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?

kim147 Fri 27-Jun-14 22:18:21

"We're all for freedom of speech. That said, we'll remove posts we consider to contain personal attacks, to break the law and/or to be obscene, racist, sexist, disablist, ageist or homophobic, once they are brought to our attention, we will also delete any posts that we think are just seriously unpleasant (Please note that any subsequent posts repeating the words in the deleted post may be deleted, too.)"

That phrase in bold is interesting. How is unpleasant defined?

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 27-Jun-14 22:27:25

I would like mn to continue to let the conversation continue on fwr.

It is one of the only places I have seen it happen.

SwerfAndTerf Fri 27-Jun-14 22:29:40

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

kim147 Fri 27-Jun-14 22:29:58

Well - MNHQ are a bit awake this evening - and there's an idea of what they think constitutes transphobic comments.

CoteDAzur Fri 27-Jun-14 22:30:06

I'm confused. Is it now offensive to refer to an adult male human with XY chromosomes and a functional penis as a "man"?

Someone inform Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries.

kim147 Fri 27-Jun-14 22:31:25

swerf

I have no idea who you are. And from what I see - the debate is still going on and I haven't complained or reported it.

Do you feel silienced by me? How?

AnyaKnowIt Fri 27-Jun-14 22:31:54

So am I CoteDAzur

kim147 Fri 27-Jun-14 22:34:31

And if I was mysogynistic - why the fuck would I have done all this to myself for the last 5 years? For fun confused

CoteDAzur Fri 27-Jun-14 22:36:08

You say it's a disorder. So no, I'm guessing it's not fun.

kim147 Fri 27-Jun-14 22:16:04
... transsexualism is a recognised disorder

DenzelWashington Fri 27-Jun-14 22:48:15

I am not asking this to be inflammatory or glib, but why is it so important not to allow statements that are even arguably transphobic, or racist, or disablist?

Why is it so important to zap them immediately, rather than let them stand, perhaps with some judicious editing, to be debated, analysed and, one hopes, shot down?

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 28-Jun-14 00:08:14

Denzel because people get tired of having to debate and educate others. It's not just words on a screen reading nasty or ill informed bigotry that is aimed at you or your loved ones.

To give an example, it has been a huge issue on here among posters who are parents of children with special needs. MNHQ's attitude used to be to let disabilist comments stand as they usually are borne of ignorance, so parents of children with SN could provide informative responses.

However, the response to MNHQ from parents of children with SN, was that they had enough to do in their lives without having to respond and educate every goady bigot on here.

NotAgainTrevor Sat 28-Jun-14 00:09:34

Why are female born people the only oppressed group which is not allowed to define their own boundaries? Why are female born people the only oppressed group not allowed to define who they are? Why? Why do female born people matter less? Explain why as all I can see is that female borns matter less and no one gives a shit.

I'm also waiting for someone to tell me what wonderful Cis privilege I have too, well fucking define it. There is a list of cis privilege knocking around and it is all male privilege or utter bollocks, the site it comes from has lists of all sorts of privilege except one notable example, female privilege. They can't even pretend female privilege exists.

Beachcomber Sat 28-Jun-14 09:12:59

Beach I said in the context of an identity debate not all the time. I don't think those statements are transphobic as a rule, I can just imagine some contexts in which they could be. If you are saying they are labelled transphobic 100% of the time, then that is excessive.

dreamingbohemian I've been thinking about what you said here and I find it quite illuminating as to the arbitrary and controversial nature of what is considered transphobic and why there is so much disagreement. By the way, many would consider your above post highly transphobic and I don't just mean extremists; on a website like The F-Word chances are you would get flamed (actually your post probably wouldn't make it through moderation).

I don't think what you say above is transphobic, but I do think it is incoherent. Either one accepts transgender ideology, or one does not. Surely one cannot pick the bits that one is OK with but not others? Surely one cannot accept transgender ideology in some contexts but not in others? Surely that is transphobic?

Let me explain. Transgenderism (which is different to transsexualism) is based on the idea of a defining inner gender identity. If you accept that, (and it is transphobic not to) then the statement 'women menstruate' is always transphobic, no matter what the context. Because transwomen are women in exactly the same way that bio women are women but they don't menstruate - and to generalize about women in a way that dismisses or leaves out or erases women who happen to be transwomen, is transphobic. In other words, either you accept that transwomen are women and transmen are men - or you don't. You can't accept it some of the time and in some contexts, but not in others. That is transphobic. And incoherent.

On sites like The F-Word their guidelines about transphobia clearly state that any comments which suggest that transwomen are not real women or that they are somehow 'lesser' women or not as womanly as bio women will be deleted for transphobia. Therefore discussions generalizing about women with the assumption that things like menstruation, abortion, cervical cancer, FGM, pregnancy, hormonal contraception, etc, etc are women's issues or that they affect women in general, are transphobic (and essentialist). Because they marginalize transwomen and suggest that they are not real women. Which is perfectly logical and coherent IMO if one is starting out from the position of accepting the concept of inner gender identity and its role in how a person identifies.

What I see a lot of people doing is accepting part of the ideology but not taking it to its logical conclusion (in other words they accept the bits that fit in with their world view and politics but kind of ignore the rest). And that is transphobic and not a little hypocritical - especially if one is accusing others of transphobia.

Really if MNHQ want to draw up guidelines about transphobia they would need them to be very clear that there is absolutely no difference between bio women and transwomen and that we are in the same sex category. Indeed MN would find itself in trouble because many of the sections of the website would be considered extremely unwelcoming and excluding of transwomen on a site that is aimed at women (all women, right, not just bio ones) - sections such as the pregnancy, childbirth, antenatal, postnatal depression, miscarriage, breast and bottle feeding, etc exclude transwomen and carry the highly transphobic implication that they are not real women. MN would probably be breaking its own guidelines.

Beachcomber Sat 28-Jun-14 11:45:19

Another thing that has occurred to me is the huge irony this thread and GoshAnneGorilla's posts on it are.

GoshAnneGorilla you are bending the talk guidelines.

You are carefully staying just within in them by not actually saying 'Beachcomber and many other posters on the FWR are nasty ignorant ill informed bigots who are no better than goady trolls and fuckwits who post offensively on the special needs section and no better than white supremacist neo-Nazis and homophobes". You aren't actually boldly saying that because it would get you deleted for personal attack.

So what you are doing is getting around the guidelines by making comparisons with disablist trolls and neo-nazis and posting stuff like;

'It's not just words on a screen reading nasty or ill informed bigotry'

Which any regular MNer knows fine well is a way of calling people nasty ill informed bigots but doing it in a carefully constructed way so that it bends the rules on personal attack and avoids deletion.

Oh, the irony.

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 28-Jun-14 12:24:21

Beachcomber - it's called playing the ball, not the man, it means you agree or criticise what is being said, not the person saying it.

It is standard practice in a discussion, not "bending the rules".

Beachcomber Sat 28-Jun-14 12:48:13

Sure thing GoshAnneGorilla, loads of MNers do it, we know what it is.

It's the difference between being deleted or not.

Beachcomber is an ill informed nasty bigot = deletion.

Beachcomber's words/posts/opinions/thread/politics are nasty ill informed bigotry = will probably just escape deletion.

It means you get to say what you want to say about someone whilst pretending that it isn't about them but it is some high level intellectual debate.

It means you get to say really offensive things like;

I have no interest in discussing trans issues on your thread, just as I wouldn't discuss race issues on Stormfront.

whilst claiming that one is above making personal attacks or bending the talk guidelines to just within a hair's breadth of breaking point.

I think it would be much more interesting and fruitful if you would engage with some of the discussion around what transphobia is. It might move things forward better than comparing FWR to neo-Nazis, racists, homophobes and other bigots because we don't agree with your analysis of gender.

kim147 Sat 28-Jun-14 13:11:40

I also have no interest in discussing trans issues anymore on FWR. For me, it feels like a feminist posting on an MRA board - and that's just because the viewpoints are so so different.

The viewpoints are so different - and the people on FWR who post on trans threads do tend to have a fixed view on trans issues - that there is little point posting on there anymore.

I'll probably post on other boards - but not FWR anymore.

IonaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 28-Jun-14 13:28:46

Hi everyone.

Thanks for all your comments on this thread, and the reports drawing it to our attention again.

We have been watching the thread, and the thread it references, and have tried to let the conversation on both flow as much as possible, because it seemed to be a really interesting discussion and one into which lots of posters had put a great deal of time and thought.

As the thread has now gone on all week, we think we need to sit down at MNHQ next week and see if we can come up with a definition of transphobia that explains what it is, how it may be manifested and exactly what Mumsnet's policy is on transphobia on the talk boards.

It goes without saying that we are against all forms of prejudice but it seems clear from the posts here that Mumsnetters would like more input from us on what that means with regards to transphobia specifically. It's something we take seriously and can be difficult to define in absolutes, so we want to get it right.

Please do remember we are not experts in the subject, and moderate daily across a wide range of topics. Sometimes it's inevitable that we'll make a call that offends or upsets some people, and sometimes we do miss things. So apologies if that's been the case. Please bear with us while we come up with a definition we think will help.

We'll meet next week and update you at the earliest opportunity.

kim147 Sat 28-Jun-14 13:38:54

You've got a difficult job.
Some people think it's a recognised medical condition and the person has no choice. Others think it's not a medical condition but more to do with gender roles.
And of course - you've got people who identify as trans but go no further.

Is it acceptable to call transwomen men? Or is that transphobic?

I don't envy you. People on FWR have every right to discuss trans issues and how they affect women. At what point does that discussion become transphobic?

I'm glad you're going to tackle this - and I am sure you'll get input from other people.

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 28-Jun-14 13:45:38

IonaMNHQ - Thank you.

CoteDAzur Sat 28-Jun-14 13:48:35

"transwomen are women in exactly the same way that bio women are women"

How? confused

Surely the fact that transwomen have XY chromosomes, need to be castrated, and then take external hormones for the rest of their lives counts as a rather big differences?

Is it now transphobic to point out these glaringly obvious facts? confused

kim147 Sat 28-Jun-14 13:57:46

OK - Cote - would you call a transwoman a man?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 28-Jun-14 14:04:38

I'm sort of with Cote here, I think. I understand that trans* mentally believe they are of the other sex (in physical biological sense), but surely you cannot ignore the physical biology. A person choosing to be the opposite sex was still born in the physical body of a particular sex.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 28-Jun-14 14:06:12

I guess it comes down to gender (social/mental construct) or sex (physical/biological). On which basis should you discriminate?

CoteDAzur Sat 28-Jun-14 14:06:50

I would call them whatever they want to be called. Which is the only polite thing to do. I've been referring to you as 'she' because that is what you want to be called, for example.

A question for you: Do you think you are a woman in exactly the same way that a bio woman is a woman?

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