All-Inclusive 101November 21, 2019
all-inclusive /ɔːlɪnˈkluːsɪv/ adjective
- including everything or everyone.
- “an all-inclusive holiday”
- “all-inclusive” involves all majority and minority groups of individuals irrespective of venue, race, age, gender, disability, mental health or sexuality.
Easiest Way to be Inclusive
Everyone is allowed their own style of pup play, but when you impose a set of values and morals without their consent then you are being not only toxic, but not inclusive as well. Our community has evolved into this super-eclectic bunch where diversity and inclusivity are cornerstones of our community in the 21st Century.
Myths of gay-male-centrism and origin myths of gay leather scene have been readily disproven and the community has spoken; it would rather being an all-inclusive family than prescribe to a set of rules. The only “right way” for you is “your way”
Creative Reminders and Ideas to be Inclusive
- Run Safe-play Pup Play workshops for sex worker support groups
- Sex workers are at risk of all kinds of abuse and assault and if we try to help support groups understand what our fetish is in a safe and healthy way, it can give them the tools and knowledge to make things safer for them.
- This advice can apply to so many kinds of social support groups outside of local PAH’s, other fetish-focused groups, trans support groups, BDSM business etc. If they’re willing to listen, there is no need to exclude them. We can set a great example to show the support that’s available when you include everyone in the dialogue.
- Do you support non-english and non-US centric language options?
- Myth: If you support a “male-only space” you are not being inclusive. “Kinda False“
- Excluding safe spaces/ trans-only support groups/female focused BDSM groups etc, makes you not inclusive, if you are avoiding a demographic, you are not being inclusive. (See the inclusivity Paradox below)
- Please note I am not talking about toxic or self-privileged male-only spaces (I’m not promoting these male only spaces, they are just a really good example for how this myth is kinda true as well) There is no need to be inclusive to those who don’t wish to be.
- “Marginalised people deserve safe spaces where they don’t have to worry about abuse and oppressors” excluding these safe spaces because they exclude a demographic does not mean we should punish them for it. You cant have a hug without overlap, so why not overlap our inclusivity by supporting these safe spaces? When I was setting up the Australian pup and handler contest, I approached a few trans support groups and asked them if they have any ideas on how to make sure I can make the event as supportive to trans members as possible, the beaming smile I got for just involving them was priceless.
- You choose how you want to help the community. I got alienated from my local pah group while trying to focus on newcomers and the broader puppy community outside of my local pah at the same time and I feel it needs to be said, you are the one who chooses how you want to help the community. At the end of the day, if people don’t like what you are wanting to do in the community, they wont attend or participate, no ones forcing them to be there after all.
- If you want to focus on creating resources for just the online community? go ahead!
- Just want to focus on your local PAH? sure!
- Want to create events for existing safe spaces? Why Not!?
- Want to create new safe spaces for newcomers? Sure! No one owns territory.
- Want to create new events? Do you have to ask?
Ways To Make Sure You Are all-inclusive
- Ask yourself, “am i excluding, avoiding, ignoring a demographic or safe space?”
- Excluding a toxic individual doesn’t make you not all-inclusive, it simply means you are being protective of others and yourself. They will play the victim card, they will cry foul play with censorship, they will excuse their actions on their mental health or dependencies. But if they’re refusing to not alienate, be transphobic, ignore consent, body or kink shaming or any kind of -ism and -phobia then you are perfectly allowed to block and ignore said person.
- Body shaming goes both ways. No one is entitled to shame someones body, lifestyle or kinks. For example, people that are fit or gym-goers are not shallow, and larger people aren’t lazy. As long as the person is healthy and not running their body into the mud, there’s no reason to worry or impose your assumptions on others.
- Avoiding neuro-divergence in the community is a stupid idea. 40% of the community reported to have a mental health diagnosis and 89% have reported that pup play improves their mental health. Avoiding or ignoring to support people with neuro-divergence, from autistic spectrum, to PTSD, or sensory overload. Are you truly being all inclusive if people suffering cant be accommodated at events or groups?
- Overlap with marginalised safe spaces is a great way to make sure your project, group or venue is being as supportive and inclusive as possible, reach out to those groups, offer to help and/or invite them to the discussion table.
- Give someone the opportunity before passing judgement. Has someone created an event that no blind pups can get to or be safe in? speak up! (and you can speak up about supporting minority groups you do not identify with as well) There is so many kinds of people in the community, it can get pretty confusing on how to support as many people as possible, there is bound to be something that is fallen through the gaps and that is okay, we are human.
The Inclusivity Paradox
Excluding people does not mean you are not inclusive. Inclusivity follows the same paradox as the intolerance paradox. Click here to read more on Wikipedia
In essence; if we do not exclude those persons and groups who are toxic and breed exclusion of others for the betterment of themselves, then all this hard work to make our community a safe inclusive space can fall apart.
How to Tell Someone’s being all-inclusive?
- Do their actions match what they say? Its easy to say you are all-inclusive, but do they treat demographics the same way as they say?
- Assume everyone is all-inclusive unless their actions or comments towards a demographic say otherwise. There’s no need to have an automatic level of distrust.
- Context is a wonderful gift. I once got accused I was sexist for personally blocking out a toxic female member in my local community (even though never told to leave the group). Now, if I excluded her on grounds of her gender, go ahead and call me not-inclusive. But cutting out a toxic vine in my life isn’t not being inclusive. You don’t need to keep bullies in your life to uphold “all-inclusive” values.
- People make mistakes. For example if someone mis-gendered you accidentally, clearly its an accident (We are human after all). But if they did it intentionally, maliciously, or derogative then they are not being inclusive. Give them a chance to correct themselves, and if they refuse, then treat them however you do with toxic people. Do they admit their failings, apologise and given the chance to improve? Then forgive, forget and move on, you have helped the world become a better place.
Final notes: I guess what I’m trying to say in the end is are we really as inclusive as we can be if we ignore or avoid existing safe spaces for marginalised groups even though those groups exclude people from them as well (for good reason, that’s why they are safe spaces) I hope there is some ideas here that ring for you and inspire to be more inclusive in this awesome community.