Here’s where you lost me: “ That’s the thing.
Jess Mahler
1

“ But you really remphazied wanting a book by and for PoC.”

Then there was a miscommunication.

What I wanted was a book for people who’d never heard of poly or non-monogamy from a range of voices discussing how and why they got into non-monogamy.

As part of that, yes, I did want POC voices because they are underrpresented. But I also wanted a lot of other voices not often represented. Sex workers, trans people, asexual people, etc. My voice is also one that’s underrepresented. Obviously a lot of people will have multiple intersections, but each individual has different reasons for wanting or being in the poly/non-mono community. It was less about an effort to pick one from each marginalisation and more about an anthology of voices talking about their personal perspectives.

And specifically it was an idea because the only intro books to poly/non-mono there are are “Opening Up” and “The Ethical Slut” both of which are written by white people and from the perspective of white folks.

But then, this was the idea I had and I was, indeed, excited about it.

But at no point did I demand to lead it. I offered to help, yes. But I didn’t have to lead it. And I was glad to give the “reins” to someone else.

At the end of the day, it was just an idea. It was a brainstorm. Literally nothing other than me asking people if they’d like to contribute was organised or happened.

“It’s not about whether or not someone was already working on the same kind of project. It shouldn’t matter whether or not someone else was already doing it. What matters is PoC spoke up to say, “You are not the right person to create a project to help PoC.””

Again, miscommuncation about the intention of the project. And I would agree that’s totally the case.

I would also agree that there would be a problem with me and me alone “leading” this project. Because not only am I white but I am not a trans woman. I am not a sex worker. There are many under represented voices I wanted to include that I have no way of representing.

I never disagreed with the idea that it’s problematic for me to run it alone. Which is why I said, multiple times, that I had no intention of being “a leader”.

“The fact that you wanted to hand off the project you came up with a PoC to take over didn’t make things better it made things worse. It said, “I, I white person, think my idea is one that will help PoC, even though there are PoC telling me to drop it, they are doing the work that they think needs doing.””

And, again, that would be true if that was what the book was for. It was not by and for POC specifically. I would never try and lead a project by and for POC. That would make no sense.

It was specifically a large number of marginalised voices.

And honestly, I’m going to disagree with you here. If someone else is ALREADY doing it, which again, I’m asking someone to point me in the direction of this project ALREADY happening which no one in the thread or even now can seem to do, then why not give them a list of people interested in what they are doing?

Like is it really me going, “You have my white approval” or me just going, “Oh hey, there was this idea for a thing I had but you’re doing the same thing. Awesome! These people showed some interest and maybe they can help more”. That’s really it. But… I said also many times in the thread I was happy to do nothing with the contributor list.

!We, as white people, don’t get to decide what work or projects will help PoC. You could have said, “you’re right, how can I help with your projects?” “

I did. That’s the thing that irritates me about this discussion. I tried very hard multiple times to apologise, to offer to help, to do SOMETHING. I was more than willing to abandon the idea, abandon what little had been done, in order to help with something similar. And yes, I could help generally with anyone’s projects. The reason I had interest in this idea (again, not about a POC specific book) was because I wanted something to give someone who was interested in poly/non-monogamy to understand it on a BASIC level but from the perspective of someone other than a white middle class person.

If I seemed dismissive of people giving me stuff POC had written it was because people were not understanding the thing that I was looking for. Michon themselves gave me stuff and I asked if it was for introductory people and they said no. So I looked for other things. That was not me going, “Oh what you’ve done is not good enough”, but rather “I’m looking for a specific thing”.

Yes, you know what, I can give someone who’s asking me, “I’m interested in non-monogamy/polyamory, what can I read about it for beginners?” a random conjunction of articles not written for a novice and meant for people who already know some basic terms or even fiction about poly/non-monogamy but it *isn’t* what they are looking for.

“You could have said, “You’re right. I think we need a 101 resource for marginalized identities, but I can’t speak for what PoC need. How about I switch my focus to a 101 resource for mentally ill poly folk, or other marginalized identities that I am part of, and I invite any PoC who are interested to contribute.” But you kept pushing that your idea should be valuable to people of color, instead of listening when people of color said, “We got this, please let us handle it.””

Again, the entire point of wanting an anthology of voices is because my voice is not enough. I wanted a variety of different people from different marginalisations to talk about poly and what they’re into. I didn’t want a 101 resource for mentally ill poly folk. That’s not what I was intending to create or what I was looking for.

But it just goes to show you how little was understood about what I was doing and why.

And I also remember discussing it with you and at no point did you say, “Hey maybe you shouldn’t lead a project by POC for POC” because if you had, I would have explained what the project actually was meant to be since that was misunderstood.

Everyone seemed fine and keen to discuss and brainstorm the situation until said white super-ally jumped in and decided to use me as their merit badge activity.

So… yeah. You misunderstood what I was after.

And at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. I don’t need to be involved in your group. I got invited without understanding what it was meant for and I’m not interested in it.

Good day.

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