Sending signals via forum moderation.

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Sending signals via forum moderation.

Postby HockeySkirt » Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:32 pm

Just to be clear, before I start, this is not a complaint, but simply an observation.

I noticed two acts of moderating here today.

First, a thread discussing how kilt rental companies handle the situation of renters wanting to wear their hire kilts regimental (no underwear) was closed.

Second, a thread discussion a drag queen becoming homecoming queen was not closed.

I found this significant, because it is the second thread that should, in theory, be completely off topic and discouraged. I am not saying that *I* want it closed -- I don’t mind it being discussed here. However, it’s unambiguously cross-dressing, and thus not relevant to the proclaimed mission of this forum. If either of the topics should be closed, it was this one.

This forum is about skirts, explicitly including kilts. It’s considered traditional to wear kilts without underwear, and so the topic will naturally arise (this topic has come over many times over the years, typically in a mature and sensible way). It was also of interest this time that a kilt rental company provided an underskirt as a solution -- I had not come across that before (from a rental company). So, to me, the closing of that thread seemed a little premature, but I respect the decision of the forum owners to choose to be as heavy handed as they like.

To me it would not have been so significant if both threads were closed, or both were kept open. To me it was significant that the thread on the drag queen was implicitly considered acceptable material at a time moderators were reviewing threads for closure.

Again, I am not complaining. My simple point is that we should be aware that this is sending a rather significant signal regarding the priorities of this forum.

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Re: Sending signals via forum moderation.

Postby Bob » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:23 pm

The simple fact is, I don't read every thread, nor do I log on every day. I closed a thread that was outside the scope of SkirtCafe. I didn't close the other thread because it was not brought to my attention. I agree, drag queens are no more a part of the mission of this forum than is undergarments. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, I will find that thread and close it.

You also make a good point about the undergarments thread. I did hesitate about closing it, and maybe should have hesitated longer. I guess I just didn't want to get involved in undergarments at all. There's always the danger of a slippery slope. Not that THIS would have been a slippery slope, I don't know. But that's what I worry about.
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Re: Sending signals via forum moderation.

Postby Sasquatch » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:59 am

IMHO, a gross over-reaction to lock either thread. Edgy topics go hand in hand with the whole idea of men wearing alternative fashions in public. I'd suggest that you lock the BORING threads for a change! :)
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Re: Sending signals via forum moderation.

Postby Skirt Chaser » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:35 am

I'd actually PMed Bob an apology about the closed rental kilt thread before seeing this discussion here but I'd still like to comment here as well in support of Bob. We do have a rule here about discussing underwear and there is a very good reason for it. I'd much rather see threads closed than begin to see an influx in people here just to tell tales of flashing their underwear. :roll: The post hasn't vanished so it can still be read, just not discussed which to me is a good compromise and reminds me and others about what is appropriate here.
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Postby Uncle Al » Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:22 pm

Skirt Chaser wrote:I'd actually PMed Bob an apology about the closed rental kilt thread before seeing this
discussion here but I'd still like to comment here as well in support of Bob. We do have
a rule here about discussing underwear and there is a very good reason for it. I'd much
rather see threads closed than begin to see an influx in people here just to tell tales of
flashing their underwear. :roll:
The post hasn't vanished so it can still be read, just not discussed which
to me is a good compromise and reminds me and others about what is appropriate here
.

Skirt Chaser---This time I must disagree with you. :!: :!: :!: :!:
:soapbox: Now, I am going to exercise my 1st amendment rights. :soapbox:

Why would you have to apologize to anyone by giving reference to a published news article :?:

The subject was about kilt rental companies and their new policies/procedures not about
underwear. The 'offering' of a liner or 'underkilt' is something new, and--to me--should be
discussed. The rental companies are trying to protect their investment. Also for
ones own safety and hygene protection, I -- for one -- would not wear a 'rental kilt' in
the traditional fashion. That is using 'common sense'. Also this is a KILT TOPIC not a
skirt topic. Two different animals :!: Skirt Cafe does not rule out KILTS. They are
a skirted garment. Your link to the article was very informative. A 'kilt liner' should've
been offered as part of a rental package long ago.

When I first joined Tom's Cafe' in late 1997, the topic of 'Regimental vs Modern' as the
proper way of wearing a kilt, would pop up about once a year. Most people handled
the topic with adult logic and common sense. The few who couldn't were privately,
and sometimes publicly, rebuked.

IMO-This thread was prematurely closed for fear of what could happen at the
extreme end of the discussion spectrum. We are not members of a kindergarden
class who need to led around hand-in-hand, but adults who show themselves to
have common sense, and handle this discussion in a proper manner and with good taste.

I haven't posted often of late unless something really stands out at me.
This area is one of those times. Censorship created by fear of the unknown is a bad thing.
Bob has done a good job of keeping the Cafe' open. He will let an item go for a while,
then either he or crfriend would 'suggest' that a thread should change direction.
If the 'suggestion' was not taken, then the thread would be locked.
But this is not what happened to this thread.

Now, if the thread were to be un-locked, I doubt anyone would comment further because
they 'fear big brother is watching'. The thread would die out on its own.

OK - I will put away my :soapbox: as I now see that I've been preparing this
response for 2 1/2 hours. (It's now 06:20 on Sunday morning)
[I wish mother nature would stop calling me at 3 AM!]

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What did he say?

Postby crfriend » Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:04 pm

Uncle Al wrote:[I haven't posted often of late unless something really stands out at me.
This area is one of those times. Censorship created by fear of the unknown is a bad thing.
Bob has done a good job of keeping the Cafe' open. He will let an item go for a while,
then either he or crfriend would 'suggest' that a thread should change direction.
If the 'suggestion' was not taken, then the thread would be locked.
But this is not what happened to this thread.

In our defence, I'd like to point out that Bob and I are both human (you know, those pesky carbon-based life forms that make mistakes all the time) and each have our own styles and foibles. And each of us has the capacity to err from time to time (guilty as charged). Each of us also seems to have different "input channels" through which we accumulate the data we use to make our decisions, and we have different life experiences that determine how we interpret those data.

On the "kilt liner" thread: I'd been "watching it" (as I watch everything here), and would have suggested tact if tact was lacking, or would have locked it (or "disapeared" it) if it really got out of hand. Tawdry as the topic may be, it's one that is going to come up from time to time, so we might as well "get used to it" and keep it where it belongs ("where the sun don't shine").

On the "male homecoming queen": I read that one, and whilst it was touching and funny when viewed in a collegiate light, it was not particularly helpful in getting skirted garments of any type accepted on your average "man on the street" -- and getting skirted garments accepted on and by men is a prime focus of SkirtCafe. Face it, your average bloke (in a "herd-mentality" sense) tends to be deathly afraid of even being compared to homosexuals, nevermind being accused of being one. It's a neolithic notion, to be sure, but it's not going to simply vanish because we want it to, and stories such as this one will only drive home the notion in that herd-mind that only homosexual men wear "women's clothing" (and that, lads, means anything other than trousers).

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Re: Sending signals via forum moderation.

Postby Bob » Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:22 pm

As moderator, I am in the (unenviable) position of having to make decisions that choose between competing demands of different people in our group. I have now had numerous PMs sent to me with positions that range the gamut. This is one case in which I simply cannot satisfy everyone.

Some people are against closing threads in general, as a matter of censorship --- and rightfully so. And I have now been called homophobic for that. Other people get uncomfortable about the direction they see the Cafe going when they start seeing a lot of posts about (for example) cross-dressing, transsexual bodily transformation, panty fetish and yes, drag queens. I am way beyond being scared of any of those topics, and have in the past defended to the hilt people on our forum who may be more transgendered than your average "bloke in a skirt." And I have begged tolerance, mutual respect and understanding from everyone in those situations. But at the same time I do feel a responsibility to keep the Cafe focused on its stated mission.

So... in cases like this, I have to just take a stab at it, and I tend to fall back on the stated rules. Underwear is explicitly not a topic of this forum, and that's why it was an easy thread to close. Certain kilt-based sites might have different rules, and that's OK, they're dealing with a different set of issues than a kilt-and-skirt site. Similarly, it is made explicitly clear that cross-dressing and fake body parts are also not a part of this forum --- and drag queens involve both. Hence I fell back on the stated rules and closed that thread as well. Closing the threads was made easier by the fact that no one in our community is directly involved in either of these issues; they are simply news items that found their way to this forum.

Sorry I can't please everyone.
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Re: Sending signals via forum moderation.

Postby HockeySkirt » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:23 pm

I’d like to thank Bob and Carl for their hard work.

We should not forget that SkirtCafe is essentially the last man standing in terms of (English language) skirt forums for men, save for the kilt-only xmarks. Many other forums have fallen by the wayside, or have negligible volume. So clearly Bob, Carl, and their predecessors, must have been doing a lot of things right!

That said, SkirtCafe is a shadow of it’s former self, and of its more single-minded cousin xmarks. That might mean that an even better job can be done with some tweaking -- what are other forums doing better?

If such tweaking cannot lift membership, it implies the depressing conclusion that the outlook for men-in-skirts is poor, for we are saying that it is not the forum that is holding is back, but that society is becoming less tolerant of us, not more.

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Re: Sending signals via forum moderation.

Postby Sasquatch » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:37 pm

I'm not critical of the jobs that our two moderators do; I wouldn't want to have to pay attention to every post on the site, and I'm grateful for the time and energy you guys put in to the jobs.

My only contention is that maybe not every spark invariably becomes a flame. Even though the locked topics were at the fringe of the Cafe's mission, neither seemed to be prompting a backlash of revulsion in the comments. I think both are, in fact, relevant to our interests and neither seemed, IMO, indecent or offensive. The kilt/underwear article was not particularly specific about undergarments or umcomfortably descriptive about the associated potential problems of going commando underneath. The homecoming queen article, while clearly about a gay drag queen, certainly highlighted changing attitudes and old prejudices...concepts that are undeniably relevant to our own choices. In this case I would suggest that if the topic wasn't too controversial for the student body of George Mason University, then perhaps we are intellectually/emotionally capable of handling it as well.

I guess my opinion of mod decision-making is that maybe you should consider letting a thread breathe until controversey materializes, rather than hitting the panic button because something looks edgy. The only fate for these fora worse than image damage is interest decay. And that would be a product of reducing these conversations to milk-toast pablum, vanilla sweet but devoid of spice or flavor.

Just my two cents.

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Re: Sending signals via forum moderation.

Postby Since1982 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:58 pm

I personally believe that an "underskirt", liner, slip, AMM's petticoats or any other title for whatever thing you'd use to keep the material of any skirt cleanly off the legs shouldn't be considered "underwear" at all. No one can be arrested for allowing the edge of a slip,liner,underskirt or petticoat to show, some women's attire is made for the lace edge of a slip to show. Certainly most contra dancers that wear wide skirts with petticoats, buy different colored petticoats so everyone can see them, while twirling at dance. I think "underwear" should only include anything worn directly ON the private area of a man. ie: Underpants etc. etc = thongs, boxers, briefs, etc. :hide:
Last edited by Since1982 on Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:

Postby Skirt Chaser » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:13 pm

Uncle Al wrote:Why would you have to apologize to anyone by giving reference to a published news article :?:


Simply because I did break the posted rules and that does make more work for him. Besides, I see this place not as as a place for free speech but more like being a guest on Bob's home. He let me know my topic wasn't appropriate and I saw his point so of course I was going to apologize. Rather than be upset, Bob's call made a lot of sense to me because I am familiar with the need for strict moderation from another site I frequent about growing long hair. There is a large team of mods there and threads are regularly locked when a detrimental topic comes up such as haircutting videos or people getting too graphic when offering advice about how to keep hair out of the way when intimate. Now these things are worth discussion but the nature of the Internet is that people are drawn in by searching for words and it takes effort to keep the board for friendly purposes rather than voyeuristic. Given the purpose of the Cafe I know there is an identical need for care to keep this place useful to the people who need it. Were we sitting around a real cafe talking aloud I think there would be no brakes on topics. Online however, discussions do need to be shaped to keep the place from exposing us to stuff we don't want to read or see.

It seems long hair sites generally go two ways. You get boards with active participation by women and others dominated by men talking about how much they admire women's hair with a some token participation by some ladies clueless they are providing fetish material. I think there is a similar division in sites about men wearing skirts where you have the ones for support in the outside world versus pleasure of skirts at home. Skirt Cafe currently does have active participants providing helpful information but that can get lost quickly if the culture begins to change toward people with kinks. While I'm all for people knowing what works for them and makes them happy in many ways that's not what the Cafe is for and it would lose usefulness if this place had no topic guidance.

Visible moderation is very important as a way to keep the conversation here helpful but without being a magnet for people who would come here with other intentions. This isn't an example of a fearing the unknown, I think Bob knows exactly what this place would become without restraints. Moderators always have to deal with more than we ever know and probably very little of the effort Bob and Carl have put into this place is visible. They know what is out there and have been protecting us from it all along. I'm certainly willing to give up grey areas of discussion to keep this a place I feel comfortable visiting.
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Re: Sending signals via forum moderation.

Postby Sarongman » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:39 pm

Bob and Carl, you do a wonderful job of keeping this site civilised and on track. I don't think I'd have the patience or dedication you blokes give. If there is a thread I might have wished to put my comment into, and I find that it is locked, then, well, que sera. Thanks for your job in keeping this forum sane.
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Re: Sending signals via forum moderation.

Postby AMM » Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:07 am

I'm of two minds about this.

On the one hand, I recognize that Bob is the one who is putting his time and money into setting up and keeping SkirtCafe going, and it's not my place to tell him what is appropriate or not for this web site.

On the other hand, I think it's unfortunate that these two threads were shut down the way they were.

I think the story about the drag queen was posted out of the sense that all of us who violate society's gender roles/rules are to some extent in the same boat, and that a culture that is intolerant of gays, or drag queens, or transsexuals, is likely to be intolerant of skirt-wearing men and one that is tolerant of the one is more likely to be tolerant of another. I think this is the way most of us who read it saw it, too. It's like the story about the gay teenager who was killed in California, or, for that matter, Pythos's M-to-F transsexual colleague. Let's face it, even the most masculine-looking of us, in the most macho-looking skirt, has to deal with questions of gender, if only because society assumes that we're gay, or doing drag, or wanting to change our sex. The way the thread was shut down makes it seem like any discussion of other contexts where men wear skirts or otherwise don't act like "manly men" is going to be forbidden.

The thread about kilts and, er -- let's say hygiene -- was a little more problematic. For one thing, there was the "ick" factor. For another, we have good reason to fear an invasion of panty-fetishists and drawer-droppers.

But the question of what a man should wear under his kilt won't go away, and not just because of the fetishists. It's the number one question people ask kilt-wearers, and the number two question people ask of skirt-wearing men (number one is "why do you wear a skirt?"), and they're not doing it to get some wierd sexual thrill. They're trying to imagine what it's like to be a man in a kilt/skirt. They already know (from locker rooms, movies, cartoons, and TV and magazine ads) what women wear under their skirts and what men wear under their trousers and shorts. The fact that kilt- and skirt-wearers can't seem to find a graceful way to handle the question, and often get all wierd about even talking about it among themselves, doesn't help the people we meet see kilt- and skirt-wearing men as regular blokes. Instead, it makes it seem like there's something unmentionably kinky about a man in a kilt or skirt.
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Re: Sending signals via forum moderation.

Postby Uncle Al » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:25 am

(This reply was started around 12:30PM CST, then placed on hold
while we went to our grandson's birthday party.)


OK--Now I've had 4 1/2 hours more sleep, I agree with all of
the posters here, that Bob & Carl do an excellent job of guiding
the Cafe'. I'm possitively sure that more goes on in the background
than anyone would ever see at the Cafe'.

I agree that the 'drag-queen' article was good as it demonstrated the forward thinking
movement of a given University, yet it does not further the 'man-in-a-skirt' concept.
This 'lad' uses the 'd-q' as an entertainment venue, which he will probably make a fortune
in Vegas as a female impersonator. That may be his calling in life, who knows?

Yes, these are 'fine-lines' with a good bit of gray area between them.
Bob & Carl help us keep 'both oars in the water', and most of the time,
we don't realize that they are doing as such. That is a sign of a good moderator,
leader or captain of a ship.
As Carl has noted,
"In our defence, I'd like to point out that Bob and I are both human
(you know, those pesky carbon-based life forms that make mistakes all the time)
and each have our own styles and foibles. And each of us has the capacity to
err from time to time (guilty as charged). Each of us also seems to have different
"input channels" through which we accumulate the data we use to make our decisions,
and we have different life experiences that determine how we interpret those data."

And it takes all of those 'different channels' to make a decision. A one-sided decision
is usually made on the spur of the moment, and regretted later on.
(We-of the carbon based life forms-have experienced this more than we
would care to admit.)

(It is now 9:45PM CST, and now completing this reply.)

Skirt Chaser----Please note that your post was not the first of its kind at the Cafe'.
The subject of Kilt Liners has been brought up before, and quite successfully.
No one brought up the 'un-mentionables' but put forth good ideas about the
way a 'liner' or 'slip' prevents the kilt from clinging to your skin or 'hose-tights'.
Cessna152Towser provided examples and places where a 'gentlemens slip'
could be beneficial to the wearer and some locations where they could be purchased.

IMO, some people read to much into the information provided by the article.
I read it, and took it as a plight of the Kilt Rental Companies and how they
are responding to a 'carbon-based life form' problem. The 'renters' don't use
common sense when wearing the 'item'. This is true of any company who rents
Tuxedos and Formal Wear. The 'renter' does not respect the company nor themselves
enough to care for/about the 'rented garment'. Some just treat it like an old dish rag.
This is a sad state of affairs as appathy towards a rented item is rampant,
almost beyond control. I personally don't treat my own clothes in this mannor
nor do I trash a rented Tux.

I'ld say that it comes to how the topic is discussed. I did not see any attempts
to discuss 'underp**ts', just a way to protect the rental garment from damage.
When I sit down to dinner, I place a napkin over my lap thus protecting my clothes
from food accidentally dropped into my lap. This is a common sense approach to
keeping my clothes clean. Being taught good manners at the dinner table extends
into all aspects of life. I guess that 'some people' do not know what manners are,
nor do they care (appathy).

So, what's done is done! If this reply has stepped on anyones toes' it was not meant
to do so. Bob and Carl have my utmost support for their work at the Cafe'.
Whether it is in posting or what goes on behind the cafe's counter,
they do a marvelous job :!:

I guess I need to get this soapbox put away as this is my point of view,
and each member of the Cafe' has his/her point of view. That is what helps
make this Cafe' a very interesting place to be :!:

Uncle Al
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Grand Musician of the Grand Lodge, I.O.O.F. of Texas 2008-2009, 2015-2016,
2018-2020(and the beat goes on ;) )
When asked 'Why the Kilt?'
I respond-The why is F.T.H.O.I. (For The H--- Of It)
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Re: Sending signals via forum moderation.

Postby Jack Williams » Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:23 pm

Very interesting. I personally get over the underware question by wearing super long undershirts (to my knees) of cotton or silk. That is all i need. Jack.
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