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In light of MNHQ's recent statement that the feminism section is in fact not a feminism section but a section 'about' feminism, perhaps we need to be warning people about this up front?

(1000 Posts)
Beachcomber Thu 22-Sep-11 08:50:00

I'm of the opinion that it needs to made clear that whilst the title may be 'feminism/women's rights', this section is quite different to other boards that deal with feminism/women's rights.

It isn't fair to mislead - lots of posters expect the section to be a place where feminist views can be freely explored without fear of posters' mental health being questioned, and a zone where misogyny is unwelcome. In reality, pretty much anything goes here and whilst it is, of course, MNHQ's prerogative to run their site as they see fit, some sort of disclaimer about the section seems only fair in order to forewarn posters (especially posters looking for support or exploration of sensitive issues).

Perhaps it would be an idea for there to be a header at the top of the section stating MNHQ's position?

All suggestions welcomed smile.

edd1337 Thu 22-Sep-11 08:52:32

Freedom of spech zone. If anyone wants to object to anything to do with feminism, they should be allowed to. No silenced or have draconian censorship forced upon them

CalatalieSisters Thu 22-Sep-11 08:53:33

What's misleading? How does the topic designation for Feminism/Women's Rights differ from the designation of any other topic on Mumsnet?

I know it is very hard to maintain a constructive space for discussiong feminism, but I'm not sure what you are asking for here.

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 22-Sep-11 08:55:16

I disagree, actually. This is part of MN, therefore it is open in exactly the same kind of way the other boards are. And it is quite different to other boards that deal with feminism/women's rights.

I'm very wary of those who post on the feminist boards trying to present it as somehow different from the rest of MN. If you want a feminist issues only/feminists only board, then it aint Mumsnet that you need.

(That said, I am very strongly in favour of a different approach to moderating the feminist boards, given the trolls/derailers that appear so frequently).

LeBOF Thu 22-Sep-11 09:04:14

I feel like giving up posting in this section until the trolls are dealt with. If I were a complete pillock, I'd spam all the other sections with ignorant and offensive comments which questioned their entire basis, just to make a point. But that would be trolling, so I won't.

AliceWyrld Thu 22-Sep-11 09:06:36

You've misread what is being asked for BIWI

I agree it need to be made clear that although the title of the board is feminism/women's rights it is not like any other feminism/women's rights board that people will have ever come across. And people need to know that up front.

People need to know that when discussing rape, they may have to deal with jokes about raping them or questions about what it feels like to be raped. There may well be people who have been raped on the boards, and it is only fair that they are warned that this behaviour is accepted here. It is not fair to pull them in with a 'feminist' board, only to find that very very basic feminist principles (like don't joke about rape) aren't applied here.

LeBOF Thu 22-Sep-11 09:07:50

Yy, Alice.

AliceWyrld Thu 22-Sep-11 09:08:13

It is very tempting isn't it BOF. I think so long as you don't pretend you're someone you're not, it's just fine though. That's my understanding.

Beachcomber Thu 22-Sep-11 09:11:35

Well generally on feminist discussion boards there are a couple of rules about commenting in order to allow feminist discourse to flourish. Feminist discussions have a tendency to attract posters who are negative about feminism.

As I (hope) I have made clear in my OP, this is not a thread requesting that the feminist section be treated differently to other parts of MN (have they ever done that?).

It is a thread suggesting that the current section title is (I imagine unintentionally) misleading, to a certain degree, and that a header would be useful to let people know that this isn't actually a feminist section but a section about feminism.

I'm actually not that sure what the real difference is, so perhaps as well as ideas for a possible header, posters who are clear on the difference might explain it to those of us who are struggling to grasp the concept?

TrillianAstra Thu 22-Sep-11 09:12:54

How about a simple warning along the lines of:

Mumsnet is not moderated.
No-one is reading posts before they go up.
No-one except you is reading posts after they go up.
If you see something that breaks the Talk Guidelines then report it.

Beachcomber Thu 22-Sep-11 09:14:15

Yes to what AliceW said.

UsingMainlySpoons Thu 22-Sep-11 09:15:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Thu 22-Sep-11 09:18:26

How about:

You Don't Have to be a Feminist to Post Here...But it Helps!

CalatalieSisters Thu 22-Sep-11 09:21:06

A solution might be a board that you have to actively "join" by departing from Mumsnet's default user settings -- like the Special Needs section is organised. Then at the point at which you select that option it could be made clear that discussion is intended to be from a pro-feminist view.

But that would be a very sad backgrounding of feminism, in the same way as the relatively segregated status of the SN topic seems sad (although it is understandable that posters there should seek that segregation).

I preferred the old days in which feminism wasn't relagated to a distinct topic. My assumption in those days, and that of most users I think, was that feminism permeated Mumsnet, that it was absolutely entrenched in the very idea of a nearly-all-women site for discussion and support. When it was created as a distinct topic I assumed that was for intellectual discussion of feminist theory, and that feminism itself would continue to be a presumption across Mumsnet. And naturally if you create a topic for discussing feminist theory, then it has in some sense to be capable of addressing profound intellectual disagreement, which the feminist topic does very badly.

I would hope that the Relationships topic would continue be one in which women can receive sensitive, feminist, support and solidarity -- without constant derailment from MRA types.

TrillianAstra Thu 22-Sep-11 09:22:56

Actually, given how MNHQ were very quick to create "ethical dilemmas" when people dared to discuss antenatal tests and choices in the topic that was called "antenatal tests and choices" (apparently upsetting people who couldn't read a thread title and see that a thread was a discussion rather than a support thread) the precedent would be to create a "feminist discussions" area and an "only feminist views allowed here" area.

I expect both would get boring pretty quickly though. The former woul dbe overrun by trolls and the latter would be full of people saying you can't say that it's not feminist to anyone who disagreed with them.

AliceWyrld Thu 22-Sep-11 09:24:40

Exactly UMS. I wish I had known that it wasn't a feminist board before I posted stuff. It did used to look just like one, so I can see how we got confused.

Hully - the problem is it doesn't help if you are a feminist to post here.

WakeMeUpWhenSeptemberEnds Thu 22-Sep-11 09:26:53

At the risk of plagarising LeBof,.... I feel like giving up lurking and Reading while the derailers, wilfull misunderstanders and delighters in winding up a radfem-ers are free to run amok. And not just spread their shit everywhere but they whine indulgently about how hard it is for them.
It's rather obvious there's a difference betwem derailing and thread meandering; wilful misunderstanding and asking a question to learn; delighting in winding up a radfem and having a heated disagreement / discussion. Occasionally it's subtle but for the most part it's obvious.

WakeMeUpWhenSeptemberEnds Thu 22-Sep-11 09:28:36

Hullygully. Some of this boards most prolific posters are hardly feminists. Some won't even answervrhe question! Y'know cos all alternative voices welcome or something,,,,,

Hullygully Thu 22-Sep-11 09:31:46

Ok. How about:

You Don't Have to be a Feminist to Post Here...But er, That's It

AliceWyrld Thu 22-Sep-11 09:34:02

Hully that really doesn't get the crux of anything. How would that alert any potential poster to what I have highlighted below? c&p here.

"People need to know that when discussing rape, they may have to deal with jokes about raping them or questions about what it feels like to be raped. There may well be people who have been raped on the boards, and it is only fair that they are warned that this behaviour is accepted here. It is not fair to pull them in with a 'feminist' board, only to find that very very basic feminist principles (like don't joke about rape) aren't applied here."

It's not about being a feminist or not being a feminist.

Beachcomber Thu 22-Sep-11 09:35:30

I just want to reiterate that the thought process behind this thread is not that the feminist section should be closed, hidden, exclusive, elitist or heavily moderated. AT ALL!

Feminism is IMO a grass roots movement for all women.

This is just a simple suggestion for making it clear that posters need to watch their backs in a similar way they would on a bun fight type section. In other words, if they are looking for support or honest debate they might want to do that elsewhere.

I do think it is a bit of a shame that the feminist section here has turned out like this but I guess that's the problem with being on an open non-moderated forum. Such forums have advantages and disadvantages and one must take the rough with the smooth.

I just think a reminder that feminist views may be attacked and that sensitive issues my be treated crassly would be fair.

Beachcomber Thu 22-Sep-11 09:35:55

may be treated.

Hullygully Thu 22-Sep-11 09:36:12

Ok. I'll think again. It's quite hard really.

With the rape thing, surely if people make offensive and personal remarks about rape and someone's personal experience, in ANY section, that is reported and pulled? No?

LeBOF Thu 22-Sep-11 09:36:38

Or:

Dripping with trolls, oozing rape apologists, and topped with a drizzle of myths about underage girls asking for it...this is not Feminism; this is Mumsnet Feminism.

That might work?

WakeMeUpWhenSeptemberEnds Thu 22-Sep-11 09:37:08

Yes that sounds accurate. Or you'd expect to see feminists posting on a fwr board but watch out for non feminists in disguise.

Has a bizarre vision of a shooting range with cardboard 'baddies' and little girls with ice creams for some reason.

Goes off to top up painkillers...

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