Monday, June 18, 2018

[Drama Llama] [WoW] Why I'm no longer in ARD but still support #FriendshipBirb

Warning -- this is gonna be freaking LONG.

This is a two fold story.

ARD (  <A Reddit Dystopia> ) is a very large World of Warcraft community. They have (last I heard) 14 raid teams. (Some are on hiatus)  I was on one of the mythic raiding team  It was a little bit frat boy at times, but nothing a girl who has gone through high school isn't used to ignoring. Microaggressions not Big Huge Honking Deals. In a community that is probably 50% female, there's a couple of teams that have a very low female population or no females at all.. and some that are over 75% female. This was the former.  For a month or two everything was good enough, but then we inherited some players from another team in the community. The players came from a team that had zero females on it and it quickly became apparent why.

One of the individuals was a misogynist who went way out of his way to piss off the females of the group. When one of us finally just snapped and yelled at him he went even further out of his way and made her the butt of every single "joke" he was making. We bitched to the team leader, team leader eventually yelled at Jerk, Jerk didn't stop he just became more sly.  This went on for WEEKS. The sticking point for me was at one point he said there's all these high school teenager cheerleaders in town and they're hot. To which I, and Lady #3 both said "EWW! They're kids!!" to and then he said "It's their fault for being sexy." Comments like "old enough to bleed, old enough to breed" went under the raider of the men on the team, apparently 15 year old girls are hotties and it's their fault did too.

So Jerk was targeting Lady #2 and I finally had enough and snarled at him. He snarled back with yet another shot at Lady #2. Officer or Team Leader (I don't remember which) said "Take it to DMs"  I really should have just tossed in the towel at this point and walked from the team and told the lone female officer in ARD as to why. (I didn't mostly because I find her intimidating as *&@#.) If I'd remember the world's nicest person was also an officer, I probably would have gone to him. Anyway, I didn't quit, which was my first mistake.  Jerk sent me a DM calling me names and I (stupidly) replied back that I don't really give a crap what pedophiles have to say/think and promptly blocked him. He then copy/pasted that to our Team (non-ARD) Discord publicly, which as you can imagine caused Even More Drama.

I got asked by two people "WTF??" and so I explained the above. Unfortunately, one of those is a RL friend of Jerk. (Mistake #2.) I'd already sent all of the story (in three point harmony) to my Team Leader.  Four days of silence. Then one hour before raid the Team Leader kicks me for causing drama. Eh, he wasn't wrong, but him actually Doing Shit would have been nice. I get invited immediately back to the team I was on before I took a vacation.  I figured that was the end of it.

No such luck!

Jerk decided that since he also got kicked from the team, he would make my life as much of a living hell as he could. So I get contacted by an ARD officer and asked "WTF Rhas??" and so I yet again explained all of the above.

Again, silence for days. Then I come back to my computer after a day out to have two messages back to back from an officer. The first reads :

Rhasody - This week we were made aware of an ongoing issue in [Your Mythic Team] involving you and [Jerk].  We spent much of Thursday interviewing members of the team about your accusations and about what happened prior to your removal from their team - yourself included. I honestly am horrified to hear that you accused [Jerk] of being a pedophile - an extremely serious accusation with real-life implications - and did not take up your issues with him to any higher power but instead went to his teammates to tell them what you thought, and posted it in your team discord, all based on a conversation no one can corroborate and that we cannot locate in raid streams. 
However - the issue is not about that conversation. It is about how you handled what you felt to be an issue with another ARD member. We have never wanted to be word police to the community and have been able to entrust raid leaders to handle issues within their own team; however, you did not take advantage appropriately of the systems that we have in place for dealing with something you considered to be misbehavior. Based on this, we are removing you from Raid Leader rank as I don't believe you show the judgement required to have that rank in ARD.

Now -- there's already some problems with this.

1) I DID take it to my team leader who should have done something and left me hanging for DAYS.  By the time it came around he wasn't going to do shit it was a bit late for me to go to the ARD officers.

2) I DID NOT post it to our team Discord. Jerk did.

3) I do not know Jerk in real life. I have no idea how it would have real life problems.  Community problems, yes, and I shouldn't have talked behind his back, that WAS my mistake and why I would not have protested losing my rank/guild position and being busted down to simple community member.

4) System in place? Hell, I didn't even know one of the officers was an officer until three months after we had a headbutt.  Near as I can tell, the system is 'If you're having problems with a team, leave.'

5) The one person who could easily collaborate the conversation was away on a cruise but they couldn't just leave me demoted and wait for her to come back, nope, because  immediately following that message I got this one from the same officer :

 I understand being a woman on a raid team full of men, trust me. There are ways to let your raid leader know when something crosses a line that maybe he doesn't understand. I don't think that is the real issue here, however. If you were uncomfortable with an atmosphere on a team, you should have left. But you stayed and generated a negative and hostile environment instead of taking your concerns to an officer and leaving the team previously. 
That's not all, though. This is not the first time we have had issues with your behavior. You have been spoken to in the past about being mean to new members of ARD. You have been spoken to about being mean to LEADERSHIP during team and community raids. 
Due to prior issues with your behavior, and this most recent occurrence which is absolutely inappropriate, you are being removed from the ARD discord and guild on Bleeding Hollow. We discussed at length whether your removal was warranted, and I believe it is. I am open to discussion which is why I sent you a friend request, but this was a decision made by ARD leadership.

So, they demote me, make a point of telling me I lose my raid and leadership and then kick me out of the community. Classy, huh?

But again -- a few mistakes here.

1) I didn't know my leader didn't "get it" until I was booted and there didn't seem to be much point in making a fuss at that point. I'm sorry my having a problem with extreme misogyny towards myself and other women from ONE MEMBER was considered a hostile environment. This seems awfully close to victim blaming. ("Yes, but if those cheerleaders hadn't been wearing those short skirts he wouldn't have found them sexy and commented!")

2) Their idea of having 'spoken to me' consists of ..

- I made a joke about "And hey, if the healers like you, you'll get healed." and lone female officer said "Hey be nice to the new people" .. I grovelled, new guy laughed and said no worries, he got the joke.  I never, ever, even joked with new people again. In any form.

- The raid leader of Afternoon Delight was away and I joked to the other leader of the raid of who would I be mean to now? The leader who was present laughed, lone female officer said in raid say "Maybe don't be mean to the leaders?" and when I told the absent leader he laughed his ass off. (They didn't ask him at any point if it was a problem. Considering he insisted I keep raiding with his team even after being kicked out of ARD, I'd say it wasn't.)

That's it. There was never a whisper, just random raid say comments. If it was an officer sending a message, it should have least been a whisper with explanation. (Even if it seemed bloody obvious.)  "Hey, maybe don't sing 'I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General' off-key at the top of your lungs during AOTC, it gives the wrong impression!")   I'm pretty simple to deal with, just say "Don't do X" and I'll stop doing X. If you leave me to be psychic or make it indirect, I won't get the message.

But overlooking even that .. The discussion excluded me. I was never brought into voice chat. I did not receive any chat messages or DMs beyond the original "WTF?" so I didn't even know directly what the problem WAS. I still don't know who sent them screenshots. (Well, I know one, but unless they're including my team leader I'm not sure how they're claiming more than that.) I don't think they get to claim "You're ruining our image!" while busy being quite negligent on their own.

So basically, instead of doing what I feel would be fair, and several others thought would be fair, which would be bust me to community rank and kick me from the guild, they went way overboard.  I fucked up, I deserved punishment but I, and plenty of others, think a certain two officers pushed it way too far.

What I find "funny" is when raid leaders asked if they could keep inviting me anyway, they were told that they could invite me to raid, I just couldn't be on the Discord. Now, this makes zero sense to me. If they're worried about my rabble-rousing and causing drama and problems, why the heck would I still be allowed to raid with community members? I still have half of the community on my BNet list and my Discord so maybe they thought I could still cause problems if I wanted. (I did not want.) I am, however, still bitter I wasn't allowed to say goodbye to the raid team I led and the officer that promised to post a message for me didn't.

So all that aside, why would I still support the heck out of the #friendshipbirb and ARD's Saturday's run? Because it's good people doing good things. I still love 65% of ARD, still like another 30% and ignore the remaining 5%. A few really shitty people doesn't ruin a community.. and they help A LOT of people. Hell, I ran 99 H Argus kills with them. I totally believed, and still do, in the carries to help people get their mount before BfA launches!

I know a lot of the fun got sucked out by the new assembly line/stream line rules that aren't getting unilaterally enforced due to cliques, but think of the happy people and bring the fun with you. Create a private text chat channel in game, invite the maniacs to it, have chaos and mayhem that isn't interfering with the Serious Business.

If for no other reason, sign up to help because it makes people happy. There's not enough nice in the world, so you should try and be nice as often as you can. An hour and a half (or even three hours!) a week can be a lot of time commitment in a busy life, I know, but totally worth it to see the thank you's in general chat and screenshots on Twitter.

And if you're as super unhappy with ARD as some seem to be, stick it out till BfA and then find a new home. It's only a few weeks and you can help get HUNDREDS of people their birbs.

1 comment:

  1. it really sucks when idiot guys get away with that kind of behavior... especially when they come into a group.