Men in the PR -- Poll (WOMEN ONLY)

Discussion in 'The Powder Room' started by LizzieMaine, Apr 30, 2014.

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  1. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    That was something I had to think about before deciding to go the route of a vote -- but I also think it's very very important for a change of this magnitude to be conducted with complete transparency. There's a tendency on internet forums for the members to feel an adversarial relationship with the staff -- to grumble and protest when a change is made, and to assume it's being made for some dark purpose. Making a change like this without directly involving the rank and file isn't the way we want to go - I don't want there to be any doubt in anyone's mind about who is driving this decision. People have been asking us for years to do something about the PR, and I think the best way to approach that is to turn the decision over to the membership themselves.

    I realize some members may be uncomfortable about the public nature of the vote -- but women being made to feel uncomfortable about expressing their views is a big part of the problem which we're trying to solve in the Lounge. I have always believed that the best way for a woman to feel empowered is to step up to the microphone and say her piece -- and this is a chance to do that. Nobody's going to be judging or condemning or hectoring anyone in this thread for expressing a point of view. Any member's vote can be as simple as a yes or a no, or they can explain their views in as much space as they want to take. This is *your* forum, and it needs *your* voices.
  2. HadleyH

    HadleyH I'll Lock Up

    Top of the Hill
    I agree with that. :)
  3. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    St. Louis, MO
    I must say, just the fact that this is being taken so seriously--by the moderators, the site owners, the women on the forum, and 93 percent (guessing at the number) of the men encourages me to consider posting more widely. This is just terrific. Thanks to all who are taking so much time and energy to resolve this issue.
  4. lolly_loisides

    lolly_loisides One Too Many

    The Blue Mountains, Australia
    I think comments in the other (now closed) thread in the Obs Bar show that there's a problem. If more women post in the PR because it's a women only space then it's worth doing.
  5. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    With five days of voting left, the tally now stands at 11 yes, 1 qualified yes, 9 no, and 1 qualified no. As you can see, the vote remains very, very close. Every vote will matter, so be sure to bring this thread to the attention of friends who haven't yet taken a position. Closing time is 6pm Eastern on Thursday.

    You *are* allowed to revise or change your vote up until closing time. Votes as they stand at closing time will make up the final results.

    We're not counting the votes of LD or myself unless they make a difference in the final total.

    And don't forget, this is an official, binding vote. What you, the Powder Room members say -- goes.
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  6. BettyMaraschino

    BettyMaraschino Familiar Face

    London, UK
  7. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    New England
    Can the Lounge send a message to all members to bring this to their attention? Many people who don't visit on a regular basis may be unaware of the poll.
  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I'll look into that -- thanx for the suggestion!

    You gals who frequent Facebook might be able to spread the word some too!
  9. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Lizzie, could you ask whomever moderates the FL facebook page to post a status update about the vote? If one of us that simply likes the page announces it, other people who "like" the page won't see it unless we're connected one-on-one. (I hope I am explaining it correctly- only "owners" of a facebook page can post something that everyone who "likes" a page can see.) I'm still on my phone and can't cut and paste links easily or else I would try to figure out who to send a copy of an announcement to.
  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Will do. I'm not on Facebook myself, but I'll see that word gets out there.
  11. LaMedicine

    LaMedicine One Too Many

    What I've often noticed is that men post on PR threads because they see the thread in the New Posts list, and jump into the discussion without realizing the thread is in PR. When that's pointed out to them, although most apologize and leave quietly, some get their hackles up and turn overbearing, and sometimes, downright nasty. (Though I've seen the mods clean those situations up quickly.) If PR posting is limited to women, this kind of *accidents* can be avoided.
    Also, I've seen some situations where, if directed at myself, I would simply shrug them off, but if the same thing happened to my daughters, I would not feel pleased to see them treated that way, even if my daughters shrug them off. Harassment is not only about yourself, it's about whether you agree with the treatment the people who matter to you get. It is not pleasant to see some of the words directed at other members of the board. All the female members of this board deserve to be treated respectfully.

    I've been on this board much longer than the majority, including Lizzie and Lady Day, and though I don't post much these days, my posts average out to one in three days or so, so I don't think I'm that much of a lurker, either. I've been on this board since before PR came into being, actually. In fact, MK created this room because he saw an increase in female members, and thought to give us a space for ourselves.
    In real life, I am sure the male members of this board will not even imagine barging into a room with "Powder Room", "Ladies' Dressing Room" and such written on the doors, unless they have some heinous intent. Just because this board is in the virtual world, doesn't mean that they don't have to observe the same manners as would be expected in the real world. I believe that they should.

    As for a place for the male members to ask female members some Qs, or to list things that may be of particular interest for the ladies, since there are a lot of other rooms, I trust the mods and admins will be able to work something out that won't put too much of a strain on the already overworked mods. Maybe a question thread or info thread in the OB?
  12. Barbigirl

    Barbigirl Practically Family

    Issaquah, WA
  13. Joie DeVive

    Joie DeVive One Too Many

    I've been watching this discussion with interest, and I've found it a complicated one. While I truly believe that it's important for our ladies to feel safe and comfortable expressing themselves, I'm loathe to bar men from the ladies area altogether because I've seen plenty of instances where men have added value to discussion, or have sought advice on or for another female. In addition, it feels to me as if we are "punishing" an entire gender for the actions of some bounders. As a former teacher, I'm uncomfortable with the technique of punishing a whole group for the actions of a few.

    So, I've been trying to think of a third option. And I've thought of one. I don't know if it's any good. It may be more trouble than it's worth, but here goes. What if we closed off the Powder Room and Beauty to men, and added "The Sitting Room" or "The Parlor", where we allowed men to post? As the name suggests, it would be more female-centric, and visitors would be expected to be on their best behavior, but it would be a place under female control where men and women could interact under an expectation of formality higher than one might have in say, an Observation Bar. This set up would give men a place to ask about gifts for their sweethearts, or post pretty hat pics, but it would be watched more closely, and hopefully would feel safer to the ladies than the rest of the lounge. This set up would provide a private "safe" place for ladies, add a closely supervised area which hopefully would also feel "safer" and allow gents to contact the ladies at large without throwing a question to the winds of the vastness of the rest of the lounge, and maybe, be the best of all worlds. Now, that being said, I can see how it would leave the door open for the same problems, it would likely create more work for the bartenders (sorry! :( ), and it might just be untenable, but it could offer a third option, giving both a safe space, and a space for polite interaction.

    Like I said, not the most ideal thing, but it offers a middle ground. [huh]
  14. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal My Mail is Forwarded Here

    New England
    When I post to the PR I am looking for female input. I don't see it as punishment to have a place for girl talk. I wish it was this way from the start. No peeking guys implies no posting
  15. ThesFlishThngs

    ThesFlishThngs One Too Many

    Oklahoma City
  16. Flicka

    Flicka One Too Many

    Yes, for all the reasons Lizzie has stated.
  17. ohairas

    ohairas Call Me a Cab

    If we need a male's opinion, of if a gentleman has something to say that he thinks we would appreciate, it can be addressed elsewhere in the Lounge.
  18. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Something like this is being considered, a section where men would have limited posting privileges -- links, questions, things like that.

    As it stands now, the entire Lounge is open to co-ed posting -- there is plenty of room in the "Community" part of the Lounge for general mixed-sex conversation. The idea behind making the PR "women only" is so that women who want to participate in the Lounge without being *forced* to interact with men will be have a place where they can do that.
  19. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Ok, so I am finally home for a brief period and off my phone.

    I am really hesitant to vote yes, but I am going to vote yes to close off the powder room to men.

    I am hesitant because I do think that a few gentlemen do add great content to this part of the site. The vast majority of the gentlemen of the site don't even venture in here. The vast majority of the men on this site are not a problem- both those that come in the PR and those who do not. I was wishy-washy about this all week, not knowing where to throw my vote in because honestly I can see both sides. I have been told by several women through PM over the past year or so that they are no longer as active because of several incidents and the overbearing factor over the past couple of years. I think that is sad. I want women to have voices and input into all areas of the lounge and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth that some women feel unwelcome in the lounge in general purely because of their gender. It is even more distasteful to me that the Powder Room of all places is not a safe space for women. We're not some open site like Reddit- we are an actual community- and women should feel welcome here. The powder room is *our* space.

    What cinched it for me was the posting in the observation bar. I know that lolly (sorry, whenever I type your name it comes across as the emoticon:) ) recommended that you read that thread and I would too. The behavior in that thread is *unacceptable* to me.

    The vast majority of people supported the women's postings in that thread. In the end both of our female moderators ended up being personally attacked before the thread was shut down in a complete hot mess. I don't want that in my home. It makes me uncomfortable what happened in that thread and I got a thick skin when they were being passed out. That is not how you treat other human beings, period. I am sorry to both our female moderators that it happened.

    It is really sad, but I vote yes to closing it. It leaves a bad, metallic taste in my mouth to do so because of a few rotten apples. I am sorry to all the men who posted here and were civilized and gentlemen. Perhaps there is some sort of compromise where men's posts can be moderated, or only a very very few specific threads can be left open.

    I am more than happy to help out any way I can.
  20. wahine

    wahine Practically Family

    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Since I'm an occasional poster at best, my vote probably shouldn't weigh as much as that of some other posters.
    I totally second St. Louis' opion:
    Closing out men would feel too much like putting ourselves behind veils, so to speak. Have you ever been to a mosque, in the ladies' section? They say it's to keep the ladies safe from peeking guys (and the other way around). But sitting in that secluded area, looking out through some kind of a veil makes me feel awkward. Our world is one of both sexes, and we need to find a way to get along with each other, offline and online.

    It's sad if some ladies stay out because they are afraid of any kind of harrassment, but I think our aim should be not to seclude ourselves in some kind of ghetto, but to "teach" those men better, and make the ones who are unwilling or incapable of learning leave the lounge altogether.
    I know I'm idealistic, but I think we should try to get along, and we ladies should go on taking care of each other as we did, and try to encourage those of us who get bullied by men to stand up against this.

    My vote: No
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