What Do You Do in Times of Adversity?

hp-hatp

For those unfamiliar, I’ve been a member of an amazing Harry Potter fan community called Wizard Rock since late 2005, early 2006. I wasn’t actively involved until late 2007, but that’s neither here nor there.

Wizard Rock (or Wrock) is music about Harry Potter. It doesn’t have to be “rock” music, and in fact spans just about every musical genre out there. (You can learn more about Wizard Rock at the site I used to reign over as Co-Senior Editor, the Wizrocklopedia.)

The reason I’m telling you about this is because there’s been quite the scandal in the Wizard Rock and YouTube communities lately. This scandal involves unhealthy, manipulative relationships, predatory behavior by those with power, and statutory rape (and plying with alcohol) of minors. More victims of these situations have been coming forward almost every day the past week or two and more names are being called out as perpetrators of this behavior.

Part of what makes this so confusing for members of the community is the fact that many of us have had friendships with the perpetrators for up to 7+ years. Personally, I have been friends with 3 of those accused at some point in time (and have since been more acquaintances with them) and have met, on very positive notes, at least 1 other involved. I personally have met and/or know at least 3 of the victims who have come forward and others have been indicated without names who I’m pretty sure I can identify and who were friends of mine as well.

But I’m not telling you this to get into the nitty-gritty of this scandal, but to tell you how amazing the Wizard Rock community is.

The_weapon_we_have_is_love_by_dark_fairy_76Source

The automatic response of many would be utter distrust. We could no longer trust the bands. We could no longer trust men in general. We must build a barrier between the bands and fans, between the men and women. But that lack of a barrier is what makes the Wizard Rock community so special. (This lack of barrier was covered much more effectively and thoroughly by Stacy of the band Swish & Flick.)

So how is our community responding? How are we responding to victims coming forward who, in most any other circumstances, would be called a liar, told they deserved what they got because they didn’t fight it hard enough, told that their suffering is meaningless or nonexistent? Not only are we standing strong with them, but we’re standing strong together. We are constantly reminded that the weapon we have is love. Only love can pull us through this difficult time. Only love for the victims can help them heal. Only love for the perpetrators can allow us to show them how wrong they were and how beautiful the good in them still can be.

The response from the community is not to lynch the perpetrators, but to help them understand why what they did was wrong and to remember, as a group, what good they’ve done as well. It’s to encourage them to acknowledge their mistakes to help their victims begin the long healing process. It’s to stand together as a community to support each other in this time of adversity.

As a final note, I just want to share the post from The Harry Potter Alliance regarding this situation. Remember. Stand together. Love each other. And don’t let the barriers rise.

hpashirtSource

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Comments

  1. Disgusted says:

    Yes, people should remember what good those pedophiles and rapists have done in the past.

    Fuck you.

    • I’m sorry you feel that way about my words and hope you have a chance to see this response, since you appear to have posted anonymously. (As a note, I am making some adjustments to a comment I made in a discussion regarding this issue on Facebook.)

      I believe there is some for these men to redeem themselves (at least in part – but there is absolutely no way to change what they’ve already done) for the wretched things they’ve done. I’m not saying I believe it will happen, but I believe it’s possible and lynching them won’t help them on that path. I also believe they need to accept 100% responsibility for what they’ve done, especially if it means jail time for the illegal actions they’ve participated in. This, in my opinion, can and should absolutely be part of that “redemption path” of sorts.

      Here’s one major point that we can’t forget, however. The weapon we have is love. MOTHERFUCKING LOVE. As important as it is for us to be aware of what wrong they did and to wholeheartedly be UNsupportive of these men in that behavior, it’s also important for us to BE supportive of the positive things they’ve done as well and encourage future positive action. Accepting responsibility and truly feeling remorse. I don’t know if that’s possible, as one of the victims indicated, she doesn’t think it is. Maybe, once they actually respond to the stories coming out, I will find it won’t happen. But I don’t want to give up on people I’ve seen do good as well as bad if we can move them in the direction of good. (Sidenote: I don’t for a second believe I have a close enough connection to any of these men to encourage that change actively, but maybe knowing that not everyone already believes they’re utterly irredeemable immediately will help inspire them to change and to accept full responsibility. Who knows? This is an area I feel I need to be an optimist in.)

      I don’t want you to think I want to have these men be the focus. They are NOT the focus (or mine). I 100% believe our top priority is the women coming forward (and those who aren’t comfortable doing so) and helping them heal. But I simply don’t believe in completely dropping the others when there’s a chance for change. If they can’t or won’t change, I’ll be happy to discuss it again with you and will be more apt to be of a different mind. But in the meantime, we need to stay in this holding pattern regarding them and see what they have to say for themselves and how they respond when it happens.

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