Saturday, June 11, 2016
There have been several instances of HEMA members remarking on the politics and beliefs of others in recent months on HEMA forums and member's personal sites. In each instance, moderators of the various HEMA Facebook pages eventually resolved the discussions but were required to do so by repeated persuasions and/or ex officio diktats.
I believe there might be a better way to confront this circumstance in future.
A Proposed HEMA Standard:
Whenever any HEMA member believes the behavior or stated beliefs of someone involved with HEMA might be problematic, they should first seek to answer two questions on there own initiative before airing their concerns on any HEMA-associated forum.
First, "Is the person or group imposing their behavior or beliefs onto unwilling others?"
Second, "Are they infringing on other's study or practice of HEMA as a result of their beliefs or behavior?"
Unless, and to the degree, either answer is "Yes", then a problem with a measurable degree of objection and correction has been identified, and HEMA moderators should immediately be requested to resolve the potential for conflict.
To the extent the answers are "No", then a distinction of personal taste and social circumstance has arisen, and an assumption of HEMA neutrality is the appropriate response.
HEMA Alliance is an international organization, dedicated to the scholarly study and re-creation of historic European martial arts forms and practices. It is only to be expected that individuals or local groups from our many different country's of origin will find it necessary to motivate and structure their pursuit of our shared field of study by means different, or even unacceptable, to members from other locales. It should be remembered that beliefs and practices are frequently largely malleable responses to temporary circumstances, and that so long as the specific combination of these do not inhibit the free pursuit of HEMA study's and practice, they should be regarded as unrelated to HEMA.