Why is this thread in GD?

Can a mod please explain the reasoning behind letting this thread stay in Great Debates?

100% of the answers are opinion-based and a good many posts read as if they belong on Hot or Not.

It makes no difference to me if some people think black women are unattractive or whatever. But it doesn’t speak well of the board that this topic isn’t put in a more appropriate forum, but rather treated as a topic worthy of evidence-based analysis.

Although I’ve been here for a while, I’m tired of black people casually being treated as The Other on this board and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. The handling of the aformentioned thread is particularly irritating because I’m having an extremely difficult time imagining a thread entitled “Are red-heads generally less attractive than brunettes and blondes?” or “Are overweight women generally less attractive than normal weight women?” or “Are <insert any other ethic group> generally less…” staying in GD longer than an hour let alone 7 plus months.

The irony is that another thread in GD is full of pissing and moaning about the need for having frank discussions about race. Get this: it’s not the blatant, cross-burning lynching shit that occured in the past that is getting in the way of progress. It’s the casual insensitivities and constant “us versus them” attitudes that surface in everyday life that are the major sore points. What I’m complaining about falls in these latter categories.

I find it very tiresome too. It’s usually not malicious but I’m sometimes surprised to see people just not getting it.

I’m not planning on reading the whole thread, but what I see are some of the Hot or Not type posts you are talking about (which are a better fit for IMHO or Cafe Society) mixed in with posts about more GD-type issues, like standards of beauty across cultures. The attractiveness of one race or another isn’t a Great Debates topic. Broader issues like standards of attractiveness might be appropriate GD topics. So my guess is that’s why the thread stayed in the forum.

Shit, start a poll about fat people right now, and I will bet you one bajillion zillion dollars that the very first responsewill be someone saying to knock it off, followed by a massive pile-on, then ultimately thread closure.

With no snark intended at all, what does this sentence mean?

I’m confused by your confusion.

Take out the first clause if that helps. The rest: I’m tired of black people being treated like space aliens on this board; the race all other races like to scrutinize and dissect as if they are uniquely defective/deviant/different; the ones who posters like to talk about as if they are not even in the room, let alone mainstream society.

A while ago there were a number a threads along this line: Why do/don’t Blacks like/dislike something? AIRI the questions were often ones that made it seem like the questioner was of the opinion that Blacks were some kind of exotic intergalactic visitors. :frowning:
Contrarywise the “Why do Jews …” threads usually start with “Jewish dopers: Why … ?”
No matter how small a group might be, it seems to be assumed that someone here will turn out to be a member of said group, but we have no Black dopers.

Let’s make a list (NO searching!);
oh yeah, talk so loud (IIRC)

Next player?

CMC fnord!
BTW, I’m a White as they come White guy and I noticed it too ywtf.

There are two main reasons that it is in GD and not IMHO:
when I glanced at it early on, (as it was a reported zombie), there were, as Marley notes a couple of the “who’s hot” posts and several of the “what is beauty?” posts and I have seen the latter turn into debates, (when they did not turn into Pit threads), on several occasions;
my guess is that the same thing happened on its first iteration. Scattered among the “who’s hot?” posts are a series of actual attempts to address the issue of cross-cultural perceptions of beauty.

Is it more GD or more IMHO? I’m not really sure. The problen has been that the general practice has been to send threads that include debates to GD, even when there are a number of non-debating posts in the thread.

There’s some genius asking what movie black guys learned to drink white wine from. But whatever. A thread asks if you’d rather hire a thin person over an obese person, all things equal, and it is promptly closed for trolling. Someone asks if black women are uglier than whites, in GD no less, and it stays open for the better part of a year. And somehow there is confusion over what is meant by lamenting black people are treated like The Other on this board.

OK, that makes sense.

Not to be difficult, but so -effing what? Geo-political/socio-cultural discussions go on in IMHO and MPSIMS all the time. It’s not unseen in the other fora, either. A few posts that point out the elementary-school obvious (esthetic preferences are subjective and largely influenced by culture, place, and time…this is 3rd grade social studies stuff ) doesn’t suddenly make a thread befitting of GD.

If I started a thread entitled “Are Jewish women generally less attractive than WASP women?” and it received similar posts, would you be as confused? What about “Are white men less attractive than everyone else in the world?” Is the ambiguity still there, you think?

The majority of the posts in that thread are variations of “here, check out these chicks and tell me if they’re hot”, “sorry, black women don’t do it for me”, “those chicks do look hot but they do have white features”, “Michelle Obama looks scary but I’d do her”, “Michelle Obama looks scary and I wouldn’t do her”, or “beauty is subjective, get out more”.

Frankly, very little going on in there that qualifies for true debate, tom. Makes me wonder if we are even looking at the same thing.


Well, first of all, I don’t think the mods are as attuned as you are about the subject. I assume you’ve faced prejudice about your race in the past, and thus you tend to remember threads like that a lot better. I’m happy that some people who have not had the same problems have noticed it as well. The question is what they plan to do about it.

Second, the two threads aren’t the same. They are both bigoted questions, but the black one seems to be from ignorance, while the posts in the fat thread made the intention quite clear. Plus, IIRC, there were actually people backing up the “fattist” opinion, while people specifically decried the racism inherent in the black-attractiveness OP. As for the black-wine thread: I seem to remember people calling out the OP in that one as well–in a much more heated manner.

Furthermore, the actual intention behind the GD question seems to be whether there really is a phenomenon of white people not being attracted to black people. The same question could never be asked about skinny people and fat people: everyone knows that fat people are not liked as well. And I can’t see a “Would you hire a black person?” thread ever taking off. (For one, the answer, by law, has to be yes.)

Plus there’s the simple fact that the fat people will complain about perceived slights, and generally start a fight, while the black people on this board do not seem to do this. This is honestly the first time I’ve seen anything about this problem actually bothering anyone.

Still, I feel the same thing happens with the mentally ill (a group I belong to) around here, and I’ve tried until I was blue in the face to get the mods to help with that, but to no avail. So I understand at least some of where you are coming from.

On preview, I think my first sentence also applies to ywtf. I know I see the debate about racism as the most important part of that thread, albeit already answered. If I were tom, I’d move the latest round of posts out to an IMHO thread, and lock the thread. The original thread as a whole was a legitimate GD thread. But even if it weren’t, why move it a year and a half after the fact?

Don’t know where you got that interpretion from. The thread is called “Are black women generally less attractive then white women?” The OP laments how difficult it is to find a black woman that truly ranks as beautiful to him. That’s it.

If the OP was asking about the existence of white people who aren’t attracted to black people, not only would that be a very stupid question, it wouldn’t be debateable.


Exactly. It is very obviously calling for an opinion and it’s a real stretch to make it into a debate, much less a Great Debate.

Black women aren’t “generally” anything. White women aren’t “generally” anything. Even the labels black and white are vague.

You With the Face, I know nothing about you “generally,” but you strike me as being the most articulate person in this thread.

There are actually two questions in the original thread OP:

The second question is definitely IMHO material. That’s all about subjectivity - defining beautiful vs attractive vs pretty. That’s where a lot of the back and forth is going on with regards to who is hot and who is not, including discussions about models, celebrities, Michelle Obama, etc.

The first question appears to be a sincere but misguided question to discuss/debate relative hotness by race. If there were objective ways to rate beauty and categorize by race, then that topic would be GD territory. Does it still rate as GD territory to point out that attractiveness is inherently subjective and informed by a lot of factors, not just objective measures of symmetry of features or ratios of proportions or whatever, but also cultural and societal factors including an individual’s exposure, peer pressure, identity of self, socioeconomic factors, and such? Much of the discussion on that topic is less debate than just discussion of the different factors and how they relate.

There is also a spawned third question about what it means to be Black, what are Black features vs White features, which women are “really Black” vs mixed race. That is significant in the context of trying to deal with the Debate portion of the thread - whether races can be compared for attractiveness. You can’t discuss individual examples as demonstrations for any particular group until to determine how to deal with the mixed cases, and define the lines of how you evaluate race for the purposes of the topic. This has regrettably angered some people who see the attempt to argue the finer points of who fits where and how you define “race” for this thread as making the judgement that attractive features are by definition White features. I don’t think that was anyone’s assertion - what I understood people to be saying is that if a man subjectively prefers White women, then it makes sense that the Black women he finds attractive are those that are mixed race and thus have the most White-like features. This is not an objective rating of all Black women, it is a subjective rating that that man is only attracted to what he is attracted to. Basically we are trying to explain to the OP why his question is misguided and why he will not find a satisfactory yes answer.

MeanOldLady said:

Those are not equivalent cases. In the thread about fat people, the OP eventually admitted to posting the topic purely to stir people up - the definition of trolling. This thread about rating races for attractiveness was started by someone who appears misguided but sincere. This is not a double standard for fat vs race, this is a double standard for trolling vs being ill-informed - something reasonable for a double standard.

you with the face said:

Yes, if the thread had the exact same discussions, it would be just as confusing.

I make no claim that this thread belongs in GD. Much of the thread does belong in IMHO. But I think the OP had framework for a GD thread, especially if the questions were separated into two different threads.

you with the face, you asked why the thread was in GD; I responded.

It seems that you really wanted to ask that it be moved to IMHO or MPSIMS. That is fine. I will move it.

From my perspective, LOTS of threads posted as debates contain a lot of opinions, snark, cheap shots, and general inanity. As long as there is some effort by some posters to carry on a genuine discussion, I tend to leave threads alone rather than throwing as many threads out of GD as I can get away with.

Threads that I have moved have tended to be clearly General Questions or (nearly as) clearly BBQ Pit rants. Threads that I have moved to IMHO have tended to have NO posts other than opinions, whereas the thread in question has included a number of posts that specifically sought to debate the issue of beauty in the context of culture. Rather than the topic, it was the mixture of posts, (along with no requests to move it), that kept it in GD for so long.

Bright and clean and nice-looking too!

Well, at least that’s what Joe Biden says. :smiley:
CMC fnord!

Okay. She was better than you, CMC.

I thought that thread placement was supposed to be based on the OP rather than on the responses. Maybe I’m mistaken. That’s not my decision to make. But it certainly wouldn’t pass the sniff test academically as being debatable factually as phrased in the OP.

Oh please. No one is asking that you throw as many threads out of GD as you can get away with.

“Genuine discussions” are available in other forums besides GD.

Nor have I claimed that anyone made that request or demand.

The question was why had the thread stayed in GD. The answer is that I do not tend to move threads unless there is a clear lack of debate or a clear rant in the thread. The thread originated in GD, included several debated points, and it was not a rant, hence it stayed until a poster requested it be moved.

Thread placement is not determined solely by the OP, but by a number of factors affecting its most appropriate location.

The OP wanted the thread moved from GD to another forum. After a brief discussion **tomndebb **has now moved the thread.

Frankly, the only proper response to this is “Thanks **tomndebb **for moving the thread”.