Re: Definition of Bullying
From: Joseph Wheeler (
Date: Fri, 18 May 2018 17:10:33 -0700 (PDT)
I had to read Sharon's email a few times and I'm still not totally sure of
the point, but I think she is saying that efforts to address bullying or to
overemphasize its impact could undermine our efforts to foster a diverse
community that is inclusive of all personality types, including bullies.

To that I say: Yes! We should encourage and embrace many kinds of diversity
and foster open and honest sharing of a wide range of opinions, but I
wholeheartedly support efforts to demand respectful behavior as a condition
of participating in consensus-based decisionmaking processes and to exclude
people who demonstrate a pattern of abusive behavior. Failure to do so can
make it very unpleasant for everyone involved and, more importantly, can
cause some members to withdraw or stop participating all together. A
process that prioritizes the interests of the abuser over the abused and
continues after some members withdraw to avoid the abuse is not a true
consensus process.


Joseph Wheeler
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC

(Best practice: When sending emails to listservs, avoid racially
inflammatory signature lines.)

On Thu, May 17, 2018 at 12:53 PM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]
> wrote:

> > On May 17, 2018, at 9:22 AM, Alan O via Cohousing-L <
> cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
> >
> > Bullies / violence perpetrators are adept victim-blamers and skillful at
> turning conflicts around by victimizing themselves.
> My concern in the discussion is that the use of the word “violence"
> describes physical and extreme emotional abuse, but many if not most
> instances of bullying are much more subtle. The teacher who repeatedly puts
> a student down, the board that doesn’t listen to women, the verbal child
> who twists words.
> When we go to extreme language we miss the less extreme instances. I have
> a similar fear with “sexual abuse.” When everything becomes an imprisonable
> offense, the offenses are less likely to be reported. It isn’t the adult’s
> actions that destroyed the family, or the child’s reporting it. It’s the
> reaction of society.
> Except that no one has yet found a Republican or at least a conservative
> one, efforts to pick perfect people haven’t made cohousing perfect — nor
> should they. Remember diversity? Do we just want to keep “them” out or do
> we want to work with it.
> Sharon
> ------
> Sharon Villines
> If brown, black, yellow, and red, are derogatory, why isn’t white?
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