Discussion of trans people should be respectful

Regarding this thread:

The OP uses the bizarre word “converted” in the title of the thread, and goes on to misgender trans girls in the first sentence. I have no familiarity with this poster, so I have no idea if any of this is deliberately disrespectful or just incredibly ignorant. Let’s allow the benefit of the doubt. But it seems to me that there should be immediate moderator guidance that if we’re going to discuss trans issues, it behooves posters to educate themselves (it’s really not difficult), and respect the dignity of trans people by using appropriate terminology. I’m not suggesting that we should not address and debate difficult and controverial issues; but that a minimal framework should be that we respect people’s dignity as human beings.

I believe that was the intent of @What_Exit’s second post in the thread. That said, I can agree that it could be more clear, and said with more authority.

My post was pretty early with a clear link to the 6 official rules.

It included in my text “So don’t be insulting”.

What more should I have done?

I am generally confused by this thread having proactively got involved in the thread.

The moderation about not being insulting just seemed pretty vague to me. On the assumption that the OP is just ignorant, I think the misgendering should be addressed specifically, and “converted” seems like a pretty insulting word. And do we really need “boy” and “girl” with a big arrow between them? Really, how difficult is it to learn to say “trans girl” or “trans woman” and to understand what that means.

I guess for me, the excuse of “ignorance” just wears a bit thin, when anyone who actually has any interest in treating people with respect could educate themselves with a few minutes googling.

Please politely address that specific issue to him. Others have tried to address other parts including my attempt as a poster later on.

Well, the point of this thread is to suggest that basic respect should be a moderation issue, not just of other posters “fighting ignorance”. Do you think a trans person would want to go anywhere near a thread started with an OP that offensively ignorant?

Just to flesh this out a bit, I think the idea that transgender people are “confusing”, and that people are just making innocent mistakes, and that we should let them “just ask questions” in an offensive demeaning manner in order to correct their ignorance… this whole schtick is just getting a bit tired. It’s not 1950. I think it’s a back door for transphobes to create a hostile environment here for trans people.

If you want a substantive suggestion - how about a short section on posting about trans issues in the rules, with some basic ground rules that if you want to post on trans issues you have some minimal burden to educate yourself on how to do so respectfully. With an FAQ, or links to appropriate online sources. That really shouldn’t be necessary, since it takes just a few minutes googling if you actually care. But it appears that the “I find all this so confusing” nonsense excuse must be unambiguously eliminated.

A thread like the one in question should be closed immediately, with the OP instructed to go that section in the rules, educate themselves and learn how to discuss trans people/issues respectfully, and then (if they wish) come back and repost their OP.

I substantially agree with Riemann. But, I feel this needs to be said (I assume most posters will agree with me). We need to be respectful of trans folks gender identity and presentation. We remain free to insult them based on other things. For example, Caitlyn Jenner has a done and said a number of things I feel are truly stupid. I can call her a moron based on an op ed she wrote on politics. But, questioning whether she is a woman remains beyond the pale.

Absolutely. And I’m certainly not suggesting that we cannot advocate (for example) a position that trans girls should not be allowed to participate in high school sports. I’m not suggesting any kind of moratorium on the difficult issues. I’m talking about much more basic stuff like misgendering, understanding what it means to be a trans person, using language that respects people’s basic human dignity.

I have no idea. I’m curious what an actual trans person would say.

My own ignorance with regard to trans people and trans issues is way, way more recent than 1950.

I suspect you may be suffering from the Curse of Knowledge: knowing something yourself, you have trouble imagining what it’s like not to know it.

On the one hand, this thread’s title is entirely correct, and there ought to be a way to ensure/enforce it. But on the other hand, it seems to me that the way to Fight Ignorance is not to insist that prospective posters fight their own ignorance before they dare to post here.

That might be a good idea.

Would you apply that principle to race? Should we allow someone to post an OP peppered with racial epithets that were common in the past but are now highly offensive, on the basis that they grew up using this vocabulary, and they find it “confusing” how to treat a POC with respect? And that we can’t imagine any way to fight their ignorance other than to allow them to post in this manner? And that there would be no collateral damage from allowing such a thing, in creating a hostile environment for any POC on the SDMB?

I think one form of ignorance we could fight is the notion that you have no responsibility to proactively learn how to respect all people’s basic human dignity; and the notion that an OP like the one linked in this thread is an acceptable manner of discourse for civilized people.

You’ll probably never be enlightened, since I don’t think any trans people are still actively posting. For some strange reason.

Which makes a lot of the discussion essentially virtue signalling, IMO.

So if you have such horrendous body odor that your partner leaves you, there’s no point attempting to fix your body odor problem, because now there’s nobody around to smell it?

Acknowledging facts and reality isn’t hateful. Debating transgender participation in sport is going to be contentious. Ridiculous policing of how language has been used is not productive. What is being asked is a bit unreasonable. Not the part about respect but the implication that one is compelled to perceive reality as others see it and it’s a moral failing to ignore that compulsion.

Thank you for the strong endorsement of the validity of my views implied by your disagreement.

I clearly stated people should be treated with respect. Obviously, that’s not a disagreement.

Well, you appeared to be characterizing my deprecation of misgendering as “ridiculous policing of how language has been used”. Or did I misunderstand that?

No, it means they don’t feel comfortable posting here. We’ve had several trans posters in the past leave the board over how this stuff was treated. I even got a PM telling me why they left, albeit a while ago.

@Riemann has a point on this. It genuinely might help to have a small primer on the topic, and tell people to read it before posting. There really are people who like to use ignorance as an excuse to be hateful, and their idea might head that off.

And, yeah, the title of the thread should be changed, at least.

Exactly what facts and reality are you talking about?

According to SDMB policy trans women are women. Trans men are men. It may or may not be a moral failing to ignore this (personally, I feel it is) but it’s definitely agains the rules here.