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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Should Men be allowed in a Women's Forum?

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    This is a topic that has come up on some other threads, and because it is such a general question, I thought perhaps it would be much better to start a new thread right in the main forum, and perhaps invite the moderators or administrators.

    Mr Silver has been an invited guest to this Forum by some members, yet others do not agree to his presence. This question does not apply to him specifically but in general, pertaining to all men.

    Should Men Be Allowed in a Women's Forum?
    Please let everyone know your opinion in a civilized and calm manner. It seems to me to be a rather important issue that should include everyone. It would be sad to see someone made welcome and then made unwelcome not because of any wrong they have done, but because there is no clear policy.

    Edit: For those interested in reading the original discussion, it was a thread hijack under "Nutrition":
    Last edited by Bluetree; 01-14-2007 at 02:45 PM. Reason: Add link

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    Wow, I am really surprised by this thread cuz I had no clue anyone had a problem with men posting here. Just for a little history, Mr. Silver first started posting as Silver to inform us of Silver's accident, and give us updates (which I personally very much appreciated). Some of us then encouraged him to create his own account, since accounts are individual, to prevent confusion between posts he made (which I think we all welcomed as updates on silver's condition) and posts that silver was starting to make as she recovered. And yes, sometimes he posts to give us the male perspective on things, and frankly I have found his posts insightful and helpful. To me, what makes this a womens forum, is that we discuss issues that are of general interest to women cyclists, and do it in a way that is more respectful than *some* male dominated forums. But where does it say that men aren't welcome? Sure if a guy (or gal for that matter) posts things that are obnoxious and insulting, we should ask them to leave. But to me this forum isn't about anyones gender or sexual orientation, but a forum with an emphasis on 'women's cycling', so as long as that emphasis is respected, anyone should be welcome to post. And remember, girls, this is the WWW, anyone can claim to be of whatever gender they want and post, so why care if someone is being honest about who they are? Don't think for a minute that you are posting in a place where only women can see what you write, the whole wide world can see. Look at the top of your screen, its says women's cycling discussion forum. To me, that describes our focus, and not the gender of the poster. I feel really bad about this thread being started however, cuz clearly it is going to make Mr. Silver feel unwelcome no matter what consensus we reach.

    Edit: I posted before knowing there was another thread in which this issue had come up. So, I thank Bluetree for bringing it to the attention of the entire group. Indeed, this is an issue that all of us should try to reach conensus on.
    Last edited by Triskeliongirl; 01-14-2007 at 03:16 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Hi Bluetree
    I have seen 4 different guys that came onto this forum. One posted about his wife's dirty underwear. If I was a moderator, I would have banned him immediately. The other three, Mr Silver included, came on here because of their wives. Nice guys asking advice for a women's specific bike, wanting to surprise her. Mr Silver in particular was a much appreciated poster, because he came to us to let us know how one of the women that we all came to know and love was doing after an accident (and then a second one!)
    I think except for the complainer, I am okay with men posting, as long as they remember that this IS a women's forum, and that they are our guests.
    that's my opinion anyhoo.
    thanks for asking.
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Pacific Northwest
    I have no problem with men being on this forum as long as their behavior is fine--which is the way I feel about ALL participants.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Vernon, British Columbia
    Hey, everyone

    You have come to be my friends, my cycling buddies, and I feel like I am a part of a real community here, a community that I have not yet found where I live. The conversations here are insightful, generally supportive, often, but not always, about cycling, and often inspiring. I continually feel grateful to be welcome here.

    My DH posted here once - I had posted a concern about his health, and we were overwhelmed by the positive wishes and prayers that were sent his way. He felt privileged to post his thanks to all of you, and his report that the cancer scare, was, in fact, a scare, and all was well. I tell him often about some of the interesting threads, sometimes ask him for technical advice when someone is seeking it, but he doesn't read the forum directly, and doesn't feel it is his place to post here.

    That said, he's got as many online friends and community elsewhere as I have here, and he gets what he needs from them.

    It seems that this is a bit of a delicate topic for some of us, and I can understand that. Many good points were raised in the other thread, the underlying thought seeming to be that men have lots of other forums, why hang out here?

    In general, I agree that if this were to be a truly co-ed forum I may not feel as comfortable here, and may not spend much time here.

    But part of me really hates the idea of "allowing" or "not allowing" a whole group of people to be here ever, just because of their gender.

    I would hate to think that under new rules, in a similar situation, my DH would have been prevented from posting his thanks, or that another caring DH would have not been able to give us updates on our sister's progress recovering from an injury.

    But when speaking of Mr. Silver, I haven't yet read a post that wasn't respectful, interesting, humourous, supportive or helpful....he's done nothing that should single him out to be kept out of the forum.

    It is interesting that he is posting so much, but I do understand this. He spends his weeks away from home and he's just embarked on a difficult weight loss journey. He's very focussed on his food intake and exercise output, and is encouraged by the support and acceptance he's found here....it's hard to go hang out with the boys when you're trying to lose weight.

    This is an extremely difficult question and I'm not sure how it will be resolved. If the question requires a yes or no answer, without any specifics, I would still have to answer yes....

    Good luck to our moderators!!

    Hugs and butterflies,
    The butterflies are within you.

    My photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/picsiechick/

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by Triskeliongirl View Post
    I feel really bad about this thread being started however, cuz clearly it is going to make Mr. Silver feel unwelcome no matter what consensus we reach.
    I suspect Mr. Silver would welcome the idea of us all having an open and civil discussion about it.

    Males join the forum from time to time- some of them lurk and read and never let their presence be known, eventually losing interest, I suppose. Others have initially not disclosed their gender, and play lame games on the forum. Yet others post openly as men but have suspect motives and are eventually removed or leave.
    And then there are those men who are respectful of women and whose posts either seek help or actually sometimes contribute valuable viewpoints. This category includes guys seeking advice about buying bikes for their wives, etc, it includes a man who tragically lost his fiance in a biking accident, reading our comfort posts. It includes also Mr.Silver who kept us up to date on Silver's recovery from her accident, then stayed on apparently for comaraderie and weight loss support.
    Personally, I have no problem with a few "sensitive guys" posting here and there. There is no locked door that I can see on TE.
    For good or bad, this fairly lenient policy has functioned to some degree or another in the past. But I do feel that in light of recent unease expressed in other threads, it should be an issue that is openly discussed by us all, and eventually there should be a consensus of what TE members want. My opinion is that there needs to be a set policy about it so that there is no more vagueness. I hope administrators will read everyone's ideas and opinions consider setting a clearer policy that we can all live with.
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Sillycon Valley, California
    I certainly hope Mr Silver doesn't take this as him not being welcome. He was invited with open arms, and I have no regrets about it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Tustin, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by salsabike View Post
    I have no problem with men being on this forum as long as their behavior is fine--which is the way I feel about ALL participants.

    I had a male friend some time ago post on this forum. He ID'd himself as male and had something to add to the thread he felt was important - he also knew most of the posters.

    This is a women's forum and basically it is. If I thought men came here to "play" and pick up ladies then I would say that person should go. I just haven't seen that behavior. Everyone has been polite, respectful and cordial.

    Edited to add: I just read the nutrition thread... Mr Silver I would rather PM you (but couldn't) but a message from me... time to time I get myself in quite a pickle with some of the ladies on this board - I can be outspoken and I'm Christian and Conservative, so I can rub folks raw at times. I have learned when engaged so... to just back off and be silent. Men like to debate, women not so much. Just a lesson learned for the future where ever you turn up.
    Last edited by bcipam; 01-14-2007 at 03:20 PM.
    BCIpam - Nature Girl

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    I also participate on the women's board on bikeforums.net. They debate quarterly (it seems) on whether or not to allow men in. It's a private forum - women are invited in, once it's been established on the public forums that they are, indeed a woman, although it would probably be easy for someone to fake entry. Our forum here is often mentioned, in that this one is open to anyone who wants to drop in. Trying to police it would require more work than Susan O., or Jeff, would probably want to take on. I have a feeling that most men gradually lose interest in our issues. This IS a public forum, and we have to deal with that fact.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Florida panhandle
    Though it seems that a set policy on this issue would make some of us feel better, I have to agree with Pedal Wench that enforcing such a policy would be next to impossible. After all, we don't really know that everyone who posts here as a woman really is a woman. And what about the occasional transgendered person who might take an interest in the forum?

    Mainly, I feel that, with maybe a few exceptions, this is a self-policing forum in that people who aren't really interested in women's cycling issues will eventually get bored and move on. So I think any policy on who can post here neither is needed or would be very effective in the long run.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Bad JuJu: Team TE Bianchista
    "The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress." -Roth
    Read my blog: Works in Progress

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Basically, I have no problem with Mr. Silver being here. He's here by invitation and has kept his testerone in check. But overall, I prefer that this forum stay mostly women.

    I think there are reasonable exceptions. For example, if George Hincapie, whose company manufactures cycling clothing, came here with women's clothing questions and decided to stay because he enjoyed the cycling discussions, I'm OK with that.

    But if a guy or guys, cyclist or not, comes here with no reasonable connections to the board, I think we would eventually lose what differentiates this board from other cycling boards. There are subjects discussed freely here that would disappear.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Central Virginia
    Well, I have to add my .02 as well. We all appreciated the updates on Silver, and we all did welcome Mr. Silver... to a point... we DO discuss things on this "Women's Forum" that we'd rather not have a male interject... whether it's tampons, whether to wear thongs or how much weight we've gained... sometimes having a man around to put in his two cents... well, sometimes isn't ok. You gals are right that he has been mostly polite and we've encouraged him... and maybe we've misled him into thinking he could be *the* man on the TE board?? I dunno. I somewhat agree with Queen, and mostly agree with Trek on the hijacked thread....
    I have very mixed feelings...
    "The bicycle was the first machine to redefine successfully the notion of what is feminine. The bicycle came to symbolize something very precious to women - their independence."—Sally Fox

  13. #13
    Kitsune06 Guest
    I've been privy to very differing views on this subject, and while I think all are very well-thought out and can see the reasoning, I must post with my input.

    I am uncomfortable with gentlemen on this forum in general. This is a women's space, the "Women's Cycling Discussion Forums" as it were. The way I'm seeing past opinions etc as it were is mentally doing a complete role reversal. If I were a woman on "Team Testosterone- the Men's Cycling Discussion Forum" I can't imagine I'd have much to say, but were I married, I'd possibly be into looking up possible answers for my husband, given possible issues he had- though if he were a member as well, I don't know that I could help much.
    I don't know if I could contribute very successfully either.

    I don't want this to become a precident. In the past, the loving hubbies of most TE members will occasionally, rarely post, and they're great guys. But they respect the formerly unspoken boundaries we have here. They've rarely tarried long.

    All that said,

    I cannot knowingly be part of any sort of discrimination. To single out, (sorry) Mr. Silver has been very polite. He's been respectful, and open. Such can *not* be said for many of our previous male visitors. Perhaps this is why he's been so well accepted.

    So to sum it up, while I don't want this to be a lasting thing, and wish men would in general respect what had previously been unspoken, I cannot fairly say that he 'should leave'. He will in his due time... and until that happens, he's a good guy and we should treat him as such, however we are unnerved by his presence and what it may mean for the future of TE.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    the foggy wetlands,los osos,ca
    I do not have a problem with mr Silver! And if he becomes a problem then i am sure it will be taken care of (Vito will pay him a visit ). But I don't think to much of it until he becomes rude. But hey we can be just as rude too. Just my opinion.
    Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.
    > Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Hoo boy... this is bound to get me in trouble, but I just can't keep my mouth shut.

    So... the opposing side, while nobody's being horrible and demanding a ban on all men, seems to be saying "we're uncomfortable with a man in our 'locker room'. We deserve our own space."

    Just the other day, I was witness to a really shameful scene. I was touring a gym that I was considering joining, and while I was there there was a sudden and very large stir. One of the members had found out that one of the trainers there was *gasp* a lesbian, and the idea that this woman might see her naked in the locker rooms made her uncomfortable. She had never been uncomfortable before, but once she found out that someone there was different from her, she had anxiety and fear.

    I'm not sure how your fear and discomfort of men, even when they're showing themselves to be behaving appropriately, is any different. Inappropriate behavior on the forums is just that - inappropriate, no matter who it's coming from, and needs to be dealt with on an issue-by-issue basis and not on one that's discriminatory and originates in fear. Where I don't feel discomfited by Mr. Silver's presence here, I have to tip my hat to Kitsune for being the first to say that banning him simply because he's a man is in fact SEXIST and a form of discrimination.

    Part of what I think makes TE different is that we don't discriminate. We all work to make everyone feel welcome, whether they're hardcore roadies or older ladies on their cruisers but right now we're talking about who's NOT welcome! I'm a little shocked by it; we are a fairly diverse group and I've never witnessed anything worse than a couple of snotty comments.

    We don't have serious problems with harassment or with men invading our space; we don't hang a sign on our door that says "NO BOYZ", and therefore it's no fun to come bug us. Those few that do show up are met with little interest at best. The day we lay down the law is the day we ask for people to protest our negative and exclusionary behavior.
    Last edited by HipGnosis6; 01-14-2007 at 07:07 PM.
    Aperte mala cm est mulier, tum demum est bona. -- Syrus, Maxims
    (When a woman is openly bad, she is at last good.)

    Edepol nunc nos tempus est malas peioris fieri. -- Plautus, Miles Gloriosus
    (Now is the time for bad girls to become worse still.)



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