Guidelines for discussion of transgender issues on the SDMB
Discussions of transgender issues are often fraught and opinions tend to be polarized. Nonetheless, the SDMB believes frank conversation reflecting a wide diversity of views is the surest way to establish common ground. To facilitate such discussion, please observe the following guidelines, which apply to all forums except the Pit, where guidelines 2 through 6 apply. (The first two guidelines apply to all discussion regardless of subject.)
You are welcome to express your views forcefully but please do so in a civil manner. If you continually use inflammatory language, treat others with contempt, or otherwise behave in a manner we consider uncivil and we tell you to stop, please do so or face revocation of your posting privileges.
We do not mod posts based on inaccuracy, illogic, lack of cites, etc. We leave it to other posters to point out such defects. If a poster demonstrates a pattern of deliberate misrepresentation, lying or other uncivil behavior, we may tell them to knock it off and expect them to do so. We do not warn posters merely for expressing views or starting threads on topics others find disagreeable.
Please do not state or imply that transgender people are mentally ill. We realize the question remains controversial; Cecil has said as much:
However, we’re not going to settle the matter here, and raising it tends to poison other discussion of transgender issues. Please keep your opinions on the subject to yourself.
Do not deliberately misgender another poster – that is, refer to them by a pronoun or other sex-specific term indicating a gender other than the one they identify as. This applies only in cases where a poster’s gender identity is reasonably clear. Likewise, do not deliberately misgender off-board figures. This is a more rigorous standard than we apply in other contexts; we do not normally mod posters for merely insulting off-board figures. Deal with it.
The use of the term cisgender or the prefix cis- to refer to individuals whose gender identity matches their biological sex is not required but can be helpful in avoiding ambiguity when discussing transgender issues. That said, we do not have a code of acceptable gender-related expressions and do not wish to referee terminology. Please be considerate of the feelings of others and avoid needless provocation when using gender-related terms. If you feel others are using gender-relating terms or expressions improperly and you wish to correct them, please do so in a civil manner.
Above all, please remember it’s a wide world and you and those who agree with you aren’t the only ones in it.
We’ll leave this thread openly briefly for discussion of the guidelines only. Please do not use this thread for general discussion of transgender issues.
Oh, good. I was actually going to ask about this a few weeks back. I was concerned it had been abandoned. And I’ve wanted to bring up some trans-related topics but was hesitant to do so without the restrictions in place.
Especially given what happened when I thought I was operating within the much more onerous restrictions earlier.
I appreciate your direction that people not suggest transgender folk are mentally ill, but want to clarify that this isn’t controversial.
In addition, with rule 2, you say,
While this is true, I hope you don’t overcorrect: you have in the past forbidden posters from starting repeated threads all on the same topic. I hope you’ll keep this tool in your toolbelt going forward.
In theory, this is a valid rationale. But if you were consistent about it, you would also ban assertions that transsexuals are not mentally ill, and take the whole discussion off the table.
The real truth is that this - like other recent changes along these lines - is driven by the fact that a substantial percentage of the MB’s membership gets riled up over certain opinions being expressed, which is in turn driven by changes in the membership of the MB (along with some societal trends). Not to say this is not a valid consideration, but worth being upfront about it.
That would only be true if it were a purely academic discussion. However, the real truth is that it is something that directly affects multiple posters here. To assert that all transgender people are genuinely mentally ill (something which, as noted above, is the opposite of the prevailing medical view anyway) is to assert that those transgender posters who are likely involved in the thread in which the assertion is being made are mentally ill, which (also as noted) poisons the discussion. Asserting that they are not mentally ill does not do so.
Just echoing this post. “Are misgendered folks mentally ill?” is equivalent to asking whether homosexuals are mentally ill, because both questions have since been settled by later editions of the DSM. The answer is no.
I approve of rule #3 entirely, but its rationale should be “SCIENCE!” rather than “too hot to handle.”