What I had to write to a friend in board gaming

Let’s say there is some very real poor treatment of and statements made to women and minorities in board gaming. I’m not arguing it’s pervasive or overwhelming. Let’s just say – on some level it exists…it does happen. And let’s say some people do have an agenda and they escalate individual incidents beyond necessity. I’m not saying that’s true – but let’s just say it.

Can you see how responding to voiced concerns with “well, I’ve never seen it” as a way of dismissing those concerns does so much damage to the people who try to raise their concerns and share their experiences? Can you see how “victim mentality” and “stirring the pot” creates an environment hostile to people looking for support and help in dealing with negative things that happen to them? Can you imagine how “you’re not making the argument/complaint the right way” can be taken as a way of recrafting the situation or minimizing it?

And yes – I also understand that crying wolf at every slight can degrade the ability of significant issues to be heard and treated with the gravitas they deserve. But that doesn’t mean these things don’t happen. It doesn’t mean a problem doesn’t exist. And it doesn’t mean people get to say “well, THAT was blown out of proportion/context, so none of the examples are valid.” And, a thoughtful adult, who cares about their friends who are saying “these problems exist!” will make the effort to find out more.

Of course, if you don’t think a problem exists…if you think the many voices speaking up about it are all just a “vocal minority” that you can dismiss… Then, clearly, there’s no conversation to be had.

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