There’s a bit of a backstory to this…
So, there is a group in my town that runs social events, kinda like speed dating. In order to buy tickets you must sign up to their forums, which I did. I introduced myself and said if anyone was interested to message me (bad idea ). A person did, and initially I was very enthusiastic but as the guy and I chatted he hit several of my red flags. This included being very pushy (ie messaging too often), ignoring not subtle hints that I was too unwell to chat much, messaging random shit about his work but not actually saying “hey, how are you?”, being overly familiar very quickly, things like that. I ended up telling him thanks but no, and he responded pretty passive aggressively. He came off as bitter and rather lonely (which I kinda empathise with), and I was aware he was striking it out elsewhere. I ended up avoiding one of these social events because I knew he might go and didn’t want to deal with either awkwardness or potential hostility.
Come back to the forums: he posted a personal ad there, but wasn’t getting any interest. A few members of the forum came in and offered (to be fair, unsolicited) advice on improving the ad. This resulted in well-meaning but somewhat critical posts about his attitude, and well, he didn’t like that so threw his toys out and deleted his profile and comments and said he was done with the whole dating thing.
I watched this unfold and thought “bullet dodged”. This was a forum that encourages self development and taking feedback as a way of being a good romantic partner so seeing someone I already felt creeped out about also be unwilling to take polite advice on how they might be coming off… It also made me relieved that they left because I super wanted to go to these events and not have to worry about bumping into him. I just brushed it off as yet another encounter with a creep.
Case closed right? Well, I come back to the forums to see the moderators have now posted a response to the whole thing, suggesting that the kerfuffle should never have happened, annoyed that the group has essentially ostracised someone, that the ‘cause’ is about privilege and bias, felt criticised for trying to be inclusive (that is, they stood up for the ‘white cis man’), and generally said that if anyone disagrees with their policy to leave and/or shut up.
I’m not happy about any of that. Ignoring the cult-like suggestion that people should just shut up, I guess I missed all the behind-the-scenes conversation… and that these people obviously don’t know what I know, which is that this guy was probably a creep anyway.
AIBU for wanting to say something about this guy’s behaviour to me, and to point out that their ‘inclusivity’ is counter to what they say they are for which is fostering a safe environment for people to meet?
I still want to go to the events - kinda, my interest is waning the more I think about this response. I’m less interested in becoming part of what is increasingly coming off to me as a clique with organisers that have very particular ideas of how members should approach things… Part of me wants to just ignore it, move on. Part of me thinks “why are they defending this guy?” They clearly don’t know, and I don’t want them to somehow make room for this guy to return while putting others at risk.
More than that, I’ve already had one run-in with the moderators, and I’m not keen on marking myself even more for being a PIA. I don’t agree with all their rules, but I abide by them since they run the site. The events are what I care about, and I already decided I just won’t use the forums anymore… but this particular moderator response to what was essentially a bitter guy getting defensive about his attitudes is… really annoying to me. The mods have decided that he was picked on because we’re generally meaner to cis white dudes these days, but from my point of view, he was very gently and with empathy given feedback and he was the one getting cranky about it because he was already that way… which was clear when he was talking to me.
AIBU for thinking the mods are out of line? Or wanting to say they’re out of line?