Each of these points deserves its own article, but for now it’s just going to be a list.
In the culture to which I belong, the following examples are considered unkind/disrespectful without consent:
- teaching, for example:
- touching someone’s body or possessions
- sharing someone’s image, voice or words with a third party
- preventing someone from withdrawing from a situation, or, if we are in their space, not leaving when asked.
- Attempting to coerce, persuade or argue3, especially by asserting a categorical imperative or by appeal to normality
- placing the responsibility for our (or anyone else’s) thoughts, feelings or actions on anybody4
- speaking on behalf of society or any individual or group who haven’t asked us to speak on their behalf
- using gendered language to describe someone
- trying to make someone feel better
- idolising someone
- telling someone how we feel
- taking someone seriously
- casually discussing situations we haven’t personally experienced
- giving someone a gift
- emotional labour
- idle chatter
We don’t need consent for the following (we don’t consider these things unkind):
- being okay while someone else is not okay
- returning unwanted gifts
- taking good care of ourselves
- expressing boundaries
- laughter (at unkindness/lies)
If we aren’t kind, we tell the truth; revealing whatever would make us most vulnerable:
- level 0: waiting in silence for a ‘vulnerable truth’ we’re brave enough to tell
- level 1: facts
- level 2: current thoughts and feelings, for example:
- vocally reporting to person6 what we notice about them
- vocally reporting the bodily sensations, emotions and thoughts we notice
- telling person the specific words and/or actions we resent them for
- telling person the specific words and/or actions we appreciate them for
- asking for exactly what we want7
- level 3: exposing our fiction
We assume everyone knows:
- there is nothing to be ashamed of
- there is nothing to feel guilty about
- there is nothing to be afraid of
- there is nothing about which to be the slightest bit concerned
- anger is never justified
- forgiveness8 is inevitable
- there is no scarcity or lack
- separate interests/conflict is impossible
- one only ever perceives (and therefore also speaks about/advises) themself
- A Course In Miracles9 works as advertised
- an untrained mind can accomplish nothing
We don’t find the following strange or special:
- orientations other than ‘straight’
- people of colour
- ethical nonmonogamy
- Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Hitler and other historical figures
- conversation with10 and obedience to an inner guide such as Jesus
- telepathy, time travel, teleportation, telekinesis and other psychic abilities
- beings whose bodies aren’t made of matter
- arya/noble beings
Some of these norms are at least partially inspired by cultures that are popular enough to have names:
- The Work of Byron Katie
- Radical Honesty
- nonbinary/transgender culture/progressive identity politics
- consent culture
- ActuallyAutistic culture
- intersectional feminism
There is a lot of crossover between The Work, Radical Honesty and A Course In Miracles. Where they disagree (rarely and mostly irrelevantly), A Course In Miracles is favoured. I’m going to call this Truth Culture.
There is also a lot shared between feminism, nonbinary/transgender, ActuallyAutistic and consent culture. I’m going to call this Emancipation Culture. Double Union is a good example of this culture.
The average person won’t understand Truth Culture. There’s nothing in Emancipation Culture that makes them more likely to understand Truth Culture, so most people in Emancipation Culture don’t understand Truth Culture and in many cases would find it intolerable.
On the other hand, most members of Truth Culture I’ve encountered are largely uneducated in terms of Emancipation Culture.
I’m extremely pleased with this post.
Initially a lot of theoretical stuff crept into my notes because I was trying to address egos that like things explained, again. But the task of explaining is endless. Focussing only on behaviour provided a scope.
Update: I’m adding some very brief metaphysical axioms. Now, how do I talk about privilege and institutional sexism/racism etc in the context of those axioms?
Those who don’t belong to our culture may only learn from this post that they don’t belong to our culture. It’s not meant to be an actual introduction to our culture for outsiders. That would be a much longer series of posts. This is just to express the boundaries of the culture.
Weeks later I’m still tweaking this post. It’s an ongoing project.
I imagine there is an ideal culture, for which I do not yet have all the pieces. I describe the pieces I know, and only the ones that differ from the current Western culture of Earth. If you recognise this set and think you might have another piece, please let me know.
Each point deserves its own article.
also unkind is expecting someone to educate you on their identity or experience - perhaps so you can become an authority on it and start invalidating them ↩
also known as giving advice ↩
including contradiction ↩
including your own body ↩
flirting = communicating sexual or romantic interest in such an ambiguous way that we could plausibly deny we were interested ↩
whoever occupies our attention/thought ↩
without a guarantee of getting it ↩
the discovery of innocence ↩
of which Kenneth Wapnick is the greatest teacher ↩
swearing at ↩