How accepting/tolerant is the Dope?

The stripper thread in the Pit makes me think that I have a wildly different perception of how accepting the Dope is than the majority here.

I think that if you scratch beneath the surface of much of the tolerance here, you find a lot of hostility and judgmental mockery.

You get to use any metric you want for “accepting of what?” And you get to use any metric you want for “how tolerant should it be?” Just say where you’re coming from.

How accepting is the Dope? How tolerated is your particular thing, whatever it is?

Cites? I’m not being hostile; I’d just be really interested to know what this POV is based on.

I think the trouble with this perception is the old monkeysphere.

The dope is a big wide and varied place. If you post something that a tiny minority find offensive then you may find yourself gang-posted by four or five people and you can feel very victimised.

The other 99% of dopers are tollerant and don’t really care about the issue in question enough to post.

Let me put it this way:
*If one person spends enough time trying to convince you you’re weak, stupid or ignorant you will start to believe it in the end.

How much more one sided will an argument feel when it’s five to one ?*

Next time you see a “pile on” count up the number of members involved. Work out the percentage of dopers who felt strongly enough on the matter to post. You’ll see that The Dope is not much of anything I think. It’s a bit of everything.

I’m not saying we don’t have asshole here, just that they don’t define The Dope.

The Dope appears to be far more accepting/tolerant than the American public at large. At the same time, we have thousands of posters, and on any subject, a dozen or half a dozen are likely to feel strong and judgmentally about something.

I know I have many irrational intolerances. There are few I feel strongly enough about to insult another poster with. I think that is much the normal here.

I think half the dope population is freaks and geeks, so as one of the geeks, I feel like I need to be tolerant of the freaks. :wink:

I do feel like our Canadian and European posters in general come from more tolerant populations than the majority of dopers from the US.


I would say that in general Dopers seem to be more tolerant of thing which may be more controversial among most; homosexuality, religious issues, that kind of thing. OTOH, it’s the internet, and the internet dickwad rule prevails when it comes to anonymous bashing. Making just one mistake can mean a pile-on, possibly somewhat vicious.

I guess Dopers are more willing to give you a chance, but very quick to take it away again.

I considered putting some examples in the OP, but I am loath to turn this into a pitting and I think singling out specific people would essentially do that.

I’d prefer to stick to an overall vibe that people get.

I get an overall vibe of tolerance and forward thinking, so I’m occasionally surprised and disappointed when posters express conservative views about, say, abstinence or women’s rights. For the most part, though, they’ll make it clear that they are making a personal choice and others are free to do whatever.

My take: pretty tolerant, in the main, of points of view. Less tolerant of typical bad Internet behaviors: leetspeek, glurge, etc.

What you call “judgmental mockery” exists, but it’s often played up for its entertainment value. This place would be duller by far without it.

Okay, I can see that.

For me, though, the sort of apathy that the other 99% are feeling shouldn’t be counted as “acceptance.”

To use an extreme example: Say you have a a group of five KKK members trying to lynch someone. Five Girl Scouts are trying to beat off the KKK. Ninety people are just standing there watching.

To me, those 90 people can’t be categorized as accepting or even neutral toward the person being lynched.

Now, the example isn’t a good analogy. Not only is a message board pile-on waaaaay less important than a lynching, but it’s also way easier to defend a pile-onee than it is to defend a lynchee.

And I’m definitely not saying people should be ever vigilant and ready to leap into any fight at any time, swinging their swords of righteous fury. That’s pretty tiring.

But I don’t think I can count the silent ones as being on the side of acceptance, necessarily.

But not everyone reads every thread.

Jsgoddess you are talking about human nature coming through the fingertips of a vast number of people. If you look at the psychology behind what you ask, you’dd see that the average doper is quite open about their feelings. But the Less than average doper may just lurk or if they get irked enough post something ad hoc.
This is human nature posting here with little filtering. Someone has a position of subject A, but they are posting not as Joe Smith but as Human Cypher #333 [sup] had to make sure I used a fictional username or someone would flame me[/sup]

Some people are more genuine than others whilst typing from behind a screen name. If you spend enough time hangin around you get to know how other people generally think and post. But you do not get a good picture of what they are in everyday life in the flesh.

Opinions vary, but generally people post behind their screen name and some say things that they would NEVER say in real life. It may be wise to make that differencial.

In terms of tolerance of other people’s opinion, the Dope is better than most general-discussion forums, in terms of things not getting ugly. GD tends to get a bit too rude for my tastes, but it’s positively genteel compared to a lot of sites I see. The Pit, of course, invites us to assholes, which I guess lets off a lot of pent-up steam.

In terms of political/religious/etc. tolerance, well, we’re liberal. That means that if you’re not tolerant, somebody’s going to get righteously pissed off!

Actually, my impression is that the TM tend to be differently tolerant. For example, “the Dope” tolerates “homosexuality” in that no one is going to be castigated for being gay, bi-, or straight. However, it is not tolerant of the issue of homosexuality. Any poster who questions any political or societal decision that might be remotely construed as hostile to supporting absolute rights for homosexual will meet a firestorm of criticism, and often abuse. We have seen decent posters wander away from the SDMB because a fairly mild comment reflecting older attitudes has resulted in them being hounded on the issue until the SDMB stopped being worth the effort. We are not there, yet, but there is a certain trend in the same direction regarding religious beliefs. We have lots of endless and never-resolved debates as to whether there is or could be a god, but particular discussion of aspects of faith have been driven off the board as (for example) anyone who wishes to discuss Premillennialism, Dispensationalism, Amillennialism, Preterism or even a comparison of eschatologies between faiths more widely diverse such as Christianity and Islam or Judaism or Hinduism will find that their conversation has been driven off by the folks who have a desperate need to wave IPUs and FSMs at them.

On the other hand, essel’s point regarding the number of people who can control a discussion is also true. I have no idea how many people really wish to drive away anyone who does not view homosexual activity as an absolute right, but I can guarantee that those who champion that view are more than willing to be pretty strident in their attacks on opposing views. Similarly, even with a disproportionately large percentage of atheist posters (when compared to the general population), I find that the majority are willing to take a live-and-let-live attitude toward those crazy people who believe in the spiritual, often even being willing to participate in discussion in a way that is not intended to silence it, but there are enough of the more strident posters that threads on such topics, (and, more importantly, posters who are interested in them), do not survive long.

Beyond that, of course, a lot of people who are nearly libertine regarding some issues, “balance” that in their lives with a rather puritanical view of the world in other areas. We’ve got lots of posters with a(n un)healthy streak of judgmentalism running through their world views. They will fight to the death for someone’s right to break taboo A while heating up the tar, plucking the chickens, and looking for the most splintered fence rail to use on any poster who might offend taboo B.

In my experience it’s a good cross-section of Blue State America.

Right. I should have made clear I was talking about those who see a thread but don’t choose to participate.

There are certain flavors of different religious approaches that are less intellectualized than others, so I can understand why some strains of Christianity would be less prevalent on a board where banging around every conceivable detail and argument is the way of things.

That isn’t meant to be a rebuttal of your general point, just a possible explanation for the specific.

I really wonder about the silent ones. I spent two years reading a lot of the dope, probably 30% of the threads or more. I would think that was on the higher side and I was never shy about sharing my opinion. This still leaves a huge number of threads I never bothered to read. Generally, I ignored most TMI threads and most MPSIMS. So I think the silent 90 was probably 85 did not bother to read based on the title/mouse-over and 5 silent lurkers.

We each have our own pet issues. Without examples of some sort, I am a little unsure of what threads you are talking about. Where do you see the intolerance? The only heavy intolerance I see is towards Fundies, Bushies and Scientologists.

Pagans, Wiccans, Xtians ::shudder:: ;)* are tolerated pretty well. Hell, they even tolerate Republicans as long as we don’t support Bush/Cheney.


  • that was for you Tom.

As there are a high percentage of liberals, freaks and geeks, you will find that the SDMB is relatively ignorent, intolerant or least judgemental about certain topics:
-Jocks, Cheerleaders and other Populars in high school
-Sports in general
-Business and economics
-Corporate management
-George Bush
-Trendy bars or clubs
-Current fashion trends (although there are plenty of threads on dorky fashions from years gone by)

For example:
If you start a thread about the high school prom, the overwhelming number of posts will be about how theirs sucked or how they skipped it all together.

There are far more threads on “why do nice guys finish last?” than “how do I date two chicks at the same time?”

Threads are far more likely to be of a “my job sucks” than a “how do I improve my teams performance?” nature.

People seem far more likely to know the minutia of Lord of the Rings than the last Yankees game.

IMHO of course.

I have never really understood this line of thinking. I can’t think of anything I’ve ever posted that I wouldn’t say to someone in person. What you see really is what you get with me, I just really don’t get why people would feel the need to create a persona for a message board.


Exactly. “Open-minded” != “liberal.” (Living in San Francisco, I see this a lot.)