This quote nicely sums up just my feelings on most of the detractors of our site I've heard about over the past week:
I do think it'd be nice if some of the critics actually came here to see what it's really like, rather than just criticising from afar.
With the exception of Natalie (who was a memeber for a short bit that contributed in a number of unrelated and diverse threads) I'm not aware that any
of those who say we are so horrible have actually bothered to look. Rebecca has even flat out admitted that she's only ventured beyond the episode threads 5 times in the life of the forum and at least one of those times was to a thread that was basically about us being upset with her. A famous saying came to mind when considering what our effort should be to change these people's opinions, "You cannot reason someone out of what they didn't reason themselves into." I feel no uncertainty in stating quite firmly that the opinions of these people (again, except perhaps Natalie) are not valid as they are quite plainly not based on any kind of rational inquiry or evaluation. They are reactionary and intensely biased and whatever their motivations for settling on their conclusions, I don't think much we say will shake them from their positions. Better to just show we mean what we say when we disagree.
That out of the way, I don't think we should throw out their methods of gaining their ideas of this place with what those ideas actually are. It's very disturbing to me to think that this place may have a bigoted chord within it, no matter how unintentional or rarely struck. The fact that feminist or trans related threads have a habit of bringing about some considerable drama is, I think, enough reason to give us pause and at least take a moment to ask the question of ourselves, "Is there any truth to what they are saying?" So far, my response has been in line with everyone else; that the charges of bigotry are clearly false. I'm thinking now though, that perhaps we owe it to ourselves to open up a thread to discuss the question free of the context of our accusers.