MNHQ now email posters with how to "get around" the talk guidelines.

(401 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 26-Jun-14 11:57:44

There is yet another thread on FWR about trans people. Like nearly every other thread on there about trans people, it's a load of transphobia dressed up as gender analysis.

Nothing new, sadly.

What is new, is that MNHQ have now sent an email to a poster whose post was deleted, telling them how their post could be within the guidelines, even including a copy of their original post to make editing all the easier. This is because "discussion is important".

So, a few questions for MNHQ.

Are GLBT rights at all important to you?

Will you be extending this " How to bend the talk guidelines" services to racist, homophobic, or disabilist posts too, or is it only trans people who deserve to be discussed in a manner which is extremely offensive?

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 26-Jun-14 14:36:24

Hello

We don't see it as advice on how to 'get around' the Guidelines tbh - more that it's a shame when people put a lot of thought and effort into a long post, and hundreds of words get deleted for the sake of a few lines.

It's not new at all - we do this quite often across all sorts of issues, and have done for some time.

We want people to feel MN is a place where they can have debates, even difficult ones. In these circumstances, just going ahead and deleting long posts without explaining why to the poster can seem a bit stifling.

But yes, GLBT rights are absolutely something we take seriously - see our regular work with Stonewall, for instance (and look out for stuff about Pride coming up soon). We added transphobia to the 'not allowed' list a while back and regularly delete posts that are reported as transphobic.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 26-Jun-14 19:30:20

Rowan - would you really help someone who wanted to express racist sentiments to post within the talk guidelines?

Also, the TERF thread is not a debate, it is a thread that is overwhelmingly anti-trans gender people, particularly trans women.

Would you allow a thread with tons of posts claiming homosexuality was a mental order "that should not be indulged" to stand? Do you think Stonewall would be happy to work with you if you did? As that is exactly the sort of claims that are being on the TERF thread?

You have deleted entire threads for being mean or unsupportive about a particular celebrity, yet you allow and encourage transphobia to flourish.

The message you sent on the TERF thread, is that someone can be as unpleasant about trans gender people as they like, as long as they choose the right words when doing so. I think that is appalling.

KarlWrenbury Thu 26-Jun-14 19:32:17

dont call anyone a 'lunatic'

that would be my tip that i think is a pile of old cackerooney

KarlWrenbury Thu 26-Jun-14 19:32:56

Oh and don't put a fricken x at the end of a post.
We are middle class, if you don't mind, not a pile of huns

kim147 Thu 26-Jun-14 20:08:36

Do you think the TERF threads are debates with points being made by 2 sides?

Not sure if I do.

I've posted on that thread in what I hope is a reasonably neutral manner. I've read carefully every single post that has been contributed (expect any that have crossed with this one), and what I have seen is:

1) Well informed and carefully presented feminist critique of some vocal trans*activists who appear to be demanding rights that make some other women feel very vulnerable and at risk of harm.

2) Genuine sympathy for the difficulties faced by people who feel wrong or alienated in the gender they were assigned and desire that they not be harmed.

3) Concern about the medical treatments available to children and young people: concern that these treatments have as yet unknown physical effects and that they may be being offered not because the child or young person is certain of what they want but because the parents feel more comfortable with transitioning than homosexuality or gender nonconformity.

4) Some discussions about postmodernist / post-structuralist epistemology and academic privilege to separate theory from political reality and lived experience.

There is no intent to be unpleasant to trans*people and get away with it through skilled use of language and careful skirting around contentious points. There is an intent to discuss what is a very sensitive and difficult issue from the point of view of what it means for…how to put this appropriately… people with vaginas?

My own view, baldly stated, is that I am happy to accept trans*women as women but I am very concerned about what these very vocal trans*activists are doing. I appreciate the sensitivity of the topic, but it is important that neither feminists nor trans*activists are prevented from exploring their ideas and talking to each other about them.

Lovecat Thu 26-Jun-14 21:44:34

I'm finding the TERF threads very interesting and don't want them shut down.

Regarding debate, I don't think anyone is stopping anyone who disagrees with the arguments being put forward from posting there. As it is, it's quite refreshing to read a thread on the subject without having to wade through the kneejerk howls of transphobia and bigotry that pop up elsewhere on the internet when the idea that subjecting children to damaging hormones at a very young age might not be a good one (amongst other points) is raised.

Oh, no. Wait. The OP has done it here instead.

I'm also surprised and mildly amused that the OP tries to enlist Stonewall as support to her argument. Stonewall are fairly open about NOT including a T on their LGB rights campaigning. Are they a transphobic organisation?

KarlWrenbury Thu 26-Jun-14 21:49:15

wtf is a TERF
Like a Nerf?

CaptChaos Thu 26-Jun-14 21:51:13

TERF is an abusive acronym given to women by some trans*activists.

It means trans* Exclusionary Radical Feminist.

It is meant to be hurtful and is used as a slur against feminists of all stripes.

TiggyD Thu 26-Jun-14 21:52:29

Are they a transphobic organisation?
They do put transphobic writers up for awards, and use transphobic terminology in their media, and team up with companies like Paddy Power who make transphobic adverts, so yes, Stonewall are a transphobic organisation.

PortofinoRevisited Thu 26-Jun-14 22:03:27

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Lovecat Thu 26-Jun-14 22:19:47

All the more surprising, then, Tiggy smile

CrotchMaven Thu 26-Jun-14 22:26:40

Guidance on the guidelines seems a fairly grown up approach.

Anyone who wants to get involved in the debate is surely free to do so. It seems to have moved on from the changing room issue, which was previously the main bugbear, into the heart of the both the philosophical and lived-experience matter of something that is distorting feminist discourse and should rightly be raised.

Get stuck in if you disagree. I always say that when there are moans about threads on FWR. It's not MNHQ's fault if you don't want to, nor the fault of those who are thinking hard about this stuff and posting on the back of it. Start some threads on the main boards if you want some back up. Make it a debate if that's what you want. Although, I have a feeling that's not the case... Well, tough. There are plenty who do. If you can't see any validity in that wish, then perhaps you're not as open minded as you think you are. I, for one, would love to see some counter to the posts with which I agree. Make me think harder, if you think I'm not thinking hard enough.

Enough of the poor trans. At the moment, they have won the feminist spaces on the internet, by and large. And are dictating what is discussed. Post more if you want this one to be constrained too.

QueenStromba Thu 26-Jun-14 22:28:59

GoshAnneGorilla - you do realise that your calling for the thread to be deleted is just vindicating what "TERFs" have been saying? That transactivists are trying to silence women and erode our rights by shouting transphobia or TERF every time we try to discuss the matter. You really aren't helping your cause here. Feminists didn't come looking for trouble with the trans community - trans activists came after us first and we'll be damned if we let them silence our protests at how the trans movement is damaging women's rights.

Kim, my reading of the thread before I joined (which was only a couple of days ago) was you turned up in the middle of a good discussion and repeatedly asked questions that you knew you wouldn't like the answer to until such a point as you got the answers you were expecting. You then refused to answer any questions that were posed to you on the basis that talking about being trans is so upsetting for you (funny how you turn up on every thread I've ever seen on here about the subject when it upsets you so much to talk about it). You were then asked several times to point us in the direction of a moderate transactivist which you couldn't do so you went off in a strop and now you're complaining to HQ about us. How is you trying to block discussion on the subject congruent to a balanced discussion? How is it not an example of the trans community trying to silence feminists who dare to question the gospel according to Paris Lees?

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 26-Jun-14 22:33:33

Lovecat - I didn't mention Stonewall, Rowan did. I know very well that they do not serve trans people.

I have been on many, many, many, of the FWR trans threads. Usually they are more balanced. Usually don't seem to intervene in the way that they have here.

Buffy - so you've seen no posts on that thread describing trans people as mentally ill? Or describing themselves as mutilating themselves? Or with one poster describing trans women as "autogynephilic" - a hugely contentious term which is very offensive to trans people.

It is a bigoted thread with people swapping hugely negative stories of trans gender to encourage people to actively dislike trans women.

Do not make any excuses about not liking the practice, but not wanting to harm the people - we all know that is nonsense, it's nonsense regardless of what group of society it is used against.

I am not a man and I am a feminist, so does my voice not count?

kim147 Thu 26-Jun-14 22:35:26

queen

Trust me - you have no idea about why I'm not posting on that thread. And it's also not good form to try and say why I'm not on there.

I have also not complained to MNHQ - I'm just letting you lot get on with your "debate" - but I use that word loosely.

CrotchMaven Thu 26-Jun-14 22:38:37

My previous post came across as more provocative than I would like. I should have added that I would welcome a debate because I would always love to understand how, for example, someone who is passionate about feminist issues in one sphere in which I am equally passionate and then we can be so diverged on other issue. For example, someone with whom I absolutely concur on the dynamics of male on female domestic abuse (in all forms) but whose opinions on, say, BDSM are diametrically opposed. I am fascinated in learning where that divergence occurs. The same applies to the trans issue - where does the divergence occur when arguing with the same viewpoint about women being discriminated as the sex class or socialisation of gender and then...woah!... complete opposite on transpolitics.I don't get to learn if you don't post.

MooncupGoddess Thu 26-Jun-14 22:42:03

I've seen radical feminists engage in hate speech against trans people online, and it's not a nice sight, but actually the recent threads on MN that I've read have seemed pretty thoughtful and measured. Trans issues are really complicated and I don't think shutting down the discussion (which is something both some rad fems and some trans activists try to do) is helpful in the slightest.

If you disagree with the posts by all means engage in the discussion, OP; MNers such as myself might learn something from you.

almondcakes Thu 26-Jun-14 22:45:02

GoshAnne, your analogies to gay rights, when there are numerous lesbians on the thread in question saying they are being harmed by trans activism is inappropriate.

There is nothing wrong with disliking, even hating, a belief system while wishing no harm to the people. Religion, politics, radical feminism, genderism. You can dislike lots of beliefs and still wish no harm.

kim147 Thu 26-Jun-14 22:45:27

There's little point in posting on such threads when most of the people seem very fixed in their views on trans people. I honestly don't think it's a discussion.

QueenStromba Thu 26-Jun-14 22:47:56

Apologies Kim, it just seems like you're happy to discuss it when you're on a thread with loads of lib fems who will back you up but not when the majority of the posters on the thread aren't so happy to indulge you.

QueenStromba Thu 26-Jun-14 22:48:39

Cross posted there - you actually made my own point for me!

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 26-Jun-14 22:49:58

Almond - being trans is not a belief anymore then being gay is.

Just because it suits your argument to state otherwise, doesn't make it true.

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 26-Jun-14 22:52:41

Queen - So someone is happy to discuss something in a environment they feel is supportive, but doesn't feel comfortable discussing thing in a hostile environment?

I wonder why? No one else in the whole wide world would ever feel like that. hmm

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