We need to talk

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We need to talk

Post by Caprizant on 28th March 2017, 9:15 pm

Hey y'all. I think we need to have an earnest discussion.

Over the past few months, I've seen regular Pit Stop conversations become excessively sexual. For instance, I've seen discussions of female characters in media break down into conversations exclusively about their sexual attractiveness. Often, this is prompted by user avatars and signatures or user-posted pictures that depict these characters in an overtly sexual manner.

I've bit my tongue for the past few months because I hadn't received any complaints from other users about this. I figured I couldn't do anything about it unless someone else prompted me to do so. But I don't think that's the right mindset to have in this situation.

We've already had a discussion about the oversexualized atmosphere of the Pit Stop long ago, when That Sounded Dirty was closed. Forum members expressed their discomfort with it then, and I don't think that has changed.

I know that I, personally, have avoided posting in the Pit Stop at times when these conversations are happening because they made me uncomfortable. However, that's getting more difficult to do.

User themes are getting more sexual, too. I've used Ad-Block to hide certain users' avatars because they were overly sexual. They made it difficult for me to feel safe here. I don't think our users should have to resort to such tactics to feel safe in their own social circle.

We have to think about the ways our actions, words, and personas affect the people around us. You have to think closely about the images you post, and the conversations you have. Think about how they affect the way women and people of other genders in our community view themselves, their bodies, their actions, and their personalities.

If our community promotes an interpretation of their lives that is inherently sexual, it could lead to serious harm.

That's why I want to talk to all of you about ways that we can change this problem. I didn't want to unilaterally subject y'all to new rules without having an honest discussion first, so here we are.

I think the best course of action is to introduce new rules banning oversexualized themes and conversations in the Pit Stop. As usual, I would expect y'all to participate in enforcing these rules as active bystanders.

So what do y'all think? Does this sound fair? Let me know if you have any other suggestions.


Last edited by Caprizant on 1st April 2017, 4:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: We need to talk

Post by Apocrypha on 28th March 2017, 9:34 pm

This sounds reasonable. Sorry we've been making you feel this way, Cap. Is there anything I can do persobally to make you feel more comfortable?


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Re: We need to talk

Post by Caprizant on 28th March 2017, 9:43 pm

It's alright! The ideas I've given so far are what I've come up with given my own observations and standards of comfort, so that's all I can really suggest.

I'm mostly wondering if anyone else here has their own comfort needs that I haven't thought of due to the limits of my own experience.
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Re: We need to talk

Post by Truthseeker4449 on 28th March 2017, 9:45 pm

Well.. I think one thing is for certain, we're not expressing our feelings well enough if concerns are just being raised now.

Having watched the forum shift and probably been responsible for part of that shift myself, I've been waiting for anyone to step forward saying they didn't like this or that conversation. I'm very disheartened to learn it's kept you from posting at times.

I've questioned a couple themes myself in my head and wondered if anyone had any objections. Because no one stepped forward with one, I dismissed them because I'm largely comfortable with mature content.

One thing I think needs to be at least mentioned is that we're a good bit older now than we were back then. Increased sex drive comes with that, at least with guys. Not that is an excuse, it's our fault for not keeping it in check.


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Re: We need to talk

Post by Greece on 28th March 2017, 9:52 pm

I know that I do tend to not post when topics get a little too raunchy for my liking, and I have been made uncomfortable by user themes a few times while I've been on the site so I do think it would be nice to have rules like these. I know that I'm always a bit scared of speaking up because I've been shot down and made fun of enough times in my life to have anxiety over this type of stuff.

Also don't read into this as that I hate or am upset with any of you guys, because that's not it at all. I don't associate my feelings on these things with you guys personally.

(and if I've ever made any of you guys uncomfortable I am so, deeply sorry. Please tell me if I do something that negatively impacts you so I can respect you and your needs better)
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Re: We need to talk

Post by Truthseeker4449 on 28th March 2017, 10:05 pm

We do still have a report thingy right? Perhaps for starters we could start using that?


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Re: We need to talk

Post by Caprizant on 28th March 2017, 10:09 pm

@Truthseeker4449 wrote:Well.. I think one thing is for certain, we're not expressing our feelings well enough if concerns are just being raised now.

Having watched the forum shift and probably been responsible for part of that shift myself, I've been waiting for anyone to step forward saying they didn't like this or that conversation. I'm very disheartened to learn it's kept you from posting at times.

I've questioned a couple themes myself in my head and wondered if anyone had any objections. Because no one stepped forward with one, I dismissed them because I'm largely comfortable with mature content.

One thing I think needs to be at least mentioned is that we're a good bit older now than we were back then. Increased sex drive comes with that, at least with guys. Not that is an excuse, it's our fault for not keeping it in check.
Yeah, I think there's been a lot of tensions that have gone unmentioned around here.

I've definitely gone through that mindset that, "Well, if no one's complaining about it, then it must not be that bad." But if everyone has that mindset, then no one will ever be the first person to complain about it.

It's difficult to be the first person to break that silence, so I think we really need to foster an atmosphere where it's okay to express discomfort with each other. That involves being empathetic, not hostile, when someone is feeling uncomfortable.
@Greece wrote:I know that I do tend to not post when topics get a little too raunchy for my liking, and I have been made uncomfortable by user themes a few times while I've been on the site so I do think it would be nice to have rules like these. I know that I'm always a bit scared of speaking up because I've been shot down and made fun of enough times in my life to have anxiety over this type of stuff.
Yeah, I totally get what you're saying. I've just been twiddling my thumbs for months now waiting for someone else to bring it up and getting anxious whenever I came close to doing it. It's a good thing I'm low on sleep right now or else it might've been even more difficult. :B
Also don't read into this as that I hate or am upset with any of you guys, because that's not it at all. I don't associate my feelings on these things with you guys personally.

(and if I've ever made any of you guys uncomfortable I am so, deeply sorry. Please tell me if I do something that negatively impacts you so I can respect you and your needs better)
^ I can't say any of the above two points better than this so I think I'll just point to 'em! :p
@Truthseeker4449 wrote:We do still have a report thingy right? Perhaps for starters we could start using that?
Yeah, it's definitely good to remember that's there. I also think a lot of this must be solved publicly between us too, though.
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Re: We need to talk

Post by Truthseeker4449 on 28th March 2017, 10:15 pm

Yes a good bit of this has to be done publicly. And I'm sure I'm one of the worst offenders

Perhaps the easier thing to tackle first is theme limitations?


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Re: We need to talk

Post by Caprizant on 28th March 2017, 10:21 pm

I think theme limitations can be pretty reliably handled privately, with reports and PMs. They can probably be handled on a case-by-case basis without getting too specific in the actual rule itself―if it just makes you uncomfortable, report it.

Conversations require public intervention, however. There's too many people involved to handle it privately, and I don't think we'll change as a community without publicly addressing which topics make people uncomfortable.

Of course, you can still report a post in a conversation that makes you uncomfortable, if you're worried about your privacy or anxious about the reactions you'd get by intervening yourself. Someone else can intervene on your behalf if you send in a private report. That way it's easy to bring attention to it and talk it over as a group without quite so much anxiety.
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Re: We need to talk

Post by Truthseeker4449 on 28th March 2017, 10:25 pm

@Caprizant wrote:I think theme limitations can be pretty reliably handled privately, with reports and PMs. They can probably be handled on a case-by-case basis without getting too specific in the actual rule itself―if it just makes you uncomfortable, report it.
That should work.

Conversations require public intervention, however. There's too many people involved to handle it privately, and I don't think we'll change as a community without publicly addressing which topics make people uncomfortable.
Alright so what topic do we start with?

Of course, you can still report a post in a conversation that makes you uncomfortable, if you're worried about your privacy or anxious about the reactions you'd get by intervening yourself. Someone else can intervene on your behalf if you send in a private report. That way it's easy to bring attention to it and talk it over as a group without quite so much anxiety.
Yes.

*goes to update the report reasons*


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Re: We need to talk

Post by returnofmastercrazyhand on 28th March 2017, 10:41 pm

I for one welcome these rules, as I try to keep my sex life on dA separated from my usual forum life for one, and even then there are things I hate when it comes for NSFW and sexual stuff. these conversations or pictures made me feel turned on, something I do NOT on my usual forums, if it's my dA fine, but if it's reddit, bulba, or here, no thank you.


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Re: We need to talk

Post by Caprizant on 28th March 2017, 10:59 pm

@Truthseeker4449 wrote:Alright so what topic do we start with?
Well, so far we've recognized sexual conversations about female characters as a problem. Generally, this sort of stuff springs up around terms like "waifu," when people start comparing their favorite female characters more as objects of desire, rather than as people.

Another case, though I haven't personally seen it thrown around in awhile, is terms like "trap" and "futa." As a trans person, I find these terms particularly degrading. "Trap" because it implies that not disclosing my gender assignment at birth is some major deception, when it's personal information that I don't reveal to people for my own personal safety. "Futa," meanwhile, fetishizes trans people. It's extremely degrading to know that some people think of me as an inhuman fetish, rather than a person.

As with themes though, I think it's best to be general in the rule itself and specific in case-by-case situations. This is all a good base, but we can't possibly cover everything now; some of this will just have to come up naturally, and we can address it then.
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Re: We need to talk

Post by Orcapon on 29th March 2017, 12:11 am

I will put this in the nicest, most concise manner I can:

Sexual conversation and lewd jokes have a time and place, I will admit to that, but sex and attraction and things like that are also parts of who we are as well. In the same way that you may feel uncomfortable, I also get uncomfortable when all sexual conversation is banned because I start to get really paranoid and stressed out over everything I say, post and do and thus end up posting less and less.

My mind set is, if nobody says anything, they are okay with it thus I will continue so if you think I go too far then tell me, but if we are being banned from discussing waifu, futa, trap, ecchi or even yaoi I will leave.
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Re: We need to talk

Post by Caprizant on 29th March 2017, 12:42 am

I understand that it can be anxiety-inducing. I have anxiety too. I worry about what I say all the time.

But this anxiety is not the same kind of discomfort that I feel when my gender identity is sexualized and made humiliating. It's not the same discomfort that me and other women feel when our bodies are objectified and our personhood discarded.

I know how hard it is to live with anxiety. I want to make this a welcoming place for people like us too. But that should not have to involve allowing the continued subordination of a group of people.

This rule is pretty much just encouraging exactly what you said we should do―letting you know if you go too far. And that's a good thing! It's just that, without a system in place to actively encourage intervention in these situations, no one is ever going to speak up when someone else goes too far.

We're not going to ostracize you for breaking this rule inadvertently. It's not gonna result in any penalty for you if you break it. It's just an opportunity to discuss the way which actions, images, and conversations can cause real harm. It'll just be a brief pause in the conversation for a learning opportunity, then back to shenanigans as usual.
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Re: We need to talk

Post by Truthseeker4449 on 29th March 2017, 6:00 am

@Caprizant wrote:Another case, though I haven't personally seen it thrown around in awhile, is terms like "trap" and "futa." As a trans person, I find these terms particularly degrading. "Trap" because it implies that not disclosing my gender assignment at birth is some major deception, when it's personal information that I don't reveal to people for my own personal safety. "Futa," meanwhile, fetishizes trans people. It's extremely degrading to know that some people think of me as an inhuman fetish, rather than a person.
Those words are so seldom used here, or even offsite, that I had thought this wasn't an issue anymore. Apparently I was wrong again. I sincerely hope that you don't think any of us, or anyone you know would think of you that way. But people are always gonna hate for the sake of wanting to hate something and it doesn't matter if you're trans or not.

Though I wouldn't consider "Futa" or the full word "Funtari" a inhuman fetish. A trans person is still human no? I'm not saying it's an okay thing, it's just that your wording bugs me.




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Re: We need to talk

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