ONTD Political

Take your eyes off your navel and read this. Understand it. Live it.

7:37 am - 08/03/2010

First, all of the mods here at ontd_political do believe that -isms are a serious issue that should be confronted. Intersectionality is also a significant issue and I appreciate people who take the time to really get to understand it. Second, this isn't about any one particular instance. This is about certain changes that have taken place in this community over the past 3 or 4 months.

That being said ontd_political is a debate community. It is not the PC Police headquarters. Unfortunately the way some members in this community have been attempting to police each other can be problematic in that their methods shut down conversation. There are a few ways people have been behaving inappropriately that need to stop.

The most common way to shut down conversation is through language policing in the use of the phrase "check your privilege/-ism". This phrase does nothing to teach people why their comment is a problem. Even worse it leaves no room for debate or discussion. Telling someone to check their privilege/-isms is down next to the tone argument in ways to derail a thread. The person policing language has added nothing of value to the topic at hand. The "offending" commenter feels like they must apologize and shut up or be ganged up on over how they said something rather than what was said. Lately, anyone who uses questionable language has had their comment derailed by complaints of -isms rather than anything that actually address the substance of the comment. In order to be successful ONTD_P needs to be a place where we address the substance of the issues at hand rather than how a comment is phrased.

ontd_political is a debate community. It is not a navel gazing more PC than you competition. Sometimes people will have opinions on things that are different from yours. It is ok to write a comment disagreeing with them. It is not ok to claim their opinion is offensive just because you disagree with it. Some of the 10,000+ members may not think that the things you find offensive are offensive. It is not ok to police other user's comments in this community. If you have a serious problem with something someone said comment here. If it is a violation of our current rules the mods will deal with it. If not you'll just have to pull on your grown up undies and deal with it.

ontd_political is a debate community. Even though you may not be an able bodied heterosexual white male that does not mean you are the end all be all of knowledge on your particular sub group. If you are interested in sharing your personal knowledge of your group that is fine. If someone has said something that may have something to do with your sub group and you have a substantive opinion that is different great. But shutting down conversation by claiming to be a victim of a comment that is not as inclusive as you like is not acceptable. Claiming you are a victim because someone reacted in a way you did not like is not acceptable. Attempting to harass someone into accepting your perpetual victim hood and feeling or thinking the way you want them to is not acceptable. If you feel that you are constantly a victim because of opinions that are different than yours about your subgroup you need to figure out a substantive way to discuss it or learn to scroll.

ontd_political is a debate community. Sometimes ontd_political users will express their opinions on an issue. This is understandable given that ontd_political is a debate community. However, just because a user has an opinion you disagree with it is not ok to blow the dog whistles and get your mean girl crew to come in and gang up on them. Since the first day of this community one of our rules has been "be prepared to back up your belief. If you cannot back it up, don't comment." If you can't handle 1 on 1 commenting on your own don't comment. If you can't have a conversation without 5 of your girlfriends repeating your comments and needling the other commenter don't comment. Cyber bullying isn't acceptable here. If you have something substantive to say then say it and move on.

The same rules still apply. Taking it to personal journals = banned. Deleting other people's comments = banned. Deleting your own comments for anything other than a spelling mistake = banned and you need to repost the corrected comment. Don't delete your own posts. Trolls will be sent packing. If your comments are that annoying that we think you're trolling, you're banned.

Most importantly remember that ontd_political is a debate community. ontd_political is not a monolith. If you can't handle differing views and opinions you do not have a place here. The mods are not going to bubble wrap the conversation on your behalf. If you can't handle differing views and opinions Get The Fuck Out.


The Mean Mod
gunsofporn 3rd-Aug-2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this! I am here to learn, and I have seen people using the "Check your privilege/-ism(s)" argument before and I end up learning nothing.

I especially feel bad when it is a race or sexuality related topic. I'm a Black, Puerto Rican and Native American woman who is in the middle of questioning her sexuality. I'm really new to academic race/sexuality/feminism discussions and sometimes don't understand one view point and when I ask to have it explained, it's always "Pick up a book" and questions of "Well, what book would you recommend" are often met with laughter.

So again, thank you for this, and I look forward to learning more from this wonderful community!
popehippo 3rd-Aug-2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
Aww. This comment makes me want to hug you, seriously.

(I blame the icon)
katrinar 3rd-Aug-2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
agreed - i'm also here to learn, but how can we learn differing viewpoints when we are just told we are ignorant or arrogant for having a differing viewpoint?

i assume people on here are from all over the world and all have incredibly different upbringings/cultural mores that are the backbone of their viewpoints, and that's what i'm here to learn from!
kerrence 3rd-Aug-2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
To be fair, it isn't the job of members of marginalized groups in this community to educate people.
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astragali 3rd-Aug-2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
They don't have Google or libraries where you live?
red_pill 3rd-Aug-2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
i hate that kind of attitued. going "pick up a book" is so...being talked down too? if someone asks for info, you should provide it. and people who are just dersive and laphe piss me off.
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kerrence 3rd-Aug-2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
What? You obviously have access to a huge amount of resources, as you're on the internet.
It is not the responsibility of other people to educate you unless they are being paid to do so. Period.

if someone asks for info, you should provide it.

Why in the world is anyone obligated to give someone information?
illusivevenstar 3rd-Aug-2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
should?? no. it'd be nice if they did, but they certainly don't have to.
kynn 4th-Aug-2010 12:44 am (UTC)
if someone asks for info, you should provide it.

oh, okay

are you trans?
thevelvetsun 3rd-Aug-2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting this.

I realize that I am privileged in multiple ways. The fact that I realize it doesn't always mean I say the right thing 100% of the time. When people take the time to explain something to me without being mean, I'll listen. I realize that it's not someone's obligation to teach me, but being mean isn't productive.
valtyr 3rd-Aug-2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
When people take the time to explain something to me without being mean, I'll listen. I realize that it's not someone's obligation to teach me, but being mean isn't productive.

Being mean isn't productive because you choose not to listen when you consider people are being mean to you? That's circular logic.

I chose to ignore the words of anyone who uses acronyms. This proves using acronyms is unproductive, and I will criticize acronyms and the people who use them on that basis. That's some fine debating right there, Lou.
evilgmbethy 3rd-Aug-2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
I think there's a real problem that exists when people forget that not everyone is well-versed in academic discussion. There's a class issue at play when the college-educated masses of LJ expect everyone to know how to speak that language.

Anyway, great comment. :)
meran_flash 3rd-Aug-2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
I don't know about this. I'm going to a community college right now, with only one, maybe two classes in the course of my career there that have involved info relevant to the kind of discussions I have on LJ. And that's just 101 level stuff without a particularly high standard. I've actually learned far more about many issues from LJ than I have from four years of public high school and two years at a community college.

And I learned a lot of that stuff from being called out on my mistakes.
simonejester 29th-Aug-2010 05:38 am (UTC)
I would like to hug you too. I can only help on the queer end (being Scots-Irish and Swedish, aka your garden variety white American), but I recommend Bi Any Other Name by Lani Kaahumanu (spelling is I think correct but might be only approximate). It's centered on bisexuality but it could help. <3
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