Just a Reminder


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WormysQueue wrote:

I'm certainly not expecting perfection from anybody. Heck, that experience I was talking about was me nearly being banned from another board for getting so fed up with certain trolls that I started to retaliate in equal measure.

As far as the oversensitivity goes, I can only talk from my own perspective. There are obvious trolls, of course, but I think a lot of it also has to do with the history of RPGs and who played them. I mean, there are probably a lot of us older guys that stepped into the world of RPGs to escape from a world were felt like we didn't belong, where we weren't accepted and even bullied and harassed because we didn't conform to certain societal norms of the time. So RPGS were our safe space and with that comes a certain tendency of gatekeeping (because it's OUR safe space).

Now that RPGs suddenly have become the cool thing to do, not only do we have to share that space with the new guys, but now those new guys also start to tell us what we did wrong the whole time (which probably is especially infuriating when there's a grain of truth to it). And suddenly my safe space doesn't feel that safe anymore.

maybe I read too much into it, but sometimes I think that all this childish behaviour (and of course, it's childish) has it's roots in the thought of "you wanna feel safe too? Hey, great, but why don't you go feel safe somewhere else? because this is my territory". It's a gut reaction to feeling threatened, which is a completely irrational feeling, that needs to be confronted head on. But it's also what happens in a lot of other areas in society right now.

Doesn't excuse troll behaviour, that's for sure.

I think this is all pretty fair, and not to get "preachy", but I appreciate you being so up-front about how things feel, and empathetic to those who don't handle the "new crew" so well, while also taking care to clarify the limits to that empathy and the fallacies built into the "territorialness".

It's honestly pretty funny--I got into D&D just before it started to get revived, but my demographics more match the newcomers, so I occupy a special, unique zone of hipsterdom: I was into D&D after it was cool the first time, but before it got cool again. Seeing the new demographics flow in has been cool, even if I don't get to feel all special about being the youngest forum regular anymore. ;)


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WormysQueue wrote:

I'm certainly not expecting perfection from anybody. Heck, that experience I was talking about was me nearly being banned from another board for getting so fed up with certain trolls that I started to retaliate in equal measure.

As far as the oversensitivity goes, I can only talk from my own perspective. There are obvious trolls, of course, but I think a lot of it also has to do with the history of RPGs and who played them. I mean, there are probably a lot of us older guys that stepped into the world of RPGs to escape from a world were felt like we didn't belong, where we weren't accepted and even bullied and harassed because we didn't conform to certain societal norms of the time. So RPGS were our safe space and with that comes a certain tendency of gatekeeping (because it's OUR safe space).

Now that RPGs suddenly have become the cool thing to do, not only do we have to share that space with the new guys, but now those new guys also start to tell us what we did wrong the whole time (which probably is especially infuriating when there's a grain of truth to it). And suddenly my safe space doesn't feel that safe anymore.

maybe I read too much into it, but sometimes I think that all this childish behaviour (and of course, it's childish) has it's roots in the thought of "you wanna feel safe too? Hey, great, but why don't you go feel safe somewhere else? because this is my territory". It's a gut reaction to feeling threatened, which is a completely irrational feeling, that needs to be confronted head on. But it's also what happens in a lot of other areas in society right now.

Doesn't excuse troll behaviour, that's for sure.

Remember that some of those "new guys" aren't all that new (and a lot of them aren't guys either.) This current go-round is rightly focused on trans issues, but women in gaming have been pointing out harassment since basically the beginning. I know I've heard about it since roughly the late 80s, which is when I first knew any women who played.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is making me realize why that forum with strict banning policy I mentioned has habit of 1) when they delete the post, they actually leave post in thread but change message to give reason why post was deleted. Most common text being "Removed to preserve dignity of the poster" :p Yes that sometimes lead to massive long segment of thread with such posts. 2) when they ban someone, the post that was deleted last straight up says that, including whether its perma one or not.

Like it's not just scare tactic, its actually there to be visible so everyone has context of what is bannable offense even if you don't see what was actually said after the fact

The Exchange

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thejeff wrote:
Remember that some of those "new guys" aren't all that new (and a lot of them aren't guys either.)

You're right of course. Didn't want to exclude anyone. In fact, part of why this topic makes me scratch my head from time to time is, that even in the 80, the group I played in was 50% guys and 50% gals. Some of those belong to the LBTQ+-community (of course we didn't use that term, not sure that it even existed back then). And while I don't want to pretend I ever had to experience the same issues my friends from that group had, there was a measure of being bullied and harassed involved just for being part of that group.

What that experience obviously did, though, is blind me to the fact that just because we could handle it pretty well* 35+ years ago, it doesn't mean that it was handled equally well in the wider RPG community. For the longest time I was thinking that that safe space was a safe space for everyone (and of course we didn't even think about being privileged compared to other people).

*"pretty well" is a relative term, of course. In hindsight, I'm quite sure that there were transgressions happening, that nobody did comment on because they were used much worse from other people, and that jokes were made and things were said that wouldn't fly in 2021. And thinking about it this way kinda makes you from the "good guy" to the "not as bad" bad guy. Another thing I would probably have been outraged just a few years ago, if someone had suggested that to me.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Once again, this isn't an argument about whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza, it's an "argument" about whether a class of people deserves to be treated with respect, and if you're on the other side of that argument, you are indeed wrong. Trans people aren't going anywhere, no matter how much you try.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You're literally the only one who used that word. I will not get along with people who don't think I deserve to exist, I'm sorry.

Silver Crusade

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The only wound is the one y’all are picking, poster who tried to impersonate and now trying to act innocent.

Trans women are women, trans men are men, get over it.


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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Whereas the "other side" wants people to stop inflicting new wounds. 'Cause it's hard to heal when people are still dishing out the damage.

(And please leave your comparisons to genocide at the door. Banning people from a message board for being repeatedly-vile is not in any way "genocide." Individuals facing the consequences of their own bad behavior is not "genocide.")


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Saedar wrote:
Even historically bad people have rarely thought of themselves as bad people and embraced the cackling comic book villain life.

Speak for yourself.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

You can say stop picking at an open wound, but what that really implies is stop trying to protect already marginalized people from further abuse.

We aren't going to just sweep the bigotry under the rug and forget about it; we want to sweep the bigots away for good.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I can't coexist with someone who argues that I should not exist. That is the very definition of the paradox of the tolerant.


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Huh. We should be heading into autumn now, but I still hear an awful lot of mosquitoes buzzing around us. Weird.

Scarab Sages

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Huh. We should be heading into autumn now, but I still hear an awful lot of mosquitoes buzzing around us. Weird.

"Them ain' sk't'rs! They's 'tirges!"

Translation:
"It would appear that the terminology of insect is not entirely appropriate, as they are closer to aberrations than natural."


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Anyways, back on topic. I personally always appreciated Sara Marie's attempts to offer second chances, but I do think that a second chance is something earned, never owed. Kind of how showing politeness to someone being rude to you is a gift you can only choose to give, not something you can be lectured into bestowing.

When someone is engaging abusively, and has to be disciplined, I think it's very, very important that they actually be expected to show some growth or understanding of what they did wrong. Not everybody learns from their posts getting deleted. Sometimes--often, in fact, from what we've seen lately--they just get more passive-aggressive, more toxic, injecting barbs about "oversensitive moderation" into every discussion. When someone shows that they haven't learned, that's when the consequences need to get a lot harsher.

Content Warning: Metaphor deployed below.

If you only ever half-swat at mosquitoes, all you'll get is a population of mosquitoes that are very well-trained to dodge hands.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'll be forced to disagree with you know who. You can't co-exist with someone who wants eliminate you just for existing. There isn't always a moral middle ground. If Party A wants to kill 0 puppies, and Party B wants to kill all puppies, you don't kill half the puppies.


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Uchuujin wrote:
I'll be forced to disagree with you know who. You can't co-exist with someone who wants eliminate you just for existing. There isn't always a moral middle ground. If Party A wants to kill 0 puppies, and Party B wants to kill all puppies, you don't kill half the puppies.

And even if there were a middle ground: The middle ground between erasure of people, and those people just wanting to be alive is still reprehensible. It's another well-worn rhetoric to imagine all middle grounds are superior by nature of being the middle. That itself is a form of fanatical extremism.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As far as mosquitoes go, I found out years ago that if I stopped drinking sodas with certain sweeteners in them, they tended to leave me alone -- in fact, other people would have clouds of bugs around them and I might get... one, maybe two, and they wouldn't necessarily even take blood.

This also led to me not using nearly as much bug repellent, which in turn has helped my skin recover from nearly two decades of abuse using them.

The problem here is that we can't really change the sweet nectar of vitae that these mosquitoes are looking for, because they love to draw this kind of blood, and we can't really change our blood to make them go away.


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People are so, so excited to tell us we're always overreacting and calling everyone a transphobe, and then they go and compare us to the Nazis. Huh. To me, that seems tasteless, offensive, inflammatory, historically clueless, and embarrassingly meaningless, but they all really liked that post, so I guess it's actually extremely smart and rational. I guess I have a lot to learn about being a rational debater like them.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Saedar wrote:

If someone were to call me out on some prejudice and I rejected that it was prejudiced, I would still be acting prejudicial.

But if someone were to call you out on something that wasn't prejudice and you rejected that it was prejudiced then you WOULDN"T be acting prejudicial.

I thought this was a pretty good summation of the dispute. For reference, I am actively considering Hilary Moon Murphy’s Toolbox Item 3 in putting together this response.

So if I can summarize my understanding of the points leading up to this post, KC argued that if you engage in behavior that is bigoted or transphobic, I will call you a bigot or a transphobic. BNW argued that if that person doesn’t believe their behavior is bigoted or transphobic then calling them a bigot or a transphobic isn’t … good.(?) Subsequent posts indicates that you don’t get to disagree about whether your actions are or are not bigoted or transphobic, they are or are not, and you deserve the response you get.

…. am I getting that accurate?


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Part of the confusion might be to assume that, for myself at least, I am at all interested in engaging people with those ideals on their own terms. I'm just not.

Following the transfolks example.
If you:
...think that trans people should face additional barriers to adoption beyond what cishet couples do
...think that trans people should not be allowed to use restrooms for their identified gender
...think that trans people should get fewer professional networking opportunities than their cisgendered colleagues

...you are a transphobe.

This is a statement of ideology. Not an invitation to debate.

If you are more critical/concerned/whatever of trans people above and beyond what you are of cis people, you ARE a transphobe. I don't especially care if you want to equivocate about how some amount of antitrans bigotry is acceptable or should be tolerated.

EDIT: The above is not comprehensive. There isn't enough time in my day to enumerate the characteristics of systemic oppression.


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Exquisite metaphor, Wei Ji.

And agreed, Saedar - I think it's definitely important to establish that stuff, even more than we already have/ A nice, fundamental learning experience for others - and I appreciate the statement on not approaching things on their terms.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Saedar wrote:

If someone were to call me out on some prejudice and I rejected that it was prejudiced, I would still be acting prejudicial.

But if someone were to call you out on something that wasn't prejudice and you rejected that it was prejudiced then you WOULDN"T be acting prejudicial.

This is fair argument. Someone claiming you're prejudiced does not mean you are. That's a bad argument to make, mostly because it's so easy to turn around: All you have to do is be accused of being prejudiced against whites (or men, or Christians) and by your own argument you must be.

At the same time though, not being convinced that you're being prejudiced certainly doesn't prove you aren't. It obviously doesn't work in the case of hardcore bigots - they'll either just lie or be so sunk in their own distorted worldview they honestly won't be able to see it. But it's hard even for most of the rest of us to recognize when we've got prejudiced blind spots - which we all do.


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I agree, Vardoc, but I think it's best to outline why a trollpost is wrong without targeting it directly, then ignore it and the poster afterwards. I could have done a better job of it there, granted. A general "hey, everyone, let's not engage with people who break Godwin's Law" sort of thing would've been more effective and hopefully caused less mod headaches. :P

Vardoc Bloodstone wrote:


So if I can summarize my understanding of the points leading up to this post, KC argued that if you engage in behavior that is bigoted or transphobic, I will call you a bigot or a transphobic. BNW argued that if that person doesn’t believe their behavior is bigoted or transphobic then calling them a bigot or a transphobic isn’t … good.(?) Subsequent posts indicates that you don’t get to disagree about whether your actions are or are not bigoted or transphobic, they are or are not, and you deserve the response you get.

…. am I getting that accurate?

So, Vardoc, I fully believe you're not aiming to stir up trouble, and I want to respond to this respectfully because I think these misunderstandings are genuine. I'm mostly trying to not engage with that whole argument, because I don't think the whole "transphobic is an insult" line of debate is going to lead anywhere productive, but to clarify:

First, sorry to nitpick, but I have to stress that I never said "I will call you a bigot" that I can recall. Actually, my whole point was that using those words as nouns like that is often counterproductive. My point was that describing behavior as transphobic is not an insult--it is often difficult to hear, of course (I know I haven't always reacted well in the past to being told a joke I told was racist or ableist), but that doesn't make it abusive.

Second, let's take a former dormmate of mine, who we'll call "Karen" because I honestly forget her name. Karen, who was a ciswoman, insisted on using they/them pronouns for me, because she liked using them for everyone and believed it was the smartest, most enlightened way to refer to people.

This behavior was transphobic. Her intentions may have been good, but it was transphobic, and explaining to her that she was acting in a way that would harm trans people was difficult but necessary.

If someone doesn't realize they're doing something transphobic, that's when you need to tell them most, because hopefully they'll say, "Oh, shit, I didn't realize." If they instead react with defensiveness, what I've learned here is, okay, I can't trust this person to prioritize the comfort and safety of trans people over their need to always be right. Maybe I won't confront them next time. Or maybe next time, since I know they'll start a fight no matter what, I'll be more blunt, or just Flag their post and move on.

Karen did not agree with us, by the way, and continued to refuse to use she/her pronouns for me. Because of this, I stopped hanging out in the dorm common room.

It's not about whether or not you're allowed to disagree on whether your intentions are transphobic. It's about whether it's wise to assume you know better than trans people whether something you're doing is hurting them. Lots of cis people are very confident that they're already fully 100% trans-inclusive, but like Karen, this confidence itself can be a mask for a fragile, defensive need to be Correct. That can have unfortunate consequences.

Silver Crusade

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Saedar wrote:


If someone were to call me out on some prejudice and I rejected that it was prejudiced, I would still be acting prejudicial.

At least as expressed here as an absolute I vehemently disagree.

I have a real world example but in a probably vain attempt to not spin off on a tangent I'll put it in a spoiler

Example:

To take a real life example, some people (often for political purposes) claim that anybody who is opposed to Israeli policies in the Occupied Territories must be anti-semitic.

I oppose the Israeli policies in the West Bank. I reject the assertion by some people that makes me anti-semitic. Note, I DO agree with the 3 D's of Anti-semitism

My point is that "bigot", "prejudiced" etc are NOT always a clear black and white thing. There are both nuances in how prejudiced somebody is AND there is the possibility of misidentifying somebody (in both directions)

Edit: I want to make clear that I am absolutely NOT defending transphobia in any way. Trans people have the right to be treated identically to other people and as the gender of their choice. Transphobic behaviour should be called out.

All I'm saying is that there ARE edge cases where behaviour may or may not actually be transphobic, where reasonable people (trans AND CIS) are going to disagree. There are also a whole heck of a lot MORE cases where any vaguely reasonable person is going to agree that a particular behaviour is transphobic

Silver Crusade

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But that is on the person misusing the terms, not the terms themselves.

If I call a hammer an orange it does not become one. Waxing philosophically and despairing that it does or does not is just letting your ego run rampant and ignoring the blatant and actual pressing issue.


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pauljathome wrote:
Saedar wrote:


If someone were to call me out on some prejudice and I rejected that it was prejudiced, I would still be acting prejudicial.

At least as expressed here as an absolute I vehemently disagree.

I have a real world example but in a probably vain attempt to not spin off on a tangent I'll put it in a spoiler
** spoiler omitted **

My point is that "bigot", "prejudiced" etc are NOT always a clear black and white thing. There are both nuances in how prejudiced somebody is AND there is the possibility of misidentifying somebody (in both directions).

I don't think we are actually disagreeing. I certainly agree with you in your example. In both circumstances, the problem is dismissing the pain and lived experiences of a marginalized group. Whether imperialist forces or bigots online, it is the people inflicting harm on others that is the problem. The problem isn't pointing to it and saying "this is wrong and you are wrong for reinforcing it".


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If there's anything we've learned from people who compare those of us advocating for trans rights to the Nazis, it's that bad actors will always be happy to appropriate the language and ideas of social justice and use them against us. So I think that's a fair point.

That being said, I don't think Saedar is saying "if someone calls you prejudiced, you aren't allowed to disagree" in that quote. It reads to me more like, "just because you don't realize you're being discriminatory doesn't mean you are incapable of being discriminatory".


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vardoc Bloodstone wrote:
KC argued that if you engage in behavior that is bigoted or transphobic, I will call you a bigot or a transphobic. BNW argued that if that person doesn’t believe their behavior is bigoted or transphobic then calling them a bigot or a transphobic isn’t … good.(?) Subsequent posts indicates that you don’t get to disagree about whether your actions are or are not bigoted or transphobic, they are or are not, and you deserve the response you get.

The difficulty is that there is no "is". We don't have an agreed upon meter for this sort of thing. Calling something transphobic doesn't make it so. Denying something is transphobic doesn't make it not. So how do you decide if something IS transphobic? You have to take an honest look at it, listen to arguments for why it is, and make a decision. There's no other way to go about it.

There are three (two and a half?) possibilities.

1) The thing is transphobic and is labeled such.

2) The thing is not remotely transphobic but is labeled as such anyway.

3) The thing is a minor item but is labeled as transphobic

1) Isn't so much a problem.

2) is a problem because there's a misunderstanding or error somewhere.
Kobold cleaver seemed to deny the existance of 2, which I find problematic. Just because things are claimed doesn't mean they are, even when the person making the claim is a member of a minority. Being listened to doesn't mean you're automatically agreed with.

3) It seems there's a disagreement over what the word means. To me it's solely used for some big ticket items, job discrimination, assault etc. But it seems to get applied more broadly including things like using the phrase "prefered pronouons" or transgendered vs. transgender because of some rather random implications

This has a few issues

A) It makes little problems sound like big ones (someone said a transphobic thing! That monster!)

B) After a while it makes Big problems sound like little ones. If you hear someone is transphobic and every time you look into something and it's incredibly minor, you start to think its an incredibly minor thing. If transphobic can be something superfluous and nitpicky then why care?

C) If some people re using transphobic lightly or not as an insult, and someone hears it as a grievous insult, they're not going to understand the persons reaction and the other person isn't going to get why they're being called a monster for something so small. Which is basically what was happening.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Also I must admit that when communicating in such a method as this forum it can be a bit more difficult to read all the intended nuances than it would be in a real conversation. Miscommunication becomes much easier.

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