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Sexism policy

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Ender Sai, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    I think you're both right, Shane/Horsey. Men will be oblivious to some aspects of it; but having a rules framework which empowers them to act and a report function which can highlight instances they might have missed give mods good guidelines to work on. Al;so, a female mod would definitely be more in tune with discrimination in posting.
     
  2. Randwulf Crescentmoon

    Randwulf Crescentmoon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 25, 2013
    Not to sound rude, but why is this even a discussion? Just seems weird is all... I mean, I was not around during this website's earlier incarnation(s) (so, wouldn't know if there used to be regulations against sexism, racism, etc.) but I would at least like think that such rules would have always been in play, as most everyone is rooted in the philosophy that being disrespectful is unacceptable. Adhering to that proves to sometimes be problematic for those who care not to, but otherwise having such guidelines be made apparent in a sites' rulebook is fairly reliable.

    So... why would their have never been rules outlining what seems inherently obvious already:
    Bam! Simple. So, again why is this not already set in stone? Especially, what with growing complications in recent years being highlighted more so due to social media's growing presence with which gives rise to cyber bullying 'n all... not to mention, I have heard that what is considered unacceptable in the above listing have been offensive to many for going on I'd say about... well, I'm 20-ish so let's say about over 20 years now. So, we've definitely had the time to work these kinks out of day-to-day interactions, I'd say. What's the problem?

    If a reason as to why this kind of thing isn't already in the rules of the JC is that there are not enough moderators to intervene in every perceived plight, then perhaps the best course of action is to get even more moderators per forum. If a reason is that since we are a public forums site we need to hold a community meet-and-greet to have diplomatic discussions so as to make everyone happy when putting the best restrictions forth thus allowing everyone here a comfortable zone to engage in friendly banter, then perhaps the best course of action is that sometimes the rules are best managed when a minority of overseers (mods/admins/etc.) hold back on public discourse from us, and agree to what they feel is needed to get this place running as smoothly as possible. Sometimes too much public scrutiny just muddles with matters that can be easily taken care of without awaiting everyone's input, and this topic especially seems like a case of it should be dealt with asap.

    Dunno... just seems beyond question that steps would be taken to not let something like this be as much of an issue anymore. One would think that racism, sexism, homophobic remarks or what have you should already be encroached on. That is usually how problems are diminished over time, as although there will always be those with flippant view points that oft complicate these matters, many exercise sound judgments, and take sagacious forethought, so as to abide by the rules. We are guests here after all, and terms can be more authoritarian here, then in the outside world, or else people may take advantage. To be honest, we're pretty lucky as without the above rules Ender stated this site still is fairly tame in comparison to other sites that also don't exercise such restrictions, whereby usually all **** breaks loose. We should probably get ahead of that, eh? Eh? Eh...

    Side Note: Not trying to sound snippy or anything, as I know 'tis difficult to gauge that through text, I am actually smiling :) (see visual proof) but I am honestly curious/baffled by as to why such palpable issues are necessary to be brought up here instead of there already having been precautions taken, preventative measures and such to have made this a non-issue yesteryear, instead of a festering dilemma today, so to speak... I don't know anything about Gamergate (sp?) or what is going on all throughout the community forums, nor do I partake in writing on these forums as much anymore, but I do visit whenever I get the chance just to lurk around, and enjoy reading up on others' opinions on Star Wars, whether I disagree with them or not, so seeing this website operate at maximum efficiency levels for everyone involved would be great to see... as is why I am involving myself in this discussion, I guess.
     
  3. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    The simple answer is that no set of rules can be comprehensive at the outset and it's only a problem when it's a problem, if you know what i mean?
     
    ShaneP likes this.
  4. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Jetedonne, just to elaborate further - the rules work up until the point that something highlights they don't. It may sound intuitive but it's more or less the basis for most legal systems. In our case, it should have been self-evident that our head admin at the time was sending inappropriate PMs to users (Sape, not Ramza!). It should have been evident that unwelcome sexual contact was forbidden. Etc etc

    Here there's two key points - firstly, that over time, tolerance for undermining women has eroded for a majority of people (case in point; contrast how wide spread concern about the male-dominated cast announcements for Episode I v Episode VII). Secondly, as specific incidents happen, we learn over time where the limits of the rules are and where they can be improved. So it's not that there was an overt or even tacit endorsement of sexism in the Administration; far from it. It's just that the rules, as a reflection of the needs of the community, weren't really put to the test in a meaningful way.

    Over the years I moderated I worked with some excellent women, like RebelScum77; ophelia, Pulsie, MariahJSkywalker, Healer Leona and rhonderoo (if I missed anyone who was a mod then, I apologise!). None could be called shrinking violets or women who were opposed to feminism. Yet there wasn't really a call in MS to change policy either. It just wasn't coming up as an issue back then.
     
  5. Randwulf Crescentmoon

    Randwulf Crescentmoon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 25, 2013
    I get that... 'tis a shame though. That said, it does seem at times, that there are numerous policies brought up in threads such as these, and no matter the content no one really wants to update/change the rules of the JC. Not saying that is the case, and I understand the importance of hesitance in such affairs, but with matters as germane as the ones highlighted herein this thread it still feels as though there has to have been instances/circumstances in the past wherein incessant remarks were commonplace, ya know... I mean, you hear about these concerns every day, so has this sort of thing never occurred before (that's terrific if it hasn't, by the way) but if it has when is it considered a problem worthy of a solution?

    What I am trying to say is that sometimes experience isn't necessary to indicate the gravity of an issue. On occasion you just know when something isn't quite right based on how it makes others feel and sexism, racism, etc. shouldn't necessarily need a reason to be curbed before it gets out of hand. As I stated above, I truly think we're fortunate that things haven't gotten nearly as obstreperous on this website without such rules in place, as 'tis on other websites, which can be predominantly biased in favor of some rather antipathetic influences dependent on the sway of the majority's consensus.

    *Sigh* I honestly don't know what goes into making decisions on this site, nor do I pretend to know what is best for everyone else... but in this case I think many recognize the solemnity of these topics and the frivolity of talking instead of acting on them. Once 'tis in the rules, then would seem to be the best time for mods to take the time to choose whether or not to opt to enforce them in situations deemed relevant to them.

    Edit: I just refreshed the page, and seen your edit so, sorry if I brought up anything you already elaborated on.
     
    Ender Sai likes this.
  6. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    You're right. And I can't speak for MS now, but back when I was in there honestly there's enough keeping us going between being members of our own forums/communities, RL, and managing day to day issues that pop up. MS would I'm sure like to be able to forsee events, but realistically you'll always get the "if it's not broken, there's no need to fix it" crowd arguing for the status quo.

    Similarly, any one of us users could and should have raised the point sooner - it's not just on the MS either. We have to call out things we have concerns over - hence in part the purpose of this forum (that, reporting bugs, and allowing Dani the opportunity for sporadic drama). From my end, I admit I really should have raised this sooner because there's a 38 page thread out there which had 38 too many pages and should have been the catalyst for change. It wasn't.

    I don't want to diminish your points, because they are really quite good. I just also don't want to suggest it's a fault of the ModSquad either, when it's not. It's a bit all our faults, and also, just the 'natural order' of things with any governance structure.
     
    Jetedonne Pur-Pureus likes this.
  7. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    A large part of the problem with what you just posted is that none of those mods were ever thought of in terms of "female" vs "male." I don't recall a time when this was ever thought of. Rhonderoo was the head admin who busted my chops the most, and I mean that in a good way. Sometimes she was stubborn beyond belief. Other times she was flexible with ideas. Just like anyone is. But she was never a "female mod, with an eye on female issues." She was an equal opportunity buster of chops. I think this is the first time I've ever seen this idea of female vs male mods.

    But that's the related issue. I think everyone agrees with the core of what you're saying. I think if gender-condescending terms have been left unrecognized because they've been camouflaged, then everyone is aware of them now, and it's in the open. But I also think it does a disservice to the issue to separate it out and act like it needs special scrutiny in relation to treating everyone with respect, or lack thereof, based on an overall policy. Horsey and Jabba already mentioned it better than I could.

    EDIT: Whoops. A couple of posts jumped in before this. Insert this one after the reply in which you mentioned the mods by name.
     
  8. Randwulf Crescentmoon

    Randwulf Crescentmoon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 25, 2013
    Ender Sai yeah, I can only imagine how difficult the upkeep of these forums must be for mods when intermingled with RL, and there is no doubt in my mind that ModSquad does a fabulous job. 'Tis something I could never do, for sure, as it is safe to say that I would get carried away with the power that accompanies that type of role... heck, I've already got a new profile name picked out in my mind for just such an occasion; used for when I deliver my judgments or just ban people for disagreeing with me, 'Knock, Knock... The Joke's On You'. So, I just want to make it explicitly clear as well that I don't think for even a moment that any of this is MS's fault. 'Tis cool to know that a few individuals diligently put forth efforts, and actually take time out of their day to better these forums, whilst actually taking into account our opinions.

    I also agree, wholeheartedly, with your sentiments that all of us should bring these issues to light sometimes, as well, especially since we are bestowed that opportunity. As far as you stating you should have brought it up sooner, though, I wouldn't worry about that, as you do a fantastic job with identifying this kind of subject matter, and saying what needs to be said; getting straight to the root of the problem. So, kudos to you, as well. You're assisting in keeping things honest, and upholding the morals and virtues that we want when visiting this site.
     
  9. LostOnHoth

    LostOnHoth Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2000
    I have nothing to contribute (it's all been said) except to disclose that my father in law refers to me as "boy" all the time. In fact, anyone who is younger than him gets "boy". Every character in every Tom Clancy novel uses the term "boy" when they speak to each other.Clancy uses it so much that I assumed this was an official US military term when dealing with inferiors. I was unaware that term "boy" has any racist overtones, I thought it was just a "my **** is bigger than yours" kind of comment. I think I've used it once or twice here myself when adopting a deliberate condescending tone. If anyone took offence I apologise.

    Anything else I need to know people?
     
  10. Zapdos

    Zapdos Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 7, 2013
    i actually didn't know about the boy thing before this thread either. maybe because we don't use the norwegian word for "boy"in that sense over here. i'm glad i know now, though, so i don't end up unknowingly offending anyone.
     
  11. JoinTheSchwarz

    JoinTheSchwarz JC Head Admin & Community Manager star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2002
    The current moderating team is not afraid of changing the rules or shaking things up if we think they are going to improve the JC. I mean, we got rid of kind of more than a few boards, something unthinkable a few years ago. We do like to know what we are doing, though.
     
  12. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Zapdos - Like everything else in this thread, it's a context thing. "Boy" and "darling" aren't going to be put on the banned words list because there are situations where you can use them without being a discriminatory ass.

    Ender Sai - going back to that bit of text you proposed for the rules a few pages back. I like your Rules change. The real problem is that "next steps" issue. I don't think "focus groups" or anything along those lines is practical. It's not like our site is being inundated by flaming misogynist zealots like some websites, as a couple of folks have already pointed out. Sure we have a few bigots here and there, especially in the JCC where there are a couple of regulars whose comments tend to be the source of much eye-rolling and head-shaking. The community can usually handle them without the mods having to step in and take charge as if this were a preschool playground.

    The biggest problems I've seen -- and from the comments in this thread I'm not the only one -- are that a lot of people are 1) either subtly chauvinist or 2) not aware they're being chauvinist to begin with. That's not really something a focus group can deal with. It's a case-by-case basis. A focus group (or mod committee or whatever) would best serve the function of making rules like "if X happens we do Y," but in 95% of the chauvinist cases that occur on this board it's not going to be as clear-cut as say, Sapes.

    I think a "next step" we could use is mods at least stepping in -- visually, not behind a PM -- telling people to knock off the offending antics. Set more public examples.
     
  13. harpua

    harpua Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Exactly.... that's how it should be, and how it's always been, I think. At one point, the jcc mods were nearly all female... and gabe. :p
     
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  14. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    I agree with your two examples there, and that's essentially why I think a clear statement of intent from the MS, with rules to empower mods to act, is what we need. Overt misogyny is clearly within the parameters of the baiting and flaming provisions of the forum's rules and accordingly can be managed. Subtle, covert or unintentional misogyny though currently can and has sailed below the radar. If mods can call someone out on it and have the prospects of an enforcement action to back them up, I'd call that a good outcome.

    However the focus group point wasn't for this. It was to suggest that rather than going all out on subtle hate speech, start small with misogyny - which is the most problematic simply because it's the least well provisioned for in the current rules - and after a time do a post implementation review in either MS or via a focus group to assess what worked and didn't, key take away points etc etc (usual PIR terminology fluff). I then envisioned the outcomes from that would be a wider hate speech policy, that's all.
     
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  15. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    The "address sexism publicly instead of via PM" thing that was brought up is interesting -- and it has potential if we're looking for more of an attitude shift than punitive thing here. We'd have to make sure it doesnt backfire by making people less likely to listen (private discussions are very effective at that) but it's worth considering.

    It'd be a pretty sharp departure from traditional private warning methods used by MS, but like Dave said we're open to new approaches.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
     
  16. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    I think it should be "one option among many" for you guys, Iello. There will be people who simply will not take on the feedback about their behavior with respect of how they treat women and for whom a PM is not going to make any difference in shifting views. That's why you need the capacity for enforcement action.

    Similarly, those who are unaware of it and who are open minded and confident enough to take on constructive feedback and change their views will respond well to the private discussion (it's less "public shaming" after all) and that'll benefit us all. And those who think they're getting away with being subtle either learn that they're not, or agree to enter into a contest of wills with a mod which they'll promptly lose.
     
  17. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Is this under discussion in MS now guys?
     
  18. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2008
    I've been following this thread meticulously but I've been just a tic too busy this week to get something decent drafted up for MS to pick at. I was also scoping general opinion trends to get a feel for which angle to begin with.

    Ideally that means we'll get something going this weekend, my schedule looks to be clearing up a little.
     
    Ender Sai likes this.
  19. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001

    WHAT ARE WE PAYING YOU FOR RAMZA?
     
  20. FatBurt

    FatBurt Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 21, 2003
    He's pushing for a pay rise clearly
     
  21. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    I propose doubling his pay.
     
    siha likes this.
  22. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 1999
    I was very pleased by the LARGE TEXT WARNING about objectifying women in the Episode VII spoilers allowed Daisy Ridley thread. Is this the result of mod initiative or have you altered the policy already?
     
    Valairy Scot likes this.
  23. A Chorus of Disapproval

    A Chorus of Disapproval TV Screaming Service / FFS! star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Personal initiative based upon our preexisting policies.
     
  24. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 1999
    congrats and thank you. It was both exactly the right tone and impossible to miss.
     
  25. A Chorus of Disapproval

    A Chorus of Disapproval TV Screaming Service / FFS! star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2003
    We attempt to drop an unreasonable amount of warnings due to the "newness" of a lot of that forum's contributors but, after we are secure that specific people are aware of what we do not consider appropriate regarding discrimination, I am all about performing Damnatio Memoriae on user accounts.