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Subject:  For the Masses Date:  5/31/2002  10:00 PM
Author:  redsavina Number:  3906 of 7632

In the short history of For the Girls , it's amazing how often the point of this board has been silmultaneously misunderstood, scoffed at, and watched with utter fascination. Case in point: the recently pulled (not by me) post from WRG. Allow me to reprint it here and then explain:

HA!The only difference between this past couple day's discussions and all the hissing and nail exposing that has happened in the past is you can't say anybody's acting that way because they have a small one or are impotent. Once you take away the antagonist, all that's left is the reflection in the mirror. Third off, this board might as well be called Big Losers. Intelligent people don't need to segregate themselves, and exclusionary groups are for the ignorant and weak. You perpetuate the stereo type that many of you so detest by setting up this board. On the plus side, I get to enjoy a little thing called poetic justice. Keep in mind, if any of the above makes you huffy, it applies to you.

When this board was set up (more accurately, it was found and occupied) by the Big Losers (me, Czes, darksister, tootru, juliewinter, Wilsonsjulie, etc.) we wanted one tiny place in TMF land that had but one rule: only women posting. One rule, not five, not ten. One. I hate to say read the FAQ, but read the FAQ. It's really not that much to ask, since TMF will give discussions boards to anyone for the asking; in fact, a board titled For the Guys was opened shortly after this one (oddly, the discussions there and at least two other boards seem to gravitate toward obsessive discussions, condemnations and evaluations of For the Girls), and yet this board is riveting for many TMF males. I would venture that, for whatever reasons, FTG has a much higher "readership" than FTGuys, and this would lead one to believe that For the Girls is by all accounts a fascinating and popular board. Would it be as popular if we allowed males to post? One wonders. All those boards, all that space, all that room for male-only discussions on TMF, and none of it sates their appetites--only this tiny little corner will do and by God, they must urinate on it or die trying.

What WRG's misplaced triumphantness misses entirely is that, during the last couple of weeks' heated discussions, there were some deeply reflective, thoughtful, intelligent, well-written and clever posts. There was also name-calling, misinterpretation, and falsehoods. From both sides--although these arguments did not have sides, they had angles, and many of them. This is one of the hallmarks of productive discussion. Another hallmark of women's discussions is process. The process is how we reach a decision, or decisions, or at the very least enlightenment (fancy term for "new stuff to think about"). To dismiss, with a condescending sweep of the hand, an entire week's worth of thought-provoking discussion as catfighting is both shallow and without fair analysis. But in WRG's hurry to prove this board some kind of failed social experiment, he missed all that.

The difference between the "hissing and nail exposing" that went on this last week, and previous attempts to defend this board from trolls was that this week's discussions (antagonists? Yes, of course--one cannot have a plot without antagonists) were about weighty matters, passionate debates about social policy and issues, while the other fights were merely about one subject: Should this board be allowed to exist peacefully without the intrusion of others? A lot of people thought no, it shouldn't, and since then, not more than a few days have passed without one of u