Code of Conduct Enforcement Philosophy
No matter how kind or nice people think they are, at some point, someone’s gonna say Some Shit™ and things are going to go awry. This document is meant as a writeup and guideline holding core values about what this community considers the best approach to resolving these conflicts in a kind and positive way, as much as possible. It is paired with the community’s Code of Conduct, which includes the concrete enforcement steps.
It is a living document, informed by new problems, new conflicts, and always strives to help make the WeAllJS community successful while including the voices of those who are too often not heard.
This guide is opinionated, and it considers the following to be core values that guide the specific conflict resolution procedure, and future changes to it.
- Be Kind: this is not necessarily the same as being nice. There is a justice involved in being kind. It involves genuine consideration for the situation, and understanding one’s own, and others’, roles both in this community and in larger society. It involves empathy and education.
- The amygdala makes conflict resolution hard: When a conflict starts, people often enter fight-or-flight mode, which reduces their ability to look at what’s in front of them with a kind lens, and reduces the context they’re able to reach for in order to understand what’s actually going on.
- Inaction is Oppression: Taking too long to take action when someone is hurt by default benefits the person who did harm. While it’s important to be kind, and to understand the situation, things must be handled in a timely manner, and at least some measures must be taken right away to prevent those who were harmed from being the ones who are actually punished.
- We All Fuck Up: Mistakes happen. Not everyone has had a wide enough range of cultural and personal experience to understand what is seen as unkind or outright hurtful by folks they may not have had access to. This means that it’s important to prioritize education, and conflict resolution processes that focus on improving and moving forward, instead of making examples of people.
- Intersectionality is Important: The way we related to each other, specially in greatly diverse communities, is often complex and complicated. This means that often, conflicts between people who belong to different intersections require care and consideration in handling, and being informed about those complex relationships.
- The Safety of the hurt takes priority over the Comfort of the ones causing harm.
- Trust the Ouch: It’s more likely that if someone says they’re hurt, they really are hurt, and you should listen and trust them on it, even (and especially if) you don’t understand why or how.
- Education is Emotional Labor: and the one who was hurt does not owe you an explanation or a 101. It’s ok to expect people to do their own thinking and research when told there was a wrong, and correct the behavior, instead of placing undue burden on someone who’s already been hurt or who is already frustrated with the situation.
- Support is something we can promise – not Safety: We don’t believe safety, as a general thing is something we can reasonable promise members of a community. Harm comes suddenly, often unexpectedly. Instead, we believe it’s a more worthwhile endeavor to try and prevent harm from happening through education, documentation, and policy, and build trust with the community that when something happens, they won’t have to fight tooth and nail for even basic fairness.