On holding back the tide

I was recently participating in a now-locked thread on ADISC (starpointrune et al., 2022). As you can see, there are no longer any posts from me in that thread. This is because my response to the thread started, as close as I can remember, as follows:

Just as a heads up, "biological males" is not the preferred terminology. Since your question related directly to penises, "people with penises" would have been fine. :) [then my answer to the question]

Within 12 hours, I had two replies, one telling me that "biological male" was "scientifically and medically accurate" and another one telling me that we're "not all members of the new faith." The concept of monovariate "biological sex" is not scientifically or medically accurate, and this is not a matter of "faith"; it's been the accepted scientific status quo for close to a century.

As of this morning, ADISC moderators have deleted my post and the two posts responding to me and have locked the thread. This is better than simply deleting my post would have been, but I think it's a problem. It's not a problem for me, as such — one deleted post? I'll live — but it is a problem.

To the best of my ability to determine, in terms of English-language AB/DL discussion communities with a relatively sensible community and a viably large user base and activity level, there is essentially a duopoly: ADISC and Daily Diapers. I have been aware of ADISC to varying degrees since it was reconstituted from TBDL.org in circa January 2008 (DomainTools, 2021), and in my experience, for that entire time, ADISC has been the more philosophically and politically conservative of the two, including after it became an 18+ community in ~2012. This comes out in a few ways.

For example, assessing the two communities through a philosophical lens, DD maintains a forum specifically for the discussion of untraining and incontinence-by-choice, Incontinent-Desires, a subforum of Incontinence – Medical. ADISC, on the other hand, is, to my understanding, explicitly anti-untraining (Moo, 2019), and takes the position that "[d]eliberately making yourself incontinent counts as self-harm" (Moo, 2008/2022).

DD maintains a forum specifically for the discussion of LGBTQ+ issues, Rainbow Diapers. ADISC's closest equivalent is either Sexuality or Sissy / Girls. This places gender-diverse members in an unenviable position:

  • Sexuality is an obvious choice because cisgender analyses of trans people have often framed us as a kind of Ultra Gay, hence our political alliance with queer cis people. However, ADISC's Sexuality forum "is for discussion of sexual topics and kinks outside of AB/DL," so if we go there we essentially accept characterising ourselves as inherently sexual.
  • Sissy / Girls is "For girls, LGs and sissies to discuss activities, clothes, gender identity, etc." It is the only ADISC forum which is explicitly specialised in gender identity. This puts trans women in the unenviable position of being grouped with sissies — we are very different! — and excludes trans men completely, because they aren't girls, LGs, or sissies.
  • DD's Site Rules explicitly include "Do not use hate speech[; t]his includes but is not limited to homophobia, racism and sexism" (Bettypooh, 2014). ADISC's Rules do not have any explicit provisions or implicit effects in that direction, and are limited to, "Be polite; be a positive influence; respect the law, respect yourself" (Moo, 2008/2022).

    DD maintains a couple of general discussion forums where political discussion seems to be at least viable — although relatively infrequent — specifically Scoop the Poop and The Rest of your Life!. ADISC previously maintained a Politics forum, but has since shut it down and imposed a site-wide "no politics" rule (Moo, 2022).

    I do not intend to convey the meaning that ADISC is institutionally bigoted. I have had the strong impression that ADISC moderators have used the latitude they are permitted in order to engage in relatively gentle enforcement. I also believe ADISC's policy direction is founded in the same laudable impulse which led to ADISC becoming an adults-only community, i.e., harm reduction.

    However, ADISC leadership's approach to this seems to be, more or less, holding the community to the political centre and holding that centre in the same place. I have concerns about whether this approach will be tenable in the long term; to remain in political stasis is to move politically without acknowledging it.

    "There are two demographics: normal and political." When I appeared as a cisgender man, I was normal. Now that I am openly a transgender woman, despite not having actually essentially changed as a person, I have been made political. Not forbidding hate speech, but forbidding politics, creates a moving and steadily tightening limit on the degree to which those considered "political" are afforded basic human respect, and their right to identify the absence of that respect.

    Over time, as more and more people who become eligible for membership either are born into a "political" demographic or consider that demographic to be unquestionably "normal," the community constricts its own inflow of membership and cuts off its own oxygen, losing its relevance and eventually its operational viability.

    I am not asking ADISC to do anything in particular. That's for them to decide. I just thought this was worth saying.

    References

    Bettypooh (2014, August 1). Site rules. Daily Diapers.

    DomainTools (2021, November 8). Whois record for ADisc.org. DomainTools.com.

    Moo (2022, January 23). The rules. ADISC. (Original post published 15 February 2008.)

    Moo (2019, May 4). Discussions — Incontinence — Do NOT try to become incontinent. ADISC.

    Moo (2022, January 23). About us — News — New rule: No politics. ADISC.

    starpointrune, lonnie, Chosen, VDP, fleckothefennec, TinkleTinkleLittleStar, & KitsuneFox (2022, February 22). Discussions — Diaper talk — Question for biological males. ADISC.org.