It started when one of the mods started a thread the day before about when it was okay for men to comment on women’s appearance, which she indicated at the top was a test. Evidently, from later comments she made in the thread, she had a specific male ProgMo in mind (I don’t know who) who had evidently violated this rule. It then morphed into having to do with not just commenting on a woman’s appearance to commenting on her body, and there was much vitriol and venting of spleens, and people left the group (or were removed — I don’t know). And people became angry at me when I gave the correct answer (“Never,” which was given in the thread as the correct answer), but also described the experience whereby I had learned that that was the correct answer (the experience when I was banninated from FMHS), and then someone told me I was “being an ass,” and I said that saying that to me was “being a jerk,” and then the walls started falling down on me. I started asking for clarification of this rule and describing in useful detail the process of my bannination from FMHS. And this really pissed a bunch of people off, and nobody would give me any clarification other than “read this thread.”
So I read the whole thread, more than 500 comments. Several prominent progressive Mormon men participated in the thread, and were wrong, even when they were listening and trying to please the women dominating the thread. Several of those women commented how there were plenty of hints that this thread was a trap, and that they shouldn’t have expected to be okay in the thread, and how dumb they were to expect otherwise.
And, after responding to what I’d seen in the whole thread, I decided to take a break from the thread. In the mean time, a number of women in the thread told me they wanted me to just stop, including the mod who started it all. I’m not good at being silenced. I did get some useful pieces of feedback that didn’t really apply to what I was doing, but did give me some new insights, but none from the women who were just climbing my frame. One of the male mods tagged me in a comment, and I responded to him and some of the other things that’d been said, including my protest of the original mod using the group for a personal vendetta. And then, some time later, I got a PM from another mod who hadn’t participated in the thread, telling me that, since I’d been asked to leave the thread and commented in it again, I was kicked out of the group, and could reapply in 30 days. We had a little more conversation after that, and I decided that if the mods as a group are okay with what the first mod had done, then I wouldn’t be back.
I’m not going to name names. I can’t quote any of what anybody said to illustrate my points, since I can’t get to the thread due to my bannination. That’s why this is my version of what happened, not some objective accounting of exactly what happened. I’m not okay with being in a space where anybody can dictate how participants can think, or where there is only one allowed opinion. I prefer liberalism of the “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” variety to this intolerant, doctrinaire and dictatorial variety. As such, I’m going to recommend that people in the Hub search their souls and seriously consider leaving if they don’t approve of mod behavior like this. Specifically, I don’t care for the trap thread, and I don’t care for being banninated with no warning that even a calm comment in the thread would result in bannination. When I was banninated from FMHS, I was warned that repeating my horrible crime would result in bannination, but then I didn’t repeat the crime and was removed anyhow. That was a bit crappy IMO, but not like skipping the warning. The only invocation of the <mod> designation happened way up in the thread by the original mod, who said that personal attacks weren’t okay and would be deleted (which didn’t seem to have happened, as I reviewed the entire thread). I don’t expect mods, or anybody else to be perfect, and power does tend to lead to abuse of power. My problem will be if the other mods just go along with it, without creating some kind of process to prevent these abuses from happening again. The one that notified me of the ban indicated that this wasn’t likely to happen.
I am considering opening a new Mormon discussion group that would be open to a wide variety of opinions, with no enforced orthodoxy or ideological monoculture.