Red Feather Pins

Moderator’s Note: Until such time as we import the posts from the old forums (a project for a later date), I felt it was important to re-post this important piece of our culture and practice, so that it was easily-accessible (and prominently displayed) for everyone.

(Re-)Introducing the Mark of the Red Feather

It is the duty of all Witchwood participants, both players and staff, to keep the Witchwood community consistent with the values of Red Feather Roleplaying, our parent organization. This obligation is reflected in those values, and most specifically called out in the value of Fellowship: ‘it is the responsibility of all participants to foster an environment in which discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated.’

Unfortunately, those things which are everyone’s obligation are sometimes by default no one’s responsibility. The Mark of the Red Feather, a small pin which will be made freely available to any interested party, is our attempt to change that dynamic.

So who is the Mark of the Red Feather for?

The Red Feather is for you. Bystander apathy is a well-established, insidious social phenomenon. Wearing the Red Feather is a deliberate reminder that when you witness something that doesn’t feel right, you are responsible for doing something about it. Step up and speak out.

The Red Feather is for everyone. Wearing the Mark of the Red Feather tells everyone and anyone that you are there to help. If someone comes to you with a problem, you will receive their concern with an open mind — no questioning or doubting their word. Using your best judgment, you will intervene or advocate for the concerned party so that their issue can be resolved.

Let us be clear: no one is obligated to wear the Red Feather. Even those participants who choose to put on the pin are not expected to wear it for the full Friday-to-Sunday span of a typical event. Wearing the Mark of the Red Feather should be a conscious decision, an indication that you currently possess the mental capacity and emotional wherewithal to be called upon to promote our community’s values.

If you’re not feeling up to it, then it’s time to take off the pin. Those who choose to wear a pin must understand that they are taking on a responsibility and a trust. Grievances presented to someone wearing the Mark of the Red Feather need to be taken seriously. You must be willing to set aside any personal feelings you may have about the person making the complaint, or any of the people involved in the situation. If there is any chance of you dismissing anyone’s concerns or not offering them appropriate support, without judgment, we would ask you to not put on the pin.

The Mark of the Red Feather is not intended to diminish or supersede our commitment to immersive roleplay. Whenever possible, out-of-game concerns should be handled discretely and without disrupting the flow of game. However it is our firm belief that a fantastic, immersive game environment must also be one free from harassment, prejudice and harm. The Mark of the Red Feather is intended as a purposeful step towards making that belief a reality.

If you would like your very own Mark of the Red Feather pin, we will have them on-hand for players at check-in or you may come by the staff center any time. Staffers can get their pins in staff center.

(Credit where credit is due: the Mark of the Red Feather is directly inspired by the Backup Ribbon Project. The concept here is not exactly the same; we are simply adapting a good idea to our own purposes.)

1 Like