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Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:04 PM

Proposal to Amend DU TOS Language

This discussion thread is pinned.
The hosts of four groups on DU, Feminists Group, History of Feminism, Feminism and Diversity and Women's Rights have come together to ask for your input on the topic of sexist and misogynistic posts on DU and whether the language of the Terms of Service provide sufficient guidance on whether such posts are acceptable.

The Terms of Service on Democratic Underground are absent of any mention of sexism or misogyny directly. There is a prohibition of bigotry based on gender but we have seen that not all DUers interpret this language to include sexism and misogyny. We are advocating for these bigotries to be explicitly added to the Terms of Service on DU, to aid in our struggles to eliminate these bigotries from DU. We request your input and your support is critical. Spread the news and show your support here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12565203

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:15 PM

1. I would rather cringe at the occasional word

than have to cope with a banned words list.

However, I would also love to see blatantly sexist posts that don't even use the mean and nasty sexual slurs be hidden more consistently than they are now.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:22 PM

2. No one is calling for a banned words list

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:32 PM

3. Well I do recall a jury about using the word bitch as a verb.

As a feminist, I did not think it was sexist, I use it all the time. I believe that terminology laying out inappropriate language should be a general one addressing all forms of bigotry. If the current one does not do that, I think amending it would be fine.

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Response to pennylane100 (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:34 PM

4. I do not understand why you are also talking about a banned word list

It does not state that in the pinned thread. Sexism and misogyny is not mentioned in TOS. Should it be?

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:02 PM

9. I was merely replying to your statement that nobody is talking about a banned word list.

Your post was in reply to a post by Warpy who did not want a banned word list. I thought I would add a little lighthearted commentary about my experience on a jury about a word that maybe someone thought should have been on a banned word list.

On a more serious note, I must admit I have not read the TOS and I do not know how it describes dealing with inappropriate language. However, if there is such a clause, it should be inclusive so that no group feels left out, but, and this is where I agree with Warpy, not so restrictive that a banned word list is necessary. The instance that I mentioned where someone found a word offensive was not used in a derogatory way. It was not a slur that was directed at anyone, but a fairly common expression that had a double meaning.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:03 PM

5. Yes, I think sexism and misogyny should be in the TOS

But as you can see, there's confusion about what that actually means, even among feminists.

Someone wrote a post recently about how individuals think in gendered terms, which may make it more difficult for some people to recognize sexism and misogyny than racism and homophobia.

It's also true that some people see sexism and misogyny when it's NOT there.

So, while I absolutely agree that sexism and misogyny should be in the TOS, perhaps, it should be spelled out more clearly.

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Response to Lisa D (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:16 PM

6. The current TOS gives some examples for the other guidelines.

Part of this process could be to help with what that could look like for an amended TOS. I think there are probably a few that we could get some consensus on.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:43 PM

8. LLP has some great examples at the link in the pinned OP

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:37 PM

7. Specific language on this is definitely needed

Admin also needs to spell out specific language on bullying/harassment.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:22 PM

10. Agreed.

The lack of specific language on any number of issues can be construed as endorsement. Sexism and bullying are both areas where refinement of the TOS would be helpful.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:19 AM

11. I haven't been up-to-date on what's been happening.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #11)


Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:20 PM

13. Count me in for any support needed. nt

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:10 AM

14. Would this include sexism towards men as well?

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2013, 07:31 AM

15. What happened to this proposal?...I see it's dated December 2, 2012. n/t

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 12:58 AM

16. Suggestions on change up f/ vote?

That there seems to be confusion on what constitutes "prohibition of bigotry based on gender" is distressing in itself. Do folks not know what bigotry is? Or us 'gender' the confusing word?

Care needs to be taken on wording. Some are easily offended, some too easily. Bullying should be the big no-no but I imagine there are a few who would disagree on its threshhold.

Apparently a revision needs to be made. I suggest a poll on the wording (2 or 3 revisions).

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Response to obamanut2012 (Original post)

Wed Sep 23, 2020, 11:04 AM

17. Let's face it. Sexist/Misogynistic language and attitudes are explosive subjects.

I would love to see them disappear from DU, and frequently “stifle myself” when I would rather deliver a scathing rebuke. Sadly, even in the DU community, the willingness to refrain from overt expressions of racism doesn’t extend to misogyny and sexism.

I believe the very idea of imposing restraints on language that demeans women and/or characteristics classified as “feminine” would be met with a fierce backlash. That doesn’t mean we should continue to grin and bear it, but maybe there’s a more creative approach.

Changing hearts and minds around this intractable problem will require nothing short of redefining “manhood” itself. Until the men of DU are willing to endure the discomfort of evolving beyond their patriarchal conditioning, the imposition of new rules could create a backlash of unintended consequences.

Finally, as much as I share the fervent desire to rid this community of its all too frequent outbursts of sexism and misogyny, the timing of this proposal may not be optimal. Now more than ever, we need to present a united front. Just sayin’.

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