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Subject: This is how complaints against sexism are treated here at BGG rss

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parkrrrr wrote:
Scrogdog wrote:
Some things, some humor, just won't be funny to the "other side" as it were. When a woman overhears "man-speak" it usually isn't going to sound very good. Men have a tendency to hand out friendly jibes among man friends. When such is overheard by someone other than a man, it's not going to sound all that funny. We think it's a riot.


Quoting from here because she said it so very well. But you should really go read the whole thing:

Quote:
I get that you don’t really mean that shit. I get that you’re just talking out your ass.

But please listen, and please trust me on this one: you have probably, at some point in your life, engaged in that kind of talk with a man who really, truly hates women–to the extent of having beaten and/or raped at least one. And you probably didn’t know which one he was.

And that guy? Thought you were on his side.



So by 'engaging in that kind of talk' we're are now confirming the mindset and worldview of rapists and wife-beaters (who we can never identify so should assume is everyone), which makes us perhaps not as guilty, but certainly complicit in their behaviours? So if by some miracle we aren't a rapist ourselves we've been egging them on all this time?

Go tell that bullshit to the people who still believe that videogames turn people into axe-murderers.
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
So by 'engaging in that kind of talk' we're are now confirming the mindset and worldview of rapists and wife-beaters (who we can never identify so should assume is everyone), which makes us perhaps not as guilty, but certainly complicit in their behaviours? So if by some miracle we aren't a rapist ourselves we've been egging them on all this time?

Go tell that bullshit to the people who still believe that videogames turn people into axe-murderers.


I despise "I agree" posts but this quote deserves 100 thumbs.

I can only give it one.
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JJL
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Mallet wrote:
Jude wrote:

I only posted the thread because the admins refuse (after years of complaints) to do anything when women are referred to with vulgar names, and sexist comments and "jokes" are posted in threads about gaming.

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Unfortunately, we see sexist comments or evidence of sexist behaviour (for instance by the posting of inappropriate pictures) every month on the BGG wargame subdomain.


Having never seen them (and, well, not really wanting to for many many reasons) but just taking your word for it, I have to say that I'm constantly surprised by what people are willing to put on the internet, particularly photos. I'm on the hiring committee for my law firm, and we do basic searching of Google, Facebook, etc., for applicants. It is shocking what we turn up. Many companies are starting to do it for employees as well. Young children are also increasingly savvy internet users. Even if you're completely oblivious, or just don't care, about how questionable photos are perceived by other BGGers, you just never know who might see them.
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I read all these posts, then the "Speech against bigotry" wargame forum thread, then the "Famous quotes" wargame thread. Thought that there were some jerks defending inappropriate comments, but also that there were some decent reactions from users and mods (mostly in the in the case of the "Famous quotes" thread). I moved along thinking that although Judy's reaction was sincere, perhaps the issue was not as widespread or severe as described since I didn't recall seeing other examples of this behaviour before.

So the very next thing I check out on the site is this [geeklist=140376]geeklist[/geeklist]. With this thread still fresh in my mind I noticed several examples of the type of inappropriate comments that are being discussed here (albeit perhaps not as severe). I must thank Judy and other posters here for shedding a bit of light on things, at least from my perspective. Will be reading things here with a little more consideration now, and X-ing or perhaps speaking out when I notice this kind of thing from now on.
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Charles Cowee
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Now, remember, she’s never known anything else. This is just how the world is – cold and painful and unhealthy for her, even dangerous, and she copes as she knows how. But maybe some small part of her thinks, “hey, it shouldn’t be like this,” some tiny growing seed of rebellion that says who she is right next to a lamp is who she should be all the time. And she and the dog are partners, in a sense, right? They live in this house together, they affect each other, all they’ve got is each other. So one day, she sees the dog messing with the A/C again, and she says, “hey. Dog. Listen, it makes me really cold when you do that.”

The dog kind of looks at her, and shrugs, and keeps turning the dial.

This is not because the dog is a jerk.

This is because the dog has no fucking clue what the lizard even just said.


That lizard, male or female, needs to know how to use the Hide User's Posts feature.

Threads are not houses. Threads only exist if more than one person posts. A rather good way to do this is to ignore anyone who posts offensive material.

Protip: Do not feed trolls.
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Sam and Max wrote:
Threads are not houses. Threads only exist if more than one person posts. A rather good way to do this is to ignore anyone who posts offensive material.

If you find yourself hiding a significant quantity of posters, yet others continue to interact with and quote said hidden posters, wouldn't you get the idea that there's no real reason for you to be participating?
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damiangerous wrote:
Sam and Max wrote:
Threads are not houses. Threads only exist if more than one person posts. A rather good way to do this is to ignore anyone who posts offensive material.

If you find yourself hiding a significant quantity of posters, yet others continue to interact with and quote said hidden posters, wouldn't you get the idea that there's no real reason for you to be participating?


You are absolutely correct.

Thankfully, I find this is not the case for myself and BGG.

Hopefully, OP can find threads on BGG that are more suitable for herself as well.

Don't feed the trolls. Don't feed insensitive jerks,, either.
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:


So by 'engaging in that kind of talk' we're are now confirming the mindset and worldview of rapists and wife-beaters (who we can never identify so should assume is everyone), which makes us perhaps not as guilty, but certainly complicit in their behaviours? So if by some miracle we aren't a rapist ourselves we've been egging them on all this time?


No, that's not what I'm saying, but you probably know that already.

What I am saying is that by engaging in casual "humorous" misogyny, you haven't been demonstrating to the rabid, serious misogynists that they're alone in their views. And that's what they need: to be shown that their beliefs are inappropriate and offensive, not just to women (whose opinions don't matter to them anyway) but to reasonable men, too.

Quote:
Go tell that bullshit to the people who still believe that videogames turn people into axe-murderers.


I don't believe that video games turn people into axe-murderers, or even make them more violent. I don't believe that casual misogyny creates abusers or rapists, either. I (and the blogger I quoted) never said you're causing bad behavior. All we said is that you're not discouraging the bad behavior that person already wants to engage in. That's not even close to comparable to the "videogames make people violent" nonsense you want to equate it to.

By the way, I'll be the first to admit that I've engaged in casual misogyny from time to time. It's really hard not to when you've been raised in contemporary American male-dominated culture. Unlike the "man-speak" "boys will be boys" "just joking" crowd who've taken over this thread, though, I'm also able to see that I was wrong when I did it, and I'm actively trying to keep myself from doing it again.

(Edit: removed "encouraging or" from "you're causing bad behavior" as I felt it might be an overstatement.)
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Daniel Drickman
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The primary forums I visit are this one and one heavily based on sports. As a man, I am in the far majority on both sites, so it is difficult for me to properly gauge the overall environment as friendly or not, or sexist or not, from a women's perspective. Still, I will try.

Overall, I have not seen too many overt sexist behaviors in the forums I visit. However these are largely individual game forums about specific games (and not wargames), so there usually isn't much off topic talked about anyway. However, a clear exception I have witnessed being images that involve women. These are heavily filled with sexist comments, though many of them appearing to have innocent intentions. I have to imagine such thinking does spill out to other threads as well. Especially since quite frankly, many men are sexist and do not talk about women in a respectful manner (not to say there aren't any women who do the same, because there are). Still, from a women's perspective, I am sure it is at the least annoying to be around that. And from what I can gather from the comments in this thread from actual women, is that at the very least some sexist and hurtful comments do exist.

That said, sexist behaviors are often due to ignorance and a lack of understanding (whether due to distorted perceptions, socialization factors or lack of experience). While it is difficult, the more effective way to improve these situations is to try and help someone else to understand your position and why something may be offensive or hurtful to you. Retaliatory name calling and angry posts really do not accomplish anything. Instead, explain why certain comments hurt you and how they made you feel. If someone can understand that, then perhaps next time they go to make a certain post, they might put more thought into what they type.
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Andrew Laws
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parkrrrr wrote:
HarlemMimeSchool wrote:


So by 'engaging in that kind of talk' we're are now confirming the mindset and worldview of rapists and wife-beaters (who we can never identify so should assume is everyone), which makes us perhaps not as guilty, but certainly complicit in their behaviours? So if by some miracle we aren't a rapist ourselves we've been egging them on all this time?


No, that's not what I'm saying, but you probably know that already.

What I am saying is that by engaging in casual "humorous" misogyny, you haven't been demonstrating to the rabid, serious misogynists that they're alone in their views. And that's what they need: to be shown that their beliefs are inappropriate and offensive, not just to women (whose opinions don't matter to them anyway) but to reasonable men, too.


A man with psychological pathologies sufficient that he is a rapist of women is not going to be deterred from that course by me pointing out that he's out of line. It won't stop me from doing it, just the same as I will pipe up if someone is being racist or homophobic or any kind of prejudiced, to the point of engaging in fistfights with assholes.

It's the sheer nebulousness of it that makes me despair. It's not what we did, it's what we didn't do. We're guilty of a negative.

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I'm always afraid to contribute to threads Judy posts in since I'm not sure when I will offend her. I'm probably still traumatized from when she proofread my writing. ^_^

She is an fantastic editor, and has an excellent eye for rules, but we disagreed one too many times I guess.

Since our conversations, I have made an effort to write gender-neutral rules. I'm more careful with my idioms and casual references.
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Ron Parker
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:

A man with psychological pathologies sufficient that he is a rapist of women is not going to be deterred from that course by me pointing out that he's out of line.


Probably not, no. But if everybody does, perhaps he'll realize that he's abnormal and will seek help. Perhaps not, too; perhaps the whole thing will backfire and he'll blame his growing social isolation on them feminazi bitches who owe him for what they done did to him. I guess it's all just a crapshoot and we should just do nothing rather than risk causing trouble by modeling decent human behavior.

Quote:
It won't stop me from doing it, just the same as I will pipe up if someone is being racist or homophobic or any kind of prejudiced, to the point of engaging in fistfights with assholes.


I'm glad to hear that, at least, for whatever my opinion is worth to you. But that's more than you're being asked to do. All you have to do is not be like that yourself, even if you think everyone gets that you're only kidding.

Quote:
It's the sheer nebulousness of it that makes me despair. It's not what we did, it's what we didn't do. We're guilty of a negative.


Not so. It's exactly what you did: you (the hypothetical you who was just hanging out with the guys and made a "women belong in the kitchen" joke or proclaimed that he'd "tap" that, not you specifically) participated in making misogyny continue to seem normal and acceptable.

Of course, being men we understand that it's normal and acceptable and it's only those hysterical, oversensitive, crybaby girls who find offense where none was intended, right? That's why we only make those jokes when there are no women around, isn't it? No? So why do we only make those jokes when there are no women around?
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
It's the sheer nebulousness of it that makes me despair. It's not what we did, it's what we didn't do. We're guilty of a negative.


Yes, it's nebulous, and yes inaction can be seen as complicity.

But the nice thing about recognising privilege is recognising that it's not about you. Your feelings of despair, your guilt, or your complicity. It's about recognising other people's experiences. Recognising the marginalisation of women and other marginalised people, and personally, silently pledging to do something about it in your own backyard. Jude began her ill-fated post in the Wargames forum with this quote:

Quote:
"Eleanor Roosevelt, who did so much to advance human rights worldwide, said that these rights begin in the small places close to home – the streets where people live, the schools they attend, the factories, farms, and offices where they work. These places are your domain. The actions you take, the ideals that you advocate, can determine whether human rights flourish where you are."


Having fistfights with arseholes doesn't fix gender discrimination. In fact, arguably it reinforces it, as violence as a problem-solving tactic is almost universally scripted as masculine in our various cultures. All you can do as a man is acknowledge and recognise gender discrimination, call other men on it, and generally put out into the world a sense that it's Not On while acknowledging that you might occasionally unwittingly benefit from it.

Yes, sometimes it will make you feel like a jerk, and sometimes you might think that you don't deserve to feel like a jerk. But it's not about you.
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The fact is, the attitude on forums like BGG is the issue, not the content. Most posters have the attitude of a fourteen-year-old boy; moderators included. The fact that there is a "girl" tag for photos illustrates the point nicely.

Jude, I sympathise, but you won't get much satisfaction here. You'll find precisely the same thing on most forums for videogames etc. The only way to get a more mature and less offensive atmosphere is to converse with a more mature group. My experience is that you will find a more respectful attitude to women in, for example, hardcore bdsm communities than on any "family friendly" forum.

Bigotry is, I am afraid, a fact of the human condition and it is far easier to ignore it than it is to try and rise above it; so most people don't bother. Of course, living as we do in the age of ignorance and hysteria, pointing out reality tends to lead to extreme reactions. I am morbidly curious to see the wall of flame which this post will most likely create.
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Melissa Rohs
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Jude wrote:
Octavian wrote:
It is explicitly prohibited in the rules and results in moderation.


So is bigotry of all sorts, but since you get to define what constitutes bigotry, therefore sexist remarks and jokes, and using words like sluts and bitches to describe women seem to be fine by you since you have told me repeatedly that that type of post is not sexist (and therefore bigotry), just offensive to women.



I do empathize with you. Sexism is incredibly frustrating and entirely uncalled for. That said, as a 23 year old who grew up with the Internet, I have to say this is one of the most civil and welcoming communities out there. Are there jerks and misguided fools? Absolutely. Does the fact that this community is better than most excuse this type of behavior? Of course not. We as women should not have to put up with this in the 21st century. But sexism, like racism, is deeply engrained into our culture. What I'm trying to say is, pick your battles. There will always be jerks. When civil discussion deterioriates,move on. You'll never change these people, especially when they have the freedom to remain anonymous, which is exactly what draws these people to the Internet in the first place. Try your best not to let a few sad, lonely, and most likely sexually frustrated men tarnish what is overall a friendly and tolerant group of people.
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Peso Pete wrote:
Unfortunately, "humor" is often used as a convienent way to say something offensive and then deflecting any blame by saying "I was only joking!" (like framing it as a "joke" somehow absolves them of any responsibility).

I note that there's a striking parallel: a few months ago someone made a forum joke about Spaniards which offended and angered a BGG wargame forum member from Spain; he publicly complained about the comment.

Only a few members said he was being oversensitive or making a big deal out of a stupid thoughtless joke. Only a few said it was his own problem and if he can't handle the internet and wants to leave, so be it. I don't recall anyone saying more directly harsh or hostile things like that the offended user should leave BGG.

Instead, many wargame forum members rallied behind the offended user, making forum threads and geeklists in solidarity, lobbying BGG admins to punish the user who'd made the stupid joke, imploring the offended user not to leave BGG, and weeks later many wargame forum members are still displaying Spanish flags as a show of support for him.

Why the difference in reaction?

I can't help but think a very large part of it is that the BGG forums are obviously very international with people from many different countries, so more forum members could relate to and sympathize with someone feeling offended at a nationalist/racist type comment, and most forum members already are sensitive enough to know not to make offensive nationalistic jokes, because so many of their fellow members are obviously from other countries.

But the wargame forum is mostly male, so it is probably harder for many to notice sexist jokes or grok why they might make women feel unwelcome or pissed off.
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robbdaman wrote:


One of the big problems with the internet is the extensive likelihood that things will be taken out of context or completely wrong. I'm not discounting anyone's feelings about things especially since I haven't read each and every post that may have been the problem. I'm just saying that its impossible to determine for most what a person's intent was and how another will react to it. Words do have meaning though and choosing the right ones can often be complicated if not impossible.


Which is why we have to try to think about what we've written and how it will be received.

We also have to start thinking about what it's like in someone else's shoes. Like the dog that doesn't know what "cold" is, I can never truly understand how a woman or a Spaniard would react to a given "joke." But if there is any little bit of doubt, maybe I (we) should start clicking on "Cancel" instead of "Submit."
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Hey Jude, don't make it bad. Take a sad song and make it better. Remember to let them into your heart, then you can start to make it better.

Hey Jude, don't be afraid, you were made to go out and get them.
The minute you let them under your skin then you begin to make it better.

And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain don't carry the world upon your shoulders. For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool
By making this world a little colder.

Hey Jude, don't let me down You have found them, now go and get them.
Remember to let them into your heart Then you can start to make it better.

So let it out and let it in, hey Jude, begin You're waiting for someone to perform with. And don't you know that it's just you, hey Jude, you'll do The movement you need is on your shoulder

Hey Jude, don't make it bad Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let them under your skin Then you'll begin to make it
Better better better better better better, oh
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
Image comments are the worst place for this stuff, in my experience—for obvious reasons.

I agree. As a woman, it bothers me to see the "girl" tag on every photo with a female in it. What is the point of this tag, really? I don't see "guy" on every photo with a male in it. And then even more irksome is image tags such as "cute", "smile" or "beautiful" on photos with women in them (again, I've never seen these kinds of tags on photos with only men).

I'm also annoyed when I read comments on these images that just talk about the attractiveness of the women pictured.

Example: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/144191/risk
I think this photo is great, and hilarious. However, when you read the comments... there are several about her being "hot" or attractive, about her choice of clothing, about how men should lose games to women on purpose to appease them, and even stuff like this--

Quote:
Come on, guys!
With a woman like that, I wouldn't be thinking of playing RISK at all!!!
I'm sure we could find some better things to do!!!

These things don't fill me with rage or make me want to stop using the site. But these are the kinds of small things that can make women on this site feel marginalized and uncomfortable.
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cafeganesha wrote:
HuginnGreiling wrote:
Image comments are the worst place for this stuff, in my experience—for obvious reasons.

I agree. As a woman, it bothers me to see the "girl" tag on every photo with a female in it. What is the point of this tag, really? I don't see "guy" on every photo with a male in it. And then even more irksome is image tags such as "cute", "smile" or "beautiful" on photos with women in them (again, I've never seen these kinds of tags on photos with only men).

I'm also annoyed when I read comments on these images that just talk about the attractiveness of the women pictured.

Example: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/144191/risk
I think this photo is great, and hilarious. However, when you read the comments... there are several about her being "hot" or attractive, about her choice of clothing, about how men should lose games to women on purpose to appease them, and even stuff like this--

Quote:
Come on, guys!
With a woman like that, I wouldn't be thinking of playing RISK at all!!!
I'm sure we could find some better things to do!!!

These things don't fill me with rage or make me want to stop using the site. But these are the kinds of small things that can make women on this site feel marginalized and uncomfortable.


Plus it's just plain creepy. To be fair though, I have seen a girl do weird sexy poses with board games. Kind of feeding into the creepy.
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A number of people have asked for examples of what Jude was discussing. I do not have a specific one from the Wargamming forum, but have one originally from the General Gaming forum.

Sexism and related types of discourse do appear with some frequency here on the geek. The recent example I reacted to was who's the hottest girl on BGG which was originally posted in the General Gaming forums and then moved to the RSP forums. There were quite a few male members who participated and quite a few of their image submissions were removed (by the individual or maybe admin, don't know which). My general feelings of offense to the thread and reaction was to use (or attempt to use) levity and I posted my submissions on page 3 of this thread. I was attempting to use imagery that illustrated the extremely juvenile and frankly embarrassing behavior being exhibited by some male members on this thread.

I would also like to note that many male members of the BGG did post in this thread expressing their disappoint, disgust, and/or various levels of protest to such a thread.

We are a community here and as such have to take the good with the bad. I believe, on this site, the majority of members here are of a good nature and do not wish to foster or even appear to support sexism or any other type of prejudiced behavior and I appreciate that members like Jude take the time, and risk, to try and raise awareness of such issues and behaviors. Overall, I believe it will help us be a better community.
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Steve Willows
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parkrrrr wrote:
Of course, being men we understand that it's normal and acceptable and it's only those hysterical, oversensitive, crybaby girls who find offense where none was intended, right? That's why we only make those jokes when there are no women around, isn't it? No? So why do we only make those jokes when there are no women around?


I've already explained this. It's called man-speak.

Awful, yes?

Unfortunately, many women admit there is also women-speak. As in things that THEY do not typically say in front of men.

What is in question here in conduct IN FRONT OF women here on public forums. Or, indeed, comporting ourselves in public in a general sense. In front of anyone.

Generally speaking I've never found it useful to apologize for being a human being. I apologize for the RESULT of being human.
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russ wrote:
But the wargame forum is mostly male, so it is probably harder for many to notice sexist jokes or grok why they might make women feel unwelcome or pissed off.


Yes. It has become a "man club" and we became comfortable with that.

Honestly, this is quite a human thing. People don't realize what's happening in their comfort.

That's when other people with courage need to step up to the plate.
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