I've worked on and followed a great number of campaigns that seek to address social justice issues. I've seen some flourish and take on a life of their own, and some flop and peter out.
I've never seen one attempt to slash and burn any and all bridges to those who should be allies in the cause. Don't get me wrong. I've seen plenty of interpersonal conflicts and in-fighting. Organizers are only human, after all, and not everyone is made to get along with everyone else.
I've never, however, seen these conflicts taken out from behind closed doors, so to speak, to be played out for an audience, regardless of its effects on the greater good of the campaign.
Until recently. Today I woke up to these bizarre screen shots sent to me by a lovely friend and ally.
I understand wanting to out people who are rape apologists and who create pro-rape content. I am not one of those people. So, what the hell is this? My only contact with RINJ was posting one time a month ago about the merits of opening conversations with people who make rape jokes to better understand why they do this and to figure out to get them to understand the harm in this behaviour. They suddenly deleted and banned me for this infraction without so much as a "We disagree on tactics, kindly don't discuss this here."
Before I was just baffled. Now I'm just pissed. This goes beyond people not knowing what they're doing. This is malicious. Still bizarre, and I still have no idea what their game is. But damned if I'm going to silently shrug it off.
"Rape Is No Joke" is a malicious smattering of childish organizers that are more interested in slandering and alienating those who are working to end rape culture than in actually doing any good.
Edit to add: Apparently I'm still not the only one running into these issues: http://bondageandflowers.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/the-rinj-wars-or-how-harassment-is-not-protest/