because there is a women's cycling interest forum....

Anything about use of this forum : NOT about cycling
Psamathe
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Re: because there is a womens' cycling interest subforum....

Postby Psamathe » 22 May 2014, 12:50pm

Vorpal wrote:
mjr wrote:It's not time to move on until the men's interests board is created. Why won't you do this simple act of equality?

Actually, I think that this is a fair question. And I don't know how the other moderators feel, but I can tell you how I feel about it.

I have mixed feelings. mostly because of the issues of equality that you and others have raised.

However, if we want to fix the problems that women (and other gender/sex-based minorities) face just because they are minorities, doing something that is a traditionally masculine activity; if we want to create a more egalitarian society, we must
-create space to safely discuss those issues
-help people think in terms of those issues

Appart from the equality and the "hiding away general interest posts", my concerns are that the section does not address the stated aims.

If there is an under represented group on the forum and group who really need encouraging and who may be intimidated by all these over-aggressive macho men here (real problem!), and a group I feel very under-represented in the CTC membership then it is the younger (potential) cyclists. We don't need a ghetto for non-gender specific issues. But to encourage the youngsters in the face of all the technical knowledge here; the "Beginners: Nothing Too Daft To Ask" section somebody suggested earlier. It has the benefits of addressing the stated aims of the "Women's Section" (i.e. "non-intimidating") it would be inclusive and non-discriminatory; it would not hide general interest threads away from blokes (i.e. helps the forum provide an information resource); etc.

But to keep saying "it's here ... move-on" is really no solution. What happened when only men had the vote and women protested and men said "it's how it is ... move-on"; did women just stop pursuing the issue and "move-on" ? (Maybe not a good analogy but does at least illustrate my point).

Ian

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Re: because there is a womens' cycling interest subforum....

Postby thirdcrank » 22 May 2014, 1:29pm

On the subject of aims, can anybody please point me to anything which set them out explicitly before or at the time when this section was created? There seems to be plenty of ex post facto rationalisation from conflicting PoV's. The Benjamin in me notes that the explanation which briefly appeared at the head of this section along the lines of "It should be obvious" seemed to disappear very quickly. (I've also a feeling that the name of this bit of the forum has changed, but that may be my failing memory.)

Anyway, I don't see how it's possible to judge the success or otherwise of a project without clearly defined aims, even if it becomes necessary to change them in the light of experience.

Apologies if this has already been covered but why is there only one female mod for this section? Indeed, why are there any male mods for it?
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Edit: It's occurred to me that as only one male moderator is named at the top of this part of the forum, this might look to be personal, when that's not intended. I wrote in the knowledge that everybody whose username appears in colour has moderator privileges/ facilities, and that includes all the spambusters.

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Re: because there is a womens' cycling interest subforum....

Postby Vorpal » 22 May 2014, 8:31pm

Even if it doesn't do any of the things I said above, it has already encouraged several new people to post. I think that's a good thing. :D
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Re: because there is a womens' cycling interest subforum....

Postby Graham » 23 May 2014, 8:27am

thirdcrank wrote:On the subject of aims, can anybody please point me to anything which set them out explicitly before or at the time when this section was created? There seems to be plenty of ex post facto rationalisation from conflicting PoV's. The Benjamin in me notes that the explanation which briefly appeared at the head of this section along the lines of "It should be obvious" seemed to disappear very quickly. (I've also a feeling that the name of this bit of the forum has changed, but that may be my failing memory.)

Anyway, I don't see how it's possible to judge the success or otherwise of a project without clearly defined aims, even if it becomes necessary to change them in the light of experience.

Apologies if this has already been covered but why is there only one female mod for this section? Indeed, why are there any male mods for it?
======================================================================================
Edit: It's occurred to me that as only one male moderator is named at the top of this part of the forum, this might look to be personal, when that's not intended. I wrote in the knowledge that everybody whose username appears in colour has moderator privileges/ facilities, and that includes all the spambusters.


It isn't a project.
There are no stated aims - clear or otherwise.
Its success will be judged subjectively, by whoever is interested, at some vague time in the future.
I am responsible for the transient name changes and the initial somewhat flippant description.
Cheers!

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Re: because there is a womens' cycling interest subforum....

Postby mjr » 26 May 2014, 12:59am

Vorpal wrote:Even if it doesn't do any of the things I said above, it has already encouraged several new people to post. I think that's a good thing. :D

It's encouraged some people to post, mostly on the wrong board, a ghetto board, rather than helping to equalise the other boards.

And there's a mix of calls to give this unjust board a chance to succeed, combined with furious retconning and denying that there is any way to assess whether the board succeeds or fail. That's absurd, don't you see?

Meanwhile, nothing is done to help timid men.
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Re: because there is a women's cycling interest subforum....

Postby randomblue » 28 May 2014, 1:00pm

I've not had a chance to read all of the posts on this thread but reading one about how questions and replies become a general resource that anyone can access made me think... Most people accessing information on previously written threads etc when looking for a specific topic would do so by searching, which as far as I'm aware isn't limited to a single forum or sub forum? So it's kind of irrelevant which section a thread is posted in in that regard because it will show up as a search result either way :)

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Re: because there is a women's cycling interest subforum....

Postby Vantage » 28 May 2014, 4:54pm

Exactly.
Every single section of this forum is available to the public to read and unless my biology teacher and my general knowledge are wrong, that includes the male gender.
Nothing has been 'hidden away'.
Bill


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Psamathe
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Re: because there is a women's cycling interest subforum....

Postby Psamathe » 28 May 2014, 5:02pm

randomblue wrote:I've not had a chance to read all of the posts on this thread but reading one about how questions and replies become a general resource that anyone can access made me think... Most people accessing information on previously written threads etc when looking for a specific topic would do so by searching, which as far as I'm aware isn't limited to a single forum or sub forum? So it's kind of irrelevant which section a thread is posted in in that regard because it will show up as a search result either way :)

Vantage wrote:Exactly.
Every single section of this forum is available to the public to read and unless my biology teacher and my general knowledge are wrong, that includes the male gender.
Nothing has been 'hidden away'.

Except most searches come back with quite a list and so you tend to ignore those in forum sections that look inappropriate. so e.g. if looking for a "where to camp touring southern Germany" you would e.g. ignore search results in e.g. Racing, Olympics, TdF, Competitive cycling. Hence, for a non-women's issues query a bloke would probably ignore responses in the women's Section as these would be only discussing aspects specific to women.

Just because a section is available does not make it accessible or useful.

(And I note there is still no Men's Section and no "Youngsters Section" - which these days is somewhat discriminatory. If our society is striving for equality we cannot adopt the "Everybody is equal except some are more equal than others").

Ian

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Re: because there is a womens' cycling interest subforum....

Postby Geoff.D » 28 May 2014, 7:45pm

Vorpal wrote:Even if it doesn't do any of the things I said above, it has already encouraged several new people to post. I think that's a good thing. :D


+1
I entered this discussion when it first arose several months ago. It emerged from the question as to why it seemed that women were (proportionately) underrepresented as posters. My view was (and still is) that the forum has a profile of being overwhelmingly male oriented. It follows that anyone who feels intimidated by this profile will be disinclined to contribute.

I support the setting up of this section because it gives a clear indication that the the administration (ie the official line of the forum) acknowledges this difficulty and is trying to create a safe space for nervous posters (whilst not excluding any other posters to this subsection). There are signs that some people have been encouraged to post when they might well not have done so otherwise.

I do accept that the same argument, and solution, could be posed for the encouragement of other groups who feel themselves overawed by the established male profile. It's not a situation that's unique to the this forum, or to cycling. "Outside" groups and individuals always have this difficulty when faced with an establishment be it young/inexperienced cyclists (as mentioned above) or when (in the real world) a student starts at a new school, half way through the school year. He/she will be faced with an established group dynamic which may seem impenetrable at first.

I certainly don't argue that the individuals in the established group are deliberately unwelcoming, or necessarily conscious of the barrier faced by the "outsider". It's a consequence of being "the establishment".

I was asked, all those months ago, to give an example of what I meant by a thread being "male oriented", which I did by choosing a thread at random. Now I'm afraid that we might be witnessing another example of "male orientation". Even in this new sub-section, the debate is being continued and dominated (in terms of demands for redress and/or regress) by male contributors. By continuing the debate, even in this sub-section, the barriers to participation are being re-erected.

I recognise the irony that I'm a man, and am also continuing the debate (even though in support of the sub-section). So, I'm part of the problem. But I do challenge those who will only undermine this attempt to encourage more womens' participation (by arguing against the decision) to allow appropriate space for it to mature, or otherwise, in its own time.

It could be that the forum might learn from such a success and apply that knowledge to the encouragement of youngsters, or newbies, or ethnic minorities....or any other group for whom the argument for inclusion can be won.

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Re: because there is a womens' cycling interest subforum....

Postby Psamathe » 28 May 2014, 7:58pm

Geoff.D wrote:Even in this new sub-section, the debate is being continued and dominated (in terms of demands for redress and/or regress) by male contributors.

Except women have also been disagreeing with the section.

And it is certainly not redress and/or regress that I am seeking. Rather that the "problems" the section seeks to address could be sorted in a more inclusive manner. Rather than make it all gender based, somebody suggested a "Beginners: Nothing To Daft To Ask" - which would provide the same encouragement but would include more timid youngsters and more timid men (yes, they do exist).

Ian

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Re: because there is a women's cycling interest subforum....

Postby pjclinch » 28 May 2014, 8:00pm

Psamathe wrote:(And I note there is still no Men's Section and no "Youngsters Section" - which these days is somewhat discriminatory. If our society is striving for equality we cannot adopt the "Everybody is equal except some are more equal than others").


If you are striving for equality it is inherent that you haven't got it yet, so you must accept that currently not everyone is equal. It's absurd to make policy to try and get to somewhere as if you are already there. It's also absurd to pretend you can solve all of the problems at once, and also to think if you can't do so then you shouldn't do anything.

In other words, it's not trying to rationalise "Everybody is equal except some are more equal than others", it's admitting "We're not equal, we need to make up for that inequality until such time as we are, we might have to do this a few times".

I look forward to a youngsters' section; I see no reason to wait until such a thing exists before we have/stop bellyaching about a women's section.

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Re: because there is a womens' cycling interest subforum....

Postby pjclinch » 28 May 2014, 8:05pm

Psamathe wrote: Rather than make it all gender based, somebody suggested a "Beginners: Nothing To Daft To Ask" - which would provide the same encouragement but would include more timid youngsters and more timid men (yes, they do exist).


Sorry, but you and I are simply not in a position to assess if it would uniformly provide "the same encouragement". I cannot fully appreciate how discouraging it is to be in the position of other groups who are treated very differently to me in our society, because I am not one of them.

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Re: because there is a women's cycling interest subforum....

Postby Psamathe » 28 May 2014, 8:07pm

pjclinch wrote:
Psamathe wrote:(And I note there is still no Men's Section and no "Youngsters Section" - which these days is somewhat discriminatory. If our society is striving for equality we cannot adopt the "Everybody is equal except some are more equal than others").


If you are striving for equality it is inherent that you haven't got it yet, so you must accept that currently not everyone is equal. It's absurd to make policy to try and get to somewhere as if you are already there. It's also absurd to pretend you can solve all of the problems at once, and also to think if you can't do so then you shouldn't do anything.

In other words, it's not trying to rationalise "Everybody is equal except some are more equal than others", it's admitting "We're not equal, we need to make up for that inequality until such time as we are, we might have to do this a few times".

I look forward to a youngsters' section; I see no reason to wait until such a thing exists before we have/stop bellyaching about a women's section.

Pete.

My concern is I have seen the really rather bad effects of positive discrimination. So it is something I seek to avoid, by seeking equality as far as possible. And as I mentioned above, in the scenario of the forum there are far better solutions that address the stated aims in a gender neutral manner. And this seems unacceptable (now) I am wondering exactly what the real agenda is.

Ian

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Re: because there is a women's cycling interest subforum....

Postby Edwards » 28 May 2014, 8:51pm

Psamathe wrote: And this seems unacceptable (now) I am wondering exactly what the real agenda is.


The impression I have is that some men have a real agenda to ensure that this section does not work.
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Psamathe
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Re: because there is a women's cycling interest subforum....

Postby Psamathe » 28 May 2014, 8:54pm

Edwards wrote:
Psamathe wrote: And this seems unacceptable (now) I am wondering exactly what the real agenda is.


The impression I have is that some men have a real agenda to ensure that this section does not work.

Who would that be and what are they doing. I don't watch what is going on in the section, but I would be surprised if people here were doing things "to ensure the section does not work".

Ian