Gender, race, and other issues (split off from Doper Demographics thread)

As I said in my mod note in the Doper Demographics thread, we did not want to go into other issues like race and gender so that the demographics thread would not be hijacked. Several dopers did not pay attention to this mod note, with the predictable result that the demographics topic was completely hijacked by other issues.

The hijack has been moved here to this new thread so that the demographics thread may resume its original topic.

How to get younger posters? Does anyone have kids or grandkids? Lets entice them here with promises of eradicating ignorance.

Just not going to happen. I know I’m certainly not pointing my kids here. Why would I, when there are plenty of other resources they can use where they won’t be condescended to over their preferred post lengths or wrongly assumed lack of literacy.

This board is not the place I’d point anyone to for “eradicating ignorance”. If some kid I knew wanted to know more about dinosaur rock bands, maybe then I’d point them here. But just in that one specific case.

Yeah, I think that message boards are clearly dying out. It would have been nice if this one had remained more diverse through the late stages of its life, but we didn’t.


Reddit is essentially a giant message board and it’s one of the most visited web sites on Earth. Some of the smaller subreddits have a user base of regulars where people know each other and they meet up in real life. It’s been around for over sixteen years and still growing.

Then I guess this is just dying if it’s own accord.

ETA: it must be exhausting being a woman and/or a POC on this board.

Yes and no. It’s structured almost identically to a YouTube comment section. Someone posts a thing (an opinion, a story, a link, a photo, whatever) then people comment on that, and others comment on the comments through a nested structure. (And then people gives thumbs up/down to comments too.) It’s not really conducive to a conversation the way classic message boards are.

Not that I’m denigrating it, it’s not inferior. It’s just different. You can’t have threads the way we do here, not really.

If anything, it means that most people don’t want to have the kinds of discussions we do. They prefer little pithy comments, and comments on comments. I actually like Reddit, if mostly as an information resource. I read it a lot. I just don’t communicate on it very often, I prefer this format.

The “comment section” form of dialog is displacing the message board form of dialog and that’s okay. Message boards like this one displaced BBSes. Social media evolves, because culture and technology evolve, and social media is an an amalgamation of the two.

So this.

But that doesn’t explain all the women who posted here who left.

ETA I think it’s more accurate to say that we started here as younger white men and over the past twenty years we hounded out all the women and people of color and now we’re old white men.


I don’t like being told I don’t exist.

– old white woman, here.

You have to admit that there were more women posters here before. Many said that the were leaving because this place was hostile to women. Moderation has improved, but the damage is done.

‘We drove out some of the women and people of color’ may well be accurate – I think mostly before I got here. ‘We drove out many of the women and people of color’ may also be accurate. “we hounded out all the women and people of color” is obviously inaccurate.

I do get the impression that the board of some years ago was probably not a site I would have joined in the first place.

It was a place where rape jokes were the height of wit. Now, what we have is a safe space for old white people, mostly men. The last thing the world needs is another safe space for old white people.

I would like to think the environment is changing here. I think we’re making it more welcoming for not just old white men. In fact if you talk to a lot of old white men, suppressing their “rights” to make misogynistic posts, rape jokes, trans hate and the like means we are not a safe space for quite a few old white men anymore.

Says the older white cis man so maybe I’m just fooling myself.

I agree and I think that the modding is much better. I just worry that it’s too little, too late.

What I see now is more just a shared set of assumptions, an orthodoxy, in which posters just don’t see other perspectives and because this is a place made up of old white people, aren’t really required to see other perspectives.

This orthodoxy manifests itself in a couple of ways:

Things old white people like automatically have value, things younger people and/or POC like must prove it’s value and are often held up for mockery.

When POC or women point to bigotry they see in everyday life, there is a strong contingent of deniers who try to nitpick the conversation to death. It must be exhausting having to argue every step before you are allowed to get to your main thesis.

Modding has improved greatly, I can’t stress that enough but let’s not pat ourselves in the back too hard.

Same! Well, not sure if 53 counts as old.

Dunno about any other women, but I get really tired of claims that I’m too fragile to endure interactions with white men without it automatically being victimization.

What I remember is that it was different back in say… 2002-ish. Much more “fun” and less dry, informational content. And less political vitriol as well. That seems to have ramped up in the run-up to Obama’s election and hasn’t really ceased.

I mean, some of the best/longest/most celebrated threads back then were ones about sex injuries and funniest fart/shit-yourself stories. When was the last time we had a thread like that? I remember it being less uptight, and less concerned with being PC. Maybe that drove off the women, but I suspect that wasn’t it.

Women don’t seem to be into the fart humor I believe.

There were a lot of threads in which women explicitly said why they were leaving. I would guess that a lot of what white men saw as harmless fun, they saw as hostile and unpleasant.