just about ready to quit
October 31, 2011 8:18 AM Subscribe
How do you deal with the haters - especially when you're outnumbered and they've got more power than you? Anon due to possible personal/career risks.
posted by anonymous to human relations (29 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I'm involved in an industry/scene where there are very few people with a lot of power, and if you piss them off you don't really have a lot of other options. I write a blog that's part personal experience and part cultural analysis, and I often write about how our scene interacts with larger societal issues (race, gender, sexuality, etc). Locally this blog has gotten me ire, simply because I'm not a Pollyanna "wow everyone is SO AMAZING" - they tend to ignore the positive things I do write, but when I write about something being problematic they all come and accuse me of all sorts of trouble.
One of the biggest names in the industry, possibly the one with most clout, has been bullying me and power-tripping me from the beginning, mostly because I've talked about how some projects she's produced has had problems and that I'm not quick to say that she's the greatest person ever. I've talked to other people in the scene who have had similar issues with her, but hardly anyone's willing to speak up for fear of losing their career. They just choose not to work with her without rocking the boat.
Recently I wrote about an action that I felt was problematic at best, worryingly racist at worst. Like everything else I write I try my hardest to not make this a personal attack (if I'm being critical), but rather go "hey, this isn't cool, here's why, link to relevant resources, here's how it affects the rest of us". The producer got wind of it, contacted me, and is now threatening legal action.
In the meantime, word's spread about my post, and while there are a few people willing to engage in earnest discussion, there have also been people - mostly those who have other reasons to hate me - who've taken this opportunity to flame me and personally attack me. Former friends have billed me as a "drug user" (?!) to discredit my words. I can only engage so much, but at this point I feel like I'm repeating myself, trying to explain white privilege to people who just don't freakin' get it. (and then take my distance from it as more proof that I don't care.)
I've been feeling alienated from the scene for a while thanks to issues like these, and while I can usually brush off internet drama, the threat of legal action and having these people that I thought were cool with me (or at least neutral) suddenly turn against me in the worst ways is draining. This was my passion for a few years and I'd tried so hard to contribute to the community beyond the blog; yet because I dare to be outspoken about things, good bad or whatever, I'm not to be trusted or welcomed anywhere.
I feel like throwing in the towel, moving to another country, and doing something else - but I feel like no matter what I do or where I do I'm just going to run into drama. A lot of this has to do with being a minority (and the complications therein) and I feel that that's just going to haunt me for ages. I know that I'm not perfect either, but I'm trying my best to be fair both to myself and others, and right now it seems like a losing battle.
I look at people who are much more high-profile than I am, people who I know have had a lot of public disparaging (mostly because they are high-profile), and they seem to be doing OK. I may not always like them or admire them myself, but I do admire how they've managed to keep going as though no one hates them. It probably helps that they have a strong fanbase; I'm not sure I have one of those. I do have my fans and supporters, but they're more sparse and quiet (again, the "don't want to attract drama" factor) and tend to talk to me privately. This is all reminding me of schoolyard bullying, especially with Head Honcho involved, and I thought I left that behind ages ago after 11 years of actual schoolyard bullying for being a minority.
Am I just a failure as a person? The more I try to make space for myself and people like me, the worse it gets.
Will things ever get better?
Will moving help?
will quitting even though I genuinely enjoy what I do mean that they have won?
what do I do? I feel so worn, and the people who support me are all so far away.