To me, this sounds stupid.
We who lie in the narrow space between the likes of Crossdressers.com and the likes of "X Marks the Scot" are very few, and the number who have any interest in on-line discussions on the subject are even fewer. I think SkirtCafe is already somewhat below the critical mass needed to sustain a viable on-line community. Splitting the community up further will just hasten its disintegration.
I don't believe the real issue has anything to do with people's fashion choices.
I think the biggest problem is that we've run out of constructive things to say.
It's like when my two boys (15 and 18) have been in the apartment too long, have played all their GameBoy games, and have run out of other "fun stuff" to do. Doing something constructive would take more effort than they're willing to expend. So they pick fights with one another.
Most of us at SkirtCafe are pretty settled in our fashion choices and not really willing to explore new styles or even to examine our current fashion choices. Most of us have figured out where we're comfortable going skirted/kilted and aren't ready to discuss new situations. There's not a skirt-related discussion topic that hasn't been hashed and re-hashed to the point that even our most pugnacious participants are bored with it.
So, most of the folks here are now spending less time here and more time doing whatever else they do in their spare time -- skirted, kilted, or trousered as they see fit. A few of the rest deal with their boredom by picking fights.
The "braveheart vs. freestyle" thing is just a pretext for fights that are really about boredom. Splitting up the community will give people even less constructive to talk about (because there are fewer people to think them up, and fewer differences of perspective to discuss), and thus make brawls more likely.
Like many on-line discussion groups, we have a number of people whose communication skills and social skills are, uh, not as good as we would wish. Actually, most of us could be described that way at some time or other (except me, of course ), so we can't just throw everyone out who sometimes acts or communicates badly.
If we're going to "live together" in an online community, we need to follow the usual "Nettiquet" guidelines:
- Try to avoid being provocative. Especially in fashion, which is ultimately a matter of taste, it's better to speak about your own preferences and feelings than to make broad pronouncements. E.g., "I would feel like a drag queen if I wore that" or "I wouldn't want to restrict myself to only denim knee-length skirts" is better than "you look like a drag queen in that get-up" or "it is our duty to break down the artificial barriers between men's and women's fashion."
- If someone provokes you, ignore it. Don't rise to the bait. If you really feel like you need to make a response, write it and save it, and wait at least 24 hours (don't forget to sleep in the meantime!) Then re-read your response (and other people's responses) and see if you really need to say it that way.
- If you find that a particular poster frequently gets you mad, simply skip over his/her posts and replies. Yes, it takes some discipline, but, as our (USA) Puritan forebearers would say, discipline (and forebear[er]ance ) are good for the soul.
- Another useful discipline is to try to see what you have in common with those whose posts you don't like. As my mother used to say (well, somebody did!), when you point a finger, look where the other three fingers are pointing.
I am certain, though, that if we don't follow these guidelines, then the squabbles and bad feelings that we are experiencing at SkirtCafe will follow us to whatever new fora we go to.