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Source: (consider it) Thread: Felbrigg Hall lanyards
mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
For there to be an argument about colour, there had to be lanyards in the first place. My specific question was whether or not volunteers could be legitimately seen as billboards.

Yes and that's an interesting discussion to have.

But it isn't the one which is an issue at this NT property.

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Doc Tor
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Indeed. The volunteers had already conceded the point.

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Gracie
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I don't really see how agreeing to wear a lanyard in general means you have conceded that you are a billboard.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
I don't really see how agreeing to wear a lanyard in general means you have conceded that you are a billboard.

I'm not sure why "conceding you are a billboard" is important in this context.

Even if you don't concede you are a billboard, you are clearly conceding that the management have the right to ask you to wear a lanyard. So if you then say you won't wear this lanyard then you are stating that there is a problem with this lanyard rather than the idea of wearing lanyards.

[ 08. August 2017, 09:51: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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Gracie
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I'm not sure why "conceding you are a billboard" is important in this context.

I was responding to Doc Tor who said "The volunteers had already conceded the point." Which seemed to be in response to my question as to whether or not volunteers could be legitimately seen as billboards.

quote:
Even if you don't concede you are a billboard, you are clearly conceding that the management have the right to ask you to wear a lanyard. So if you then say you won't wear this lanyard then you are stating that there is a problem with this lanyard rather than the idea of wearing lanyards.
I don't think you are conceding anything at all - you are agreeing to wear a lanyard, that is all. I have worn a lanyard in a lot of professional situations. There has never been an occasion that I can think of, where I have perceived this as conceding that anyone has any rights.

Yes, if you have agreed to wear a lanyard in general and refuse to wear a specific one, you are saying that there is a problem for you with wearing that specific lanyard.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
I don't think you are conceding anything at all - you are agreeing to wear a lanyard, that is all. I have worn a lanyard in a lot of professional situations. There has never been an occasion that I can think of, where I have perceived this as conceding that anyone has any rights.

So let's be clear: if you work in a school, you are saying that the fact that the management tells you to wear a lanyard is irrelevant with regard to your rights? What if you don't like lanyards, don't like the design of this lanyard, find the lanyard irritating etc?

Surely in most professional situations people wear lanyards because the management has decided that people must wear lanyards - in particular this lanyard/.

Further, if you work in a supermarket and the management tell you to wear this promotional lanyard, it doesn't matter if you don't like the idea of being a billboard, the important thing is that the management is telling you to wear it.

quote:
Yes, if you have agreed to wear a lanyard in general and refuse to wear a specific one, you are saying that there is a problem for you with wearing that specific lanyard.
OK, so why are we talking about whether can be considered to be a billboard?

[ 08. August 2017, 10:13: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Cottontail:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Yes male homosexuality wasn't legal but the rules were rather different if you had some influence ... it was generally accepted, if not overlooked (hence Tom Driberg and Bob Boothby two gay MP's). It was rather harder to be working class and gay and more likely to end up in court. A little wealth gave you the privacy and opportunity many others lacked.

The experience of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Michael Pitt-Rivers, and Peter Wildeblood suggests otherwise.

THe BBC currently has on iplayer an adaptation of Peter Wildeblood's book of their trial, Against the Law. I recommend highly both the book and the adaptation. It gives you a glimpse into the absolute terror gay men of all classes lived in.

It's a matter of class. Had they kept their relationships between themselves then it's possible or probable that nothing would have happened.

Becoming involved with Gay Servicemen, presumably from a different social "class" changed things in the eyes of a lot of people. It was all ok for many people from similar backgrounds provided you didn't frighten the horses or involve the servants.

[ 08. August 2017, 10:34: Message edited by: ExclamationMark ]

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
One of the interviewees on The Myth of Decriminalisation so post-1967, described the time when a drunken bus driver smashed into their car in the street outside. The first thing he and his partner did was make up the spare bed. Because police were known to get distracted by the living arrangements of homosexual couples rather than the issue they had been called to deal with.

That's more of an issue with the small mindedness of the Police rather than anything else. You could multiply that approach elsewhere.
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Gracie
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
OK, so why are we talking about whether can be considered to be a billboard?

It was lilBuddha that said that volunteers are billboards. That assertation surprised and shocked me. And still does. I'm still trying to get my head to accept that there are people out there, who think it's OK to treat other human beings as billboards.

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Doc Tor
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You're representing the organisation you volunteer/work for, during the times when you're volunteering/working for them.

When I volunteer at parkrun, I wear a parkrun-branded hi-vis. It has parkrun's corporate sponsors on the jacket too. I take it off when I'm done. No harm, no foul.

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Gracie
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You're representing the organisation you volunteer/work for, during the times when you're volunteering/working for them.

When I volunteer at parkrun, I wear a parkrun-branded hi-vis. It has parkrun's corporate sponsors on the jacket too. I take it off when I'm done. No harm, no foul.

Indeed. But I wouldn't consider you to be a billboard. The hi-vis you wear identifies you as a volunteer of the parkrun. No more, no less. I would be interested to talk to the parkrun organisers to see if they see you as a billboard. I doubt it.

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Baptist Trainfan
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It's enough of a billboard to say that, were you to behave in an unseemly way while wearing the hi-vis tabard (eg swearing, fighting,) the organisation whose logo it bears would take issue with you for bringing it into disrepute.
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Doc Tor
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I'd be a billboard if someone paid me to carry their logo (professional sportspeople being the obvious example). Otherwise I'm just wearing, albeit temporarily, a company uniform. If you want to complain that your postbeing is a 'billboard', then okay, but that's not a word I'd ever use in that context.

Wearing a company-mandated lanyard is not being a billboard.

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You're representing the organisation you volunteer/work for, during the times when you're volunteering/working for them.

When I volunteer at parkrun, I wear a parkrun-branded hi-vis. It has parkrun's corporate sponsors on the jacket too. I take it off when I'm done. No harm, no foul.

Yep.

I volunteer for Guide Dogs and wear their t shirts, sweat shirts and coats -'uniform', and I'm proud of it.

Yes, we represent the organisation while wearing their gear, of course. Advertising? In a way, yes - but happy to do so.

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
It was lilBuddha that said that volunteers are billboards. That assertation surprised and shocked me. And still does. I'm still trying to get my head to accept that there are people out there, who think it's OK to treat other human beings as billboards.

I see lots of Domino's Pizza human billboards like this one.

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
...I'm still trying to get my head to accept that there are people out there, who think it's OK to treat other human beings as billboards.

Good grief. Uniforms, name tags, IDs, lanyards, etc. are part of corporate branding and customer service. "Treat human beings as billboards" is a helluva stretch from the inescapable fact that an employee* - whatever they wear - represents their employer.

FFS, I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement for my last volunteer gig. What planet is everyone else volunteering on?

Anyway, excuse me. I have to put on my billboard and go to work. [Roll Eyes]


*Or volunteer, yadda yadda yadda

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
"Treat human beings as billboards" is a helluva stretch from the inescapable fact that an employee* - whatever they wear - represents their employer.

You'd better take that up with lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Volunteers are billboards, to the extent of lanyards and buttons and such.

Also:
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
an employee* (...)

*Or volunteer, yadda yadda yadda

No, not yadda yadda yadda. From where I'm sitting there are significant differences between the status of employee and that of volunteer and they are ones I get very twitchy about. I've stuck my neck out several times to stand up for volunteers to defend them from exploitative charities and other organisations treating them as employees if not indentured servants without any of the attendant labour rights (something I thought we cared about round here).

In this instance, at least in this country, I reckon I could take my employer to court and win if they forced me to wear anything qualifying as a political symbol or similar during the normal course of my duties.

The relationship between volunteers and beneficiary organisations is much fuzzier, but it's one in which the consideration of the volunteer's motivations and values are even more important than in an employment relationship.

[ 08. August 2017, 14:29: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Boogie

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I volunteer for two charities and for Church. For one I do a 24/7 and time consuming 'job', which I love. The only place I sometimes feel like an employee is Church (I'm AV person) - and I don't like it! Making sure I'm not always available cures the minister from her wont to treat us as paid employees, I find.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


In this instance, at least in this country, I reckon I could take my employer to court and win if they forced me to wear anything qualifying as a political symbol or similar during the normal course of my duties.

I think to be fair this is a difference between France and the UK. I don't fully understand it, but I think one has a lot more rights in France than one does in the UK.

In the UK volunteers are usually simply people who do things without a salary. There is no obligation to give a contract (although it is good practice to draw up a volunteer contract) and I'm pretty sure there is nothing which can be taken to court under employment legislation.

I'm fairly sure that British volunteers can have their positions removed at any time - for no reason - and basically are indeed "indentured labour", at least in the sense that they can be expected to do almost anything and not expect payment.

On the other hand a British volunteer usually has no legal obligation to the charitable organisation who they are working for, and so there is nothing to stop them leaving without notice.

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mr cheesy
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British government on volunteer rights - basically you don't really have any.

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Eutychus
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In France the definition relates more to what constitutes an employer-employee relationship.

The three pillars are: compensation, subordination, and obligations. If all three of these are present then a de facto contract of employment exists, the individual benefits from labour law, and most importantly social security contributions are applied. A lot of religious organisations fall foul of this.

A volunteer certainly has less rights in law, but since they have less enforceable rights and no direct compensation, the organisation has a moral obligation in my view to show them greater respect. If it doesn't, it will suffer and may even collapse due to high volunteer turnover.

We don't know the whole story at Felbrigg Hall, but on the face of it I would say the NT did not treat these volunteers well.

ETA in response to your post: not having any actual rights does not in my view make anyone expendable or usable at will.

[ 08. August 2017, 15:14: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
But he does not use that against against anyone.

Neither did I.

Yes you did. When a person states that their own behaviour is dependent upon another's actions, that is exactly what is being done by any normal communication conventions.

quote:

I'll leave readers to make up their own minds.

hah

quote:
She said
quote:
someone going there now will know from the lanyard or absence of it whether their guide is anti-gay or not, but on the other hand they now know they will encounter homophobes there...
I cannot make this mean anything other than what I said it means. Can you?

Certainly. It means some of those who refuse to wear the lanyards will be homophobes.

Again, I cannot read minds, but you appear to be using the escalate and denigrate tactic often used by people to avoid taking an obvious, negative position. If you mean your posts differently, it would help if you did not attribute absolutes to statements that are not,
quote:

Elsewhere it has been argued, indeed you are continuing to insinuate, that the only reason for not wearing the lanyard is homophobia.

And here you do it again. I never said the only reason. Though I will, right now, go on record to say I think that is the most prevalent reason.*

quote:
Not wearing a lanyard can only be "anti-gay" and a way of denoting homophobes? Seriously?

There are other reasons, I am waiting for any good ones.
And I am waiting for any reason why lanyard wearing hasn't been a major problem until this campaign.


*Homophobia covers the range from slight discomfort to hate. It is the word we have, get over it. Or develop your own words for the spaces between.
Homo-uncomfortable?

REGARDING BILLBOARDS:
Here is how it started.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

quote:
Originally posted by
Lamb Chopped
I am not a chalkboard to have miscellaneous political or social statements drawn upon me. (and no, I don't wear T-shirts with slogans either)

Volunteers are billboards, to the extent of lanyards and buttons and such.
Billboards are adverts. Lanyards have a secondary purpose as adverts, in the context of the NT, museums and the like. It is a common practice to issue new lanyards, buttons, stickers, etc. the advertise new campaigns, new features, etc.
Conflating this to taking away the volunteers humanity is silly.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
In this instance, at least in this country, I reckon I could take my employer to court and win if they forced me to wear anything qualifying as a political symbol or similar during the normal course of my duties.

I've tried and so far failed to find any evidence to back up my claim regarding France because all I can find is a) cases relating to religious symbols b) cases relating to employees banning rather than requiring anything to be worn. Which already tells you something about cultural differences. We're great believers in neutrality here on these matters.

In the US the picture is very different and seems to depend which state you're in. I don't have much of a clue about US law but during my search I found an article which scratches very much where I'm itching on this. It's from the American Prospect which does not appear to be a bastion of hidebound conservativism: it aims "to advance liberal and progressive goals".

The article is entitled Employer Political Coercion: A Growing Threat. It is clearly mostly up in arms about political enlistment of employees by Republicans in a way I find not only alarming but also mind-boggling from this side of the pond, but by way of balance also refers, as an introductory example of what they're talking about, to a case that is perhaps more analagous to the one in hand:
quote:
In the wake of a number of highly publicized episodes of racial violence, Starbucks executives launched a campaign for their baristas to start conversations with their patrons about race relations in America. Baristas would write the words “Race Together” on customers’ coffee cups.
The following two paragraphs from towards the end of the piece express my discomfort here pretty well:

quote:
This kind of mobilization poses a serious threat to the right of workers, as citizens, to arrive at their political views and decisions free from the undue influence of others. Coercive mobilization also violates individual workers’ rights to free speech, as they are pressured into making political statements that they may not believe but feel are necessary to appease their employers.
(…)
Resistance to political coercion is a concern common to the civil-rights and labor traditions. Efforts to curb employer political intimidation could remind Americans that the quality of democracy in the workplace has direct bearing on the quality of democracy at the ballot box.



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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Yes you did. When a person states that their own behaviour is dependent upon another's actions, that is exactly what is being done by any normal communication conventions.

Just because I feel tempted to do something does not mean I have actually done it, or that I'm going to.
quote:
It means some of those who refuse to wear the lanyards will be homophobes.
How does "will know from the lanyard or absence of it whether their guide is anti-gay or not" mean "some not wearing lanyards are anti-gay?" It means: lanyard=pro-gay; no lanyard: anti-gay. No other options are envisaged.

quote:
If you mean your posts differently, it would help if you did not attribute absolutes to statements that are not,

That statement by Louise was absolute, and so far she hasn't been back to qualify it.
quote:
I will, right now, go on record to say I think that is the most prevalent reason.
Good. That is more than Louise has conceded.

quote:
There are other reasons, I am waiting for any good ones
For now I can't put it much better than the article I've just quoted.

quote:
And I am waiting for any reason why lanyard wearing hasn't been a major problem until this campaign.
*sigh* I think we have established that the issue isn't whether you wear a lanyard, a bonnet, a boob tube, or garters. The issue is whether a participant is coerced (the American Prospect's word) into wearing a symbol that connotes to specific advocacy above/beyond/other than the usual mission of the organisation in question.

In this instance, it may be that we are shouting at each other because of the way the media has portrayed the story and both sides are taking the media's caricature as the facts. Perhaps there was a sensible discussion and an arrangement agreed, only for the NT to backtrack under pressure, not from the volunteers on site, but following the media storm. Perhaps the volunteers are all homophobes kicking up a stink. Perhaps just one was and bullied some others. We don't know.

(The one fact I have against the NT is its disingenuousness in referring to the rainbow flag as a "symbol of welcome" when the whole point of it in this campaign is to stand for LGBT+ rights. That one fact, though, puts my sympathies with the objectors for now).

But whatever the facts of this case, I deem there to be important and legitimate reasons other than anti-gay sentiment for resisting organisational coercion, and the first in-depth article I could find on it is from a progressive viewpoint and seems to agree with me. It is honest enough to want to resist organisational coercion from right across the political spectrum.

[ 08. August 2017, 15:47: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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mr cheesy
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I don't know anything much about volunteering in France, but I had heard that roles which are typically unpaid in the UK would be expected to be paid something in France. Whether or not that is relevant to what you're saying I have no idea.

But I do know a few things about volunteering in the UK, and I do know that there are various efforts to tighten up the relationship between the charity and the volunteer - including having regular appraisals with managers, having a written (and updated) volunteering contract and so on.

But that doesn't make them employees even in a moral sense. And nobody here is going to take much notice of someone who claims that the rights of volunteers are being abused - given that the final recourse of the volunteer is to quit if they don't like it.

Interestingly, the one area in law where volunteers are considered to be employees is Health and Safety.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
*sigh* I think we have established that the issue isn't whether you wear a lanyard, a bonnet, a boob tube, or garters. The issue is whether a participant is coerced (the American Prospect's word) into wearing a symbol that connotes to specific advocacy above/beyond/other than the usual mission of the organisation in question.

But once again this isn't what the Mail and the volunteers said they were objecting to. As far as I know people weren't generally objecting to wearing this lanyard because it associated the volunteer with single-sex marriage (although I strongly suspect that this was the real reason), they said it was because of the "outing" of a dead gay guy.

And it is hardly unusual for the NT to highlight a former owner of their property or to link their activities to current TV or films.

quote:
In this instance, it may be that we are shouting at each other because of the way the media has portrayed the story and both sides are taking the media's caricature as the facts. Perhaps there was a sensible discussion and an arrangement agreed, only for the NT to backtrack under pressure, not from the volunteers on site, but following the media storm. Perhaps the volunteers are all homophobes kicking up a stink. Perhaps just one was and bullied some others. We don't know.
I think it is fairly clear what has happened with the trajectory of this story and why, apparently, large numbers of NT members are resigning in protest. And that has nothing to do with outing a former owner of a property as gay and everything about elderly volunteers objecting to wearing a symbol which is vaguely and tangentially associated with SSM.

quote:
(The one fact I have against the NT is its disingenuousness in referring to the rainbow flag as a "symbol of welcome" when the whole point of it in this campaign is to stand for LGBT+ rights. That one fact, though, puts my sympathies with the objectors for now).
This is what annoys me. I think this is utter bilge.

The NT has a programme of trying to include various communities in the stories of their properties. In this season they're highlighting the facts relating to gay former owners of some of their properties.

It is exactly the same as asking volunteers to wear a symbol relating to a slavery season, or a black history season, or various other seasons that the NT has run over the years.

But somehow because this symbol is associated with LGBT+ rights - whatever that actually means today - then it is suddenly something to object to.

Are you saying that you'd object to wearing a lanyard with chains to highlight a slavery season or some symbol associated with black history? Because those things might be vaguely political?

quote:
But whatever the facts of this case, I deem there to be important and legitimate reasons other than anti-gay sentiment for resisting organisational coercion, and the first in-depth article I could find on it is from a progressive viewpoint and seems to agree with me.
There might be, but I highly doubt it. If one objected to lanyards then they could have done it at any time before.

quote:
It is honest enough to want to resist organisational coercion from right across the political spectrum.
Please never get involved in volunteering in any organisation I work for. I'm sick-and-tired of people who object to things for the sake of objecting. If you don't like it, piss off.

There are plenty of other organisations who I'm sure you can volunteer for who will not make you uncomfortable by asking you to wear a lanyard. Bye then.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
But that doesn't make them employees even in a moral sense. And nobody here is going to take much notice of someone who claims that the rights of volunteers are being abused - given that the final recourse of the volunteer is to quit if they don't like it.

In my view you have this back to front.

If one is managing somebody whose rights are not protected by law then one should be more considerate of them, not less, because they are at a power disadvantage. In particular, one should be considerate of the fact that a volunteer's investment is liable to have a more emotional component simply because there is a complete absence of financial incentive. People may well do a job just for the money, but they don't usually volunteer for something they don't find fulfilment in. So great care needs to be taken to respect them as individuals - the law won't enforce that.

Of course one can take the line "if they don't like it they can quit" but in reality, for a long-term volunteer you are asking them to walk away from a huge emotional and relational investment.

That is about the level of realism of people who look at a violent relationship and say "I just can't see why she (usually but not always she) doesn't leave (him) (usually but not always him)".

Abusive relationships thrive on the principle that people simply find it too difficult to walk away. If "if they don't like it they can quit" is part of volunteer managers' usual discourse, I'd leave sooner rather than later.

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Jerusalem is a city without walls

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
In my view you have this back to front.

If one is managing somebody whose rights are not protected by law then one should be more considerate of them, not less, because they are at a power disadvantage. In particular, one should be considerate of the fact that a volunteer's investment is liable to have a more emotional component simply because there is a complete absence of financial incentive. People may well do a job just for the money, but they don't usually volunteer for something they don't find fulfilment in. So great care needs to be taken to respect them as individuals - the law won't enforce that.

I respect your right to think that, but that is simply not how any of the organisations I've ever worked or volunteered for operate. The charity is not (usually) there to give volunteers something to do.

quote:
Of course one can take the line "if they don't like it they can quit" but in reality, for a long-term volunteer you are asking them to walk away from a huge emotional and relational investment.
Tough titty. Seriously, do you understand how much effort and management time would be needed to try to iron out every potential volunteers moral qualms about every little thing? A lot. Almost no charity has that capacity.

quote:
That is about the level of realism of people who look at a violent relationship and say "I just can't see why she (usually but not always she) doesn't leave (him) (usually but not always him)".
I'm sorry, this has nothing to do with the issue. If a volunteer is being bullied or abused during their volunteering, that's a completely different thing.

quote:
Abusive relationships thrive on the principle that people simply find it too difficult to walk away. If "if they don't like it they can quit" is part of volunteer managers' usual discourse, I'd leave sooner rather than later.
You're basically comparing totally different things for effect. Not cool.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The NT has a programme of trying to include various communities in the stories of their properties. In this season they're highlighting the facts relating to gay former owners of some of their properties.

Great. No problem. So why are they saying the rainbow flag is "a widely accepted symbol of welcome".

Why deceive about its intent, which is to show support for LGBT+? They are trying to minimise it, in the same way that people here keep saying "it's only a lanyard" (that is, when they're not saying that not wearing one means you're a homophobe). It's dishonest.

quote:
It is exactly the same as asking volunteers to wear a symbol relating to a slavery season, or a black history season, or various other seasons that the NT has run over the years.
It's not, because the rainbow flag is a contemporary symbol of a contemporary movement. A much better example would be a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, which I offered, and which nobody has commented on.
quote:
But somehow because this symbol is associated with LGBT+ rights - whatever that actually means today - then it is suddenly something to object to.
Yes, because it is a politically charged subject which is not part of the NT's usual mission.

quote:
Please never get involved in volunteering in any organisation I work for. I'm sick-and-tired of people who object to things for the sake of objecting. If you don't like it, piss off
If you were working in the US, I assume you would happily chunter off to Trump rallies if required to do so by your employer?

quote:
There are plenty of other organisations who I'm sure you can volunteer for who will not make you uncomfortable by asking you to wear a lanyard. Bye then.
For the nth time, the issue is not wearing or not wearing a lanyard. The issue is primarily, being coerced by virtue of being in a subordinate position into wearing a sign of contemporary advocacy unrelated to the core mission of the organisation, and secondarily, being branded as anti-<subject of this advocacy> if one objects.

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Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The charity is not (usually) there to give volunteers something to do.

No; it's there to organise activities the volunteers are keen to engage in. Take away the volunteers and you have no charity.
quote:
quote:
Of course one can take the line "if they don't like it they can quit" but in reality, for a long-term volunteer you are asking them to walk away from a huge emotional and relational investment.
Tough titty.
I can only hope you've never been on the managing end of a charity.
quote:
Seriously, do you understand how much effort and management time would be needed to try to iron out every potential volunteers moral qualms about every little thing?
Yes. I currently manage about thirty-five volunteers. In the space of six years I have lost one due to a difference of opinion. I see my responsibility first and foremost as caring for those people in that context, and the situations they are involved in often raise moral qualms. Some of them are more high-maintenance than others, and of course there are people looking for quarrels. A good manager knows how to spot petty issues and deal with them without it wasting too much time.

quote:
If a volunteer is being bullied or abused during their volunteering, that's a completely different thing.
In my view it starts with superiors thinking volunteers are less than human, expendable, and lacking legal protection. I have plenty of examples in mind.

[ 08. August 2017, 16:27: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Jerusalem is a city without walls

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Great. No problem. So why are they saying the rainbow flag is "a widely accepted symbol of welcome".

You really think the rainbow flag isn't a symbol of welcome? It seems to me that is exactly what it is.

quote:
Why deceive about its intent, which is to show support for LGBT+?
The National Trust is an organisation which holds buildings and land in Trust for the nation. As such it tries to engage with different groups to try to get them to visit and appreciate the collection.

Why can't the rainbow flag just be a sign to a particular group that they're welcome?

You've a strange idea of "support" if you think that showing a particular flag for a six week period means that a national charity most known for looking after stately homes is suddenly making a statement about anything other than inclusion.

quote:
They are trying to minimise it, in the same way that people here keep saying "it's only a lanyard" (that is, when they're not saying that not wearing one means you're a homophobe). It's dishonest.
Nope, what is dishonest is continuing to claim that this is about something that it isn't. It is dishonest to claim that these volunteers were hard-done-by and it is dishonest to claim that the NT somehow shat all over them. It didn't, there is no sense that they were exploited. If the volunteer objected that much, the NT was prepared to have them do something else so they didn't have to wear the bloody lanyards.

Which, to be quite frank, is more than I would have done.

quote:
It's not, because the rainbow flag is a contemporary symbol of a contemporary movement. A much better example would be a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, which I offered, and which nobody has commented on.
I think it is more like the Black Panther salute. Personally I'd think that if the house had some connection to someone in the Black Panthers, that might be entirely appropriate to use as a symbol.


quote:
quote:
But somehow because this symbol is associated with LGBT+ rights - whatever that actually means today - then it is suddenly something to object to.
Yes, because it is a politically charged subject which is not part of the NT's usual mission.
Oh right. So including people from under-represented groups in history projects at the NT is not part of their mission? News to me.

This is only being seen as a political statement because a small number of volunteers decided to make it a political statement and because people outside decided to make it a scapegoat for their political views.

quote:
If you were working in the US, I assume you would happily chunter off to Trump rallies if required to do so by your employer?
Do give it a rest. A rainbow flag is nothing like supporting Trump.

quote:
For the nth time, the issue is not wearing or not wearing a lanyard. The issue is primarily, being coerced by virtue of being in a subordinate position into wearing a sign of contemporary advocacy unrelated to the core mission of the organisation, and secondarily, being branded as anti-<subject of this advocacy> if one objects.
And for the n+1th time, wearing a rainbow flag doesn't mean that one is advocating anything other than that a certain group of society should be made to feel particularly welcome at a small number of NT properties for a season.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
No; it's there to organise activities the volunteers are keen to engage in. Take away the volunteers and you have no charity.

That's not the case for a very large number of charities.


quote:
I can only hope you've never been on the managing end of a charity.
Well you hope wrong. I've stopped volunteering - and actually I've stopped paid work for a charity - before now because of something I didn't like.

The difference is that I appreciate that as a volunteer I have very limited space to change the way that they thing runs - whereas you seem to think that the charity must listen to every volunteer. That's simply not how it works.

quote:
Yes. I currently manage about thirty-five volunteers. In the space of six years I have lost one due to a difference of opinion. I see my responsibility first and foremost as caring for those people in that context, and the situations they are involved in often raise moral qualms. Some of them are more high-maintenance than others, and of course there are people looking for quarrels. A good manager knows how to spot petty issues and deal with them without it wasting too much time.
Well again, that's not how volunteering works in any organisation I've worked in.

quote:
In my view it starts with superiors thinking volunteers are less than human, expendable, and lacking legal protection. I have plenty of examples in mind.
I see. So because you've experience bullying that means that a charity without people waiting on the every whim of a volunteer is somehow on the road to abuse.

No. Drivel.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Great. No problem. So why are they saying the rainbow flag is "a widely accepted symbol of welcome".

You really think the rainbow flag isn't a symbol of welcome? It seems to me that is exactly what it is.
<citation needed>


quote:
Why can't the rainbow flag just be a sign to a particular group that they're welcome?
It can. But that's not what they're claiming. Their implication post-fuss is that it's just "welcoming". Not "welcoming a particular group".

quote:
You've a strange idea of "support" if you think that showing a particular flag for a six week period means that a national charity most known for looking after stately homes is suddenly making a statement about anything other than inclusion.
I think it's open to misinterpretation, yes.

quote:
what is dishonest is continuing to claim that this is about something that it isn't.
The flag cannot be both a symbol of universal welcome and a symbol of welcome for a specific minority. The lanyard cannot be both utterly trivial and a definitive marker of pro or anti-gay sympathies.

quote:
I think it is more like the Black Panther salute. Personally I'd think that if the house had some connection to someone in the Black Panthers, that might be entirely appropriate to use as a symbol.
That's historic again, but even so I'd think more people than just me might think twice there. Remind me not to volunteer for your charity!


quote:
Oh right. So including people from under-represented groups in history projects at the NT is not part of their mission? News to me.
Including people from under-represented groups in history projects is not the same as requiring your public-facing staff to wear a symbol embodying the contemporary advocacy face of the history in question. Which I've discovered is called organisational coercion.

quote:
quote:
If you were working in the US, I assume you would happily chunter off to Trump rallies if required to do so by your employer?
Do give it a rest. A rainbow flag is nothing like supporting Trump.
It is organisational coercion in both cases.
quote:
And for the n+1th time, wearing a rainbow flag doesn't mean that one is advocating anything other than that a certain group of society should be made to feel particularly welcome at a small number of NT properties for a season.

Yes it does, apparently. The NT says it means a "universal symbol of welcome", not welcome of a certain group, nothing more to see here, move along folks.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
<citation needed>

https://thewelcomingproject.org


quote:
The Welcoming Project began in 2011 to encourage local businesses, health care/service providers, organizations, and congregations in Norman, OK, to display welcoming signs for the purpose of making LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) individuals and allies feel welcomed as patrons.
<snipped a load of boring waffle>

quote:
quote:
Oh right. So including people from under-represented groups in history projects at the NT is not part of their mission? News to me.
Including people from under-represented groups in history projects is not the same as requiring your public-facing staff to wear a symbol embodying the contemporary advocacy face of the history in question. Which I've discovered is called organisational coercion.
Oh right. It must be - you just said so. Gottit.

quote:
Yes it does, apparently. The NT says it means a "universal symbol of welcome", not welcome of a certain group, nothing more to see here, move along folks.
The Telegraph says this:

quote:
Ms Smith told the Telegraph: “As part of our ‘Prejudice and Pride’ programme our staff and volunteers are wearing rainbow badges and lanyards, as an international symbol of welcome.”
Most people would associate the second half of the sentence with the first - in other words that the people are being welcomed to the 'Prejudice and Pride' event, which is clearly aimed at including a particular under-represented group.

Nothing to see at all, no. Just another total misquote and taking out of context something that someone has said.

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Louise
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# 30

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Do you think wanting new research that a historical figure was gay to be withheld, and for historical research which reveals gay lives not to be undertaken at NTS venues are homophobic attitudes in the modern sense of the word (which is the one I use), or not?

Because the anti-lanyard spokesman is on record as saying these were the reasons for not wanting the lanyard and he's yet to be contradicted by any of the others, so they either share his reasons or don't mind people thinking those are the prevalent reasons. He expressed those sentiments to the press (previously linked and quoted in my posts) and on Radio 4 where I heard them.

People keep saying it's just about lanyards, yet keep coming back to swipe at the curatorial work without citing any historical research to show the professionals who did the research are wrong in their contextualisation. It's clearly not all about lanyards.


I've talked a bit about erasure of LGBT history - which goes all the way from people destroying LGBT relatives’ papers because they think it's all disgusting, to people who don't want those stories to be researched/told because they feel uncomfortable with them, to people suddenly becoming keen on tests of historical 'relevance' when an LGBT historical topic is raised and setting very high bars for this topic but not others.

It's when we reach that tricky bedrock where our own omissions, laziness, discomforts, habits and quibbles for which we think we have jolly good valid ‘reasons’ impact on representation and real equality for minorities that we have to grapple with the fact that we may think we’re champion LGBT allies but actually it may not look like that to the people on the sharp end who see that their history doesn't get covered or gets attacked or rubbished or gets loads of objections that naval history or 'look at the nice ceilings!’ don't get. I include myself in that - I don't think my practice is perfect. I try to keep myself honest and open to improving how I cover representation of minorities in history, but what I thought was adequate 25 years ago isn't adequate now and if I insisted that nothing had to move on from what was good enough in the 1980s then I would be open to charges of homophobia.

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

The difference is that I appreciate that as a volunteer I have very limited space to change the way that they thing runs - whereas you seem to think that the charity must listen to every volunteer. That's simply not how it works.


The large charity I work for as a volunteer (Guide Dogs) most certainly do listen to every volunteer and often take up our suggestions. We are, after all, at the puppy-face, so to speak - and in a good position to suggest changes. My supervisor was round today and spent two hours with me, 90%,of the time listening.

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Louise
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[ I am a super slooow poster and have missed many cross posts]

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
The large charity I work for as a volunteer (Guide Dogs) most certainly do listen to every volunteer and often take up our suggestions. We are, after all, at the puppy-face, so to speak - and in a good position to suggest changes. My supervisor was round today and spent two hours with me, 90%,of the time listening.

OK well I'd suggest even that is unusual and specific to the kind of volunteering you are doing.

Having worked in various capacities in organisations like the National Trust, it is highly unlikely that they have the staff time to go around asking volunteers for their opinions on temporary uniform.

Maybe the Guide Dogs do that.

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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Well, they are very intelligent animals.
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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
<citation needed>

https://thewelcomingproject.org

quote:
The Welcoming Project began in 2011 to encourage local businesses, health care/service providers, organizations, and congregations in Norman, OK, to display welcoming signs for the purpose of making LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) individuals and allies feel welcomed as patrons.

Exactly. It's specifically a welcome to LGBTQ. Not "an internationally accepted symbol of [indiscriminate] welcome", which is what the NT tries to make out at the top of its explanatory page. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the line they originally took with their staff, too.

quote:
quote:
Which I've discovered is called organisational coercion.
Oh right. It must be - you just said so. Gottit.
No, it doesn't have to be so because I said so. I'm open to your arguments about why this issue is distinct from the issue raised by The American Prospect.
quote:
The Telegraph says this:
Oh, so the media, including the Telegraph, are suddenly a reliable source now? [Two face]

quote:
quote:
Ms Smith told the Telegraph: “As part of our ‘Prejudice and Pride’ programme our staff and volunteers are wearing rainbow badges and lanyards, as an international symbol of welcome.”
Most people would associate the second half of the sentence with the first - in other words that the people are being welcomed to the 'Prejudice and Pride' event, which is clearly aimed at including a particular under-represented group.
I think that statement illustrates the same disingenuousness as the NT website. As your "citation needed" website helps demonstrate, the symbol is an international symbol of LGBT+ welcome and it would be more honest to say so straight out.

--------------------
One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Yes you did. When a person states that their own behaviour is dependent upon another's actions, that is exactly what is being done by any normal communication conventions.

Just because I feel tempted to do something does not mean I have actually done it, or that I'm going to.
Mentioning it in a discussion in the way you did implies this. You know, in normal, conversational English.


quote:
That statement by Louise was absolute, and so far she hasn't been back to qualify it.
Which does not justify you inferring anything about my statements.
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
There are other reasons, I am waiting for any good ones

For now I can't put it much better than the article I've just quoted.
The article you quoted was regarding a coffee company. The primary purpose of a coffee company isn't history. It is selling coffee. Not the same thing.
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
And I am waiting for any reason why lanyard wearing hasn't been a major problem until this campaign.

*sigh* I think we have established that the issue isn't whether you wear a lanyard, a bonnet, a boob tube, or garters.
No. It is about the subject of homosexuality. It isn't about being coerced.
Again, find me a printed lanyards are teh evilz campaign about other subjects.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Oh, so the media, including the Telegraph, are suddenly a reliable source now? [Two face]

One would assume that they can be trusted to quote sources accurately.

quote:
I think that statement illustrates the same disingenuousness as the NT website. As your "citation needed" website helps demonstrate, the symbol is an international symbol of LGBT+ welcome and it would be more honest to say so straight out.
Only you could possibly break a sentence into parts and then claim the one half is disingenuous when read out of context of the first half.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Erroneous Monk
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# 10858

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
But once again this isn't what the Mail and the volunteers said they were objecting to. As far as I know people weren't generally objecting to wearing this lanyard because it associated the volunteer with single-sex marriage (although I strongly suspect that this was the real reason)...

I'm trying to imagine what my mum would have thought if she had been an NT volunteer. I don't think she'd have thought anything about same sex marriage. I think the rainbow and the campaign name - "Pride and prejudice" - would have made her think about Pride - in terms of parades. I reckon my mum's view of Pride is affected by the fact that all she sees of it is news reporting that dwells on images of semi-naked people in costumes that hint at (or go beyond hinting at) fetish gear.

I think it is *that* idea of Pride that would make an elderly person feel uncomfortable, even though, in my mum's case, she thinks people should be able to marry who they want.

I'm not endorsing discomfort with Pride as a point of view - but I think it's a bit unfair to go from a pensioner not wanting to wear a rainbow lanyard to them opposing same-sex marriage. Maybe they do - maybe they don't.

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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mr cheesy
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If one reads the whole press statement issued by the National Trust, it is fairly clear to whom the "international symbol of welcome" is directed.

In fact given the similarity of the quote in various publications, it is highly likely that the Press office sent this to all media enquiries:

quote:
Annabel Smith, Head of Volunteering & Participation Development said:

“All of our staff and volunteers sign up to our founding principles when they join us – we are an organisation that is for ever, for everyone. We are committed to developing and promoting equality of opportunity and inclusion in all that we do regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

“Relating specifically to the Prejudice and Pride programme, we do recognise that some volunteers may have conflicting, personal opinions.

“However whilst volunteering for the National Trust we do request and expect individuals to uphold the values of the organisation. We encourage people with any concerns to chat to our teams. As part of Prejudice and Pride we have worked closely with Stonewall and the University of Leicester who have been providing training and support to help as many volunteers as possible feel confident to take part.”

As part of our ‘Prejudice and Pride’ programme our staff and volunteers are wearing rainbow badges and lanyards, as an international symbol of welcome.

Some volunteers at Felbrigg have said they feel uncomfortable wearing these and we have offered them the opportunity to take a break from front facing duties if that’s what they would prefer.



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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
It's clearly not all about lanyards.

Since you last posted there has been some degree of consensus about that. For my part my discomfort (more on that later) relates to the concerns I find epitomised in the American Prospect article I linked to, which following its lead I am now referring to as organisational coercion. Which is where I think the lanyards, as opposed to the curatorial aspect, come in, and is why I reacted to a specific comment by you in that respect.

quote:
because they feel uncomfortable with them
I don't like the idea that "mere" discomfort is trivialised. Both you and Jane R have used the word "uncomfortable". I imagine you expect your discomfort to be taken seriously. Why then draw a line so readily from the dissenters' "discomfort" to "homophobia"? They might put words on it which you can qualify as homophobic, but perhaps you're missing the chance for a conversation there.
quote:
It's when we reach that tricky bedrock where our own omissions, laziness, discomforts, habits and quibbles for which we think we have jolly good valid ‘reasons’ impact on representation and real equality for minorities that we have to grapple with the fact that we may think we’re champion LGBT allies but actually it may not look like that to the people on the sharp end who see that their history doesn't get covered or gets attacked or rubbished or gets loads of objections that naval history or 'look at the nice ceilings!’ don't get. I include myself in that - I don't think my practice is perfect. I try to keep myself honest and open to improving how I cover representation of minorities in history, but what I thought was adequate 25 years ago isn't adequate now and if I insisted that nothing had to move on from what was good enough in the 1980s then I would be open to charges of homophobia.
I note the use of the word "discomforts" there again [Two face] You've lost me somewhat in the very last bit but thank you for your frankness and evident humility in the first bit.

We all need to try to keep ourselves honest - volunteers, historians, activists, peacemakers, servants, leaders - and especially when the issues are hot-button ones for us.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Mentioning it in a discussion in the way you did implies this. You know, in normal, conversational English.

OK, I have a proposal to make to you. I'll keep my emotions in check and hold you to account every time you fail to do so in my eyes. Deal?

quote:
quote:
That statement by Louise was absolute, and so far she hasn't been back to qualify it.
Which does not justify you inferring anything about my statements.
If you think I've unjustly inferred anything in what you posted from what she said, spell it out and I'll apologise.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The article you quoted was regarding a coffee company. The primary purpose of a coffee company isn't history. It is selling coffee. Not the same thing.

The common point from my perspective is coercing workers into activism that didn't form part of the original scope of their job.
quote:
No. It is about the subject of homosexuality. It isn't about being coerced.
Again, find me a printed lanyards are teh evilz campaign about other subjects.

As far as I'm concerned it's primarily about coercion and the original extreme response to opters-out. I obviously don't feel as strongly about LGBT+ issues as others here, but I now feel strongly enough about them to be annoyed when I see what I deem to be less-than-good practices used to promote LGBT+ rights. I've already given another example (poppies) and could come up with more.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
OK, I have a proposal to make to you. I'll keep my emotions in check and hold you to account every time you fail to do so in my eyes. Deal?

This isn't about emotions. This is about how phrased them. The sentence you wrote:
quote:
putting words like this into my mouth is the kind of tactic that tempts me to back-track on all the long years of patient discussion here that have led me to reversing my views on homosexuality.
is the type generally construed as tit for tat in English as she is spoke. Granted, you didn't say you would backtrack, but implication is the same.


quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The common point from my perspective is coercing workers into activism that didn't form part of the original scope of their job.

Starbucks employs people to sell coffee. They might require politeness and acceptance of customers, but forcing them to engage customers with non-coffee things could be said to be out of range.
It isn't activism to have NT volunteers discuss campaigns, it is what they signed on for.
I seriously doubt the reaction would have been different if the lanyards had been plain white with black lettering saying "Ask about our Pride Campaign" or "Ask me bout our new film".
IMO it is disingenuous to blame the rainbow or "coercion".

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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Pomona
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Ultimately LGBT people's humanity - which includes reversing the historical erasure of our lives - come before cishet discomfort over LGBT people and history being acknowledged. LGBT people aren't an abstract issue to be disagreed with or not, we're people and we shouldn't need Brenda from King's Lynn to approve of us to be acknowledged and celebrated. Maybe some of the disapproving volunteers should bear in mind that they will have peers - people they went to school with, former work colleagues, siblings and cousins - who were prosecuted before decriminalisation.

Eutychus - I feel like there's a perception of LGBT people, particularly by many cishet Christians, as a model minority. Like the similar stereotypes for racial groups, this is both untrue and incredibly harmful. I appreciate that you are not coming from a place of malice, but as an LGBT Christian your posts are incredibly difficult to read. Our humanity being recognised, acknowledged, and celebrated shouldn't be dependent on how 'nice' we are, as it is an issue of justice. In the UK our rights are still being denied, particularly in NI and for trans people across the UK (eg the spousal veto). Minorities historically have had to get 'aggressive' in order to get a basic modicum of respect and protection from the law - politeness has unfortunately rarely worked. LGBT teenagers have committed suicide because of their 'traditional' Christian encounters - conservative Christians feeling uncomfortable is just not equal to having to bury children in churches that ultimately caused their deaths. I'm sure conservative discomfort feels horrible but it's not really the same as being targets of actual violence. Maybe that discomfort should make conservatives realise that hey, this feels bad so maybe we should work a bit harder at not being homophobic?

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Granted, you didn't say you would backtrack, but implication is the same.

No deal then [Waterworks]

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
It isn't activism to have NT volunteers discuss campaigns, it is what they signed on for.

They might have signed on for an NT campaign, but not for something that could be percieved as an LGBT campaign.

quote:
I seriously doubt the reaction would have been different if the lanyards had been plain white with black lettering saying "Ask about our Pride Campaign" or "Ask me bout our new film".
IMO it is disingenuous to blame the rainbow or "coercion".

I don't know how the staff there would have reacted. From where I'm sitting, I would find the second option far more acceptable than the first one. And I still think there is an element of coercion, because I think volunteers are more than billboards.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Pomona
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I also find the talk of 'promoting' LGBT rights a bit odd. Would lanyards commemorating the anniversary of the Equal Pay Act be considered to be 'promoting' women's rights in a political way? If not, why is it different to decriminalisation?

LGBT people already have rights, they are just not legally recognised in many places. Campaigning on something isn't the same as promoting something - a store loyalty card is promoted, people's humanity is not a product one can like or dislike.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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