Anyone got a spare rhino hide lying around?
Because sometimes, I think that’s what I need in order to survive FetLife.
Yeah, this is drama. I’m venting here. So if you don’t want to read any further, I understand.
Toward the end of last week, I posted a bit of writing on Fet, along the same lines as part of what I posted here a week or so ago. It was about identifying as a spanking purist, and how I was reclaiming the term. As before, I was very careful to explain that I didn’t mean it to sound elitist or exclusionary, or that I was better than anyone else. I simply was trying to express that spanking is pretty much my only fetish, and I didn’t want to be judged for it.
The post got a surprising number of “loves,” and a lot of comments. The comments fell into two categories: the first were people who wholeheartedly agreed and were basically saying, “Hear, hear, me too.” The second were those who didn’t care for the term, took exception to it for one reason or another, and who patiently and respectfully took the time to explain why they didn’t like it. Both types of comments were welcome. I was hoping for some lively discussion on this, and I got it.
Last night I came home from John’s and found several more comments on the post, but still, things had remained adult and peaceful. Wow, I thought. Is this really FetLife? I was so stoked that everyone had been so awesome. And maybe I really did need to rethink the term “purist,” if it bugged so many people I like. One person said he completely understood what I meant, but the word still pissed him off. I get that; after all, I have my own knee-jerk reaction to the word “evolved.” I can learn something, too.
I spoke too soon.
One of my friends had written her own post, a sort of counterpart to mine, explaining why she was uncomfortable with the purist thing. No problem; she didn’t attack me. She sent me a private message to let me know she had no issues with me or what I’d said. But then, a woman who, last year, decided that she hates me and has been sniping at or about me on Fet ever since (after she unfriended and blocked me), came on, said she loved my friend’s post, and then went on to pretty much call me out. Viciously. No, she never mentioned my name; she just said “that person” and “SHE” and “HER,” with contempt dripping off her words. But it was crystal clear she was talking about me; everyone knew that. And then she said that anytime in history where people used terms like “pure,” they generally ended with some sort of ethnic cleansing.
Ethnic cleansing???? Oh, no, she didn’t. She did not go there. So now, because I used the term spanking purist, I’m a racist? A bigot?
Adrenaline didn’t just surge — it exploded. The pancakes I’d eaten hours before were flapping their jacks in my stomach. My heart was pounding and a bad taste rose in the back of my throat, so I got up to get some water. When I did, I noticed my legs felt like Jell-O, they were trembling so much. I was beside myself.
(A funny aside: Even in the peak of rage, I couldn’t bring myself to utter that one word that I so thoroughly detest, not even to myself. I, quite literally, was sputtering out loud in my living room, “That bitch! That… that c-word!! “)
And then I felt tears come to my eyes. NO, I thought. Don’t be a baby, goddammit. Be strong and face this.
My voice of reason said, “Take the high road. Don’t get down into the trenches with her.” I told my voice of reason to f&%k off. Because there’s no way I could let this stand. It’s one thing to take the high road; it’s another to sit by passively and let someone use you as a dartboard. So I went on the post and defended myself emphatically, managing to do so without name-calling. She came back and posted another pile of BS, misquoting me, accusing me of deliberately misunderstanding and then crying “Poor me.” What could I possibly have misunderstood? Her words were quite clear. Once again, I stood my ground and returned fire, saying that I was not homophobic, trans-phobic, or any other kind of phobic — except perhaps MEAN-phobic, so yeah, I found her terrifying. I also said that I resented the FUCK out of her ethnic cleansing implication.
Her final words to me were “I’m done with your ridiculousness.” So I replied, “And I’m done with your snarky judgments, and being your doormat.”
Then the private messages from friends began. Very kind and supportive messages. I was shaking so hard I could barely type, but I answered everyone. One very special woman, who was friends with both of us, let me know that she had written to my hater privately and gently, diplomatically suggested that she take 24 hours to cool off, and that I had the right to defend myself, consider how she’d called me out publicly. My friend wouldn’t tell me what her friend responded, but she did admit that it was “horrid” and that they were no longer friends; she didn’t want to associate with someone who could be so mean, who attacked people she cared about.
Oh, geeeezus. I didn’t want this sort of thing happening! It had gone too far, and I thought, oh, screw it. Know what? I’m just going to take my post down. It served its purpose, and I had decided against the purist term anyway, so it was time to end this. So, after copying my post and all of the comments and pasting them into a Word document, I deleted it, and in its place I posted a brief explanation of why I did. Figured that would help somewhat, right? Then I slept on it.
This morning, while poking around the Fet feed, I found this delightful little exchange between the OH (original hater) and a new one. I’ve copied and pasted it here, typos/misspellings intact, nothing changed — all I did was delete the names:
Hater #1: Write a post once again expressing judgey views > shit hits the fan > write follow up post saying ‘Labels are bad.’ Y’all must have your tunes on reserve cuz you change them quick.
Hater #2: But she “changed” in that five minutes! Really! Plus, mean people have been pointing out her fucked up views! Wah!
Hater #1: It’s obvious as hell what these wild out the gate ‘I’m a legitimate born this way never gonna change [insert kink label]’ posts are. Insecurity that other people are evolving in their own journeys, getting support for it, and feeling like you need to be seen. No one has patted your back lately. You want pats too! We see you. And you’re comical.
What, I’m comical now? Why, thank you. My father would be so proud. 🙂 I was tempted to break into their conversation and cheerily comment: “Enjoying your dime-store psychology session, ladies? Yup, I see you, too.” But I refrained. I simply updated my status, saying that my haters were having some bile with their morning coffee. Hey, they’ve blocked me — they wouldn’t see it. And if someone told them about it… oh well. Too bad, so sad.
I’m not made of stone; yeah, it feels sucky to know that there are people out there who think this poorly of me. But on the flip side, I got messages, I got texts, I got supportive comments, even a phone call. People told me I was a class act. One friend texted, “I’m not a purist, but I love you.” ♥
What did I learn? 1. I’m going to stop using the term “purist.” I know what I mean by it, and my friends understand what I mean by it, but it seems to be off-putting and I don’t wish to put anyone off, when I’m simply trying to define myself. 2. I have good friends (but then, I already knew that). 3. If someone pushes me, it is OK for me to push back, as long as I don’t lower myself to their level.
So, am I crying “poor me”? On the contrary; I’m quite thankful for these two bitter creatures. Why? They make me feel better about myself! C’mon, I’m the first to admit I can be a snarky, intolerant little snot. But compared to the likes of them, I’m a freaking saint. 😀
Kiss kiss! Peace out, haters.