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Men in the PR -- Poll (WOMEN ONLY)

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LizzieMaine

Bartender
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The question of men in the Powder Room has been controversial since the beginning of the Lounge. While there has never been a formal policy prohibiting their participation -- the "Don't Peek" line in the room description, which predates my involvement here, seems to have always been meant more as a cutesy joke than a formal rule. But enough incidents have accumulated in recent years of women being bothered, annoyed, harassed, and even stalked across the Lounge by men that I'm about at the point where I'm ready to push the Lounge administration to make the PR and Beauty officlally "Women Only."

Before doing this, however, I want to know what the rest of the membership here thinks. I don't mean to reflect on the general male membership of the Lounge -- as I've said in many posts over my eight years here, the overwhelming majority of the men men who populate the forum are good, decent men who aren't here to make trouble. Some of them have contributed fine, worthwhile material to our discussions. So, the question I want everyone to consider, very carefully, is this: are those contributions outweighed by the negatives of male participation in this part of the Lounge? Do you, as Lounge members and Powder Room/Beauty participants support the idea of making these sections "Women Only?" A yes or no answer will suffice -- and I'm specifically *not* doing this as an anonymous poll so I can be sure that it's women only who are voting. Simply post your reply in-thread, yes or no. Thank you.
 
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LizzieMaine

Bartender
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And again, please note that this thread is for WOMEN ONLY. Posts by men will be summarily deleted. A general-membership thread exists in the Observation Bar, but posts there will not be considered in making the final decision. This is a women-only question, and will be decided by women only.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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30,920
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Thanks for your votes -- I'm going to be keeping this open for a week or so, because I know a lot of people only come on here once in a while, so there'll be plenty of time for people to speak up one way or another. And I encourage every woman who has an opinion on this issue to speak up -- there seem to be an awful lot of men who have an opinion on the subject, and that's all the more reason for women to be heard.
 

lareine

A-List Customer
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309
Location
New Zealand
"Yes" or "No" isn't clear whether we are voting Yes lock them out or No don't lock them out.

I disagree with having men formally excluded. Women are just as likely as men to cause trouble on an internet forum, and I don't feel good about locking out an entire gender because of nothing more than a fear of misbehaviour. A site that would do that isn't one I would want to be a part of.

It reminds me of the policy of some airlines to force men to switch seats if they are seated beside an unsupervised minor, just because some men in some places have molested minors. It's the gender equivalent of racism.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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30,920
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"Yes" or "No" isn't clear whether we are voting Yes lock them out or No don't lock them out.

I disagree with having men formally excluded. Women are just as likely as men to cause trouble on an internet forum, and I don't feel good about locking out an entire gender because of nothing more than a fear of misbehaviour. A site that would do that isn't one I would want to be a part of.

It reminds me of the policy of some airlines to force men to switch seats if they are seated beside an unsupervised minor, just because some men in some places have molested minors. It's the gender equivalent of racism.

For the purposes of this poll, YES means "make the Powder Room/Beauty WOMEN ONLY, with the bartenders having full authority to enforce this policy." NO means "keep the Powder Room/Beauty as they are now, with men allowed to post except in threads specifically designated as 'women only.'"
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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Every man who tries to post in a thread which is plainly marked WOMEN ONLY is giving us that much more reason to impose this policy change. And those who keep it up will find themselves sitting on the sidewalk real fast. Don't try our patience, boys, because it's just about at its end.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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I don't know if there's any practical way to close the PR to *reading* by men, and even if there is, there's nothing to prevent a determined individual from setting up a bogus account as a female and gaining access that way. We've penetrated such disguises in the past, but I don't think there's any way to assume that men who wanted to look would never be able to do so. So at this point, I'd say the question is do we want to keep them from *posting.*
 

Alice~

One of the Regulars
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138
Location
England
An expansion on my previous 'yes':

Certain contributions from some men put people off posting. I lurked in the Lounge for a good few years before I made an account, and the biggest reason I didn't sign up sooner was seeing the sexualised comments/innuendos from men posting in women's threads. I have been lucky enough not to have any harassment aimed at me personally during my time in the Lounge, but the potential of it put me off signing up for a while, and I know a few people who still haven't signed up due to the same concerns.

It is hugely frustrating. There are some wonderful male posters who share great information here, but I can't help thinking that the PR might be busier and more productive if new and existing female users didn't have to worry about the potential of harassment. Yes, the bartenders deal with it very quickly and efficiently, which is excellent - but it doesn't make it any less upsetting/offputting. I am sure a lot of women will understand when I say that after dealing with issues like this from 'gentlemen' in the offline world, the last thing you want is an extension of that worry in the online world too.

Thank you for opening up the question to us Lizzie. :) It's frustrating to have to give you a 'yes,' but I really do believe this place would be busier if these concerns were a non-issue.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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30,920
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Your comments are appreciated. There's a debate over just the points you raise raging right now in the Observation Bar, with some men professing not to understand *how* any of this could be an issue, but that doesn't change the reality that it *is* an issue. As far as LD and I are concerned, there's no question that there's an issue, and that there has been for some time. What we're trying to figure out now is exactly the best way to deal with that issue. The women who make up the membership in the Powder Room will be the ones who make that decision, and those are the only voices that will influence our ultimate action.
 
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