN as a community then” when there are so many more options for people to go out and seek community elsewhere. As evidenced, I think, by the fact that both of us are sitting here and going “wow, not cool” from an entirely different ace community, albeit one with some crossover from AVEN.
(On the other hand, AVEN’s pre-eminence in terms of visibility/education work—do not forget, Asexual Awareness Week is an AVEN initiative—has had and continues to have a huge influence on the way activism is done, and so I think I may need to rethink that flip automatic response of “well, screw AVEN” that I initially had. That said, I do wonder how much crossover there is at this point between the fora and the vis/ed initiatives—anyone who is still actively involved with AVEN want to comment on that?)
That said, that attitude is not and has never been okay, in any community. A movement that is theoretically advocating for acceptance for all its members but in practice throws individual members of that community into the cold is failing in its mission and is no true advocacy movement. If this is actually David Jay’s attitude towards attacks on ace activists, particularly coming from a site he owns and remains associated with, well: activism is hard enough as it is without support from people who are supposed to be on your side. If I was considering getting involved with AVEN from an activism standpoint—and actually, I was, I was planning to see if AAW needed more volunteers later this year—this release would make working with this group a hell of a lot less appealing.
ETA: Assuming it’s true. As of right now, all I’ve got is a “he said she said” thing going on, so I’m reluctant to make all-or-nothing pronouncements at the moment. Especially given that I usually can and do expect much better out of David Jay.
Reblogging mostly for Sciatrix’s commentary.
This is really, really disappointing to read, and I too expect much better out of DJ typically. I was involved in organizing AAW last year, and already on the fence on whether or not I’d continue to be involved this year because of Reasons. Otherwise, I have absolutely nothing to do with AVEN except for its Meetup Mart. I’ve just never felt comfortable there. This will definitely be another factor for me to consider, unless it’s somehow discredited.