On Responsibility

At the beginning of this week, we ran a piece about Fall Out Boy. We shouldn’t have run the piece, and at the very least, we should have placed a warning in front of that piece before it ran given the specific content of it, and we didn’t. We’re sorry. The piece has been removed.

There is more we could say about it. I could try to couch this in explanations as to why I made the executive editorial decision to run the piece. But that would distract from the point, which is that we made a mistake. We’re sorry, and more specifically, because I am only really speaking with my own voice here, I’m sorry. Sorry that I didn’t run the piece the way it should have been run and sorry that I let other obligations get in the way of me addressing this in a truly timely manner. I have a responsibility to witchsong and witchsong as a site has a responsibility to its readers, and we were lax in those responsibilities. I do want to make it clear now that witchsong does not condone abuse, of any sort. I never thought I would have to say that so explicitly but our actions were not in line with that belief so here we are. I want to reiterate that I, and the rest of the witchsong team, support the creation of safe spaces for girls, for young people, for abuse survivors, for the people who need it the most. We want witchsong to be a safe space, a good space.

We will not be publishing pieces about works created by abusers. No qualification on that. No critical approach or gentle hand or nuanced angle. witchsong is not a space to hurt people. If a piece makes it past our editorial team and gets published about someone you know to be an abuser, please contact us at the hello@witchsong.com email address and let us know, and we’ll pull the piece for review. No questions asked. We believe that this is fully within the scope of our responsibility to the readers of this site and to the people who give their time to creating for it.

On the topic of responsibility and safe spaces, I have one last note. I want to make it abundantly clear that the vicious bullying of a teenager is reprehensible. I doubt anyone seriously thought that the teenaged author of that piece genuinely supported rapists, and yet that is one explicit accusation that was made against her. We are all prone to saying things out of hurt and anger that we haven’t thought all the way through– I did as much on a closely related topic earlier this week– but this is something I cannot in good conscience go without mentioning.  Our misstep with the piece hurt, and our silence hurt, and I understand that; I apologize. I simply ask that in the future, you choose to engage with the editorial team directly rather than with the writers or with non-witchsong parties; ultimately it is my failure as the head of this editorial staff and my responsibility to make amends.

Finally, I just want to take a moment to specifically and sincerely apologize to those abuse survivors for whom reading the piece was harmful. I’m sorry.

About Kenzie

Kenzie was born in Ohio and never left. She is really bad at not crying but thankfully really good at applying (and re-applying) eyeliner.

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