Monday, December 18, 2017

My take on the disruption at NVC Convention Pune Sep 2017

Hi readers, you're in for a treat : finally you get to read about something that I experienced in-the-flesh rather than another birds-eye-commentary on things far far away. This is a branch-off from another post:

Commentary on going overboard with Big Sister protectionism: Laurier case I realized this merits its own post. Still, I will recommend to readers (especially those who were present at the mentioned incident) to fully read the post linked above and watch the videos, as it has so many parallels which led me to write about it there, and it has my conceptual inferences : a birds-eye take that connects the dots. on this.

And, while it's infantile towards most readers to say this is only my personal take and there may be many more takes amongst the other 100-odd people who were there, it being so obvious since your're reading this on a bloody personal blog, I guess it still needs to be stated for the benefit of some readers who may well be infantile enough not to know that from the beginning. Ok, enough with the pre-work. Jumping in:

Disclosure: I've been avoiding putting this out there but heck that's
only causing me to try sneaking it in elsewhere, so might as well
state it. I'm relating with the above stuff because of my looking back
on and analyzing what I saw happening in the closing days of a
convention on Non-Violent Communication that happened near Pune, India
in September 2017. While I commend the organisers in their handling of
the situation, I feel one crucial factor everyone missed is the
self-responsibility part. By not expecting that of a few very upset
people, a lot of bad things happened, and a small handful of
symbolism-internalizing fully-triggered complainers were given free
license to disrupt over 100 really nice people's learning process for
which they had put in serious money and time and effort. Those who
objected to this disruption or even who got disconnected and quietly
walked out to get away from where they didn't consent to be, were
publicly judged as evil by the complainers (that should have been
identified by the organisers as the red flag that these people don't
really know their shit and shouldn't be egged on more!). I guess I
will be judged as evil too once I share this post with that community. Oh well, better to be an asshole in the view of assholes.

One more guideline about NVC shared by the trainers that got completely flouted: When giving empathy, acknowledge the feelings but do NOT acknowledge or in any way give legitimacy to the judgements of the hurt person. Because it may very well be flawed internal judgements that may be the culprit and not completely external forces. While the matter started with one person going into a total injustice perception, it spiralled out of control because the friend supposed to be giving her empathy, ended up pouring fuel over the fire and got triggered herself. And it was this "empathizer" who then went on to make it a humungous issue and got the proceedings interrupted for everyone, who actually did that thing I have mentioned below of judging everyone who didn't want to attend the damnation fest. If one of the 70-odd other women at the convention had been in that "empathizer"s place then this whole thing would have been resolved in a much better way. This led me to another inference : BFFs make poor empathy buddies. You need some kind of separation so you don't go in already biased.

Anyways the outcome of that incident was the same that we see across
all SJW incidents : Extreme demands for censorship and increased Big
Sister monitoring which obviously requires erasure of all autonomy and
freedom to be implemented and which I foresee will simply not be
sustainable for the NVC Community because it's going to cost way more
(interventionism is expensive!) than anyone is willing to pay. And at
the end of it, after the whole convention having people from multiple
nations had given them two full days to hear them out and given them
more acceptance than any rational person could have, they were STILL
complaining that they weren't given enough time, that they were still
feeling oppressed and that this was an example of oppression of women

I didn't see any gratitude on their part, and I also witnessed them
being non-genuine at various stages. Like being on board with a
translation decision in the morning and then complaining about it in
the evening and making it look like an act of injustice done by the
organizers. Like when they first insisted that this was about a
specific incident when offered (and they refused) a session on general gender issues and
later when the organizers brought in the full apology from the prime
accused and resolved many things about the specific incident, they
insisted that this wasn't about the specific incident but an issue
affecting all women (and they claimed to represent all women when we
must have had well over a dozen women right there who were simply not
on board with what they were alleging). There were several signs that
we were addressing irrational expectations (which have no limit)
disguised as unmet needs, and I felt that the trainers and the
organizers failed at noticing this little difference. And for all their talk about
gender equality, the complainers ended up basically demanding to make
it structurally impossible for men to be NVC trainers. I believe their recommendations have now been forwarded to the international body and there is a perception that "it has come from the NVC community in India, with many nationalities present" whereas in true socialism style it's just a shrill few doing it in the name of a silent and criminal-if-they-object-so-better-keep-quiet majority.

Clarification : I have no desire whatsoever to become one of these NVC trainers, so am not bitching about that, if that's the way some folks will want to spin this. I got no dog in this fight; I only attended the event on some friends' recco and only wanted to see what they got. While I find their work useful for applying at many places, I'll simply prefer letting others do the teaching the same way some people prefer letting someone else do the plumbing. I think they're on the right track but have some way to go still, esp in relation to what happened : They presently don't have an effective way of dealing with people who hijack their own language while ignoring the self-responsibility part. Basically they presently can't handle SJWs, IMHO. 

But the guy who got screwed over in this particular incident.. a popular NVC trainer in the community and whose sessions were a hit: is a great guy, is G.O.O.D at teaching NVC, was especially great at making men and the participants with very little NVC experience understand it (my buddy group had a Nepali and a Bangladeshi woman and they both loved him to bits), and was treated totally unfairly by overly triggered femi-nazis, and other people, people who have extensively worked with him and know him better, should have had his back but caved in and let it happen out of fear of being mis-labeled along with him. That too it happened in his absence in a way that he was powerless to do anything about, and I can bet that things would have gone in a completely different way had he been present and had a chance to fight the allegations contrived against him. "Hanged in the court of public opinion" is what I'll call it.

One more observation : There was a clear difference of opinions on the matter between older women and younger women, with a notable exception of one of the organisers who I'll say has won my respect for being able to see through the matter and not been ambivalent on it. She didn't have many friends among the other younger women though. Perhaps these different age groups of women ought to sit down sometime and talk to each other.

While there may be an air of seriousness about this in the mind of the reader, to me a whole lot of this was actually very funny. Especially the flip-flops there. I've found some excellent vids on the net that bring out the comedy in these matters, I'll encourage you to watch them. Like they say, the one thing every tyrant fears is the sound of people laughing.
Remy: Trigger (Thriller Parody) -ReasonTV, 2017-10-31
"Ain't No Rest for the Triggered" - Social Justice: The Musical -Chris Ray Gun, 2016-05-11

PS: SJWs : Social Justice Warriors. Look it up on that other post that this one branched from.

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