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The Grinch wrote:

Maybe language like "slut" and "skirt" are hot button issues for the OP - so be it. Political correctness is that way for me. To me it is the bane of civilisation, seeking to stifle free speech and free thought before it can ever reach the marketplace of ideas. It is nothing less than fascism masquerading as manners.


Or it could be something as simple as manners. You are in a public room here with relative strangers. Is it too much to ask that you treat your fellow forum members with the same polite respect you'd treat them if you were in the same physical room?
What free thoughts do you bring to the marketplace of ideas that can't be spoken in a less deliberately provocative manner? Do you have nothing to say on the subject of women in this gaming community that cannot be expressed without the word "slut"?
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The Grinch wrote:
Case in point: This all seems to stem from an incident on another thread about a week ago: [POLL] Why Do You Buy?. Someone made a joke about gamers being "history sluts" ready to "chase anything in a skirt", etc. The comment was offered merely as a humourous analogy with no criticism of women intended.

There seems a continual and crucial misunderstanding by "skeptics" in these recent Judy-created threads that "sexism" implies a direct malicious criticism or attack on women.

But more often than not sexism here is unconscious and not intended as any kind of criticism or attack.

It's often even (sometimes quite cluelessly) intended as a compliment. E.g. the inevitable "Wow, she's hot, I'd do her" type comments on the photos of attractive women.

It also often appears in the form of statements unwittingly exclusionary to women, seemingly oblivious to the presence of women (so certainly not intended as any kind of negative or positive statement to them), e.g. statements which assume "we" are all men and all think and act like stereotypical men, such as that "we all" chase anything in a skirt and eyeball the hot woman's legs etc etc.

So just because you don't see direct attacks being made against women here does not mean you're not seeing sexism.
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red black wrote:
It wasn't a problem for the majority of people in the wargame forum. I'm not sure it's a problem for anyone else except Jude.

Several others in these recent threads have explicitly agreed with Judy and said they also are bothered by it, so it's not just Judy. (For the record, I have also noticed various forum comments which make me cringe and think "and they wonder why there aren't more women here...".)
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russ wrote:
red black wrote:
It wasn't a problem for the majority of people in the wargame forum. I'm not sure it's a problem for anyone else except Jude.

Several others in these recent threads have explicitly agreed with Judy and said they also are bothered by it, so it's not just Judy. (For the record, I have also noticed various forum comments which make me cringe and think "and they wonder why there aren't more women here...".)


I doubt their sincerity. Only Judy complained.
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Meerkat wrote:
calandale wrote:
she2 wrote:
The Grinch wrote:


The nature of the exchange leads me to believe that the OP of the current thread is less concerned with the actual content of BGG forum material than in claiming victim status and using it to advance some kind of political agenda - an impression that is reinforced by the OP's selected video offering at Interesting speech against bigotry. Obviously this tactic is nothing new - regrettably, it's a staple of 21st century public discourse.



It seems to me that you are reading a lot into the motivation of the OP that isn't apparent. You suggest she's just advancing a political agenda and acting like a victim. I read her post more as something that has been building for a while.

This is primarily a hobby forum. A place where gamers of all stripes come to congregate and enjoy our hobby - regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or whatever. Consequently we read threads on our downtime for fun and generally with our guards down. It can be quite jarring to be in the middle of a thread, enjoying it, only to run across some thoughtless comment. Probably just a joke, but it hardly matters to the person being jarred out of the thread.

If this continues frequently, the person may come to the realization that this part of the hobby isn't fun anymore and just leave the community. But somewhere between that end result and the initial hiccup, may come a time where the person decides to try and do something about it. If the continual result is to be met with a response of "lighten up" and "get over it", it can build to what probably precipitated this thread. I don't know Jude very well so I can't say. I just think that chalking the thread up to a political agenda is being unfair.



There's a balance though. Some of us are here for "fun with our guards
down" meaning that we don't have all our damned PC filters up.

One way or another, people will be driven away.


This is very true.

So the bulk of the site users have to decide who they are more willing to see go.

The wargamer forum, or all of BGG in general, certainly has the ability to decide to not worry about it and let the majority of women feel uncomfortable and therefore not hang out with them.

If that is their choice... things would have been a whole lot less messy if they just said that.

Hey this is where we come to play, we outnumber you and honestly we would rather feel relaxed and able to say anything we want when we want than have you around.

Lay it out like that and most of the "complaining" will disappear, right along with the people who are offended and uncomfortable.

Ok... well not all of it, there will still be left all the people whining about why their wives, girlfriends, gay friends or any other marginalized group won't get into gaming and BGG with them like they wish they would. But hey, with us all "gone" you can all go back to talking, with impunity, about how inferior we are to not want to hang out here and play boardgames and pretend it has NOTHING to do with those non-game related behavior decisions.


Over the past few weeks, I've been looking with disgust at the Augusta Golf Club and reflecting that if I were rich enough (and played golf), I would spurn the club and their sexist ways. It is, of course, mere cheap self-congratulation. It's easy to say I wouldn't join when it would never be possible for me to join anyway.
But now, I have the opportunity to put my money where my mouth is and say that I would rather see the Wargame community crumble to dust than belong to a community where my fellow wargamers are treated with disrespect because of their gender, race or orientation.
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aiabx wrote:
The Grinch wrote:

Maybe language like "slut" and "skirt" are hot button issues for the OP - so be it. Political correctness is that way for me. To me it is the bane of civilisation, seeking to stifle free speech and free thought before it can ever reach the marketplace of ideas. It is nothing less than fascism masquerading as manners.


Or it could be something as simple as manners. You are in a public room here with relative strangers. Is it too much to ask that you treat your fellow forum members with the same polite respect you'd treat them if you were in the same physical room?
What free thoughts do you bring to the marketplace of ideas that can't be spoken in a less deliberately provocative manner? Do you have nothing to say on the subject of women in this gaming community that cannot be expressed without the word "slut"?


Exactly. The anonymity of the internet many times brings out the worst in some folks, because they know there probably won't be any reprisals.
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I agree with Calandale here. Censoring and red-xing isn't the way. We are all human, we are all influenced by our culture and we all do things that hurt others at some point in time.

What we need to learn to do is to say, "I'm sorry I offended you. I'll do my best to not let it happen again."

That's all. Be a conscientious adult and own up to making someone feel bad. Saying things like, "It wasn't so bad, quit whining," is the 14-year-old way to handle the event.

calandale wrote:
First off, thanks for re-opening this. Allowing the red-xers
to decide what is discussed/for the good of the forum is nearly
always a mistake. This conversation needs to be had - since some
are feeling threatened.

Scrogdog wrote:


In my mind, we just lost here on BGG. Because my geek bud Jude is offended.

But thank the heavens for people like her who have the courage to step up to the plate and speak out.

The wargames forums has become a "man comfort zone". My hope is that now that we recognize it, we'll fix it.


While I agree firmly about the courage issue - and the need
to discuss it - I'd suggest (though I've largely wandered out
of this forum due to recent staff choices) that yes, offending
some people is a loss - but so is making this a "man discomfort
zone". If every bit of banter which might offend someone is squelched
(whether by fiat or convention), we'll have lost a lot more than
what is lost by the offense itself, I think. The kind of thought which
demands this kind of censorship is of exactly the same sort that fuels
the red-xers. This damned forum has become a haven for the tattlers
and crybabies.

It's good to have the discussion. It's good for people who engage
in such behavior (and I shore the hell am one) to actually investigate
the root of such humor for themselves. It's a terrible thing to
prevent it.
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red black wrote:
russ wrote:
red black wrote:
It wasn't a problem for the majority of people in the wargame forum. I'm not sure it's a problem for anyone else except Jude.

Several others in these recent threads have explicitly agreed with Judy and said they also are bothered by it, so it's not just Judy. (For the record, I have also noticed various forum comments which make me cringe and think "and they wonder why there aren't more women here...".)


I doubt their sincerity. Only Judy complained.

Wow, seriously?

By direct implication you are doubting my sincerity as well, so I'm not sure what else I can say to you, once you're in the mode of doubting my sincerity. :/
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The Grinch wrote:


As I have said before, freedom means people will say and do things you don't like. If you don't want to be offended, turn off the computer, TV, and radio, lock all your doors, and cover your eyes and ears. But you will be much happier as a person if you learn to accept it and realise that the opinions of some people don't matter, so there's no point getting upset about them, let alone trying to control them.


And if someone does take offense, why is it so hard to say, "I'm sorry"?

True freedom is anarchy.
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she2 wrote:
calandale wrote:



There's a balance though. Some of us are here for "fun with our guards
down" meaning that we don't have all our damned PC filters up.

One way or another, people will be driven away.


And probably most of the time, no one says anything to the person with his or her PC filters down. I don't usually jump up and down on someone when they decide to say that women don't like game x. I mostly roll my eyes at a week of Titty Grab. And I think that most women probably do the same. But you know, maybe we have a bad week where it really bugs us and we make a comment back. It hardly helps when the reaction is to pile on the person complaining and act like a martyr about free speech.

If people really don't want excessive moderation and red x-ing, then try and at least listen to people and not just dismiss what they say and post images of hysterically crying babies, etc.


I think there's a HUGE difference between stating that
making sexist comments is a bunch of BS - even calling out
the people who do so - and asking for the staff to hide the
offending person from the members here.

But, all the asses (oops - wouldn't want to draw another ban)
people here who red-x'd her post did as bad. They were making a cowardly
attempt to suppress HER free right to openly discuss something. I think
that openly bringing this to the community, where everyone, staff
included, can weigh in is far better than secretly trying (through
red-x or pm) to influence what is and isn't seen. That's how a
COMMUNITY (you know - what this forum was like a year ago) is like.

Pity that community interfered with BGG's business model.
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russ wrote:
red black wrote:
russ wrote:
red black wrote:
It wasn't a problem for the majority of people in the wargame forum. I'm not sure it's a problem for anyone else except Jude.

Several others in these recent threads have explicitly agreed with Judy and said they also are bothered by it, so it's not just Judy. (For the record, I have also noticed various forum comments which make me cringe and think "and they wonder why there aren't more women here...".)


I doubt their sincerity. Only Judy complained.

Wow, seriously?

By direct implication you are doubting my sincerity as well, so I'm not sure what else I can say to you, once you're in the mode of doubting my sincerity. :/


If enough people really care about this then the forum will change accordingly. We'll see.
 
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aiabx wrote:


Or it could be something as simple as manners. You are in a public room here with relative strangers. Is it too much to ask that you treat your fellow forum members with the same polite respect you'd treat them if you were in the same physical room?


The analogy seems appealing, but we're NOT in that situation.
Manners and habits of groups usually form about who hangs out
where. This is a place with a certain tenor. IF this were the
situation you describe, people who don't 'feel comfortable'
simply wouldn't show. I think that it extends further than that -
but NOT to the point of catering to every person presents' foibles.

An understanding that rude comments may bother some should be in
the minds of those making them - and the understanding that you're
sharing the place with 'insensitive bastards' should be understood
by those easily offended.

What do we exclude next? Discussing meat because there might be
vegans present?
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calandale wrote:
she2 wrote:
calandale wrote:



There's a balance though. Some of us are here for "fun with our guards
down" meaning that we don't have all our damned PC filters up.

One way or another, people will be driven away.


And probably most of the time, no one says anything to the person with his or her PC filters down. I don't usually jump up and down on someone when they decide to say that women don't like game x. I mostly roll my eyes at a week of Titty Grab. And I think that most women probably do the same. But you know, maybe we have a bad week where it really bugs us and we make a comment back. It hardly helps when the reaction is to pile on the person complaining and act like a martyr about free speech.

If people really don't want excessive moderation and red x-ing, then try and at least listen to people and not just dismiss what they say and post images of hysterically crying babies, etc.


I think there's a HUGE difference between stating that
making sexist comments is a bunch of BS - even calling out
the people who do so - and asking for the staff to hide the
offending person from the members here.

But, all the asses (oops - wouldn't want to draw another ban)
people here who red-x'd her post did as bad. They were making a cowardly
attempt to suppress HER free right to openly discuss something. I think
that openly bringing this to the community, where everyone, staff
included, can weigh in is far better than secretly trying (through
red-x or pm) to influence what is and isn't seen. That's how a
COMMUNITY (you know - what this forum was like a year ago) is like.

Pity that community interfered with BGG's business model.


I think we are in general agreement on red x-ing not being the answer. I'm not calling for that. I would rather see a discussion. A discussion, however, is not posting pictoral rebukes or resorting to insults. It's talking to the the person and taking responsibility for your actions. It is possible to disagree with a person without calling them hysterical women, babies, etc.
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EgorjLileli wrote:


Exactly. The anonymity of the internet many times brings out the worst in some folks, because they know there probably won't be any reprisals.


I've noticed a LOT more exclusion and policing type actions
regarding free speech on the interwebz than irl.

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EgorjLileli wrote:

Exactly. The anonymity of the internet many times brings out the worst in some folks, because they know there probably won't be any reprisals.


http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19
(contains rude words)
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
The Grinch wrote:
To me it is the bane of civilisation, seeking to stifle free speech and free thought before it can ever reach the marketplace of ideas. It is nothing less than fascism masquerading as manners.

As I have said before, freedom means people will say and do things you don't like. If you don't want to be offended, turn off the computer, TV, and radio, lock all your doors, and cover your eyes and ears. But you will be much happier as a person if you learn to accept it and realise that the opinions of some people don't matter, so there's no point getting upset about them, let alone trying to control them.


I know that in America comparing stuff to fascism is basically shorthand for saying 'it's really, really bad m'kay', but political correctness is not fascism.

This freedom of speech vs. political argument cuts both ways. If you mean that a sense of 'political 'correctness' leads to a situation where people never venture bigoted views in public where they can be refuted and shown up for the nonsense they are then perhaps you have a point.

However, many people use the notion of 'political correctness' as a device to easily dismiss criticism of their bigoted views from people who think differently. Rather than stopping to consider a different viewpoint, critics can be dismissed as being politically correct and really they think like the bigot, if only it weren't for the PC brainwashing/censorship.

If freedom means you have the right to say things I find offensive, then that same freedom means you can't act all offended when you are criticised for it.



I'll grant that many Americans who make the charge of fascism have no idea what it really means. Maybe an isolated episode of political correctness on a message board isn't fascism per se, but I'm looking at it in the broader context of the overall phenomenon. When you have a combination of politically-orchestrated peer pressure and government policy to keep certain opinions from being expressed at all, it sure sounds like fascism to me, hence my use of the term - But to linger on this point is to go off on a tangent.

If you're taking my comment as offering an easy out for bigotry, you're misunderstanding. Genuinely bigoted ideas ought to be fair game for criticism and dismissal in the marketplace of ideas when they are expressed. What I object to is the mentality that to keep someone from being offended, such certain ideas and even words can't be voiced at all. The OP's original complaint was about the use of certain words in a context that was not directed against women at all. To cry "sexism" over such a trivial instance presumably is intended to create a chilling effect or even convince board admins to impose a ban so that such words can't be used at all.

she2 wrote:
If the continual result is to be met with a response of "lighten up" and "get over it", it can build to what probably precipitated this thread. I don't know Jude very well so I can't say. I just think that chalking the thread up to a political agenda is being unfair.



Maybe it is. I don't know the OP either so I don't know what is in her heart, but to me the combination of the exaggerated and hypocritical reaction to the joke combined with the presentation of the Hillary Clinton video seem to point to a political agenda. If so, so be it. Some folks are so infused with political causes and ideas that it may be second nature for them to use every opportunity to make a point, even if they're not aware they're doing it. I can be that way myself, but it's exhausting, which is why I avoid the RSP forum like grim death!gulp If she's just frustrated about her complaints being dismissed, though, she might as well just not go online, because it sure lseems to me that she lacks the patience for the sisyphean crusade she has taken upon herself.
 
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Quote:
If freedom means you have the right to say things I find offensive, then that same freedom means you can't act all offended when you are criticised for it.



Just noticed this, and have to call bull.

Freedom DOESN'T mean that you, or I, can't act offended.

I can be just as offended by your criticism as you are
by whatever I say. It's just that no one's going to
take rights away for either the speech OR the offense.

Now, few if any places on the interwebz are as free as
you are in your real existence. Owners of sites are afraid
of liability issues, for one. Even though I don't believe a
suite of that nature has ever been brought successfully -
at the least some HAVE been made, and that's a hassle no
one wants.

But, when you're going beyond what is possibly a risk to
the site itself, what you're getting into is an attempt
by the staff to 'keep things smooth'. Such moderation stultifies
and eventually kills most places which engage in it. But, it seems
better than having to deal with people whining to the staff, so it
is often the solution.

This place has a huge advantage - the db of games and information.
So, like amazon, it ain't gonna be killed entirely. The forum however
may turn into a husk by the path being followed.
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calandale wrote:
aiabx wrote:


Or it could be something as simple as manners. You are in a public room here with relative strangers. Is it too much to ask that you treat your fellow forum members with the same polite respect you'd treat them if you were in the same physical room?


The analogy seems appealing, but we're NOT in that situation.
Manners and habits of groups usually form about who hangs out
where. This is a place with a certain tenor. IF this were the
situation you describe, people who don't 'feel comfortable'
simply wouldn't show. I think that it extends further than that -
but NOT to the point of catering to every person presents' foibles.

An understanding that rude comments may bother some should be in
the minds of those making them - and the understanding that you're
sharing the place with 'insensitive bastards' should be understood
by those easily offended.

What do we exclude next? Discussing meat because there might be
vegans present?


The slippery slope argument? Not speaking for the OP, but all I'm hoping for is a greater degree of civility/inclusion in a hobby forum. I have no expectation that there won't be times when people slip up or say things in the heat of the moment.
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aiabx wrote:
The Grinch wrote:

Maybe language like "slut" and "skirt" are hot button issues for the OP - so be it. Political correctness is that way for me. To me it is the bane of civilisation, seeking to stifle free speech and free thought before it can ever reach the marketplace of ideas. It is nothing less than fascism masquerading as manners.


Or it could be something as simple as manners. You are in a public room here with relative strangers. Is it too much to ask that you treat your fellow forum members with the same polite respect you'd treat them if you were in the same physical room?
What free thoughts do you bring to the marketplace of ideas that can't be spoken in a less deliberately provocative manner? Do you have nothing to say on the subject of women in this gaming community that cannot be expressed without the word "slut"?



This illustrates exactly the kind of chilling effect these kind of complaints create. Nobody used the word "slut" regarding the women of this gaming community, at least not in the post that Jude found so offensive, and nobody was trying to be provocative. "Slut" was offered in a humourous reference to a kind of behaviour observed in gamers, not women. Have we become so strangled by political correctness that we can't tell a joke for fear of offending someone? Might as well shut down the boards. Ironically the only overtly sexist and deliberately provocative language I saw was Jude's own - not much politeness there.
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I think one of the main problems with this discussion is that most people offended by the (implicite) sexism will just pass by such a thread, see a few of the reactions and think 'oh there we go again, I'm not even going to get into it, because I will only be burned..'
The people that do jump in are mostly either the ones that just don't see the point that was raised (sometimes making it even worse), or the ones that try to help but were not involved personally.
Then the ones that don't see the point want to see examples, but the OP is trying not to get too personal and most others were not involved personally so they don't know the examples..

Pff I know I should just pass by and not get into the discussion..

The point I feel the OP wants to bring across is that people should practice empathy a bit.
People can offend other people, that's not strange, nor is it a problem. But when someone points it out to you that they're offended you might want to evaluate a bit. There's no harm in an apology or an explanation or a discussion.
If everyone would go about like that there would be a lot less discussion like these..
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The Grinch wrote:
aiabx wrote:
The Grinch wrote:

Maybe language like "slut" and "skirt" are hot button issues for the OP - so be it. Political correctness is that way for me. To me it is the bane of civilisation, seeking to stifle free speech and free thought before it can ever reach the marketplace of ideas. It is nothing less than fascism masquerading as manners.


Or it could be something as simple as manners. You are in a public room here with relative strangers. Is it too much to ask that you treat your fellow forum members with the same polite respect you'd treat them if you were in the same physical room?
What free thoughts do you bring to the marketplace of ideas that can't be spoken in a less deliberately provocative manner? Do you have nothing to say on the subject of women in this gaming community that cannot be expressed without the word "slut"?



This illustrates exactly the kind of chilling effect these kind of complaints create. Nobody used the word "slut" regarding the women of this gaming community, at least not in the post that Jude found so offensive, and nobody was trying to be provocative. "Slut" was offered in a humourous reference to a kind of behaviour observed in gamers, not women. Have we become so strangled by political correctness that we can't tell a joke for fear of offending someone? Might as well shut down the boards. Ironically the only overtly sexist and deliberately provocative language I saw was Jude's own.


"Chilling effect"? Is your speech so valuable that it outweighs the chilling effect you have on female members of the community, who don't care to be reminded that they are too often viewed as second-class members? Are there any ideas you are no longer willing to bring to the table because it has been suggested that treating women with polite respect is a positive goal?
Slut, where I come from, is a pejorative word that refers to promiscuous women. If I call myself a game slut, the connotation is this; I'm indiscriminate in my choice of games just like a promiscuous woman. Ho ho. Any idea why some people might find that offensive? Do you think another word could have conveyed the notion without the unspoken insult?
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The Grinch wrote:
This illustrates exactly the kind of chilling effect these kind of complaints create.

Oh please. A complaint has no more of a "chilling effect" than saying what evoked the original complaint has on the person who made it. You can't complain about not being able to say what you like while complaining someone else said what they like. It's hypocritical and ignorant of what an actual "chilling effect" is.
Quote:
Nobody used the word "slut" regarding the women of this gaming community, at least not in the post that Jude found so offensive, and nobody was trying to be provocative.

But that's what the word means. Do you say a game is "gay" if you don't like it? Do you say a shop owner charging high prices is trying to "Jew you"? It's actually worse to take the word out of its original context and use it as a generic term.

Quote:
"Slut" was offered in a humourous reference to a kind of behaviour observed in gamers, not women.

Yes, the humor was in the word's association and hence women in general's, with shameful promiscuity.

Quote:
Have we become so strangled by political correctness that we can't tell a joke for fear of offending someone?

You can do whatever you like. You just don't seem to be able to handle the consequences of being disapproved of. Although your freedoms of speech to not technically apply on a private forum anyway, even if it was relevant it still doesn't mean freedom from consequence.

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Enrico Viglino
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mebririth wrote:


The point I feel the OP wants to bring across is that people should practice empathy a bit.
People can offend other people, that's not strange, nor is it a problem. But when someone points it out to you that they're offended you might want to evaluate a bit. There's no harm in an apology or an explanation or a discussion.
.


I don't think you'd see the kind of negative reaction,
if that was the impression others got. Unfortunately,
things like:

Quote:
As you can read in my posts and Octavian's response, they don't even think it is a problem that the admins need to respond to


indicate something far more sinister being asked.
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russ wrote:
The Grinch wrote:
Case in point: This all seems to stem from an incident on another thread about a week ago: [POLL] Why Do You Buy?. Someone made a joke about gamers being "history sluts" ready to "chase anything in a skirt", etc. The comment was offered merely as a humourous analogy with no criticism of women intended.

There seems a continual and crucial misunderstanding by "skeptics" in these recent Judy-created threads that "sexism" implies a direct malicious criticism or attack on women.

But more often than not sexism here is unconscious and not intended as any kind of criticism or attack.


Quote:

It also often appears in the form of statements unwittingly exclusionary to women,


Oh absolutely.

Take (and this is just an example) the Geeklist "Calandale Teaches His Woman To Game". I'm absolutely certain that Calandale didn't intend that to be a title that was sexist. But to me it absolutely reeks of unconscious sexism*. Unfortunately I am also certain (based on his reaction here and other threads) that he doesn't care what I think (or anyone else for that matter) and wouldn't change it if people geekmailed a complaint to him. He is far more interested in not having his "free speech" curtailed.

The problem of sexism isn't the out and out attacks (they are easily dealt with in the usual manner) but of environment, the unthinking male chauvinism that is borne out of male privilege.

* I'm sure language like that would be unacceptable at my place of work.
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aiabx wrote:


"Chilling effect"? Is your speech so valuable that it outweighs the chilling effect you have on female members of the community, who don't care to be reminded that they are too often viewed as second-class members?


Yes. And theirs is too, regardless of the 'chilling effect' it
might have on my feewings.

If some bigots words is actually hurting them,
I'd suggest that there's a bigger problem than the words.
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