Impending Schisms

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Impending Schisms

Postby AMM » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:12 pm

I have now heard of at least two fora that are proposing to split off from SkirtCafe. As far as I can tell, one seems composed of people who think that SC is too freestyle and the other that SC is not freestyle enough.

To me, this sounds stupid.

Point #1:

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.

Point #2:

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.

Point #3

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 :mrgreen: ), 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 think if we (or at least most of us) can follow these guidelines, maybe we won't find it necessary to split.

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.
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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby Stevie D » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:42 pm

All good points, AMM, and I agree with you 100%

We've been through this threatening schism scenario before and somehow weathered it.
And as I've said before, I would be sorry to see the Cafe split. Like you, I feel it might not be sustainable in separate parts, but more importantly, I really think we need the diversity that 'bravehearts' and 'freestylers' (to use the simplistic terminology) together bring to this forum. We don't need to be afraid or critical of each other. We should rejoice in our differences, not fight with each other about them. We can learn from each others strengths, not get mired up by being continually critical of the other 'group'.

All we need to do is to take on board that what is comfortable for one person in their country, neighbourhood, relationship, personal preferences, etc. does not mean that those values are applicable to someone else in another location and setting. So long as we respect that, we should get along just fine. The alternative would be to create anther Berlin Wall, or another apartheid. It would be very sad and destructive to go down that backward-looking route.
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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby Ray » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:22 pm

While I'll add my support to other fora (although I don't want to see a split), this forum is, and will always be, my first port of call. I've said it so often before, but like Stevie, I'be been around here for 12 years and this is not new. The forum has not changed much since the late 1990s, and I will continue to happily accept anyone who wishes to go skirted, irrespective of what their beliefs, drivers, accessories or lifestyle choice is.
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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby cessna152towser » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:45 pm

There seems to be an epidemic of break away fora, from here and from elsewhere.
While I'm willing to give a new forum a try, I'm not about to flounce from here.
I do worry though that there is too much squablling on this site and that there are too many skirt fora all with too few members. As men's skirting becomes more commonplace there will be less need for such fora as a place for support.
Like Ray, I am happy with other men's fashion choices however macho or however femme they may be, just as I don't expect anyone to condemn my clothing preference.
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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby Brandy » Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:04 am

I think AMM has pretty well nailed it. I have developed my own comfort level and style. And after going through my closet I discovered I still have a lot to learn. I also have a lot to learn about comfort level and when to dress it up and down.

Today has been spent doing some web surfing and I would like to point out the following;
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/board/how- ... 07147.html

How many guys did you see wearing skirts this new years?
by Holly Bray on Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:36 pm

Lots and lots of hot young guys wearing skirts out this new years!! i was in St Ives (Cornwall) and saw about 40 guys in mini skirts....they clearly loved the look and wore it well!! some were fancy dress but a good half were wearing them with normal bloke shoes and shirts/t's! few had black patterned tights on which actually looked awesome!! square pattern - nothing flowery lol.....suppose it kept them warm + stopped there bits being exposed should the wind catch hold!

Did you see any out and what did they look like!?

Mean good looking guys - no old pervy trannies lol....Happy new year!!
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
OH, pardon to our United Kingdom members, I have been to St. Ives. It is a long way from being the center of the fashion universe. Which in this case is good thing. Fashion coming up from the streets instead of from the runway, young men in skirts :wink:

So there is new blood out there we just need to tap it!!

Right now there are several "men-in-skirts" threads running, most seem to be infected with a troll named "Alf Huckham" his avatar is a brick. There is a certain advantage to being below some peoples radar screen.

Having been around these forums long enough I have seen what happens when a small group splits, usually they both wither and die. I suggest we stay together enjoy each others idiotsynchroncies and figure out how to attract a younger crowd. I'm sure they surf through but just do not hang around.

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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby tooslowprius » Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:51 am

Well, I will say we all have are taste as to what we should wear or what we think looks good on us. I me personally dont think I look as good in shorter skirts as i do in longer ones (for the most part knee length for me) Just as there are some guys that refuse to wear hose or tight's what ever you want to call them. Me I wont wear a skirt without them on for the most part. Even in the summer! I have seen some pictures of guy's wearing heels but most of the time they are wearing them with like pant or something so most of the heel is covered up, witch didn't look bad. So like I said it's all just a matter of choice and how far you feel like pushing your own personal envople! :x
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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby crfriend » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:34 pm

I happen to believe that the fact that we all have divergent opinions about skirted fashion for men, and our own "comfort levels" with "how far" we are willing to push things is not just healthy and normal, but also an asset to the community. If we all had identical opinions, tastes, and "comfort zones" this would be a pretty boring place, because we would never get exposed to anything new. That'd be pretty stultifying for anyone with so much as an iota of curiosity.

So, let the libations flow, and for heavens' sake let's try to learn from one another.
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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby cessna152towser » Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:19 pm

Well said, Carl, sums it up nicely.
Please view my photos of kilts and skirts, old trains, vintage buses and classic aircraft on http://www.flickr.com/photos/cessna152towser/
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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby AMM » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:35 am

I'm probably beating a dead horse here, but I feel very strongly about this:

The recent unpleasantnesses here at the Cafe are not about fashion choices. They are about bad (on-line) behavior.

The fact that someone uses their disagreement with someone's fashion tastes as an excuse to treat them disrespecfully does not change the fact that disrespect is the problem, not fashion choices.

I notice that this thread, which started out being about behavior, has collected a number of replies discussing fashion choices. I hope that this is only because talking about fashion is a lot more fun that thinking about how to keep a lid on our own behavior and other peoples', and not because the posters think the fights really have anything to do with fashion.
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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby crfriend » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:46 am

AMM wrote:I'm probably beating a dead horse here, but I feel very strongly about this:

The recent unpleasantnesses here at the Cafe are not about fashion choices. They are about bad (on-line) behavior.

It's not a "dead horse" at all -- it's a very salient point made from astute observation. I feel the same way, but haven't yet come up with a cogent way of expressing it.

I am going to try being a bit more aggressive in the future to head this sort of thing off before it really spirals out of control even though my inclination is to let things go for a bit so the assorted combatants can really show the community their "true colours". Unfortunately, ramped-up moderation is likely to tick some folks off, and that is surely not my intent; if everyone heeds the "mutual respect" codicil (just like we should be doing in our off-line lives where there can be physical repercussions for our misdeeds or bad behaviour) then things will be just fine. This does not mean that spirited argument is forbidden: it means that debates should focus on concepts and ideas, not individuals.
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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby Skirt Chaser » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:08 pm

Carl, you have a heavy job keeping us in line. If you ever feel the need to take a mod vacation and make the cafe "read only" for a week or two that is fine by me. I don't want to see you burnt out on a volunteer job, it just isn't worth it.
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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby Sasquatch » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:40 pm

Every family has its squabbles...and I do view the Cafe as a family, or at least a fraternity (sisters included) united by the fact that we do occupy, as AMM suggested, a middle ground between two psycho-social poles. In that regard we are pioneers settling in new territory. While we don't want to become the Hatfields and McCoys, we don't want to become the Donner Party either. We just have to learn to get along without reducing what could be a vital and vibrant exchange of ideas and (dare I say) feelings to simmer down into a tepid stew of boredom. AMM made some good suggestions, the best two of which need emphasis:

1) Don't direct things personally, and

B) Don't take everything personally.

We can't all suddenly develop the same sense of restraint, the same sense of humor, or the same level of personal sensitivity. But that fact shouldn't force an ever-increasing limitation on the range or depth of ideas expressed in these fora. We are presumably all mature adults; we simply need to exercise that maturity. That means that when someone shouts in your face, you resist the angry urge to shout back, but rather state your own opinion clearly, concisely, and, if need be, forcefully, without directing that opinion personally.

Most families wouldn't ostracise a member over a single extreme comment, but they might put a member in his/her place after suffering a pattern of extreme comments. Likewise a member who often over-reacts to the comments and opinions of others. I don't think the moderators should have to hold our hands to help us through every strongly opinionated thread peacefully...that's not a family, it's a therapy support group. Families love even their "black sheep", but that love doesn't mean they never disagree or argue. I hope we can retain this site as a interesting, stimulating place to commune with our "kin". It will benefit from some civility and maturity, but not from going on mega-dose Prozac.

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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby tooslowprius » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:13 pm

I couldn't agree more! I mean lets face we are all not comfortable wearing the samething. Some people on here like the shorter skirts me i like the longer one's. I don't get bent out of shape and bash someone becuase they choose to wear heels or they choose wear something other than just a skirt with there skirts it is just silly. I mean I nor anyone else on this fourm should be bashing anyone for how they choose to dress. Just becuase I don't like to wear a women's top,panties, or other things dosen't make me any better than the next person. I may not like it or i may not do that my self but I am not going to trash someone becuase they do. What I do not want to see this group turn into is a group about crossdressing. I mean truely we are doing that in a way, but to me there is a differance. I mean if the person is presenting as a female to me that is crossdressing. now if that person is presenting as a male, but is wearing heel and makeup, but still looks like a man than that is all together diffrent. Just my 2 cents! :soapbox:
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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby Since1982 » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:38 pm

I think if you have 10 control freaks and one subject you're going to have 10 opinions about it and some folks are going to get strident about their opinion. (Male skirt wearer = control freak) Have to be a bit of a control freak to go out in public most or all of the time wearing a skirt with the firm resolve that you're right and everyone that disagrees with your clothing choices is wrong. 8)
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Re: Impending Schisms

Postby Kilty » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:32 am

Brandy wrote:I think AMM has pretty well nailed it. I have developed my own comfort level and style. And after going through my closet I discovered I still have a lot to learn. I also have a lot to learn about comfort level and when to dress it up and down.

Today has been spent doing some web surfing and I would like to point out the following;
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/board/how- ... 07147.html

How many guys did you see wearing skirts this new years?
by Holly Bray on Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:36 pm

Lots and lots of hot young guys wearing skirts out this new years!! i was in St Ives (Cornwall) and saw about 40 guys in mini skirts....they clearly loved the look and wore it well!! some were fancy dress but a good half were wearing them with normal bloke shoes and shirts/t's! few had black patterned tights on which actually looked awesome!! square pattern - nothing flowery lol.....suppose it kept them warm + stopped there bits being exposed should the wind catch hold!

Did you see any out and what did they look like!?

Mean good looking guys - no old pervy trannies lol....Happy new year!!
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
OH, pardon to our United Kingdom members, I have been to St. Ives. It is a long way from being the center of the fashion universe. Which in this case is good thing. Fashion coming up from the streets instead of from the runway, young men in skirts :wink:

So there is new blood out there we just need to tap it!!

Right now there are several "men-in-skirts" threads running, most seem to be infected with a troll named "Alf Huckham" his avatar is a brick. There is a certain advantage to being below some peoples radar screen.

Having been around these forums long enough I have seen what happens when a small group splits, usually they both wither and die. I suggest we stay together enjoy each others idiotsynchroncies and figure out how to attract a younger crowd. I'm sure they surf through but just do not hang around.

-- Brandy


I've been on FemaleFirst, yeah, that Alf never has anything worthwile to say, but his constant bumping threads seems to keep 'Why Can't Men Wear Skirts?' in the top 3 Fashion threads...
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