Gender discussions at Feministing

First of all, I want to reiterate why I wasn’t able to engage in this conversation earlier. I was attending a board meeting this weekend and did not want to begin a conversation I could not participate in. Comment moderation is a struggle at Feministing and I wanted to be present and able to do that moderation. This conversation, both about commenting and about gender variance and feminism is really important to me and all of us at Feministing. We are commited to continuing these conversations and finding the spaces for positive dialogue.
In the meantime, the discussion has continued on the community blog. I am really appreciative that members of the Feministing community are willing to engage in this conversation, and provide diverse perspectives.
Because of the difficulty of moderating all these conversations simultaneously, we’re shutting down comments on the individual posts and redirecting everyone to comment on this thread where we can actively moderate.
I’m going to do a round-up of the community posts here:
Josh T. wrote about cisgender and transfeminists, what we have in common and why we should work together.
Kyriarchy wrote 5 tips on how to talk to trans people.
mindprovender wrote about Entitlement in comment threads.
Rachel Seltzer wrote a post called Play Nice or Get Out about gender, feminism and engagement.
Jessica94 wrote 5 Things I’ve Learned About Respectful and Productive Commenting with more thoughts on how to be a good commenter.
Zyfron wrote Thoughts on Trans Safe Space and Activism.
Obviously this is a conversation we are all invested in. We at Feministing want to find better ways to keep comment threads under control. We also want to promote dialogue and conversation about issues like gender and race, and other very heated, very personal issues that are central to feminism and feminist dialogue.
We absolutely recognize that our comment section is not always a safe space for a lot of people. We take this really seriously and it’s a constant conversation for us. We have some time dedicated during our next Feministing in-person meeting in May to talk more and strategize about how to address this. In the next few weeks we’re going to have a forum for feedback from all of you about this as well.
Our comment policy is here, and any comments that are offensive or in violation of that policy will be deleted.

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351 Comments

  1. Karen
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    m Andrea said:
    /Ok. My self identity is a goddess, and in order for my self identity to be respected, you must address me as “my goddess what can I do for you today”.
    So do it. Because if you don’t, then you have just admitted that your own assertion is merely reserved for special snowflakes. You are no longer using a univeral principle of justice which applies to all. And you are a hypocrite./
    This is indeed a straw man argument, and is evidenced by:
    1) you took the concept that one’s gender identity should be respected and acknowledged
    2) and replaced it with the idea that anyone’s ideas about any part of themselves must be true and we should abide by those ideas.
    3)Gender and general identities are different things. You try to make it seem as though they are the same, but they are not. Gender is actually quite malleable, and it is very delicate. So its not so unlikely that there might be varying identities. However, claiming to be a deity is entirely different. It is NOT logical. Also, respecting one’s gender is not terribly difficult and does not require much effort. Is it so bad that you respect that?
    Therefore, the concept of a straw man argument.

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