paddy's recent activity

  1. Comment on Does/Could Tildes make an effort to recruit minority voices? in ~tildes

    paddy
    Link Parent
    A forum, at random, that is 80% men.

    A forum, at random, that is 80% men.

    7 votes
  2. Comment on Does/Could Tildes make an effort to recruit minority voices? in ~tildes

    paddy
    Link Parent
    Then I really can't help you there, mate. If you see nothing here that would make someone in a marginalised community think "hmmm, maybe this isn't a place I want to spend my time", there's really...

    Then I really can't help you there, mate. If you see nothing here that would make someone in a marginalised community think "hmmm, maybe this isn't a place I want to spend my time", there's really not much more that can be said.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on Does/Could Tildes make an effort to recruit minority voices? in ~tildes

    paddy
    Link Parent
    I'm totally white and male, but also got told in this thread that I'm totally just exaggerating the hardships of being gay. So, yeah, a few more people like me here probably wouldn't hurt. But...

    I'm totally white and male, but also got told in this thread that I'm totally just exaggerating the hardships of being gay.

    So, yeah, a few more people like me here probably wouldn't hurt.

    But also, it's really weird to me that you think this is about sides, or that I want specific numbers. I don't want numbers, I want results. Outreach is a way to the results, but you could have a forum of nothing but minorities and I'd still be unhappy with it, I just would have a different suggestion for how to fix it.

    But the number of posts on display in this thread that are either hostile or microagressions towards marginalised people is staggering for a community that ostensibly wants to be inclusive.

    So yeah, until threads like this stop being this toxic, I do think a little outreach to marginalised folks wouldn't hurt.

    6 votes
  4. Comment on Does/Could Tildes make an effort to recruit minority voices? in ~tildes

    paddy
    Link Parent
    I dunno, at what ratio do I stop seeing the kind of responses I'm seeing in this thread? Roughly that ratio.

    I dunno, at what ratio do I stop seeing the kind of responses I'm seeing in this thread?

    Roughly that ratio.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~tildes

    paddy
    Link Parent
    I'm running out of steam here, and having the same debates and conversations repetitively is getting old--none of which is your fault, but I'm getting burnt out here--so this'll probably be my...

    I'm running out of steam here, and having the same debates and conversations repetitively is getting old--none of which is your fault, but I'm getting burnt out here--so this'll probably be my last reply in this thread. Sorry. Feel free to reply, I may read it, but I probably won't reply.

    That's what the OP means though, with "specifically targeting" gay users.

    Can't speak for OP's intent. I'd just say you can specifically target a group without excluding another group. Handing out flyers at a Pride parade (not saying we should do that, it's illustrative) is more likely to get the attention of queer people, but isn't necessarily excluding straight people. It's just being mindful of how the ways you advertise bias you towards groups, and deciding which groups you want your advertising to be biased towards.

    Could you clarify what this means...? Do you think the sight is unwelcome to lgbt people as is or?

    It's not the least welcoming site I've ever seen, but it's far from the most. If it's aiming to be inclusive for queer people, I'd say it's probably falling short right now. Of course, not all queer people have the same tolerance for content that's harmful to them, so you and I don't have to agree, and "inclusive for queer people" is probably reductive. I think, most accurately, I'd probably phrase it as "there are reasons a queer person could reasonably feel unwelcome here and decide to leave".

    But Tilde isn't the same. Like I said again, he's made every accommodation for us that he can, and the one time we had a troll here who intentionally made inflammatory comments here against gay marriage, he was banned, and to some criticism might I point out. Far from merely tolerating us as users, he's shown that he intends to treat us just as equally as any straight users, and he's given us the full ability to establishing a community and everything. I'm not seeing how he isn't doing enough or dismissing us under a veneer of tolerance, which is what your first example is. What kind of thing would you expect him to do to make you sufficiently happy that he's accepting to lgbt people...?

    This isn't a critique of Deimos. I'm not saying Deimos is just paying lip service, or something, or that he wants to appear friendly and actually isn't, or something. I just think execution of the ideals is a bit off. I've been told Tildes isn't going to shut down beliefs, which is concerning when some people believe I'm inferior or should be dead. I've seen users think it's totally fine to debate whether I already have equal rights because I can marry a woman, whether it matters or not if queer people feel welcome here, posit that the most important thing in a conversation is that it's expressed politely, regardless of whether the ideas under discussion are actually harmful or not, and express that it's better when people are just treated as people and we make no attempt to counteract centuries of oppression against marginalised groups, that if we just treat everyone in exactly the same manner now, things will all work out. And the community seems to think this is totally appropriate. Which doesn't make it a bad community, it just means that there seem to be some room for doubt here on whether queer people should feel totally welcome in this community or not. And I'm not saying everyone agrees with these beliefs or statements, I'm just saying people seem to generally think they're acceptable on Tildes.

    Well, I think looking at each in turn would provide some insight.

    Regardless of the rules being proposed, all three of these are communities Tildes is currently being pitched as being different from. If we're going to set the community apart from them, a good way to start is by being clear when we're looking at them for examples that we want to avoid becoming what they are. Doesn't mean we can't draw inspiration from them, but anyone looking at that commenting norms thread could be forgiven for thinking that Hacker News, Reddit, and Voat are being used as inspiration for the community, as opposed to communities whose problems we want to avoid. And the amount of resistance I've gotten to pointing this out is pretty disheartening, because--and it could just be my impression--it seems to me that people don't really want to be that different from Reddit, when it comes to community values.

    you'd be better off reporting the comment and having it deleted, and maybe banning the person if this becomes a regular thing. Of course, we don't have a report button so you'd have to PM, but my point still stands. Responding to them angrily will only feed them after all.

    The better approach, in my opinion, is exactly what happened with the joke thread: "that's not what we do here".

    Except that happened pretty swiftly in the joke thread, and for other "fluff" content, but seems to rarely happen when it comes to community values. Which suggests maybe that is what we do here. Which is a decision a community can make, but, like, let's be honest about it at least.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~tildes

    paddy
    Link Parent
    I promise I have heard and understand the people that explained that the rules in question were never adopted at Voat, and I absolutely believe there was a time when people thought Voat could be a...

    The reason voat is brought up is because there was a time when people thought it could actually be something, before all the racists moved in. During that time, a decent code of conduct was drafted, which is something that is actually worth looking at. This code of conduct was never adopted by voat, and we know what happened to voat afterwards.

    I promise I have heard and understand the people that explained that the rules in question were never adopted at Voat, and I absolutely believe there was a time when people thought Voat could be a Nice Thing To Have. What I keep coming back to is, there are a lot of groups that Voat explicitly and actively does harm to. It is not a good look to mention "here's the kind of community I was trying to build at Voat" when you're trying to build an inclusive community, because when you don't mention when, or then follow up with "before the racists moved in", or otherwise indicate that you see anything wrong with Voat as it stands today, you're sending a signal to the people harmed by it that you consider it a community worth emulating. I don't really see why, if the poster was just saying "here's a suggestion for how it could be formatted", Voat needs to be brought into the mix. It didn't add anything, and instead made it look like the community here was basing its norms off Voat's.

    Reddit and HN are brought up because its what people know. I do not think anyone here believes either site is perfect. I know a bit about what Reddits problems are, and I believe we have plans for not replicating them. I do not know much about HN, would you care to elaborate what the problems are?

    I linked to an exemplary thread already in:
    https://tildes.net/~tildes/24t/suggestion_recruit_new_users_from_a_wider_demographic_range#comment-msq

    If you don't see the problem in that thread, I mean, it's kind of a well-known thing. Here's an article from four years ago talking about how they were trying to turn it around from being toxic: https://techcrunch.com/2014/03/22/hacker-news-pending-comments/

    As far as will people stay or not, I think it should be irrelevant if they are part of a minority group. The only important thing about people should be if they can add to discussions. I agree that we should make an effort to not discriminate against anyone, but I do not think we should do some form of outreach either. We should treat every group equally.

    I think if you don't care whether minority groups are mass exiting your community but privileged people aren't, you're not setting yourself up super well for creating a non-toxic community.

    To the conversation you bring up, I believe it is important to bring up extreme cases when discussing community norms.

    I don't know what you're referencing here.

    To the third conversation, it is a real view that some people hold. I believe it is wrong, and it gives you the opportunity to try and convince people why it is wrong.

    My life is an opportunity to try and convince people why it's wrong. Every other community out there gives me an opportunity to convince people it's wrong. Where Tildes can shine as a non-toxic, inclusive community is giving me and people like me a space where I don't have to convince other people in the community that my marriage is really none of their business. Relitigating my existence is actually a really tiresome activity, and not one I do for fun or to relax.

    You claim that tildes was pitched to you as "a community that was trying to avoid becoming as toxic as other communities like it". That is true. However, I believe you misunderstood something about it. Tildes does not plan to do so by stifling beliefs, but by requiring everyone to be civil and polite.

    Tildes is absolutely going to stifle beliefs. That's the whole paradox of intolerance thing that the original blog post linked to. You're either tolerant of intolerance, in which case you're going to stifle the beliefs of everyone the intolerance impacts, or you stifle the intolerant beliefs. Tildes, as a community, needs to decide whether they want a healthy queer population who fail safe to engage fully here, or whether we want a population who feels safe to question whether queer people are actually people here. You can't have both those groups in the same community.

    Do you believe that LGBT people are fundamentally more polite and adding more will lead to better discussion?

    I believe that making a space that is safe for LGBT people to engage in will lead to better discussion, yes. I don't think they're fundamentally more polite, especially when faced with bigots, but I also believe that's healthy for a community, as well, and that a community should not be polite or civil when oppressive ideas are brought up, those ideas should be swiftly shown the door. I'm more than a little worried that people seem to be conflating toxicity with a lack of civility, as if nobody has ever used civil language to wish me dead before.

    What site(s) do you think tildes should look at as an example?

    That depends on what Tildes wants to be as a community. I keep hearing polite and civil being bandied about, in which case, Reddit and Hacker News would be great to look for, but that's not going to lead to a non-toxic community. You want to make Tildes safe for queer people? Look where queer people gather online, and look at the rules and norms they have in place. Want more women? Look at the communities they create and run and see what they're doing. You may have to expand your definition of "community", to include things like Glitch.com or fanfiction communities. Look into the problems the communities are talking about on Twitter.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~tildes

    paddy
    Link Parent
    We're well and truly off-topic now. Maybe I'm missing something here, but I just don't understand why we're talking about Voat at all in a thread about what we want our community to be, unless...

    We're well and truly off-topic now.

    Maybe I'm missing something here, but I just don't understand why we're talking about Voat at all in a thread about what we want our community to be, unless it's to say "that's what Voat did, look what happened there, let's not do that." If our goal here is to make a non-toxic community, Voat, Reddit, and HN would be at the very top of my list for the things for the community to not emulate. Having all three brought up in a positive way in a conversation about establishing norms for this community raises giant warning signs and red flags for me, because... like.... how do people not have any better references for sites they think have good rules or etiquette or policies? Does the community here think those are good communities? Is Tildes going to turn out like them? Because if so, I want to find the exit now.

    Which is why I'm bringing it up in this thread. There were like 400 responses to that poll, out of like 3000 members. Meaning we don't know anything about the 2600 members who didn't respond, and are presumably inactive. How do we know Tildes has a pipeline problem, and not a retention problem? Are we sure if marginalized people sign up for Tildes, they're going to stay? A lot of folks who are part of a URM in my circles, at least, actively avoid Hacker News, Reddit, and Voat because they're toxic and not worth the effort. If we're looking to them as examples, I would expect those demographic numbers to get worse, not better.

    So far on Tildes I've:

    • had a really great conversation about surrogacy and parenting
    • had a really frustrating, borderline bad-faith conversation about why a white supremacy site is probably not the best thing to bring up when trying to decide what community norms to establish
    • read through a conversation about whether queer people have equal rights because they can marry someone of the opposite gender or not
    • had this conversation

    On balance, can you see why I may not be entirely convinced yet that Tildes is a community I'll be able to engage in without having my rights questioned, a community where we disagree about what counts as a sandwich, not who counts as a person?

    That's really what I'm getting at, here. The alpha is the time for Tildes to get the structure and community norms in place and practice what it means to be an inclusive, non-toxic community, or you're going to wind up with the Reddit problem of trying to graft it on later and upsetting users that didn't want a non-toxic, inclusive community. So what happens now in terms of community matters. Get the voices of those you want Tildes to be welcoming in here now, while there's still time to shape the community, or we're going to miss all the things that make a community toxic to them and enshrine them in community norms.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Daily Tildes discussion - let's start gathering some thoughts for commenting guidelines in ~tildes.official

    paddy
    Link Parent
    I really don't know how to be clearer about how the part of this I'm objecting to is As if it being relevant for Voat somehow makes it relevant for Tildes. You want to suggest that format? I see...

    I really don't know how to be clearer about how the part of this I'm objecting to is

    I spent some time years ago working on something like this for Voat.

    As if it being relevant for Voat somehow makes it relevant for Tildes. You want to suggest that format? I see nothing wrong with it. You think it's valuable because you thought it made sense for Voat? I see a problem with that reasoning. The implicit message that Voat is worth emulating is what I'm objecting to here, not the format.

  9. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~tildes

    paddy
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Thanks for the in-depth reply! I'm going to try to return the courtesy, so apologies if this gets long, and I'll understand if you're not invested enough to bear with me. This is probably true and...

    Thanks for the in-depth reply! I'm going to try to return the courtesy, so apologies if this gets long, and I'll understand if you're not invested enough to bear with me.

    I would argue Tildes isn't getting a good cross-section of nearly any group of people though. It's got only 3000 total users, of which a good chunk are relatively inactive.

    This is probably true and a fair point. I would, however, suggest that it's easier to recruit users not from under-represented backgrounds, and harder to end up with a community that doesn't end up with a good cross-section of majority viewpoints. So if we're worried about focusing effort, let's make sure we're doing justice to those communities that it's easy to wind up with imbalance in, and not worry as much about the communities it's easy to wind up with a good cross-section of.

    In order to get more lgbt users, we would need to divert a significant number of invites, and I don't think it's really fair to take away invites from other users just because they're straight.

    I think there's a false scarcity here. You could argue that right now we're taking invites away from people who don't feel welcome in communities like Reddit, with that mindset. What I'd be in favor of is not a "looking for queer people to join a website!" or "I have invites, they're only for queer people!" approach, but rather being mindful of where and how we're recruiting and what the experience looks like for queer users once they get here.

    You could say, well why don't we just eliminate invitations and open the site to everybody? That would create massive moderation / scaling issues as is.

    I think this is fine, but let's recognise that an invite-only model is by nature exclusive, and we have to exclude somebody. That's how invites work. As we're laying the foundation for the community, establishing the norms, and otherwise setting the direction for the future, having a 77% het population means that the space will, unless we actively combat it, cater first and foremost to het people, because the queer voices get overruled, drowned out, or lost amongst the het voices. This applies to any underrepresented minority, I just don't want to speak for other experiences besides my own, which is why I'm focusing on the queer bit instead of e.g. the race bit.

    If you want a website that is truly more representative of everybody, then tbh, I just don't think an alpha stage site is a good place to go.

    I don't think I'm worried so much about representative as much as I am about inclusivity. The alpha stage is where the basis and groundwork of the community is laid, and so it will have an oversized impact on the community over time. Do I think Tildes needs to be 50% queer or more forever? No, of course not. Do I think that it does today? I don't know, it's complicated. But I do think its queer population needs to have an equal voice to its cishet population, or it risks becoming accidentally exclusionary to queer people.

    Furthermore, there are already plenty of discussion sites that are lgbt centered and where you most certainly could find a large and diverse lgbt community. I'd not really sure what Tilde's gay community could offer over these.

    These would be good sites for us to recruit from like we do Reddit, on the understanding that by recruiting from Reddit, we're recruiting from a default-cishet space.

    It's not that I'm looking for Tildes to be a queer space, like those discussion forums are, it's that I'm looking for Tildes to be a queer-inclusive space, and we need to have queer voices heard when establishing community norms and values for that to happen. I agree Tildes shouldn't be a "queer site", but I think--and maybe this is where some people disagree?--that Tildes should definitely be associated in people's minds with a "queer-friendly site".

    However, I still think quality and civil discussion is an important sub point of that, and I stand by that we want users with a good signal to noise ratio.

    I think these are important, too, but when building a community, I think it's important to know what your priorities are. If you want a community that's inclusive first and foremost, then even if a user is a power-user that posts a lot of good comments and is always polite, if they're a bigot and are making underrepresented users feel unwelcome, they need to go. If you want a community that always engages in polite conversation and has a bunch of good content, it may make sense to keep that user. If civility is the thing you value most, I'd actually say it's a bad idea to try to include underrepresented groups, because there's often so much emotional labor involved for them in engaging civilly in conversations about their humanity or rights, which inevitably come up, and it's not fair to try to recruit them to a community that is going to put them in that position.

    I'm not sure where your clearly is coming from, because I have never said such a thing nor would I endorse it. Were did you get the idea that I would...? And that's the first time hearing about or seeing that post. I'll keep an eye out for it.

    Sorry, this was unclear on my part. I read your original post as an expression that you believe Tildes to already be a sufficiently inclusive space for LGBT people, and I disagree pretty strongly on that point. Re-reading what you actually said, I've discovered I read into your post things you did not actually say, and apologise for that. So my clearly was not about accusing you of holding those views, but believing you thought a site where a new-ish user like me could accidentally run into those views in the first few threads he read is a sufficiently inclusive place. The example was less about you agreeing with it, and more an illustration of why I think the site is not sufficiently inclusive already.

    Could you clarify this point a little? I'm not sure what communities and which rule precedents you're talking about, but I'd be curious to hear.

    Sure, though I'm hesitant to get too far off-topic here. In this conversation there are people talking about what Hacker News, Reddit, and Voat all have as rules and how maybe we should look to those as precedent. Hopefully you can understand why I find these concerning as models for this community to be based on.

    I agree, that there are many points (and sometimes people) that having a civil discussion either yields nothing or sometimes results in worsening a situation. There's no point in engaging in an argument with someone who is calling for genocide for example, because such a person is either trolling or so far away that you're not going to change their mind with a rational discussion.

    The problem with remaining silent in the face of posts like that is that communities like this are defined by what content they allow. If someone is saying something hostile to a group, and nobody is correcting them, saying that's not what we do here, moderating, or otherwise making it clear that that content is not welcome in the community, anyone in the group being targeted can and should assume that that content is tolerated in the community.

    it doesn't mean you have to respect his opinion as equal to your own, it just means you say it in a calm way that gives him a change to reflect and change his mind.

    Tone argument is a good reason why I'm worried about the focus being on how things are said, and not what is being said.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Daily Tildes discussion - let's start gathering some thoughts for commenting guidelines in ~tildes.official

    paddy
    Link Parent
    I really don't understand what is so hard about "let's not look at sites that are friendly to white supremacy as models for our community". Like, this isn't that radical, complicated, or unusual...

    I really don't understand what is so hard about "let's not look at sites that are friendly to white supremacy as models for our community". Like, this isn't that radical, complicated, or unusual stance.

    Also, I don't know what is on the "WhiteRights" thing on there, but i do find it kind of funny that rights = supremacy in your mind. :P

    White Rights is a common euphemism for white supremacy, deployed in e.g. "Rights of White People", a recognised white supremacist group and KKK affiliate. That you don't know this is not giving me a whole lot of confidence in this being a productive conversation.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on Daily Tildes discussion - let's start gathering some thoughts for commenting guidelines in ~tildes.official

    paddy
    Link Parent
    Let me be super explicit and clear on this point: I am absolutely prejudiced against Voat, which tends to happen when something becomes synonymous with white supremacy. I have a nasty habit of...

    Let me be super explicit and clear on this point: I am absolutely prejudiced against Voat, which tends to happen when something becomes synonymous with white supremacy. I have a nasty habit of becoming prejudiced against communities that want me dead. It's a character flaw I have.

    I addressed whether ideas should be dismissed out of hand if white supremacists happened to like them:

    I'd probably not consider them at all, choosing to reference the origins for healthier communities when looking for something to emulate.

    The difference is, I'm advocating "hey, maybe let's not look at Voat or what it's doing or did unless we want explicit examples of what not to do, and if we're looking for things to emulate, let's choose a community that is less toxic to draw examples from, even if those examples are used elsewhere."

    I didn't tie those ideas to Voat, you did. I didn't say they were bad rules, or address whether we should have them at all. I said let's maybe not look at Voat, which has a literal white supremacy community on it (no quotes, it's actually called WhiteRights), and instead perhaps look at a less toxic community to draw examples from.

  12. Comment on Should surrogate mothers be paid for their labour? in ~talk

    paddy
    Link Parent
    The agency we're going through has a big checklist of which races you're willing to adopt, which is a really ethically difficult decision to make. For our part, we're doing a lot of reading on...

    The agency we're going through has a big checklist of which races you're willing to adopt, which is a really ethically difficult decision to make.

    For our part, we're doing a lot of reading on "transracial" adoption, from the perspectives of parents, adopted kids, and specialists. We talk a lot about how we'd help our kid be comfortable with their culture if we had a kid of a different race, what challenges it's responsible for us to take on, and what we are likely to be equipped to help our kid with. At the end of the day, our kid will have problems we don't have the experience or expertise to help with, and we're going to just have to do the best we can, love them, and hope that's enough. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't do what we can to limit those situations, either.

  13. Comment on Daily Tildes discussion - let's start gathering some thoughts for commenting guidelines in ~tildes.official

    paddy
    Link Parent
    Nope, I understood. If you thought the rules or format were appropriate for that community, looking at how that community turned out, I'd probably not consider them at all, choosing to reference...

    Nope, I understood. If you thought the rules or format were appropriate for that community, looking at how that community turned out, I'd probably not consider them at all, choosing to reference the origins for healthier communities when looking for something to emulate.

    The origin of the ideas is absolutely important, as it provides context. If someone wants me dead, it's totally rational and reasonable for me to think they probably do not have good ideas for how to make a community that is welcoming and inclusive for people like me.

  14. Comment on Daily Tildes discussion - let's start gathering some thoughts for commenting guidelines in ~tildes.official

    paddy
    Link Parent
    Is a site that is a haven for white supremacy a good model for rules we want to adopt?

    Is a site that is a haven for white supremacy a good model for rules we want to adopt?

  15. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~tildes

    paddy
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I think OP was more saying that the LGBT community is not monolithic and can believe different things about being LGBT, like whether to use queer or not, who to include in the community, what we...

    I think OP was more saying that the LGBT community is not monolithic and can believe different things about being LGBT, like whether to use queer or not, who to include in the community, what we should strive for, what good allyship looks like, etc. And having a small number of LGBT people, even if they're a larger percentage of the site than society overall, means you're likely not getting a good cross-section of those beliefs.

    [EDIT] I, for example, clearly believe different things than you do, because I'm horrified that in light use of Tildes I've already waded through a thread where someone argued gay people have equal rights already because everyone has the right to marry someone of the opposite gender. First, that argument was obviously wrong and tired in the aughties, and second, queer rights do not begin and end with marriage. And I'm disheartened that I'm seeing discussions about rules and norms and everyone is leaning on communities that are actively hostile to me for rule precedent, and everyone seems to be talking about the importance of civility without bringing up that some ideas do not deserve civil discussion and that civility is not always an appropriate response.

    Tildes was created because traditional discussion sites have embraced increasingly less interesting content, and because their moderation algorithms / philosophies stifle the good content that does appear.

    Is this true? I was pitched Tildes as a community that was trying to avoid becoming as toxic as other communities like it. That seems to be supported by the opening blog post, though that can be read multiple ways I guess.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on It's a Piece of Cake to Bake a Pretty Cake: LGBT+ Discrimination in ~talk

    paddy
    Link
    I'm so confused the people in this discussion saying the guy was polite. How does one go about saying "I'm so convinced it's morally wrong that you two are in love that I can't in good conscience...

    I'm so confused the people in this discussion saying the guy was polite.

    How does one go about saying "I'm so convinced it's morally wrong that you two are in love that I can't in good conscience take your money to provide services to you to celebrate that" in a way that's polite?

    Bigotry is, by definition, not polite.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on Should surrogate mothers be paid for their labour? in ~talk

    paddy
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Thank you! I'm unclear if my lack of sleep and/or rambling distorted my message, so I just want to be super explicit that I totally agree the fine points of this should be between the parties...

    Thank you! I'm unclear if my lack of sleep and/or rambling distorted my message, so I just want to be super explicit that I totally agree the fine points of this should be between the parties involved.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on Should surrogate mothers be paid for their labour? in ~talk

    paddy
    Link Parent
    Yeah, I've been thinking about them for a while, ever since I saw this. I think of it as privilege, just because anyone that doesn't have it has extra work in their life. Doesn't mean it's...

    Yeah, I've been thinking about them for a while, ever since I saw this. I think of it as privilege, just because anyone that doesn't have it has extra work in their life. Doesn't mean it's malicious.

    But, for example, I took my husband's last name when we got married, and a large part of that decision included knowing that at some point, I'll pick my child up from some adult that has temporary custody of them (daycare, school, a friend's house, etc.) and is expected to not give them away to a stranger, and will introduce myself as their father, and get "you're not their dad, I met him" in response, referring to my husband. And knowing that having a different last name than my child will only make that situation worse.

    It also means that we'll be reinforcing with our child constantly the importance of always answering "yes" if someone ever asks if one of us is their dad, because that will also be a not-fun situation to find ourselves in.

  19. Comment on It's a Piece of Cake to Bake a Pretty Cake: LGBT+ Discrimination in ~talk

    paddy
    Link Parent
    how the fuck is blood buying diamonds

    how the fuck is blood buying diamonds

    1 vote
  20. Comment on Should surrogate mothers be paid for their labour? in ~talk

    paddy
    Link Parent
    So, for us, we're actually pretty keen on an open adoption. Given the choice, it's what I think we'd go with. All the research we can find seems to open adoptions being better for the child, as it...

    So, for us, we're actually pretty keen on an open adoption. Given the choice, it's what I think we'd go with. All the research we can find seems to open adoptions being better for the child, as it can help answer medical history questions, as well as give the child the opportunity to hear why their birth mother gave them up directly from her, which (from what we can find) seems to generally-speaking lead to the child having a more healthy relationship with being adopted.

    Of course, open adoption is a spectrum, so we've had to talk a lot about where exactly on that spectrum we fall. The requirements the agencies we've found have have been safely within our comfort limits, because they never involve any unsupervised time or communication with the child, or often any time with the child at all.

    We intend to be fully honest with our kid about being adopted, what we don't want is confusion for the child if the birthmother and we have different values. To put it in an extreme example, if the mother was homophobic (this isn't a worry, as they'd be unlikely to pick us then, but it's illustrative) I wouldn't want my kid eating lunch with them every month, because that's a bad influence on my kid. And if it's one of our friends, all of whom I love dearly and think will be great influences on my children, my child will see them often, and I don't want my parenting choices (or their parenting choices!) to be constrained by any confusion my child may have over what "mother" means in this context. Because I signed up to raise a child with my husband, not with my husband and a third party. I don't know that I'm equipped for that.

    But I also know we're going to have to navigate a lot of adults that aren't used to seeing kids with two dads, and I want to try to avoid complicating that further if I can. So if my kid is in class with my friends' kids, and my friend was a surrogate for us, a teacher hearing them refer to "our mom" is going to complicate matters. If someone asks our kid "where's your mom?", it's a lot easier to teach a child how to react appropriately if they don't see their mom regularly.

    So for us, the comfort line has a lot to do with the role the mother plays in the child's life, not the child knowing about the mother or us talking to the mother. We'd even be ok with our kid talking with or spending time with the mother, as long as it's infrequently enough that the child never comes to think of her as a parent, and when anyone asks about their mother, the child intuitively knows that person is actually asking about their daddies.

    There's a lot of power and good that is done with having family structures that don't fit the expected mould, and I never want to imply otherwise. I think they're awesome. But after a lot of conversation about what we want and what we're comfortable with, we're trying to approximate that mould as best we can, to try and latch on to some of the privilege it grants.

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