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about the feminism/WR area?

(344 Posts)

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fleacircus Sat 05-Oct-13 05:26:35

I don't like dogs, and I think most television is irredeemably stupid drivel and that there's no excuse for anyone with an actual life of their own to watch 'Made in Chelsea', and although I like knitting I don't really get the point of scrap-booking. Those are my opinions, and I'm entitled to hold them, and I would construct arguments to support them if pushed, but I don't go onto the TV thread and find people who like 'Made in Chelsea' and then go on about how wrong they are and when they get angry keep saying 'you just can't take it that other people don't share your opinions' until they get bored and give up on the thread altogether.

And I've got all the kids I want, thank you very much, so I'm not TTC, and I was lucky to conceive my kids in a very straightforward manner, so I don't actually know anything about how it feels not to, and I don't have any useful advice or insights for those who are TTC, and I don't have any medical expertise about TTC, so I've set my MN preferences not to display those threads.

So why is it that people who clearly have no interest in feminism or women's rights, and no knowledge of the often complex political, social and personal ideas being explored, and don't actually hope to learn anything or contribute anything of any value, hang around that area spoiling for a fight? Because there's a whole section of MN dedicated to expressing your opinions. It's this one. There's a question mark in the title and everything.


fleacircus Sat 05-Oct-13 09:18:59

Yeah, I can see that my final paragraph reads as if I think the FWR threads should be purist intellectual debate - which I really don't, the other reason I don't contribute much in there is because the threads that are like that make me feel like a dullard. I can't think of a better analogy; I'm sorry people are haranguing dog owners in The Doghouse, I wish they'd leave you alone too. And I haven't in any of my posts said I think there should be more rules, or that FWR should be singled out for protection - I'm just saying, why the blazes does anybody bother? And it's a PITA. But I have my answer - it's easy entertainment because the posters care a lot about the issues and will rise to the argument.

DontpanicMrMannering, I certainly don't mean the rest of the site is inane, I just picked three examples of my own prejudices at random. I've posted on knitting threads, and pet threads, and pointless gossip threads, and enjoyed them very much. And I owe huge amounts to MN for getting me through my early parenting times. Please don't think I'm trying to belittle the site or its users!

CoteDAzur Sat 05-Oct-13 09:26:15

You have soul sisters over at Spirituality topic who wonder why oh why atheists come to debate with them. "Atheists don't even believe in God, so why oh why do they bother us?" they cry.

The answer is the same: I don't believe in their deity but I am interested in this topic and I will debate it when I want to.

Does that answer your question?

FrightRider Sat 05-Oct-13 09:26:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CoteDAzur Sat 05-Oct-13 09:29:07

Yes, I remember that war debate. And the dethroned Queen Bee. It was much fun.

Tee2072 Sat 05-Oct-13 09:29:22

Thank you FrightRider. I was 'biting my tongue' so to speak to not mention that very thing as I avoided it at the time and didn't feel competent to speak to it.

But I watched it with much interest.

FWR is just like the rest of MN. A fact that many many people who post over there don't accept.

Lazyjaney Sat 05-Oct-13 09:48:17

The Feminists on MN don't handle debate or disagreement well and react virulently to it when it occurs, which of course means they check all the stereotype boxes, and become a windup merchants dream.

HoneyDragon Sat 05-Oct-13 09:53:54

That's a better question

why does anyone bother?

I would LOVE to know the answer to that one.

SilverApples Sat 05-Oct-13 09:54:13

Really, Lazyjaney?
I've found in the last year or so that the debates are much more open and diverse than in previous years, perhaps a little less heavy on academic references and theory, but certainly not as defensive and one-track as in the past.
May I recommend Buffy's posts on the boards? Feminist, intelligent argument without the vitriol. I find them an enlightening delight to read.

kotinka Sat 05-Oct-13 09:54:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fluffyraggies Sat 05-Oct-13 10:13:02

I'm increasingly aware, these last few years, of the reality of Feminist issues and have found my teenage daughters are taking notice of the things i have been saying re:inequality and casual sexism in our everyday lives. (It warmed my heart recently to hear my 15 year old in a thoughtful convo. with a couple of mates about how it's crap that women in comp. games always seem to have their tits hanging out grin Go DD! It's just a little step - but the seed of thought is planted)

Anyway ... i just wanted to say that I would love to engage with the WR forums here on MN, but i perceive the attitude to often be too 'highbrow' for me. Which seems a shame. I know i'm not an idiot, and yet i find the boards intimidating confusedsad

I agree with fluffyraggies - I read the FWR threads but don't feel I have anything to contribute because the standard of debate is quite high and my thoughts on the matter are half-baked at best.
I wouldn't say it was intimidating, it's just I am aware it's not my area of expertise. But reading the threads is a good shortcut to knowledge without all that dull study and thinking and stuff grin

OP- YANBU, it is irritating when some knucklehead comes in and craps all over an interesting thread, but there's not much we can do. As you have acknowledged.

Theodorakiss Sat 05-Oct-13 10:46:56

I quite agree but most goaders are mincemeated by the generally sensible, intelligent and difficult to goad hardcore regulars. I think it is the friendliest and most tolerant part of this site.

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 05-Oct-13 12:00:04

I post on FWR on and off. I don't mind the sort of comments O.P mentions. I think FWR should be accessible and diverse, it makes discussions more interesting too.

The grim ones are the trollish types who only ever post on FWR and have vested interest in minimising abuse against women. MN are very good at deleting these now though, as so many of them are previously banned posters.

I would also say that the fall out people are referring to was less about FWR being a "special" board and more about diversity of opinion on the board.

Suelford Sat 05-Oct-13 13:20:48

The FWR is a pretty vicious board, I think it wouldn't get trolled nearly as much if they didn't react so dramatically to everything (i.e. maybe a dissenting poster isn't necessarily a rape apologist or MRA).

There is also a sense that this is 'their' pro-feminism board, whereas MNHQ have made it clear over and over that it is a board about feminism, open to anyone who can post within the Talk guidelines.

JollySleepyGiant Sat 05-Oct-13 13:22:43

I have the feminism board hidden. It makes everyone happier if I'm not contributing to those discussions. Particularly me. There is always that option.

bigkidsdidit Sat 05-Oct-13 13:30:39

I think the idea that fwr is a vicious board where dissent is not tolerated must be a hangover from years ago. I've been here 3 years and it's not been like that in my time at all.

Suelford Sat 05-Oct-13 13:33:42

It's certainly calmer than in the past, the big ruckus and exodus of some of the more... strident posters saw to that. But it's still a board where dissenting opinions/posters will be attacked, rather than considered.

bigkidsdidit Sat 05-Oct-13 13:38:55

I respectfully disagree grin

caramelwaffle Sat 05-Oct-13 13:49:03

I agree with Grandstanding

BeCool Sat 05-Oct-13 13:54:48


I love the Feminism/WRB's on here. I have learnt so much from them and the posters. BUt the constant derailing and dragging threads into stupidity is frustrating. I don't consistently experience it elsewhere on MN.

It's a real shame - I am a feminist, and a SP and a FT working Mum. I don't have a specific outlet for my feminist, other than how I conduct my life. So the Fem/WR boards on MN are often a beautiful place and a gift for me especially as they are easily accessible in my busy life.

But I rarely post on them. And I often won't visit them for a while because of all the twattage the OP mentions is off putting. So many posters (I think) see jumping into a fem/WR thread as sport, or amusement. It's really sad. And I don't have the energy to deal with them - ultimately I find them a depressive intrusion into what I would like to have as a safe space.

I'm full of admiration for the Fem/WR posters who do engage so eloquently and intelligently and persistantly with the goaders. I'm very grateful for links to certain blogs and online feminist resources which I can enjoy and read without the goaders jumping in and stirring things up.

FavoriteThings Sat 05-Oct-13 14:21:33

Agree with Suelford. There are many many "you are MRA" or "you are a rape apologist" comments bandied about, if you disagree with some thinking. I dont know if they genuinely believe it. I think they do. MNHQ say the board is open to everyone. It isnt a closed board. If you have a little knowledge, or no knowledge at all you are still allowed to post.
To go back to your dog analogy, you can still watch a dog show cant you? And even speak even if you are only mildly interested. Everyone is different. A MN poster can pop in everywhere.

quesadilla Sat 05-Oct-13 14:30:54

I don't see why one must be a feminist or even sympathetic to feminism to have a well thought out view on a topic within that section, to be honest.

If you are talking about blatant trolling then you can ignore it. But surely if feminism is an intellectually robust state of mind (and by the way I am a feminist and think it is), it should be able to engage with people who for polite and coherent reasons disagree with its constructs.

Also I don't see why not liking something means you have to refrain from getting into a discussion with others about it. On that basis it would be almost impossible to review anything...

SisterMonicaJoan Sat 05-Oct-13 14:53:56

I think BeCool has summed up perfectly how I feel about the Feminism boards.

I've found it a place where I can learn and think. The usual posters are passionate but I find they are patient and happy to answer or explain theories etc. to anyone genuinely interested.

It is a great resource for women which makes it all the more intimidating when posters come on intent on spewing such uncalled for vitrol. It's usually not in the name of debate but hatred, sadly.

Ledkr Sat 05-Oct-13 15:01:29

I think it's good practice for everyday life as a feminist.
I'm used to the rolled eyes when I chile be anything I see as sexist and am happy to fight my corner if I need to. Unfortunately a lot if people stil see feminists as extremists and weirdos but that won't put me off, not at all.

comingalongnicely Sat 05-Oct-13 15:06:08

I'm not a feminist but I like to read the feminist board as I'm married to a woman, work with women & have women work for me.

It gives me an idea of what issues women are facing and (importantly for me) how to avoid creating or adding to those issues.

But, if I think they're out of line or spouting crap I'll go on and point iout too - they're call forums because it's a place for debate, otherwise it'd be a read only broadcast from MNHQ.....

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