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Ostracism is evil

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Ostracism is evil is a silencing tactic that opposes any suggestion that someone should leave a community, or that other members should shun them, because excluding someone from a community is wrong. It is the first of the Geek Social Fallacies and is often rooted in the idea that geek communities are a home for survivors of unjust ostracism from other communities.

This position privileges the safety of all geeks from ostracism above, eg, the physical safety of members from an abuser within the community.


TRIGGER WARNING This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

The Great Breen Boondoggle, in which child abuser Walter Breen was excluded from a SFF event and many in his local geek community felt he'd been wronged. From the Breendoggle zine:

Thenceforth the -------- kids were under instructions to retire into their room and barricade the door with furniture whenever Walter was in the house. They did too. S----- wanted to ban Walter from the house entirely but Alva [Rogers] felt great reluctance to reject any fan[…]
And [community members] swung between two points of view. "We must protect T----" and "We're all kooks. Walter is just a little kookier than the rest of us. Where will it all end if we start rejecting people because they're kooky?" So they swung from on the one hand proposing that if Walter wasn't to be expelled, then the banning from individual homes should be extended so that club meetings were only held in such homes, and on the otherhand calling the whole series of discussions "McCarthite" and "Star Chamber". "I don't want Walter around T----, but if we do such a horrible thing as expelling him, I'll quit fandom."

After the René and Readercon incident, rosefox reported being told:

I will never forget the woman who told me that Readercon could not institute a code of conduct because "fandom is the community of last resort", where people go when all other communities have shunned them, and it would be the most dreadful thing in the world to be kicked out of fandom and have nowhere else to turn.

This was also discussed on a Readercon 24 panel in 2013.

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