I've long said that there is a whole lot of feel-goodery in the Drupal community. It's taken me awhile to come to appreciate this fact, but I have in my own way. When I say feel-goodery, I mean that people are, for the most part, diplomatic and patient to a fault. There is a general sense of goodwill and a whole lot of back-patting. Which is great. It's infectious.
I, however, am totally not that person. I like to think of myself as a friendly person who gives credit where it is due and typically makes a net positive contribution to anything I involve myself in; which is a decision that I never take lightly. Something I lack that many in the community possess is diplomacy. When there are names to be named, I name them. If there is something that is on the collective mind but is not a palatable thing to say, I say it. It is for this reason that I don't get as involved in the Drupal NYC community as I would like to be.
Anyone reading this post probably doesn't need me to explain what a shit show the NYC community is and that litwol seems to enjoy stirring up problems from a deep-seated need for attention or something. It bothers me deeply and I am not the type to internalize as I fear some may. I have quite the opposite reaction - I fight. And that does not seem to be a reaction that would be viewed any more favorably than the original offense.
I watch these threads happen where the need to be diplomatic, not aggressively point fingers, etc gets in the way of solving the problem. Which is fine for a first offense but not a fiftieth. I know that crossing a line and asking someone to leave a community is a problematic solution. Where do you draw the line? We are an inclusive community! But there is a silent toll being paid here. I cannot be the only person that stays away as not to get caught up in the needless drama. In fact I'd wager a good deal that I am far from the only one.
I could respect the argument that it is counterproductive to stay away. But for me personally, my beliefs about how to react to ignorant, chauvinistic people are deeper than most anything I hold dear. I, like many women, have faced enough of these sorts of people for three lifetimes. And I think we've learned something. There is no changing their minds. They don't want to view the world differently. There is no fixing those who do not want to be fixed. So why bother with diplomacy? Because we are better than that and it is the right thing to do? These things are true, the latter in an ideal world, but they are not effective. And they are driving people away from a productive but wounded community.
So, like many situations that present themselves in life, I think the community has to make a tough choice. People who feed off of attention, even negative attention, will not just walk away when they are getting said attention by the bucketful. Asking an individual to step down from leadership responsibilities is an important first step, but as long as newcomers are confronted with the attitudes that sadly exist now, the community will continue to be wounded and many will be painted with this unfortunate brush.
So, until something improves, I'm going to shake my head, ignore applicable IRC channels and make an effort to be selectively involved with positive Drupal colleagues in NYC. But it is frankly not worth it for me to cause myself additional stress to be involved. Think of me as you will.