Buckeye Jones

Is Artsandfaith.com dying?

59 posts in this topic

A&F was there for me 12 years ago, just as I was making a break from evangelicalism and flexing my newfound skepticism. It was a great time for me and as embarrassing as some of those early, awkward discussions would seem to me now, they were a big part of me finding a new vantage point outside the confines of church. 

Everyone has made much more cogent points than I can at the moment, but I think middle age has played a big factor in sapping the core A&F community. Facebook also stole some of the sense of immediacy and intimacy from smaller discussion groups like this one. But ultimately maybe the community always felt a little too insulated and circle jerkish to newcomers and outsiders. I know a few years ago my then-girlfriend joined, in order to participate in our marriage equality debate. I think she posted twice, lurked around for a while and then seemed to feel that the proceedings felt a little unfriendly to women. I know she wasn't the only one to ever get that impression here (and she was an extremely confident  academic, historian and debater-- hardly over-sensitive) I'm not sure if that criticism has any real merit, but it's out there. 

 

 

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I never know what to make of the "unfriendly to women" argument. I've enjoyed the contributions of various female members over the years, and don't recall anything particularly "unfriendly". (I do know that once or twice there have been discussions where someone tried to draw a gender-based line in the sand, e.g. the Fifty Shades of Grey thread, but apart from that...?)

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Interesting.  When I read Greg P's post an hour ago, the first thread I thought of was the 50 Shades of Grey thread.  I agree that there seemed to be a (as Peter put it) "line in the sand" moment, but going back to that thread and reading it from that particular post through to the end, really demonstrates some of the inherent risks of internet conversations.  To someone from the outside who doesn't know the personalities on these boards, some of the later posts in that thread are difficult to decipher as to whether the conversation is genuine - snarky - dismissive - or any other various interpretations (or misinterpretations) that come from a written word world.  It is so easy to confuse genuine, engaging talk, and end up here...

Definitely NSFW (or home around young ears)




 

Edited by John Drew

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On ‎5‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 1:08 PM, Joel C said:

One of the great things about A&F has always been the focused conversation between people who grow with each other, but one of the downsides of that is that new people are sort of ignored until they’ve put in some mileage. I know this idea has been rebuffed by some people in the past, but it was true for me when I first started contributing in 2006, and it was true after Berklee. I tried a few times with various conversations to get back into the swing of things, but never felt like I was able to get any traction, and so eventually I gave up. I’ve posted from time to time, and left updates about my artistic pursuits, but haven’t received much response. Nowadays, I check in from time to time to see what’s happening, but by and large only as an observer. 

I wouldn't rebuff that claim, Joel. A&F can be a tough community to join, and has probably been even tougher to do so in the past few years, as active conversation has been declining.

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On 5/21/2016 at 2:54 PM, Peter T Chattaway said:

I never know what to make of the "unfriendly to women" argument. I've enjoyed the contributions of various female members over the years, and don't recall anything particularly "unfriendly". 

The only thing to make of it, is to realize that very few women contribute regularly and that there might be some specific reasons for that, re: the tenor of conversations and the social dynamics at play. Maybe?  

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Well, yeah, obviously. And those specific reasons *are*...? People who say the website is "unfriendly to women" never seem to get beyond sweeping generalizations like that -- except in cases like the aforementioned Fifty Shades of Grey thread where a single woman draws a gender-based line in the sand and is hostile to any perspectives but her own (even to the point of dismissing the perspectives of other women who disagree with her... like the women who wrote and directed that movie).

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I'm not sure what the specific reasons are. Perhaps this is a valid place to start? 

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On May 21, 2016 at 9:54 AM, Greg P said:

and then seemed to feel that the proceedings felt a little unfriendly to women. I know she wasn't the only one to ever get that impression here (and she was an extremely confident  academic, historian and debater-- hardly over-sensitive) I'm not sure if that criticism has any real merit, but it's out there. 

 

It's probably worth noting that from time to time some of the "guys" here have lamented that this group wasn't attracting enough women.

There have also been women who have come on here and seemed to be involved in the conversations in good ways.  But they haven't really stayed though.....

 

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I signed up as "ralfy" in 2013. You'll find some remaining messages quoted here:

But for unknown reasons my account was banned and everything I posted was removed. I inquired but received no replies from the admin.

 

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