Some things to ponder.

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Some things to ponder.

Postby RyeOfTheDead » Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:13 pm

I have recently returned to the men in skirts forum world after a long long sabbatical, to the point where I may as well be considered a newcomer to most. I've been posting on these forums again now for a little over a month and was invited to post on the ones over at Skirts4Men as well. Early on, I actually received Private Messages from older members warning me about the way people talk to each other on these boards, and stating why they no longer post here. It took me a bit but I did start to feel a similar inclination that maybe posting here wasn't something I wanted to continue doing. So as much as I want this post to be a constructive point of reference, it is filtered through my own frustrations and annoyances so I apologize if it comes off as a bit self-righteous. In fact, I know it will so I apologize for that directly now.

First, my biggest issue is that it seems that several of the regulars are so used to having fights over certain things that there is a tendency to preemptively make something into a fight when it isn't. On at least two occasions now I've been told in a response something along the lines of "We've had problems with things in the past." Well, that is a shame, however I don't think it is fair to allow the crimes of others to be an excuse to paint uninvolved different people's points with a negative brush. Also, this mentality really makes me think twice about posting anything because I worry someone posted something similar in a confrontational way in the past and I'll get jumped on for having mentioned it.

Next, there's a bit of a habit for people to argue the point they want to argue regardless of what the other person just said. Everyone is obviously welcome to talk about what they want to talk about, but there are a lot of cases on these boards of people putting words in someone else's mouth. I don't want this post to be a public flogging so I'm trying to avoid specific cases, but it really seems to happen a lot.

Finally, people seem to always assume someone is looking for a fight even when they don't. I actually had this happen to me recently when I was honestly asking a question. I never did get the answers I was looking for, all I got were defensive responses to something I wasn't even saying. I used to work for Apple inc. at one of their retail stores. They had a really effective in store conflict resolution program called "Fearless Feedback" where employees could air grievances over something without needing to bring in managers by following certain steps. The most important step, the first thing we were always told to do, was always assume positive intent. Before responding, take the time to think about what someone said and think, ok, maybe they did that for a positive reason. Sometimes you can't, but you should always at least make the attempt.
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Re: Some things to ponder.

Postby AMM » Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:09 pm

I share your frustrations with SkirtCafe, though I don't think the problems you mention are unique to SkirtCafe. All the men-in-skirts and men-in-kilts groups I am familiar with face similar problems. They only differ in how they manage to avoid having on-line brawls 24/7.

Actually, many of the problems you describe are endemic to on-line discussion groups of all kinds: I read (and occasionally participate in) a wide variety of blogs and discussion sites, and an awful lot of the participants anywhere seem to have their lists of sensitivities and favorite disputes and will respond with a preprogrammed counter-attack to anything posting that reminds them of one of them.

The "we can't discuss this because every time we do, it turns into a brawl" line is definitely frustrating. Unfortunately, it's also true. There are many, many topics which we as a community cannot be trusted to deal with like grown-ups. It doesn't reflect well on us as a community and I think it makes the idea of MUG-wearing look bad by association. (The kilt-fascism I've seen on- and off-line has definitely soured my own feelings about kilts, especially "traditional Scottish" ones.)

What's worse, it means that we (as a community) cannot have the kinds of discussions and conversations that are IMHO essential if we are to become comfortable with our MUG-wearing and then to help other men become comfortable with the idea of MUG-wearing. IMHO, a large part of it is that there's a lot of denial going on, and as anyone who has dealt with people in denial has noticed, if you try to talk about what's being denied, you risk getting a punch in the nose.

I can't say I've felt limited in what I post because of the negative reactions I get. Partly, it's that I have a thick skin, but part is also that I've gotten a little better over the years at avoiding being too inflammatory and at not responding to hostility with hostility. I feel much more limited by what I see as people's unwillingness to discuss anything new or challenging here. No matter how a topic starts, it quickly ends up in one of the same old ruts.
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Re: Some things to ponder.

Postby RichardA » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:54 pm

Short and sweet, all forums are the same, most people seem to be more open on the Internet as they can hide behind their monitors and the lightly hood of meeting others are very rare
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Re: Some things to ponder.

Postby TomH » Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:33 pm

And maybe waiting over night before responding would help people decide how to do it. Sure, that would SLOW down conversations, but if they were civil, that would add quality.

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Re: Some things to ponder.

Postby RyeOfTheDead » Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:59 pm

RichardA wrote:Short and sweet, all forums are the same, most people seem to be more open on the Internet as they can hide behind their monitors and the lightly hood of meeting others are very rare


with all due respect that is a cop out. I've posted on many forums and some are good and others are bad. For example I also still post on crossdressers.com and I find that people over there tend to be very cordial even when I post from the perspective as a guy who dresses as a man in a skirt. In fact I find them being much friendlier to non-crossdressers than this forum is to those that.
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Re: Some things to ponder.

Postby Since1982 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:15 pm

I think it all boils down to "some people have short fuses and some people don't." As a person WITH a short fuse, I really do understand that position, however, my kind of short fuse doesn't simmer and hold grudges. Often I'm wondering why people are still looking askance at me when I'm completely over what the blow up was about and on to something new. I give full belief in Horoscope signs being spot on the people that were born under them. My father, an Aquarius, kept grudges deep in his persona and never forgot anyone who ever messed with him. My Mom, an Aries, was a complete RAM, hard headed as hell and would NEVER give up a conversation if she thought she was in the right. ME..Just a garden variety Scorpio, quick to blow up, quick to get over it, and extremely apologetic afterwards. Every Scorpio I know is exactly that way. I am a pure Scorpio, born on the 1st of November (I'll be 68 the first of next month at 1:12 am, I like to refer to myself as a leftover from Halloween).

I was told a story when I was 10 about being an Aries. 6 weeks after my Mom and Dad were married, he picked her up with one hand around her throat, (she was 5'1", he was 6'4") and said: "You belong to ME now and you'll do what I say!" She said nothing and he let her go...
3 weeks later he was stepping into their old white porcelain 4 poster washtub and she came from 3 rooms away, full speed ahead and pushed him with both hands into the tub and broke his back! She stood over him while he cried and screamed and waited for the ambulance and said: "Diamonds and Dynamite come in small packages, BUSTER, you ever touch me again and I'll KILL YOU!!!

If you all are wondering who told me that story, as it happened 2 years before I was born, HE DID! :D :D :D

They were married for 37 years until his death in 1967, and he never touched her again.
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