The feminist forum

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eastnoireast

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Cute. Now what would an anti-oppressive babble look like? That's what I'd like to see.

yeah.  i'd like to see that too.

 

Unionist

*back to listening*

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I'd like to know why males can dominate this space? There's no physical advantage? If women can't do it here, can they do it anywhere?

 

Honestly? If there's ever been a more equal medium, I don't know that I've seen it? Colour me confused? 

 

Perhaps something else is the problem?

 

I'll ask the uncomfortable question, why is it so threatening to post here? Plenty of topics go by without female (hard to tell) input.

 

Perhaps they just don't feel a need to respond.

 

I get it, just a bunch of dudes usually responding here, but why?

 

They have more important things?

 

Questions abound and the answers aren't as simple as we'd like to think...

 

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Perhaps, I'm naive, women play a lot of influence in my life. Don't understand why it doesn't work here? It won't get better if you don't speak up.

milo204

@revolutionplease

You know i used to ask the same question and then i took some time off and it's a little clearer to me know.

 I can't speak on anyone's behalf, but how men "dominate" in the feminist forum is probably by showing up in a thread and instead of contributing to the discussion at hand we start picking little nuances out of someones post and questioning them on it, unrelentingly and often passive aggressively. the person feels compelled to respond, even though it's not the subject being discussed.  Then a couple more dudes get involved and the whole thread turns into an argument about some little off topic issue, insults get thrown and eventually the thread gets closed.

i assume it would be kind of like if right wingers showed up here, vastly outnumbering rabblers.  it would be a huge distraction of what people come here for.  if we had to continuously explain and justify things like anti capitalism/racism/militarism etc to people, and engaage in the war of words that would no doubt entail, it would get really frustrating.

Also, for a lot of people i think the topics discussed there are a lot more personal than the types of things we discuss elsewhere on the site and the parrallels to real life where for women raising a point about a feminist issue men are the first and loudest to speak up and tell you you're wrong kind of defeats the purpose of a feminist forum on a lefty website.

milo204

@revolutionplease

You know i used to ask the same question and then i took some time off and it's a little clearer to me know.

 I can't speak on anyone's behalf, but how men "dominate" in the feminist forum is probably by showing up in a thread and instead of contributing to the discussion at hand we start picking little nuances out of someones post and questioning them on it, unrelentingly and often passive aggressively. the person feels compelled to respond, even though it's not the subject being discussed.  Then a couple more dudes get involved and the whole thread turns into an argument about some little off topic issue, insults get thrown and eventually the thread gets closed.

i assume it would be kind of like if right wingers showed up here, vastly outnumbering rabblers.  it would be a huge distraction of what people come here for.  if we had to continuously explain and justify things like anti capitalism/racism/militarism etc to people, and engaage in the war of words that would no doubt entail, it would get really frustrating.

Also, for a lot of people i think the topics discussed there are a lot more personal than the types of things we discuss elsewhere on the site and the parrallels to real life where for women raising a point about a feminist issue men are the first and loudest to speak up and tell you you're wrong kind of defeats the purpose of a feminist forum on a lefty website.

janfromthebruce

milo204 wrote:

@revolutionplease

You know i used to ask the same question and then i took some time off and it's a little clearer to me know.

 I can't speak on anyone's behalf, but how men "dominate" in the feminist forum is probably by showing up in a thread and instead of contributing to the discussion at hand we start picking little nuances out of someones post and questioning them on it, unrelentingly and often passive aggressively. the person feels compelled to respond, even though it's not the subject being discussed.  Then a couple more dudes get involved and the whole thread turns into an argument about some little off topic issue, insults get thrown and eventually the thread gets closed.

YES

i assume it would be kind of like if right wingers showed up here, vastly outnumbering rabblers.  it would be a huge distraction of what people come here for.  if we had to continuously explain and justify things like anti capitalism/racism/militarism etc to people, and engaage in the war of words that would no doubt entail, it would get really frustrating.

Also, for a lot of people i think the topics discussed there are a lot more personal than the types of things we discuss elsewhere on the site and the parrallels to real life where for women raising a point about a feminist issue men are the first and loudest to speak up and tell you you're wrong kind of defeats the purpose of a feminist forum on a lefty website.

YES, YES

Summer

First off, a great big YES to what Milo said!

Second, I am a frequent lurker, occasional poster.  I've been following this thread with interest and thought I would weigh in with why I post so rarely.

Why do any of us participate in babble at all?  I read posts because I like to learn other people's views and opinions on topics that interest me.  Some posts make me laugh. Some make me think about a topic in a new way.  Some make me roll my eyes.  Some make me angry or frustrated.  Some people's posts are so long or repetitive that I usually skip them.  Some people’s posts are consistently good and I am happy when they participate in a topic.  Some posts are so thought-provoking or well written that they cause me to re-evaluate my own thoughts and beliefs.  

I don't know if the disrespect on babble has much to do with gender. I think it has to do with individuals.  A discussion forum should be a place to discuss - not to pontificate, berate or even blog.  In order for respectful discussion, participants must be interested in both reading and being read.  I think there are some posters who are more interested in posting than reading other people’s posts.  Some posters are unpleasant.  Some posts are obnoxious.  Some posters dominate the conversation (e.g. with long posts, with repetitive posts or by posting several times in a row).  I’m not sure that the worst posters recognize they are doing it.   Often, when a poster is called out, they react by deflecting and shifting the blame.  Until those posters are called out and asked to change their posting habits, the quality of discourse will continue to decline.

Why do any of us respond/actively participate in babble and why do I limit my participation?   I participate when I think I have something new to say about a topic.  I hope that others will find my posts interesting.   If someone else has already made the point I was going to make, I don't feel the need to weigh in.  I shy away from topics that have already become pissing matches by the time I get there.

The posters that remain active on babble need to really care about a topic and I think many posters need a high tolerance for an unpleasant environment (or they enjoy fighting).  Some of my favourite posters are quieter now than they used to be. 

My suggestion is for posters to evaluate their posting history.  Are your posts concise?  Do you avoid posting several times in a row?  Do you read most of the posts in a thread before posting yourself?   Do you avoid fighting?  Do you avoid repeating yourself?  Do you answer questions other posters have asked?  Do you ask yourself whether other people are going to be interested in your post before you post it?  Do you try to keep your posts related to the topic?  Do you avoid derailing threads by bringing political debates into issues that were not originally framed as partisan or political?  Do you give other posters the benefit of the doubt?  Do you ask for clarification when you don’t understand something in a post?  Do other posters give you positive feedback about your posts?  Do other posters seem interested in what you are posting?  Is it rare for you to get negative comments about the way in which you post?   Do other posters usually understand what you were trying to say?  Do you admit when you have made a mistake?  Do you think about what other people are saying?

If you can’t answer yes to most of those questions, you may be a problem poster.  

No one is perfect.  We can all do better. The problem is that some posters don’t want to (and don't understand the need to) and that drives away many of the others.  

 

 

sherpa-finn

A great (positive and constructive) contribution, Summer. A pity that your voice is not heard around here more often.

jas

Summer wrote:

My suggestion is for posters to evaluate their posting history.  Are your posts concise?  Do you avoid posting several times in a row?  Do you read most of the posts in a thread before posting yourself?   Do you avoid fighting?  Do you avoid repeating yourself?  Do you answer questions other posters have asked?  Do you ask yourself whether other people are going to be interested in your post before you post it?  Do you try to keep your posts related to the topic?  Do you avoid derailing threads by bringing political debates into issues that were not originally framed as partisan or political?  Do you give other posters the benefit of the doubt?  Do you ask for clarification when you don’t understand something in a post? ...

What are you trying to do -- decimate Babble altogether? Wink

Seriously though, great self-check questions.

Pondering

Summer wrote:

First off, a great big YES to what Milo said!

Second, I am a frequent lurker, occasional poster.  I've been following this thread with interest and thought I would weigh in with why I post so rarely.

Why do any of us participate in babble at all?  I read posts because I like to learn other people's views and opinions on topics that interest me.  Some posts make me laugh. Some make me think about a topic in a new way.  Some make me roll my eyes.  Some make me angry or frustrated.  Some people's posts are so long or repetitive that I usually skip them.  Some people’s posts are consistently good and I am happy when they participate in a topic.  Some posts are so thought-provoking or well written that they cause me to re-evaluate my own thoughts and beliefs.  

I don't know if the disrespect on babble has much to do with gender. I think it has to do with individuals.  A discussion forum should be a place to discuss - not to pontificate, berate or even blog.  In order for respectful discussion, participants must be interested in both reading and being read.  I think there are some posters who are more interested in posting than reading other people’s posts.  Some posters are unpleasant.  Some posts are obnoxious.  Some posters dominate the conversation (e.g. with long posts, with repetitive posts or by posting several times in a row).  I’m not sure that the worst posters recognize they are doing it.   Often, when a poster is called out, they react by deflecting and shifting the blame.  Until those posters are called out and asked to change their posting habits, the quality of discourse will continue to decline.

Why do any of us respond/actively participate in babble and why do I limit my participation?   I participate when I think I have something new to say about a topic.  I hope that others will find my posts interesting.   If someone else has already made the point I was going to make, I don't feel the need to weigh in.  I shy away from topics that have already become pissing matches by the time I get there.

The posters that remain active on babble need to really care about a topic and I think many posters need a high tolerance for an unpleasant environment (or they enjoy fighting).  Some of my favourite posters are quieter now than they used to be. 

My suggestion is for posters to evaluate their posting history.  Are your posts concise?  Do you avoid posting several times in a row?  Do you read most of the posts in a thread before posting yourself?   Do you avoid fighting?  Do you avoid repeating yourself?  Do you answer questions other posters have asked?  Do you ask yourself whether other people are going to be interested in your post before you post it?  Do you try to keep your posts related to the topic?  Do you avoid derailing threads by bringing political debates into issues that were not originally framed as partisan or political?  Do you give other posters the benefit of the doubt?  Do you ask for clarification when you don’t understand something in a post?  Do other posters give you positive feedback about your posts?  Do other posters seem interested in what you are posting?  Is it rare for you to get negative comments about the way in which you post?   Do other posters usually understand what you were trying to say?  Do you admit when you have made a mistake?  Do you think about what other people are saying?

If you can’t answer yes to most of those questions, you may be a problem poster.  

No one is perfect.  We can all do better. The problem is that some posters don’t want to (and don't understand the need to) and that drives away many of the others. 

No one will ever follow all those rules and not everyone enjoys the same types of interactions. My reasons for posting vary but one major aspect is working out my own core logic on issues and finding the weaknesses in criticisms or alternate positions. I have learned alot about the pipelines by reading here, and about ISIS and other issues that have prompted me to at least get the wiki notes on concepts and historical events.

I don't care for the 5 in a row NR link posts but so what? I just scroll down. Sometimes I do check them out. I skim long posts to see if they seem interesting and if not I skip them. If someone else starts discussing something from the post I skipped I can go back and read it.

I prefer the longer posts in which people have worked to organize their thoughts.

The feminist forum is exeptional because the site is male dominated to the extent that if they didn't participate in the feminist forum it would be dead. At the same time men don't have the same respect for feminism that they do for the LBGTQ community, or for anti-racism.

Unionist

Thanks, Summer!

zerocarbs

Summer wrote:

I read posts because I like to learn other people's views and opinions on topics that interest me...   I participate when I think I have something new to say about a topic.  I hope that others will find my posts interesting.   If someone else has already made the point I was going to make, I don't feel the need to weigh in.  I shy away from topics that have already become pissing matches by the time I get there.

Total agreement with Summer's entire post. Summer expressed my exact sentiments far better than I ever could myself. It's very frustrating when a topic of interest devolves into an argument between two or three people.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Yes, Yes, triple Yes to Milo's and Summer's posts.

The only thing I have to add is this: how hard would it really be for babble men to post less in the feminist forum? It would mean fewer posts in the feminist forum (at least in the short term), but if it helps to encourage more women to post there, it would be worth it. Because when I read threads in the feminist forum, I'd really like to read womens thoughts and experiences on the issues being discussed.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Thoughtful posts from Milo and Summer. Can't really add to that.

rhubarb

I try to avoid all isms.

 

 

 

swallow swallow's picture

Can we make Summer's self-check questions a sticky somewhere? 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Agreed. Thanks Summer, for composing off the cuff what should have been manadatory reading here for years.

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

Pondering wrote:

I prefer the longer posts in which people have worked to organize their thoughts.

 

So do I. They are the ones I learn most from, and (if I understand some earlier posts correctly ) are the ones some other babblers find irritating. I have no use for Twitter and Facebook (etc.) because there are no substantial discussions; one extremely positive thing about babble is the fact that in-depth, articulate and well-reasoned discussions take place, and provide both informative and thought-provoking content. 

On some threads I do get bored when a particular poster (no names come immediately to mind, but I know I have seen this) keeps repeating the same things; but this is outweighed by the many substantive pieces posted by others.  It's easy enough to skip a post (or  several) . 

I'm not all that well-informed on many topics here so that is why I rarely contribute anything of any length. On forums where I am a knowledgeable participant I lean towards the analytical multi-paragraph mode, and I appreciate that from others here. 

msdressup

I am also a frequent lurker and rarely post.  I didn't even know that the feminist forum was a safe place, except that I have witnessed some provocative posters kicked off.

Here's my take, and it's not just on this forum.  Many progressives are like minded in most things, but for some reason I find when it comes to feminism, there is suddenly this great divide.  Even my partner and I are not like minded on the issues.  The recent Ghomeshi situation, for me, brings this all into the forefront. He was, for all intesive purposes, and active feminist.  Look where that got us.

I intentionally stay away from these forums and issues.  For me, it's up there with the topic of vaccinations and athiesm. I'd just rather avoid it all together.

milo204

i think sexism is like colonization, once you grow up and live within that mindset, even when you try your hardest to shake it, there's still this "residue" left over.  

I think that's why (much like racism) there's a sort of generational divide.  For example:  I get into conversations with m parents who iget the impression see themselves as anti racist because they protested in the 60's and reject racist language.  But when i point out more structural/sytemic things, they have a hard time seeing things from my perspective.  I'm 34, but i see the same thing with myself.  It's often younger people with new perspectives--taking it one level deeper--that help change my perspective.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I'm fucked up and I appreciate the response. My opinion is the conversation needs to expand. Not my place to expound. Sorry for being the foil. I love reading the expansion of thoughts and I miss them when lacking. C'mon sisters, you aint no lightweights. And Id fuck anybody up that says otherwise, like Missori fucked up Michael Brown. RIP

 

Why cant women post here? Is it culture, or is they just don't care? I've got women that point to Door #2

 

Bad timing sure, they don't wanmt nothing to do with the latest political brouhaha, but they're not scared to post here. It just aint their thing

 

Meh, why is it always guys? I challenge women to tell us why? And 1 womens response is no good, id like to see 10 women respond. Challenge accepted?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I get it, I've been around here awhile. When does it become on them to join the community? When does it become on the moderators to make it welcome? I'm just a stitch in the wheel, someone needs to ask why it aint working, no?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

RP, in the feminist forum, you don't lay down the challenge to women - they lay down the challenge for you.

If you read this thread closely, you will see that they (we) have. Enough with the dick- swinging and chest beating, just back off a tch and think before you post.

It's not rocket surgery.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Thkx TB, you stole my line. "It's not rocket surgery", have at it, just saying. I'd chop my dick off if it would help, we'll see if there's any traction. You're but one voice

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Yeah, I really don't think that's necessary or helpful.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

K, please revoke my posting privileges for 3 weeks. I hope Im wrong. Apologies to all

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

So, it's not rocket surgery but yet you have the "rocket science" in the aboriginal forum. How'd you get so smart?

 

Glad I didn't take a vacation. How the fuck do you get to declare what's what? Is that how sad this forum has become?

 

Really, no one's rebutted my challenge. This place won't ever be welcoming to WOMEN if they don't want it.

 

Let them make excuses, post on women's issues, not your pet peeves with medical issues. Why don't you care about the sexual assaults, women in poverty, child poverty?

 

Im going to call concern trolling the more you ignore these issues. It ain't a woman issue, it's a human issue, nobody cares.

 

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Apologies, I shouldn't say you don't care, but I do think we're misguided.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I don't know why we beat ourselves up over this. I really do respect all of your contributions, much as it might seem likewise. My bad for being over the top, wish I knew how to find a happy place

mark_alfred

Glad to hear about the successful creation and execution of the safe space MegB.  Good luck too with fostering an atmosphere that brings more respect for women's voices to the rest of Babble. 

I think some guys here (er, maybe including me) try way too hard to be "reasonable", when in fact it's really just some weird competitive passive aggressive thing (sea lion like -- see comic below).  I dunno.  Maybe respect in this place boils down to sharing ideas, getting pissed off sometimes, but realizing that it ain't that important to have people see things in exactly the same light.

Sineed

The role of men in feminist-focused discussions is only the first step in trying to moderate the discourse. The real challenge comes from all the schisms within the feminist movement, like disagreements between radical feminists and liberal feminists. We have seen these disputes play out in the sex worker discussions, for instance. And would babble end up privileging one kind of feminism over another?

What would be the "gold standard" of feminism to which all babble discussions must adhere? What sort of moderation will occur when women disagree with each other on the fundamentals?

The problem of men in the discussions seems simple by comparison.

quizzical

sineed what would you say is the difference between "radical feminists" and "liberal" feminists? and why the term liberal?

i ask as i've always referred to my mom as "radical" but now realize it's not too accurate and maybe even negative labelling, on my part at least. it seems now i've been here for a bit and am more up on "feminism" i am confused about the differences or the perceptions of differences in women's rights.

 

jas

mark_alfred wrote:

  Laughing 

6079_Smith_W

Sineed wrote:

What would be the "gold standard" of feminism to which all babble discussions must adhere? What sort of moderation will occur when women disagree with each other on the fundamentals?

The problem (and I expect this is the point you are making) is the assumption by some that there is any "gold standard", and everything else is either wrong or a half-measure.

It's not a problem exclusive to feminism, nor even the left. And it would be simple, actually, but for the insistence by some that we should all see the world through those toilet paper tubes.

 

Sineed

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Sineed wrote:

What would be the "gold standard" of feminism to which all babble discussions must adhere? What sort of moderation will occur when women disagree with each other on the fundamentals?

The problem (and I expect this is the point you are making) is the assumption by some that there is any "gold standard", and everything else is either wrong or a half-measure.

It's not a problem exclusive to feminism, nor even the left. And it would be simple, actually, but for the insistence by some that we should all see the world through those toilet paper tubes.

 

100%

As for the different ideologies within feminism, the Wikipedia page gives a high-level overview.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism

Andrea Dworkin would be an exemplar of radical feminism, which stands against pornography and sex work as innately exploitative. Radical feminism focuses the discourse on the patriarchal roots of inequality. Somebody like Naomi Wolfe would be an example of a liberal feminist, whose goals focus on gender equality and reproductive rights.

Obviously, liberal feminists and radical feminists would stand together on many things. But radical feminists are more focused trying to dismantle the roots of inequality while liberal feminists work within the system to make society more equitable.

And like with all ideologies, any discussions may devolve into partisan squabbling and hair-splitting disputes over semantics. Reddit is a clearing house of tinier and tinier groups that splinter into smaller and more specific sub-factions with every dispute. How does babble avoid the reddit problem?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

And some of us feminist straddle the definitions of liberal and radical in our approaches to different things, and sometimes in regard to the nuance of those things. I'm not convinced it's a detanglable knot.

Sineed

Timebandit wrote:
And some of us feminist straddle the definitions of liberal and radical in our approaches to different things, and sometimes in regard to the nuance of those things. I'm not convinced it's a detanglable knot.

*Nods* I count myself there, though I find myself embracing the more radical ethos as I get older.

 

Pondering

Sineed wrote:

The role of men in feminist-focused discussions is only the first step in trying to moderate the discourse. The real challenge comes from all the schisms within the feminist movement, like disagreements between radical feminists and liberal feminists. We have seen these disputes play out in the sex worker discussions, for instance. And would babble end up privileging one kind of feminism over another?

What would be the "gold standard" of feminism to which all babble discussions must adhere? What sort of moderation will occur when women disagree with each other on the fundamentals?

The problem of men in the discussions seems simple by comparison.

Men skew the balance so end up deciding who the "winner" is in feminist debate.

Say you have five women in a discussion, 2 on one side, 3 on the other. Ten men join the discussion and they all take the majority side. Now the debate is 2 against 13.

The 3 are going to defend the men because they are on the same side, and the 2 are going to feel overpowered by the men and betrayed by the women.

 

zerocarbs

Looks like I've been banned from commemting on a thread I started in the Feminist forum. Nice. Let's just say I loved that girl more than anything, and it's only occurred to me recently that she was the sexual aggressor (which confused the hell out of me at the time). Married to a different girl for thirty years now - don't know how she puts up with me - but I've always had a firmly egalitarian attitude towards the sexes. And yet, I can't help noticing, she's the one that complains, and I'm the one that gets things done. And speaking of "done", that means rabble. I don't care if I get banned permanently. I know prominent people in the NDP who would never waste a second here. B'bye.

Slumberjack

That was like a month ago, and you're just getting around to dealing with it now?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Sineed wrote:

Timebandit wrote:
And some of us feminist straddle the definitions of liberal and radical in our approaches to different things, and sometimes in regard to the nuance of those things. I'm not convinced it's a detanglable knot.

*Nods* I count myself there, though I find myself embracing the more radical ethos as I get older.

 

Me, too, in some respects.  I'm chalking it up to frustration over 30 years of not nearly enough change.  :)

mark_alfred

MegB wrote:

A proposed safe space forum wouldn't take off at first but it is meant as both a safe place to discuss issues and events that interest or involve us in some way and a tool for attracting more women's voices to babble. Such a forum would have to be promoted to get much action and I think we could do that.

A few ideas I'm bouncing around:

Within the forum itself, I can ask our tech support if it would be possible to have a toggle button for thread status: 'women only' or 'open discussion' with 'women only' the default (or vice versa). A message to me would get the default toggled over to 'open discussion'. This way women who start threads choose what kind of thread they want to begin and who can participate. It would work much the same way as the 'read/write' and 'read-only' toggle button mods use to close threads.

Interesting idea.  To add to it, it might also be an idea to have the option of having it be only visible to women and not to men.  So, not only labelled "women only", but hidden too.  Thus, the option of having it be both exclusive and private would be present.  Such a thing might be possible if it could be hooked into the gender data within the profile (and maybe gender within the profile could have the option of not being public too).  So, not only read/write or read only but also the option of whether content can be viewed or not by others.  Could be good to offer the option of privacy.  Or not.  I dunno.

Anyway, just a thought.

edited for length

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

A helpful guide to what not to do in a feminist forum:

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