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New sub-section please?

(397 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

RatRolyPoly Sat 03-Feb-18 15:02:06

Hello MNHQ, may I gently put forward the idea of a new Libfem sub-section please? I don't know if the idea has been floated before so I'm not sure what appetite there would be for it, if any at all, but in the interests of feminism being accessible to all women and for the benefit of all women I'd like to raise my hand in favour.

By "all women" I primarily mean women such as myself, who would appreciate a section on Mumsnet to discuss feminist and women's issues without what is serving to all intents and purposes as "entry criteria" on the existing board; that being the obligation to deny the legally recognised genders of a group of individuals - contrary to the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

This situation, I believe, has become the case due to prevalence of a certain brand of feminism having become overrepresented on this board, but serves the purpose of excluding and silencing the valid views of many women and feminists.

I'm not attempting in any way to discredit or silence the position of this current majority, merely to suggest that a specific board is needed to enable the voices of liberal feminists to be heard; not least by each other, in order to discuss the ongoing struggles faced by women in today's society.


RivkaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 04-Feb-18 15:47:05

Hi there OP,

Thanks for taking the time to suggest this and to open up a discussion.

We'll keep an eye on the thread to see what ideas other Mumsnetters might have.

LivLemler Sun 04-Feb-18 15:53:40

I think this is a great idea.

LivLemler Sun 04-Feb-18 15:54:12

(Although I'm in the category of user who now doesn't even open a thread if I suspect it's going to be a trans thread at this stage, tbh.)

RatRolyPoly Sun 04-Feb-18 16:54:58

Phew, I'm pleased someone's keen! I've come across loads of MNers lately who've expressed similar or cross-concerns so wondered if it might be a goer. Obviously the trans debate is topical, but I think some people aren't able to engage with it in the present subforum; it's a bit like trying to discuss elective sections in a hynobirthing class.

...but mostly it is only one of many discussions I'd like to be having, with a liberal perspective in mind.

Should I post something on AIBU maybe, somewhere "high traffic"?

LastNightMyWifeHooveredMyHead Sun 04-Feb-18 16:57:47

Brilliant idea, OP - agree with you 100%

SoupDragon Sun 04-Feb-18 16:59:13

Unfortunately a separate board won’t stop it being gate crashed” by those who believe in the “entry level requirements” you mention.

RatRolyPoly Sun 04-Feb-18 17:48:56

Perhaps not SoupDragon, but something I've seen with the Vegan subsection for example is that when posters jump onto a thread with a clearly anti-vegan stance others are quick to remind them "^but this is the Vegan section, so...^"

I was thinking the same phenomenon might occur. You know, this is the Liberal feminists section so people are bound to be discussing things form a liberal perspective. It kind of legitamises it, right?

Aftershock15 Sun 04-Feb-18 18:24:14

What are the 'entry level requirements ' ?

smellfunny Sun 04-Feb-18 18:54:40

I think this is a great idea.

I'm not sure whether this exists already (I did have a quick look but Topics is a confusing section!), but there should definitely also be a friendly space for trans-folk to post as well. I feel like the current feminist boards often quickly turn one-sided and people are quick to become defensive as a result.

Disclaimer: I definitely appreciate the opinions voiced on the current feminist threads (I've learnt a lot, and definitely re-evaluated my position on many topics!)

LadyDeadpool Sun 04-Feb-18 19:05:20

Fantastic idea! I'd love to see this but I suspect this thread is going to go down in flames as another anti-trans debate.

Please MNHQ lets just have a safe space for all women, the women on here with differing views to the incredibly loud majority are being told our views are invalid and shouted down constantly.

RatRolyPoly Sun 04-Feb-18 19:16:26

Aftershock15 I don't propose any, just the usual MN categorisation really. So if you have questions about or want to raise a discussion around or in the context of Property & DIY, there's a section for that. The same for Breastfeeding, Children's Health, Religion, Style and Beauty etc.

Obviously it's sort of a gentleman's agreement that you don't go bundling into Style and Beauty and start ripping into everyone for their "first world problems" about handbags or calling them all vain and self-obsessed; whatever your right to an opinion, that's kind of not the spirit of the site! It's the same sort of thing I'm imagining but with Liberal Feminism.

RatRolyPoly Sun 04-Feb-18 19:46:45

I hope it won't LadyDeadpool, I'm optimistic smile

Aftershock15 Sun 04-Feb-18 22:12:32

RatRolyPoly you state in your opening post that there are currently “entry criteria” to the current feminism board so I’m asking you to explain this and how you want this board to be different.

Is this board not to discuss transgender issues, which although I agree is not the only issue, does have the potential for being a major impact on all areas affecting women going forward. Or is this board to be to encourage discussion where either transgender women are believed to be women or alternatively where only biological women are women.

Clearly you are trying to avoid certain topics being discussed under a feminism umbrella and I’m just unsure which. And this does rather strike me as a not very liberal attitude so maybe the name needs a rethink?

CapnHaddock Sun 04-Feb-18 22:17:43

A lefty women's group I'm in has gone this way. It's got very quiet because there's not a lot to talk about. But if you lot can take your faux feminism somewhere else, I'd support that. As long as it cuts both ways

QuentinSummers Sun 04-Feb-18 22:18:35

I would love somewhere to discuss feminism other than trans issues. But, if MNHQ are going to do that I would rather they made a trans board than a lib fem board. Otherwise it just serves to further the impression that rad fems all subscribe to one theory and lib fems another. Which is kinda pointless.
I think some people would like it because they have a vested interest in discrediting radical feminism.
So I'm saying no thanks MNHQ

RatRolyPoly Mon 05-Feb-18 07:14:16

I think some people would like it because they have a vested interest in discrediting radical feminism.

I don't think "I don't want people who disagree with me to have somewhere to talk about things from their point of view" is an acceptable objection.

And anyone who agrees with me... please support a liberal feminist space!

WitchesHatRim Mon 05-Feb-18 07:17:13

But if you lot can take your faux feminism somewhere else, I'd support that.


RatRolyPoly Mon 05-Feb-18 07:40:11

Clearly you are trying to avoid certain topics being discussed under a feminism umbrella and I’m just unsure which. And this does rather strike me as a not very liberal attitude so maybe the name needs a rethink?

You misunderstand me, it has nothing to do with certain topics not being discussed, it is merely about the perspective from which they are discussed - which happens to impact how often they're likely to come up.

So think of it in terms of this broad example. Perhaps reinstating fox hunting is in the news a lot this week. If there were a "Animal Welfare" section, no doubt the subject would be coming up a lot, and obviously from a certain angle.

But if you're a farmer perhaps you want to discuss how this might impact your activities and the use of your farmland (see footnote).

Obviously in the theoretical "Farmers" section it's unlikely to be quite such a hot topic as it is in "Animal Welfare" - it's likely to be one of a very many other topics - but you still want to start a thread about it from a farmer's perspective to get the views of farmers and other contributors.

Disclaimer: I know nothing about farming or whether or not fox hunting is actually of any interest or has any impact on them. I hope I haven't put my foot in it somehow, and that the example stand up without the need for this knowledge!

I hope that helps you understand why we might want this Aftershock smile

QuentinSummers Mon 05-Feb-18 07:56:00

I don't want people who disagree with me to have somewhere to talk about things from their point of view
Haha haha
I'm totally happy for you to talk about things from your point of view on FWR. It sounds like you find respectful disagreement difficult.
Even if there was a liberal feminism board, people on there would still disagree because feminists aren't a hive mind.

ICJump Mon 05-Feb-18 08:01:04

What about using one of the many feminist subsection that already exist?
Or just start a lib fem thread? Or what every topic you want with a lib fem bent.

RatRolyPoly Mon 05-Feb-18 08:03:26

I'm not sure you took my point Quentin but that's okay, perhaps others will get my gist. Diversity of opinion is wonderful. Not all Socialists agree; not all Conservatives. But sometimes people want to discuss the differences within one or the other rather than between the two.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 05-Feb-18 08:09:54

I think it's a daft idea - sorry

The feminist board is open to all. I agree it can be a bit intimidating, and I say this as someone who didn't post on there for years as I didn't fancy having my arse handed to me.

But the entry criteria are very fair: be able to articulate an argument... and that's about it really.

With reference to the OPs particular concerns we have TIMs who post, sometimes frequently, there so it is not excluding people. We also have trans-allies who post there and who stay and argue their case and we all learn a lot from each other.

It sounds to me like the OP wants a "safe space" where no dissent or discussion of trans issues is allowed, and I don't think that is really in the spirit of MN.

BertrandRussell Mon 05-Feb-18 08:11:04

What are the “entry criteria”?

RatRolyPoly Mon 05-Feb-18 08:12:00

Thanks for your comment ICJump. These are the existing subsections in Feminism:

Feminism chat, Feminist activism, Feminist book clubs, Feminist support, Feminist theory.

I'm proposing a Liberal section much for the purpose of chat, as there is a dominant ideology on the existing chat section which is not representative of the whole of feminism. However that ideology is rather at odds with a large group of active (and just "interested") feminists, so participation on the existing chat group is close to impossible.

As you can see, Feminist chat from a Liberal perspective is neither activism, a book club, support or theory. It is just chat. However due to an alternative ideology (a perfectly valid one might I add) being in the majority on the existing board, I feel a new one is needed to make Feminism accessible to all who wish to engage with it.

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