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David_Gerard comments on LW Women: LW Online - Less Wrong Discussion

29 [deleted] 15 February 2013 01:43AM

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Comment author: David_Gerard 19 February 2013 10:03:57PM *  0 points [-]

Apparently, RationalWiki scores surprisingly well on friendliness to women compared to large chunks of the skepticsphere of late. I was both surprised and pleased, and somewhat disconcerted that the bar was quite so low. Here's an excerpt from the post that says that (written by a female regular contributor, and RWF board member - two women on the board out of six):

Go to any site that hosts modern intellectual discussions, especially around the sciences, atheism, skepticism, and freethought, and one topic that will be shared across all of them is “the role of women at our site”.


First of all, you have to want women’s participation, and accept that it’s a good thing to have various minority voices on your site. Having decided that, you have to encourage it by having a variety of topics that might interest or appeal to women specifically, as well as the generic ones that appeal to everyone, regardless of gender. You have to walk the walk, and listen to what women are saying: What topics matter to some or most women in your field? What questions are unique to the women of/in your field? What articles have been written by women at your site, on any topic, and how can you highlight them? What off-site discussions are happening? Are women involved? Are they encouraged to talk?

And a big one — what is your actual attitude as represented in your sitespace? Is it easy to find moments where women’s opinions have been dismissed? Does the site allow anyone to say anything at any time about women? Are the conversations bully-based (that is, to the extent that it’s true that women “give up” earlier than men, do the men win when there are disagreements, just ’cause they are louder, meaner, and more stubborn)? Are lots of the participants telling those who speak abusively to back down or get out? And if fights (all too common around mansplaining-land) do break out, how does the community at large, handle them?

Comment author: OrphanWilde 21 February 2013 03:00:34PM 2 points [-]

"Mansplaining"? Personally, I don't want whatever group the author represents, which isn't women in general.

Comment author: Manfred 23 February 2013 09:25:41AM *  0 points [-]

She presumably represents, like everyone, a whole raft of groups - herself quite well, people very like her less so, and all of humanity to a still pretty good degree. Out of that raft, the one I'd guess you mean is "people who display ingroup/outgroup signals I am emotionally averse to like saying 'mansplaining'." We can probably afford to give people a little more attention as people than that.