I was in an online AA meeting the other day and I man in the meeting who gives me a really bad vibe began to share. I find this man to be pretentious and condescending. At the beginning of his share he said that what he hears in meetings, what others share at meetings is "silly". Many new members of AA look up to this person, he has established sobriety time and he is very involved with newcomers. I don't know what he meant by "silly" and I didn't stick around to listen to him, I logged off the meeting and logged back in after I was sure he was done with his rant.
This is something I would have never done in the past, I would have listened to his patriarchal undertone of how the only way to work a strong program in AA is by following the words of the Big Book like they are sacred. This is his usual rant. Well for a women, at least this women, I don't find the Big Book that interesting or relatable. I find more insight in my recovery from listening to other women share, my sponsor, my own experiences, and other literature outside of the program.
But I digress, what really made me irritated was that he was putting down what others share in meetings. At the end of the meeting I chimed in and said "thank you everyone for sharing your expereince, strength, and hope; I did not find anyones shares to be silly".
My partner last night said that he cares more about how is words effect others than I do. I was offended and told him so which started a long drawn out discussion about oppression specifically the oppression of women.
He admitted that he doesn't understand why I would call someone out in a meeting the way I did. I did it because I witnessed something unjust and I must do something because I have been blessed with a voice and with privilege. I new very well the effect that may have on the man who was disregarding others experiences. I hope it made him feel bad, I hope it makes him think twice about what he shares in meetings. There was no reason to denigrate others, we are not in meetings to give advice, shame, or undermine others. This is not the what AA is about.
I feel as if my partner was more concerned about wether I hurt the person who did something wrong over speaking up about what was wrong. Tony says he will NEVER do that he will never call people out or intentionally make someone feel uncomfortable. I guess that is where we differ, I can't not call people out for unjust actions. I speak my truth and if it makes someone uncomfortable that is their problem not mine. I did not get sober to get silenced!