Final Fantasy XIV’s community is rocked by a fansite sexual harassment scandal

When it comes to ranking friendly, warm, and welcoming MMO communities, Final Fantasy XIV is right up there near or at the top of the list. Yet that doesn’t mean it is free from some of the corrupt and evil influences of the world, as evidenced in a recent scandal that involves a fansite, blackmail, and sexual harassment.

The fansite in question is The Moogle Post, one of the largest FFXIV community sites on the internet and which was led by an editor-in-chief known as Oldbear Stormborn. Nine women — part of a group of 15 called “Anonymous Janes” — came forward to PC Gamer to accuse Oldbear of “blackmail, coercion, and extensive emotional manipulation” of those he grew attached to in game and through the site.

Some of these accusations include Oldbear’s alleged use of nude photos as leverage to blackmail the women. In all of the situations, his accusers say, he would form a bond with women and then attempt to manipulate them, make unwanted advances, and isolate them from others.

Oldbear did admit and apologize for this behavior, saying on Discord that his actions were “a self-destructive game.” He has since softened his apology by denying that he abused anyone and resigning his position as editor-in-chief. New operators have taken over the fansite and posted a statement (since retracted) saying that the site “in no way, shape, or form condones any of the alleged behaviors” of Oldbear.

Source: Anonymous JanePC Gamer. Thanks, David, Cotic, and FusionX.
An anonymous TMP rep (verified by Reddit mods) has further clarified the group’s overall position on Reddit in light of apparent backtracking:

“The same statement was sent out across the official TMP twitter and social accounts – However, Oldbear has since demanded that he be given back leadership of TMP (to which he was denied by the current staff) and used his recovery info (his phone number on the social accounts) to regain access to them and delete the statement, making it look like TMP condones his actions.

TMP (The Moogle Post)’s stance has not changed since the initial statement – The Moogle Post staff in no way, shape, or form condones any of the alleged behaviors and wishes to make clear the separation between Oldbear and our magazine. Repeat – Oldbear has full control of all TMP social media accounts other than the discord server, and the TMP team does not condone anything that is said or done through those accounts.

Oldbear is trying to undo this separation, and that’s the reason why it may seem TMP has gone back and forth with it. The only thing the TMP staff is in control of (and Oldbear is not) is the discord server where the official statement was made.

tl;dr: Oldbear and the TMP social accounts do not speak for the TMP staff.”

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263 Comments on "Final Fantasy XIV’s community is rocked by a fansite sexual harassment scandal"

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Sorenthaz

Sounds like he was trying to flirt/play around with multiple women and eventually they figured out the existence of each other, and the dude had some personal issues that showed he has low self-esteem + high insecurity and he likely enjoyed the feelings he got out of getting multiple girls to fall for him. Because it’s the Internet, he thought he had little to lose/etc. but that’s… not how this stuff works anymore, esp. if you’re a significant member of a huge community site for a game, or a guild, etc.

Stuff like this can often start off innocent enough (where two folks sort of fall for each other because they’re lonely/desire to love and be loved, and without thinking about it they just rush right into a relationship) but then it’s pretty easy for it to fall apart as initial infatuation dies down and the “thrill of the chase” is over; it’s even easier for this stuff to fall apart if folks haven’t really learned much about each other before diving right in. For a guy with low self esteem/depression issues or whatever, getting girls online to fall for you can be a nice ego/confidence boost, but going so far with that stuff and trying to turn it into a game with multiple women (and all in the same FC? wut) is really really really stupid and obviously he turned it into manipulative psycopathic behavior pretty dang fast from the sounds of it.

It’s like Internet flirting and all that isn’t a bad thing (when not stepping over boundaries/etc.), but he obviously turned it into so much more than that. If those more extreme stories are also true, that’s incredibly disturbing and I feel sorry for the women who went through that stuff. Still, it’s hard to believe someone could have that much power over others in a FC that’s dedicated to an MMO fansite, and it’s sad that people can be emotionally manipulated/exploited like that.

Sounds like the dude’s life was pretty crappy as-is, so he pretty much ruined any escape he had with FFXIV and now pretty much can never use that online persona again. I’m sure folks will witchhunt/dox the hell out of him as well to further drive the nails into his coffin.

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Rolan Storm

I have one question: is there enough to press criminal charges against him? Does anyone know?

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Utakata

Note to Eamil…as the thread I am replying appears to be broken, so I am adding this here:

I think that’s a false dichotomy, though. Just because talking about what could be done differently to avoid becoming a victim doesn’t help those who were already victimized doesn’t mean it’s a conversation not worth having. If one is interested in preventing future abuse victims or even giving current ones information that might help them realize that they’re in an abusive relationship and there are ways for them to get out of it, I think that’s absolutely a discussion worth having. And yes, there are a few people in this comments section who weren’t trying to have that discussion, but I don’t think anyone in that thread was among their number.

Nonsense (and likely a strawman). As I am not asking you to chose between 2 undesirables where a 3rd option is available. I simply implying given a choice, the victims here would take it. Also making victim blaming/shaming needless, as they will highly unlikely make that mistake again. So begging the question, your point in all of this is? o.O

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Eamil

Nonsense (and likely a strawman).

Que? A strawman involves misrepresenting your point.

A false dichotomy doesn’t imply both options are “undesirables.” It’s just two choices that are being treated as mutually exclusive when they aren’t. You said earlier that “There is always should be a healthy discussion of how to protect ourselves for sure,” and that’s literally all I’m saying. You said in the bit I quoted that nobody should be focusing on that, instead let’s focus on the fact that a wrong was committed and people were victimized, which to me sounded like you were backtracking on your earlier statement. My response, in a nutshell, is “why can’t we talk about both?” It’s not a zero-sum game.

Thank you, by the way, for being willing to actually engage in a back-and-forth on a reasonable basis. It’s always a nice thing to see. :)

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Utakata

But you did. I was not making any mutual exclusive argument, claim or otherwise as I have already stated. But pointing out a reality that most likely shoots down the need to victim blame. Instead you would need pretty strong evidence to disprove that position is true. Not gas lighting it away with some technicality that is most likely is taken out of context. Hence, misrepresenting my views.

That said, while you may appreciate the discourse, I am no longer interested in pursuing this. As I feel this is getting no where and only enables the position of the perp in the counter. So I am going to agree to disagree here and move on. Thnkx.

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Eamil

Not gas lighting it away with some technicality that is most likely is taken out of context.

Y’know, you don’t have to assume bad faith just because we’re not reaching each other clearly. But since you want to move on I’ll leave it at that.

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BDJ

I am not totally up to date on the story, but what in the WORLD possesses people to send nudes to anyone in gaming?

For the pixels?

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Sorenthaz

Basically when people feel really lonely/depressed they use the Internet as an escape, and if they meet someone who makes them feel special/loved they can get hooked on the happy/sexual feelings it gives them and will do what they can to keep it going.

Though some girls might also send nudes for little/no reason depending on the online relationship and the people I guess. It really just comes down to the people involved, I guess. Sometimes it’s because the guy manipulates the girl, other times it’s ’cause the girl feels like giving them out. And there can be more situations on top of those two basic ones.

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Utakata

You should do a porn based searches through Tumblr sometime, you would be surprised what the person next door will send out there. Yeah…so this is a thing. o.O

Also see: Anthony Weiner

hamblepants
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hamblepants

The fact that someone with power over them asked. In a sense, you can kind of fill-in-the-blank with the request/demand made by the abusive person. It’s not about nudes specifically, it’s about holding power over someone.

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Frank White

When I was young, in my teens and twenties, I had several people of both sexes offer to “do me favors” in exchange for MY favors, if you get my drift. It wasn’t always stated explicitly, but was definitely implied when not. (One of those people was a Roman Catholic priest.) I never took any of those people up on their offers, but I can tell you that if I had I wouldn’t be looking back on it now and putting all the blame on them. They might have all been at least 20 years older than me and had more money and power, but I would acknowledge that I had been a willing participant. I wouldn’t be on a crusade now, decades later, trying to crucify them for taking advantage of my “tender years” and holding THEM responsible for every bad thing that had happened to me since. I chose to say no, and a lot of these people crying “victim” now could have said no too. Yes, abuses of power do happen, but people have to also take responsibility for their own choices.

UpayaBlossom
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UpayaBlossom

Honestly, this well delineates the blind privilege of maleness. This is so tone deaf and segregated from any real experiences in life.

It is also disgusting.

There is, at the end, a very simple test at play here. You either have compassion for victims of evil or you defend the evil. Anyone and everyone looking for ways to defend this monster are engaged in a very clear exercise where harm, power, trauma and terror experienced by others are completely overshadowed by an individual’s ego and need to be seen with toxic strength.

I’m sorry, but there is only sadness in allowing evil to flourish. This is black and white.

hamblepants
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hamblepants

Everything youve written here has already been covered in my other posts. Not repeating myself.

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BDJ

How did he hold power over them? They visit a fan site or play with him in game. This isn’t a fortune 500 CEO FFS lol

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McGuffn

I read the pc gamer last night. A lot of the stories are reasonable, maybe not “send nudes” reasonable, but if “online relationships are real relationships” is true, and it certainly is true in many cases, it can happen. It isn’t like internet dating is unheard of. It is also easy to see how they were manipulated, and things like this happen all the time, read some of the posts about guild problems that Tina does.

So you have an officer/influential member of the community who seems like a nice guy and lots of people like him. He becomes trustworthy but also is quietly pressuring/romancing/shmoozing certain members of the community, and in some cases doing it to multiple people at once.

One of the allegations is that he used/abused a “no drama” rule to kick out some of the people that disliked his behavior. Because he is popular in the community, he gets away with it. At other times, he is accused of using the fan site and his position as the head of it to meet and get close to members of the staff.

A week or so ago I read this great article about abusers in the church. The idea was is they’re not just grooming the victims, but they’re grooming the congregation/community/guild (or the police), or even just the people in power in those organizations.

Now, if that’s intentional, that’s a really long game they’re playing, and I don’t think everyone does that. And I think some people who stand by the accused clearly just have their heads in the sand. And clearly that can be an excuse to deflect blame and responsibility from people that heard the allegations and should have notified the authorities and begun an investigation (if appropriate).

But it still struck me as a revelation because it explains at least part of the “he’s a nice guy, he couldn’t have done that, so stop lying and defaming this good man” stuff you get whenever the priest/coach/good player and raid leader gets into trouble.

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/june-web-only/sex-offenders-groom-churches-too.html

hamblepants
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hamblepants

Response:

First, some facts:

MMOs like FFXIV are online communities as well as games.

People value their game time, often to a high degree.

People value their reputation in communities. This includes online communities.

Every community has leaders. This can be for formal reasons (guild leader, owner/editor of a website, moderator on a forum) or informal reason (charismatic person, knows lots about the game, popular or well known).

Being a leader, or even just having a good reputation, gives a player power.

Power can be used to harm people’s in game reputation.

If mostly everyone believes what I say because I’m charismatic and likeable and convincing, then I can easily ruin someone’s reputation, regardless of what they’ve done.

If you don’t do what I say, I can (the leader) threaten to ruin your in-game rep. I’ll tell people I won’t group with you. And then other people won’t group with you. You’ll be shunned by a community of people you value, in an environment you value being in.

If I get to control your reputation in a place you value, and that I have power in, then I have power over you. It’s as simple as that.

I think you absolutely can understand how this gives someone power over someone else.

hamblepants
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hamblepants

Question 1: Have you heard of abusive relationships before?

Question 2: Do you have any relationships with people in game who you don’t know in real life?

Edit: serious questions, not snark.

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BDJ

1. Not snark yet you ask this question? Abusive relationships can have a “power” dynamic ie dominant personality vs the person being abused.
A person in a position of power is way different. I think you are describing the former and not the latter. This guy wasn’t their boss was he? He just used his position within the site and the notoriety that came with it. Its not like he was their boss, blackmailing them with threats of firing them. Thats a LOT different.

2. I was a guild leader way back during the vanilla days. Ended up dating one of my guild members for a year.

hamblepants
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hamblepants

I ask that question because some people in this comments section don’t understand abusive relationships or don’t know what they are.

Do you understand why your boss telling you to fuck off is more of an abuse of power than him/her telling me (a complete stranger with no power relationship) to fuck off?

So you understand that someone in a position of authority only has power in the context they have authority in?

Oldbear had two positions of authority in that context. He doesn’t have power over you and me because you and I aren’t members of the Moogle Post community, and because we aren’t members of the guild he built with another player.

But he had official positions of authority and power relationships with other players who are members of either community.

Re 2: so that’s already something that raises my eyebrows. I don’t think there’s necessarily something wrong with dating a guild member as a guild leader, but there’s definitely potential there for abuse (I’m NOT saying you did anything abusive, just that it’s important to realize the potential is there).

Also, please keep in mind:

—-

You can ABSOLUTELY be an abuser based strictly on informal power from being charismatic, knowledgeable, well liked, effective, “an expert”, anything that gives you higher social status.

So that’s two different possible types of abuse this guy could have used (formal power-based and informal power-based), in two different communities he had power in (the website and the guild(s?) he built).

hamblepants
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hamblepants

@Eamil (in response to Alex Willis’s closed thread):

———- your initial post: Eamil

This isn’t the place for that discussion.

This is an argument I don’t consider unreasonable, and you’re the first person to make it that I’ve seen.

By having a discussion that’s based on harm with no power differences in a post ABOUT harm WITH power differences, people are trying to pretend the problem the article is about doesn’t exist.

Not everyone sees the same issues in the same light. That doesn’t mean they’re deliberately minimizing those issues, and yelling at people for not having the same understanding of what the problem is and how to deal with it isn’t an effective way to convince them that they’re wrong.
Eamil

——— My response

Firstly, this discussion is about abuse of power and abuse of vulnerabilities. This is a fact. Not an opinion.

So here’s the issue. There’s three groups of people who are relevant here:

1) people who don’t fully understand what’s going on here (lack of familiarity, didn’t read all the details) and hence have a different view of what this is about. Once they read enough and think enough, they will see what this is about.

2) people who know what this is about who are consciously know they are trying to shift the goalposts of the discussion to erase the “abuse/power difference” part. These people are consciously manipulative.

3) people who are unconsciously trying to ignore reality and are NOT consciously aware that their discomfort with the discussion is making them try to erase the “abuse/power difference” part. Still manipulative, less conscious about it.

About group 1, you’re definitely right. Yelling at them is not going to convince them they’re wrong, and really that lack of understanding is not a terrible error to make – I misunderstand things all the time, or read things at a glance and don’t fully grasp what’s being discussed.

The thing is, it’s not easy at first-glance (or first-post) to separate group 1 (not enough info) from groups 2 and 3 (manipulative).

Both groups 2 and 3) are absolutely doing something harmful. And my only way to sort 1 from 2+3 is to make strongly worded posts that invite people to respond, so they can “tilt their hand” and give me (and everyone else) more info about which group they belong to.

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Eamil

You seem to assume that anyone who does understand that a “power difference” is involved should by necessity agree fully with your opinion that this automatically means the victims have no agency whatsoever, which is the impression I’ve largely been getting from your posts and not something I personally agree with. It’s not as black and white as “one has more power than the other therefore there is no way out of that situation and no way to keep from getting into it.” Sometimes that IS the case, sometimes it’s not.

I have a feeling you’re going to lump me into your group 2 based on that opinion alone, but this entire mentality that anyone who doesn’t see perfectly eye to eye with your view of how to handle abuse must necessarily be acting in bad faith isn’t at all reasonable.

hamblepants
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hamblepants

Also I already said I acknowledge there are people who good faith disagree with me, you seem to have missed that.

Edit: FWIW I don’t think you’re one of the ones posting in bad faith. Lemme know if you want to Discord chat about it.

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Eamil

That actually is good to know, and I appreciate the level-headed responses. I stopped reading these comments because I was getting too frustrated with the way some others have been handling disagreement.

hamblepants
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hamblepants

You’re making the error of assuming I’m talking about all people who the abuser tries to impact. I’m talking about the people where he was successful, i.e. agency from them wasn’t enough – that’s why we’re having the convo.

hamblepants
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hamblepants

Not lumping you in with them because youre not doing the same thing as them.

The thing is, you’re not wrong that people have agency and can decide to hit ignore button or block or whatever.

The point is that this discussion is about people where having agency *wasnt enough* to avoid getting pulled into that kind of shitty behaviour.

So in general, yes, agency can prevent this. But this happened because agency on its own wasnt enough, this Oldbear person’s power overtook that agency.

The problem isnt acknowledging that people have their own will. Its the way people are using that as a way of suggesting that *these particular women* are equally responsible for what happened. And people are genuinely doing that in this thread. And its fucked. And wrong. If you’re one of those people, stop it.

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Eamil

“Agency wasn’t enough” implies that there was no way out and no way they could have avoided being in that situation in the first place.

For them and their specific circumstances, knowledge, experience, maturity, etc. that might be true, BUT if they had known more about red flags to look for, ways to avoid getting in so deep, etc. then they could have dodged the situation, or gotten out of it sooner than they did. Your assumption is that his power negates agency completely, and I just don’t see that as the case. The problem is one has to understand their situation and their options. There are reasons they were vulnerable to that type of manipulation, but not all of those reasons were things completely outside of their control, if they’d been properly “armed.”

That doesn’t mean it’s their fault – on the contrary, it means that as a society we need to do a better job of teaching people to recognize and avoid or escape abusive situations, so that they’re better “armed” against abusers – but that job is made much harder when even casual discussion of the topic is considered harmful. Some people ARE posting as though their situation was their fault and they should have known better or some shit, but there are also those whose opinions line up with what I’ve expressed here, and those people DO get lumped in with “victim-blamers,” and that’s the part I take issue with, because examining what leads to abuse is how we determine how to prevent it. And no, some randos on the internet aren’t going to solve the problem, but that doesn’t mean our fumbling towards an answer won’t help someone reading.

hamblepants
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hamblepants

Bottom line (Im assuming youre doing the first one):

If you’re saying it’s valuable for people with both kinds of vulnerabilities to learn skills to be less vulnerable, then I agree. Ive received tons of help and support and love thats built my skills at setting boundaries, and thats absolutely valuable.

If you’re implying, thinking, suggesting that any of that means that less effort should go to finding and shutting down abusers, then you’re dead fucking wrong.

But like I said, Im assuming you’re doing the first one.

hamblepants
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hamblepants

Theres also skills that people with boundary vulnerability can learn to improve our self worth, manage our anxiety, improve boundary setting – whatever needs enhancing to make us less vulnerable to abuse. Im in favour of us continuing to learn those skills too.

HOWEVER: people who abuse power over us to take our basic power STILL need to be managed, and solutions ABSOLUTELY need to be focused on stopping them.

hamblepants
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hamblepants

For clarity, ill boil this down to two vulnerabilities: knowledge-vulnerability, and boundary-vulnerability. This is an oversimplification to make a point and to not be here all day.

Knowledge-vulnerability in this case is someome who has vulnerability to abuse only because they dont know how it exists, or how abusers work. As soon as they realize that theyre dealing with an abuser, they’ll shut off communication with him. This person is reasonably good at setting personal boundaries, and at knowing when a relationship is bad for them. As soon as they’re set up with practical knowledge of how to spot and confront/shut down abusers, they’re good to go. Because they know how to set boundaries.

these people will benefit from the kind of suggestions you’re making. For most of my life, I have not been one of these people.

That means that the suggestions you’re talking about *are* worth discussing in general, because theres an audience of people (ppl with knowledge-vulnerability) who will benefit from hearing the suggestions.

Then there’s people with boundary-vulnerability. These are people who may have trouble saying no. We might assume that when something’s gone wrong, it’s automatically our fault. If someone is mad at us, (in our heads) its cause weve done something wrong. We’re unwilling to believe we’re being bullied, even when it’s clear to others that’s the case. Our insecurities make it easier for clever manipulators to act out abuse on us. It doesn’t really matter what knowledge you share with us about how to stop abuse, because it’s not lack of knowledge that gets us into these kinds of situations. This is the type I’ve been for most of my life, and am trying to work my way out of it. We might have low self esteem or doubt ourselves constantly. Or be highly anxious or have attachment anxiety. Theres more, and it doesnt have to be all of these, maybe just a few of these traits. What we need isnt knowledge, it’s greater self worth and intervention from ethical people with more power to stop this kind of thing.

So it’s possible that some of the women Oldbear abused only had knowledge-vulnerability. But its pretty obviously the case that at least some (probably most) of the women who lived through the worst of the abuse have boundary-vulnerability.

So if people come into the thread and say: “we need a two pronged approach to get information and education out there, and to set up systems to make it safer for people who arent good at setting boundaries with bad people”, then thats one thing.

But thats not what most people im arguing with are saying. What theyre saying is either (paraphrasing obv.): “All the women were just lacking knowledge, so its really just a matter of informing people how to deal with this problem” or “these women have agency therefore theyre equally responsible.” Both of which are wrong.

Re: his power completely negated their agency – it was enough to get enough trust from them that he could get information from them that allowed him to blackmail them.

Im not saying that awareness campaigns are a bad idea. Theyre a good idea. They are already happening and they are preventing people with knowledge-vulnerability from getting pulled in to some of these situations. I’m in favour of that.

What the problem is: people continue to use that as a red herring to pretend the boundary-vulnerability-based abuse isnt a problem with a different solution..

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Bruno Brito

I’ll just leave this here:

It’s a life lesson to me, when the people who said “never trust anyone on the internet, evur” are the exactly same kind of people i wouldn’t trust the distance i could spit.

Eye-opening.

Alex Js.
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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Js.

Never heard about TMP and the “Oldbear” character before but it’s sad that there are manipulative assholes like this in this game (this is not the only instance of such behavior – I play on Faerie server/world, I’ve heard of somewhat similar thing going on from one of the players there, long before this “Oldbear” thing)…

And yes, personally I’d never allow the situation to progress to such point where I would be sending nudes to some virtual person or do other stupid stuff involving money or meeting with someone like that, unfortunately there are many extremely naive people who would do these things, especially under certain circumstances (such as being emotionally vulnerable after certain major event), and it is NEVER ok to take advantage of them in any form. Hopefully SquareEnix (and other game developers) will try to protect such extremely naive persons better – perhaps put more appropriate warnings in the game or properly investigate and ban (after gathering sufficient evidence, of course, including chat logs/screenshots) such manipulative abusers/stalkers more rapidly…

hamblepants
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hamblepants

See, now this is the kind of thing I can get on board with. Acknowledging that it wouldn’t happen to you (“I’m not vulnerable to this problem”) is MILES AWAY from “this problem doesn’t exist here” (which seems to be what a number of people in this comments section are saying).

hamblepants
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hamblepants

@Goettel:

“Goettel

“The issue is that Bill uses that reality to take away even more of Scarlett’s power, to the point of causing real harm.”

Could you clarify: what is it exactly that Bill is taking away? In my view, Scarlett Johansson played her cards against Bill, and both won. Power play with high risk and high potential payoff. It takes two to play.

As for your definition of power, we can at least colloquially agree on 1) and 2).”

Cause apparently you locked the thread?

– “could you clarify: what is it exactly that Bill is taking away?” Yes, I will do that: Bill uses his power to get a woman (taking out Scarlett’s name so it’s clear this is an example) to have sex with him, even though she doesn’t actually want that. That’s basic power 1) getting to choose what happens with your body.

Re: “Scarlett Johansson played her cards against Bill, and both won. Power play with high risk and high potential payoff. It takes two to play.” What are you talking about? The only issue here is that Bill used his power to take away someone’s basic power over their body. And that’s not okay.

Mostly-unrelated: why do you not agree that basic power includes power to meet your basic needs?

hamblepants
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hamblepants

For anyone who is unclear, power is just the capacity to decide what happens to you, and to decide what happens around you.

hamblepants
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hamblepants

How do so many ppl on MOP not understand that power differences completely change the situation, and completely change any possible solution?

Really? How do you not know this? I assume you are adults? Are you adults?

Edit: Serious question – not meant for snark. How do you not know this? Have you seen no signs of this? Have you never been taught this directly by bullies, or by witnessing bullies or abusive people? Have you led a life where you’ve never been exposed to that? If so, why are you ignoring what people are telling you about power differences?

Kevin McCaughey, you worked in an area where people were living with the effects of a power-difference-relationship with an abuser. How do you not know about power differences? How were you able to do meaningful work without understanding that fundamental reality about how people interact with each other? I genuinely want to know.

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Eamil

Have you ever noticed in your dealings with other people that someone will come to you to vent about a problem and you’ll state a simple, obvious solution and then they won’t do it because their problem is more complicated than that in ways they can’t or don’t want to express to you?

It’s kind of like that, but on the Internet. It’s easy to say what a calm, rational person should do in a situation, so a lot of people bring that up because we here in the comments section just have to share our opinions, but one of the tactics of an abusive person is to make sure their victim can’t make decisions calmly or rationally; to keep them from realizing they need to get out.

I don’t think that means it’s a bad thing to discuss those “calm, rational solutions” though. I feel like conversations on this topic tend towards weird extremes, and the opposing extreme is implying that victims have no agency. It makes it hard to have a conversation about recognizing what leads victims to feel like they have no way out of their situation, and whether or not that’s actually the case, because even reasonably-worded posts trying to examine what happened and how it could have happened differently tend to get lumped in with victim-blaming.

hamblepants
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hamblepants

Here’s a paraphrased Einstein quote. I’ll return to this later.

“If I were given an hour to save the world, I’d spend 55 minutes defining the problem, and only 5 minutes finding the solution.”

Okay.

Now.

Let’s make this completely clear:

the problem the article is about has three parts:

1) an abuser with more power than the person they act toward.

2) a person living with the abuse who has vulnerability to that kind of act.

3) the act creates real harm for the person living with the abuse.

And here’s two problems with the some of the solutions people are posting:

A) they ignore either 1) or 2) or both of them.*

B) by ignoring those, they shift people’s understanding of what the problem actually is, from something that is true (1-3 are true) to something that is not true.

Now, I do agree that it’s worthwhile discussing how to prevent harmful acts (criteria 3 is met) in situations where criteria 1 and 2 aren’t the case. But NOT in a thread where 1 and 2 clearly ARE the real and happening.

You know the quote from Marshall McLuhan where he says “the medium is the message”? If the medium you’re posting in is a thread where power-differences and vulnerability ARE REAL and you’re providing solutions whose basic assumption is that they’re NOT real, then your message is clear:

Ignore reality, pretend 1) and 2) don’t exist here.

By proposing solutions that pretend power differences and vulnerabilities don’t exist, people are choosing to wrongly define the problem.

THAT’S my problem with people posting these kinds of solutions in THIS thread.

*anyone who is ignoring 3) is creating a whole other can of worms that I won’t go into here.

Reader
Bruno Brito

This is beautiful.

Can i post a TL;DR?

“Don’t advice if you don’t understand the circumstances. We don’t care about what you think and lived, and i’m sure, neither the victims.”

hamblepants
Reader
hamblepants

Honestly, I think some people are just bad at managing the empathy they feel, and because they can’t process that, they need to convince themselves and others that the thing that caused that empathy-pain didn’t happen.

Which is pretty selfish.

We should get better at managing our emotions, including empathy-pain.

hamblepants
Reader
hamblepants

Thanks.

TL;DR for me is: if you’re in a forum that’s discussing abusive online relationships, and you’re posting solutions to other problems that aren’t relevant to abusive relationships, then part of what you’re doing is trying to convince people that “abusive relationship” isn’t part of the problem.

Which is wrong, and quite possibly a lie (i.e. something done on purpose.)