So I walked into E2 today the way I always do, smile on my face, third eye half-lidded, qi
at port arms. Now, E2 means a lot to me. I joke about the Internet providing me with "a very satisfying simulcrum of a social life", but, frankly, it is true. I don't make friends easily
So I walked into the chatter box to find that gender-neutral pronouns are verboten, user Bexxta is rumored to have decamped permanently, and there is a true tempest in a teacup going on. E2 is just like the small town of your choice. BUt the difference between this and my so-called life is that I choose to be here. I have to make an effort to be here. I have to give up some of my time and money to be here.
And walking in and finding out that someone in power has decided that gender-neutral pronouns are offensive...
It smacks of what happened on April Trolls Day. You all remember ATD? Remember what happened? People in power decided to flex their muscles. Some good noders left that day. Some have returned. Others haven't. And I posit that, with the raising of the bar, E2 can hardly afford to alienate people who have been around a while, people who have earned their chops, if not their bullshit. E2 is a community. Read it!
E2 is people. And some of us, myself included, have chosen a gender-neutral identity, because here we can.
In the "real world", I am stuck with the genitalia I was born with. For large sums of money, I could change to the other set -- but not at will, not repeatedly, not quickly, and not to both. What if I wish my life to be unfettered by constraints of gender?
Why, I go to E2.
But today, today I was told by the power structure in the plainest possible terms that I and others like me are not welcome.
After ATD I left this site for a while. This time, I probably won't leave -- but I'd be willing to bet that there's a budding riverrun or ocelotbob or knifegirl or confusionthewaitress or donfreenut or Your Favorite Noder who looked in on the proceedings of the day, and said, "I really don't need this shit."
Later: I am aware the problem has been fixed. But it's important that there be a record that it happened at all.
Here's what happened -- all gender-neutral pronouns and affectionate slang (like hir
) used in the chatterbox were turned, through some code alterations, into random obscenities (in the case of the affectionisms) or gendered pronouns (her for hir, etc) when they were displayed in the Chatterbox Nodelet (but not in the java chatterbox
). Although people rapidly found ways around it, it gave the wrong impression. (And, Gamaliel
? I'm still here, I still care, and I still listen. I even listen to Bones
at least one time out of three. Heh.)