“Let them eat cake”?!

Marie Antoinette is out of the SCA period. She also never said this, but the myth is larger than the truth.

Unfortunately, we have officials in the SCA who think they’re untouchable, and as a peer of the realm it is imperative that I call a spade a spade.

Leslie is the current secretary of the SCA, she is also the wife of John Fulton, known as John the Bearkiller, the Society President. Because N E P O T I S M is period.

This is in response to the recent brouhaha which isn’t worth repeating here because if you aren’t following the latest political upheaval that has absolutely NOTHING to do with filling a board with privileged royal peers who want nothing more than to stunt advancement in DEI and maintain the status quo in such a way they make the entire Baby Boomer generation look progressive you aren’t going to get it.

But let’s break this down: This is not “vaguebooking”, for one, it’s a direct commentary and breach of confidentiality that either pertains to the the amount of letters the BOD received regarding the Wistric vs Baldar sanctions, or, the amount of people who were able to watch the BOD meeting recently via Zoom. (I have been informed that they throttled the attendance for that but can’t confirm it.) This is not peerlike. This is at best: petty, salty, and a little trashy. I am an expert at all of those things so I can call it when I see it.

Now, everybody at this point knows that the BOD is nothing but a walking closed book that won’t even answer Freedom of Information Act requests, so the fact that the First Lady of the SCA decided to make this post is sort of hilarious, considering she assumed nobody would know what she was talking about. But we also need to focus on another thing:

Mr. and Mrs. President of the SCA are PAID TO DO THESE JOBS. Guess what I’m not paid to do? Write the BOD. It’s not that I don’t want to, or don’t think about it, it’s that whole, “Full time PhD student” thing. (wherein I’ve been told I need to start dissociating myself from the SCA because it’s a bad look. CAN’T IMAGINE WHY.)

Oh, and did you hear my husband died from cancer in March? Yeah, he did. I was going to make a larger memorial post about that once I regained some spoons, but here I am, making a post about this, because I know my blog has a wider audience than her public FB page, and the SCA BOD page as a whole. So needless to say, those of us with real lives outside of the SCA may not actually have the energy to sit down and author a well-dictated and polite, professional letter to the BOD. (And your letters SHOULD be professional, people. I mean it.) I’m exhausted on my best days. I’ve spent the last few months crying, cleaning, studying, and watching my spouse decline as cancer ate him alive. The SCA has not exactly been at the top of my list.

However, Bearkiller was once a great ally when I had my own run-in with Baldar a few years back wherein he essentially made “Final Solution” jokes on my FB page regarding Democrats, so you know the quality of human this man is. Oh, the BOD did nothing then, either. They slapped him in the wrist for his religious coronation but because he used his mundane name and the conversation was in a mundane context, it doesn’t matter if the then-King of Trimaris showed his swastika.

I’m disappointed in Bearkiller. I’m disappointed in his First Lady. I’m disappointed that those of us who made the choice to put our lives first are essentially being made fun of because we aren’t “activist” enough for a club we pay $50 a year for because we don’t have the luxury of time.

I’d ask for their resignation, but let’s be real, the proud never give up the throne. The medieval answer is usurpation, which is a lot better than what Marie Antoinette got.

I know many folks are thinking of leaving. That’s your choice, but what I do recommend is stay. They WANT to push away those that don’t agree with them.

So are we going to listen to what our POC are saying?

Or are we gonna to continue to ignore the elephant in the room like y’all ignored the glaring, “Hey this is white supremacist” content in my viral blog post about crown tournament variances last month?
There is a reason _WHY_ I called out the issues of glaring white supremacy. Even if you, reading this, good person, are not bigoted, or racist, you benefit from a society that has it ingrained in its core.

Read Gianna/Gigi’s post here: https://fleurtyherald.wordpress.com/2022/12/23/equity-inclusion-and-the-sca/

And read Zahra/Jessica’s Facebook post here: https://www.facebook.com/jess.vanhattem/posts/pfbid0g4roV2zxB8YmDL3jf6kxijcDLiaTJi3nSS9SvsXipYUi28JWMdvVaL7yT3LPT3u4l

And their appearance on Voices of Color: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?extid=CL-UNK-UNK-UNK-IOS_GK0T-GK1C&mibextid=2Rb1fB&ref=watch_permalink&v=1244865616066724

If you don’t want to read them, or go, “I don’t care.” That’s on you, boo, but I think it’s way overdue that we the populace put in a vote of no confidence in our Board of Directors, and start fresh. Don’t leave. Don’t quit. Don’t give them what they want. The time to fight like hell is now.

My Accessibility Porter Idea

Switching from the overly volatile current SCA zeitgeist, I received from questions from folks interested in my porter idea. Here goes.

A few weeks ago on FB, I posted this:

“Accessibility porters need to be a more common thing at SCA events.

While there are always good gentles that will help folks carry things, having it as a regular fixture for those that need assistance setting up/tearing down would really help make in-person events more appealing to members of the populace that have mobility constraints, age-related or otherwise. A lot of folks, me included, like to pretend like we’re still young and spry and not full of some form of degenerative joint disease and fibromyalgia, so we won’t ask for help. Instead of asking, it should just be offered at gate. Create a corps of porters that volunteer for shifts much like any other gate position.

I think the way Trimaris has the drive-up sign-in gate at some events is super beneficial here, because then that eliminates the need for the individual needing assistance to have to get out of their vehicle to request aid.

When you talk about inclusion, including the disabled shouldn’t be last on the list.”

I do know that some kingdoms have an actual “accessibility porter” office wherein their job is to help make events more accessible, so this is not to be confused by that. Names can always be changed, and “porter” sounds better than “event bell boy”.

The gist of this would to have a corps of volunteers that sign up to do this like any other shift job at an event. You show up and put in your hour or two. The general idea would be to assist folks that need an extra hand lugging their SCA lives with them into events. Be it camping, A&S display, armor, etc. I can be for mothers will small children, elderly with mobility needs, etc. It does not have to be just “the disabled”, of course. Sometimes having that one extra hand to carry a chair makes a world of difference for somebody like me when I go solo. It would be request-based, with gate offering porter assistance at check-in. This would make sure the volunteers don’t get overworked and spread too thin, especially since not everybody likes strangers touching their belongings. Set up and breakdown help can also be requested in advance based on availability of porters, but to avoid a queue or shorthanded staff, it cannot be accommodated day-of.

I figure for smaller events, having 2-4 per shift would be good. Larger would command 4 or 6 or even 8. (Even numbers allows for better tagteaming.) Wagons and dollies can be made available if there’s the budget for it. I have a folding wagon I purchased at Walmart a few years ago that has helped immensely, and porters can also bring their own supplies. Breakdown would have a similar request system. “Roving” porters can also be a thing during peak setup/breakdown times as well.

1. Folks who are currently on the fence about coming to events because of a shortage of hands or mobility issues will have one less thing to worry about.

2: This is an excellent way for newcomers and teens who don’t mind doing some work to meet some established members and build connections.

3: It’s an easy way to give back and help others.

Potential Issues:

1: Impatient members being rude to porters, or abusing and bogarting the service from people who actually need it. Which supervisors need to make sure doesn’t happen. Honor system still stands: If you REALLY don’t need the help, you don’t ask for it. Likewise, they aren’t caregivers, just schleppers. Individuals who need more specific care will have to bring their own caregivers. It’s just too much of a liability otherwise.

2: Porters potentially missing key event moments like court and feast.

3: Weather hazards need to be taken into account. Porter safety is as important as everybody else’s. If the weather is too inclement, the service will be suspended until the weather passes.

Nothing is without issues, of course, but I think that I want to give this a shot organizing it at an upcoming SCA event I can actually go to, maybe. Or see if I can coordinate it here in Trimaris even if I cannot go. I definitely think this is a good kingdom to start in, as a lot of our population is aging (Save your Florida jokes for another time.)

This is obviously too much for a HUGE event like a war. I also need to figure out a way to keep tabs on folks that need aid without labeling them in a way that creates stigma, such as having those that requested aid to bring in their gear send a text message to the supervisor porter when they are broken down and ready to go back to their vehicles, or more likely, send somebody to the gate.

The important thing is to keep this simple. This is not abled bodies for hire to do any bidding, this is “I am physically incapable of bringing in all that I require and I need a hand.”