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

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Enrico Viglino
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First off, thanks for re-opening this. Allowing the red-xers
to decide what is discussed/for the good of the forum is nearly
always a mistake. This conversation needs to be had - since some
are feeling threatened.

Scrogdog wrote:


In my mind, we just lost here on BGG. Because my geek bud Jude is offended. :(

But thank the heavens for people like her who have the courage to step up to the plate and speak out.

The wargames forums has become a "man comfort zone". My hope is that now that we recognize it, we'll fix it.


While I agree firmly about the courage issue - and the need
to discuss it - I'd suggest (though I've largely wandered out
of this forum due to recent staff choices) that yes, offending
some people is a loss - but so is making this a "man discomfort
zone". If every bit of banter which might offend someone is squelched
(whether by fiat or convention), we'll have lost a lot more than
what is lost by the offense itself, I think. The kind of thought which
demands this kind of censorship is of exactly the same sort that fuels
the red-xers. This damned forum has become a haven for the tattlers
and crybabies.

It's good to have the discussion. It's good for people who engage
in such behavior (and I shore the hell am one) to actually investigate
the root of such humor for themselves. It's a terrible thing to
prevent it.
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Mjrohs wrote:

Sexist behavior is not human nature. It is cultural. Because European sentiment is accepted as the correct way of viewing things, we assume that this is "normal".


Which other play book would you like us to read from? The Middle-Eastern one? Things are going so well for women there, what with being covered head to foot, and prevented from voting. Or maybe which embrace 'Eastern' philosophies which either see women traded like cattle or simply aborted in the womb, creating one of the biggest global demographic crises in history. Perhaps would should turn to the African continent, where rape is really is a tool of social and political oppression.

1,000 years ago in Scandinavia women could initiate divorce, own land and command men in battle. I wonder if you thought that comment through.

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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. 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.


Bullshit. Speaking up against evil is certainly not useless.

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.


"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Yes, doing nothing would be something to be guilty of.
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calandale wrote:
It's good to have the discussion. It's good for people who engage in such behavior (and I shore the hell am one) to actually investigate the root of such humor for themselves. It's a terrible thing to prevent it.


At the risk of sounding Clinton-esque, it all depends on what your definition of "it" is.

This will be difficult ground to tread as it is a matter of opinion with regards to what is harmless banter and what is truly offensive.

Given that, all we can ask of ourselves is to attempt to better understand each other. That includes an effort by women as well as men.

Again, the human condition is not a disease or something we should be ashamed of. What we should be ashamed of is unacceptable conduct.

What is unacceptable? We can only define it in a general sense and hang on to our hats!
 
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
Which other play book would you like us to read from? The Middle-Eastern one? Things are going so well for women there, what with being covered head to foot, and prevented from voting. Or maybe which embrace 'Eastern' philosophies which either see women traded like cattle or simply aborted in the womb, creating one of the biggest global demographic crises in history. Perhaps would should turn to the African continent, where rape is really is a tool of social and political oppression.

1,000 years ago in Scandinavia women could initiate divorce, own land and command men in battle. I wonder if you thought that comment through.


To quote James Baldwin, a black Civil Rights activist from the 60s, talking about experienced discrimination:

Quote:
Northerners indulge in an extremely dangerous luxury. They seem to feel that because they fought on the right side during the Civil War, and won, that they have earned the right merely to deplore what is going on in the South, without taking any responsibility for it; and that they can ignore what is happening in Northern cities because what is happening in Little Rock or Birmingham is worse.
...
even if Birmingham is worse, no doubt Johannesburg, South Africa, beats it by several miles, and Buchenwald was one of the worst things that ever happened in the entire history of the world. The world has never lacked for horrifying examples; but I do not believe that these examples are meant to be used as justification for our own crimes.


I quote this because it more succinctly captures what I want to say than anything I could say. Mjrohs was making a judgement about Western/European culture in a non-comparative sense. All she was saying was that there have been powerful historical justifications employed to justify and confirm sexism in our culture. She's not wrong, and bringing the comparative into it just acts as a reactionary position. You're basically saying that because "we" are the most progressive people on the planet, we don't have to keep trying to fix things we see as wrong. I reject that.
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Melissa Rohs
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
Mjrohs wrote:

Sexist behavior is not human nature. It is cultural. Because European sentiment is accepted as the correct way of viewing things, we assume that this is "normal".


Which other play book would you like us to read from? The Middle-Eastern one? Things are going so well for women there, what with being covered head to foot, and prevented from voting. Or maybe which embrace 'Eastern' philosophies which either see women traded like cattle or simply aborted in the womb, creating one of the biggest global demographic crises in history. Perhaps would should turn to the African continent, where rape is really is a tool of social and political oppression.

1,000 years ago in Scandinavia women could initiate divorce, own land and command men in battle. I wonder if you thought that comment through.



You're exclusively citing cultures as they today. If you go back before European exploration, you will see quite a few examples of cultures with gender equality (comparatively)
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Melissa Rohs
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Boots01 wrote:
HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
Which other play book would you like us to read from? The Middle-Eastern one? Things are going so well for women there, what with being covered head to foot, and prevented from voting. Or maybe which embrace 'Eastern' philosophies which either see women traded like cattle or simply aborted in the womb, creating one of the biggest global demographic crises in history. Perhaps would should turn to the African continent, where rape is really is a tool of social and political oppression.

1,000 years ago in Scandinavia women could initiate divorce, own land and command men in battle. I wonder if you thought that comment through.


To quote James Baldwin, a black Civil Rights activist from the 60s, talking about experienced discrimination:

Quote:
Northerners indulge in an extremely dangerous luxury. They seem to feel that because they fought on the right side during the Civil War, and won, that they have earned the right merely to deplore what is going on in the South, without taking any responsibility for it; and that they can ignore what is happening in Northern cities because what is happening in Little Rock or Birmingham is worse.
...
even if Birmingham is worse, no doubt Johannesburg, South Africa, beats it by several miles, and Buchenwald was one of the worst things that ever happened in the entire history of the world. The world has never lacked for horrifying examples; but I do not believe that these examples are meant to be used as justification for our own crimes.


I quote this because it more succinctly captures what I want to say than anything I could say. Mjrohs was making a judgement about Western/European culture in a non-comparative sense. All he was saying was that there have been powerful historical justifications employed to justify and confirm sexism in our culture. He's not wrong, and bringing the comparative into it just acts as a reactionary position. You're basically saying that because "we" are the most progressive people on the planet, we don't have to keep trying to fix things we see as wrong. I reject that.


She*
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Boots01 wrote:
Mjrohs was making a judgement about Western/European culture in a non-comparative sense. All he was saying was that there have been powerful historical justifications employed to justify and confirm sexism in our culture. He's not wrong, and bringing the comparative into it just acts as a reactionary position. You're basically saying that because "we" are the most progressive people on the planet, we don't have to keep trying to fix things we see as wrong. I reject that.


Psst... "He" apparently goes by the name "Melissa."
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Mjrohs wrote:
She* ;)


Sorry!

Worst place ever to make that mistake!

fixed :)
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andyl wrote:
I think that the wargames forums needs to move towards a more inclusionary culture. Not just because it will feel more friendly to women, or GLBT people, or some other usual group, but also because it will be more friendly to new and casual wargamers too.

Although I have to say that the recent H:RvC vs C&CA thread was very good.



Wishful thinking. I think wargamers would rather socialize with other wargamers than discuss wargames in a way that builds a database of information. (the kind of stuff that would be of interest to new wargamers)
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Andrew Laws
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Mjrohs wrote:
HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
Mjrohs wrote:

Sexist behavior is not human nature. It is cultural. Because European sentiment is accepted as the correct way of viewing things, we assume that this is "normal".


Which other play book would you like us to read from? The Middle-Eastern one? Things are going so well for women there, what with being covered head to foot, and prevented from voting. Or maybe which embrace 'Eastern' philosophies which either see women traded like cattle or simply aborted in the womb, creating one of the biggest global demographic crises in history. Perhaps would should turn to the African continent, where rape is really is a tool of social and political oppression.

1,000 years ago in Scandinavia women could initiate divorce, own land and command men in battle. I wonder if you thought that comment through.



You're exclusively citing cultures as they today. If you go back before European exploration, you will see quite a few examples of cultures with gender equality (comparatively)


Sigh. I knew that was coming. So the Chinese preference for a male heir is down to European influences and not Confucianism? If I was being comparative you were perhaps being wildly generalist.

I'm getting confused. First I was being reactionary by adding a comparative element (according to Boots01), now you clarify it was indeed comparative. I'm beginning to lose the thread of what's being debated here so will part on this.

I think we're talking at cross-purposes, probably because I've personalised the issue and am relating it directly to my experience rather than considering it across my gender. I think I also got all in a huff at the (still faintly odd) suggestion that social opprobrium will deter a would-be or has-been rapist.

Parkerr made some good points earlier, but I again I took it all too personally; I was thinking; "but, but, but I give up chunks of my free time to coach a Women's soccer team, how am I sexist pig?", and stuff like that, forgetting there are toolbags who say dumb stuff about Women, and whilst in my house I'M the one 'in the kitchen' there are still jackasses who expect their partners to work AND do all the housework while they sit around and play xbox.

I do think a lot of what you guys are saying has merit, I just wonder how much of it applies directly to BGG and not society at large. When we've gone from "the wargames forum is sexist and Octavian isn't dealing with it" to "Pre-European colonisation, there were many cultures that were comparatively gender equal" then I think perhaps we might be taking the opportunity to ride our hobby horses a little bit.

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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
I'm getting confused. First I was being reactionary by adding a comparative element (according to Boots01), now you clarify it was indeed comparative. I'm beginning to lose the thread of what's being debated here so will part on this.


Only a small (and somewhat pedantic) point, but I specifically worded it "acts as a reactionary position" because I don't think you were being reactionary.

My mistake above notwithstanding, I do try to carefully word my posts...
 
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Andrew Laws
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Boots01 wrote:
HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
I'm getting confused. First I was being reactionary by adding a comparative element (according to Boots01), now you clarify it was indeed comparative. I'm beginning to lose the thread of what's being debated here so will part on this.


Only a small point, but I specifically worded it "acts as a reactionary position" because I don't think you're reactionary.


To be fair, you're right, and normally I hate it when people resort to "Well I'm not as bad as the Black Death so I'm actually fine" arguments.

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Scrogdog wrote:
Thought police condemn PRIVATE conversation and wish to invade our privacy in multiple ways to make sure we behave.

I'm never going to agree with that.


I both agree and disagree with this.

If someone has bad thoughts but doesn't do anything offensive, I agree that the person is free to think whatever they want. I may not like it, but so what. And what that person says in private to another person generally shouldn't be the subject of BGG scrutiny, in my view. Of course, I think everyone (Scrogdog included) agrees that posting on a BGG forum or posting photos on BGG is decidedly not a private conversation, so this (and not BGG members' thoughts in some other context) is worth the community's attention.

But the separation of thought and action cuts both ways.

If you do NOT have bad/disrespectful/sexist thoughts but inadvertently/unintentionally DO something that communicates sexism, your purity of thought is not a defense. If it were me, I think I should apologize even though "I didn't mean it that way," "it was just a joke," "I wouldn't read it that way," or even "I don't think anyone could reasonably read it that way." Not a mea culpa about how I'm so sorry for being a terrible person, but an apology that I offended someone.

By the same token, just because I did something that offends you does NOT mean that you know what I was thinking or what I meant or what kind of person I am. Saying something sexist is hurtful, but so is calling someone sexist (or at least it should be -- if you think it a badge of honor or something funny, you've got other issues IMHO). I think it's unfair to impugn someone's character and demonize him if all he's done is misspoken or done something silly -- we're all capable of that.

I understand that it sucks for women who find themselves in a world where they're so often expected to "cut him some slack" -- I'm an ethnic minority so I can sympathize to some extent. (Not referring to BGG, which I agree is relatively very friendly compared to most corners of the internet -- just society at large.) It's certainly not your fault as a woman. But it's also not the fault of each individual guy either. The guy who says the latest dumb thing in a forum may be the millionth time you've dealt with this bulls**t and you don't want to take it anymore, but it's not fair to punish him for the previous 999,999 times he wasn't involved with.

That said, we as men should cut women some slack, too, and not jump to label a woman as "thin-skinned." Women aren't any more perfect than men are (sorry, ladies) so if a woman gets a little too riled up about something on BGG because she's fed up with dealing with this in life generally, hopefully each of us can be the better ... er, man and understand where she's coming from.
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Bingo. Gratuitous claims of "sexism", "racism", or any other "ism" serve to trivialise the issue, and to strangle free speech in a toxic cloud of political correctness.

Case in point: This all seems to stem from an incident on another thread about a week ago: [POLL] Why Do You Buy?. Someone made a joke about gamers being "history sluts" ready to "chase anything in a skirt", etc. The comment was offered merely as a humourous analogy with no criticism of women intended. However, the OP of the current thread launched into what can best be described as a tantrum, with a string of profanity and overtly sexist comments exponentially worse than the initial offending joke.

The nature of the exchange leads me to believe that the OP of the current thread is less concerned with the actual content of BGG forum material than in claiming victim status and using it to advance some kind of political agenda - an impression that is reinforced by the OP's selected video offering at Interesting speech against bigotry. Obviously this tactic is nothing new - regrettably, it's a staple of 21st century public discourse.

Maybe language like "slut" and "skirt" are hot button issues for the OP - so be it. Political correctness is that way for me. To me it is the bane of civilisation, seeking to stifle free speech and free thought before it can ever reach the marketplace of ideas. It is nothing less than fascism masquerading as manners.

As I have said before, freedom means people will say and do things you don't like. If you don't want to be offended, turn off the computer, TV, and radio, lock all your doors, and cover your eyes and ears. But you will be much happier as a person if you learn to accept it and realise that the opinions of some people don't matter, so there's no point getting upset about them, let alone trying to control them.
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Enrico Viglino
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The Grinch wrote:


As I have said before, freedom means people will say and do things you don't like. If you don't want to be offended, turn off the computer, TV, radio, lock all your doors, and cover your eyes and ears. But you will be much happier as a person if you learn to accept it and realise that the opinions of some people don't matter, so there's no point getting upset about them, let alone trying to control them.


Yes. Yes it does.

Unfortunately, in the last few months, this site has traveled
further down the road towards the opposite.

It was always one of the most restrictive and over-moderated sites
that I visit - and has drifted to the point where it is simply
not tolerable to this user any longer.
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calandale wrote:
The Grinch wrote:


As I have said before, freedom means people will say and do things you don't like. If you don't want to be offended, turn off the computer, TV, radio, lock all your doors, and cover your eyes and ears. But you will be much happier as a person if you learn to accept it and realise that the opinions of some people don't matter, so there's no point getting upset about them, let alone trying to control them.


Yes. Yes it does.

Unfortunately, in the last few months, this site has traveled
further down the road towards the opposite.

It was always one of the most restrictive and over-moderated sites
that I visit - and has drifted to the point where it is simply
not tolerable to this user any longer.


Bye.
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Andrew Laws
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The Grinch wrote:
To me it is the bane of civilisation, seeking to stifle free speech and free thought before it can ever reach the marketplace of ideas. It is nothing less than fascism masquerading as manners.

As I have said before, freedom means people will say and do things you don't like. If you don't want to be offended, turn off the computer, TV, and radio, lock all your doors, and cover your eyes and ears. But you will be much happier as a person if you learn to accept it and realise that the opinions of some people don't matter, so there's no point getting upset about them, let alone trying to control them.


I know that in America comparing stuff to fascism is basically shorthand for saying 'it's really, really bad m'kay', but political correctness is not fascism.

This freedom of speech vs. political argument cuts both ways. If you mean that a sense of 'political 'correctness' leads to a situation where people never venture bigoted views in public where they can be refuted and shown up for the nonsense they are then perhaps you have a point.

However, many people use the notion of 'political correctness' as a device to easily dismiss criticism of their bigoted views from people who think differently. Rather than stopping to consider a different viewpoint, critics can be dismissed as being politically correct and really they think like the bigot, if only it weren't for the PC brainwashing/censorship.

If freedom means you have the right to say things I find offensive, then that same freedom means you can't act all offended when you are criticised for it.
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The Grinch wrote:


The nature of the exchange leads me to believe that the OP of the current thread is less concerned with the actual content of BGG forum material than in claiming victim status and using it to advance some kind of political agenda - an impression that is reinforced by the OP's selected video offering at Interesting speech against bigotry. Obviously this tactic is nothing new - regrettably, it's a staple of 21st century public discourse.



It seems to me that you are reading a lot into the motivation of the OP that isn't apparent. You suggest she's just advancing a political agenda and acting like a victim. I read her post more as something that has been building for a while.

This is primarily a hobby forum. A place where gamers of all stripes come to congregate and enjoy our hobby - regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or whatever. Consequently we read threads on our downtime for fun and generally with our guards down. It can be quite jarring to be in the middle of a thread, enjoying it, only to run across some thoughtless comment. Probably just a joke, but it hardly matters to the person being jarred out of the thread.

If this continues frequently, the person may come to the realization that this part of the hobby isn't fun anymore and just leave the community. But somewhere between that end result and the initial hiccup, may come a time where the person decides to try and do something about it. If the continual result is to be met with a response of "lighten up" and "get over it", it can build to what probably precipitated this thread. I don't know Jude very well so I can't say. I just think that chalking the thread up to a political agenda is being unfair.

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Enrico Viglino
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Golux13 wrote:
calandale wrote:
The Grinch wrote:


As I have said before, freedom means people will say and do things you don't like. If you don't want to be offended, turn off the computer, TV, radio, lock all your doors, and cover your eyes and ears. But you will be much happier as a person if you learn to accept it and realise that the opinions of some people don't matter, so there's no point getting upset about them, let alone trying to control them.


Yes. Yes it does.

Unfortunately, in the last few months, this site has traveled
further down the road towards the opposite.

It was always one of the most restrictive and over-moderated sites
that I visit - and has drifted to the point where it is simply
not tolerable to this user any longer.


Bye.


Been mostly gone for a while. Along with a lot of the
people who contributed regularly. But keeping an ear to
the place - seeing how the total posting is just dying out,
and the forum is withering.

Yay. Intolerance won.
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Enrico Viglino
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she2 wrote:
The Grinch wrote:


The nature of the exchange leads me to believe that the OP of the current thread is less concerned with the actual content of BGG forum material than in claiming victim status and using it to advance some kind of political agenda - an impression that is reinforced by the OP's selected video offering at Interesting speech against bigotry. Obviously this tactic is nothing new - regrettably, it's a staple of 21st century public discourse.



It seems to me that you are reading a lot into the motivation of the OP that isn't apparent. You suggest she's just advancing a political agenda and acting like a victim. I read her post more as something that has been building for a while.

This is primarily a hobby forum. A place where gamers of all stripes come to congregate and enjoy our hobby - regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or whatever. Consequently we read threads on our downtime for fun and generally with our guards down. It can be quite jarring to be in the middle of a thread, enjoying it, only to run across some thoughtless comment. Probably just a joke, but it hardly matters to the person being jarred out of the thread.

If this continues frequently, the person may come to the realization that this part of the hobby isn't fun anymore and just leave the community. But somewhere between that end result and the initial hiccup, may come a time where the person decides to try and do something about it. If the continual result is to be met with a response of "lighten up" and "get over it", it can build to what probably precipitated this thread. I don't know Jude very well so I can't say. I just think that chalking the thread up to a political agenda is being unfair.



There's a balance though. Some of us are here for "fun with our guards
down" meaning that we don't have all our damned PC filters up.

One way or another, people will be driven away.
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calandale wrote:

There's a balance though. Some of us are here for "fun with our guards
down" meaning that we don't have all our damned PC filters up.

One way or another, people will be driven away.


Thanks for proving my point.

Now off you go to CSW.
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calandale wrote:



There's a balance though. Some of us are here for "fun with our guards
down" meaning that we don't have all our damned PC filters up.

One way or another, people will be driven away.


And probably most of the time, no one says anything to the person with his or her PC filters down. I don't usually jump up and down on someone when they decide to say that women don't like game x. I mostly roll my eyes at a week of Titty Grab. And I think that most women probably do the same. But you know, maybe we have a bad week where it really bugs us and we make a comment back. It hardly helps when the reaction is to pile on the person complaining and act like a martyr about free speech.

If people really don't want excessive moderation and red x-ing, then try and at least listen to people and not just dismiss what they say and post images of hysterically crying babies, etc.
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
However, many people use the notion of 'political correctness' as a device to easily dismiss criticism of their bigoted views from people who think differently. Rather than stopping to consider a different viewpoint, critics can be dismissed as being politically correct and really they think like the bigot, if only it weren't for the PC brainwashing/censorship.


Sure, but who wants to be criticized for their bigoted views when their motivation for sharing them is socializing with like minded people. It wasn't a problem for the majority of people in the wargame forum. I'm not sure it's a problem for anyone else except Jude. As a gamer with an interest in intro wargames I think I'm more marginalized for getting less than what Jude probably gets out of the wargame forum. It seems like Jude doesn't want to be 'one of the guys' she wants the guys to be more like her. Good luck with that. I want the wargame forum to be more informational. Wish me luck.
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calandale wrote:
she2 wrote:
The Grinch wrote:


The nature of the exchange leads me to believe that the OP of the current thread is less concerned with the actual content of BGG forum material than in claiming victim status and using it to advance some kind of political agenda - an impression that is reinforced by the OP's selected video offering at Interesting speech against bigotry. Obviously this tactic is nothing new - regrettably, it's a staple of 21st century public discourse.



It seems to me that you are reading a lot into the motivation of the OP that isn't apparent. You suggest she's just advancing a political agenda and acting like a victim. I read her post more as something that has been building for a while.

This is primarily a hobby forum. A place where gamers of all stripes come to congregate and enjoy our hobby - regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or whatever. Consequently we read threads on our downtime for fun and generally with our guards down. It can be quite jarring to be in the middle of a thread, enjoying it, only to run across some thoughtless comment. Probably just a joke, but it hardly matters to the person being jarred out of the thread.

If this continues frequently, the person may come to the realization that this part of the hobby isn't fun anymore and just leave the community. But somewhere between that end result and the initial hiccup, may come a time where the person decides to try and do something about it. If the continual result is to be met with a response of "lighten up" and "get over it", it can build to what probably precipitated this thread. I don't know Jude very well so I can't say. I just think that chalking the thread up to a political agenda is being unfair.



There's a balance though. Some of us are here for "fun with our guards
down" meaning that we don't have all our damned PC filters up.

One way or another, people will be driven away.


This is very true.

So the bulk of the site users have to decide who they are more willing to see go.

The wargamer forum, or all of BGG in general, certainly has the ability to decide to not worry about it and let the majority of women feel uncomfortable and therefore not hang out with them.

If that is their choice... things would have been a whole lot less messy if they just said that.

Hey this is where we come to play, we outnumber you and honestly we would rather feel relaxed and able to say anything we want when we want than have you around.

Lay it out like that and most of the "complaining" will disappear, right along with the people who are offended and uncomfortable.

Ok... well not all of it, there will still be left all the people whining about why their wives, girlfriends, gay friends or any other marginalized group won't get into gaming and BGG with them like they wish they would. But hey, with us all "gone" you can all go back to talking, with impunity, about how inferior we are to not want to hang out here and play boardgames and pretend it has NOTHING to do with those non-game related behavior decisions.
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