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[UPDATE] Women's and Men's chat

The MixThe Mix Posts: 2,446 Community Managers
Hey everyone,

For a fairly long while now, we've been running women's and men's Support Chats every two weeks on Tuesdays. As you may have noticed, we've been needing to cancel these sessions a fair bit recently, for a fairly simple reason - we don't regularly have the mods needed to run them.

Rather than needing to cancel on you folks in the way we are, we've decided to put together a new schedule for these sessions. It's important to us that we don't say we're going to do something and then not deliver, so for the forseeable future, these sessions will run on Tuesdays if and when we have the right cover to do so. You can find out on the day (Tuesday) if the sessions that night are Women's and Men's, or a standard Support Chat. :)

In the meantime, we'll be exploring whether these sessions are a useful space to be running. We've noticed that Men's Chat is used much less than Women's Chat, for example. It might also be that we can focus our resources on providing another chat that might be more useful (e.g. themed chats around a specific topic).

We're also mindful that we want the community to reflect the fluidity of gender, and so gendered spaces might not be the way forward. We do say in the descriptions of these chats that they're open to those with a non-binary gender identity, but that's not clear in the names, and it may be that a different approach is needed.

For now, we'd love to hear your thoughts on how you feel about Men's Chat and Women's chat. Do you find those spaces useful? Would you prefer a standard Support Chat? Are you not bothered? Let us know. :)

Mike & the team

[UPDATE] Women's and Men's chat 9 votes

I find gendered spaces useful
55%
JellyelephantShaunieAbigailOnlyAlexKasa2103 5 votes
I think a single Support Chat is more useful
22%
AidanLaine 2 votes
Meh, I'm not bothered
22%
Butterfly23davcr0ck 2 votes
I have another idea... (comment below)
0%
We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.

Comments

  • JellyelephantJellyelephant Bpd bitch ✌🏼 Posts: 674 Incredible Poster
    I find gendered spaces useful
    I like womens chats and i find them good... sometimes I have things I only wish to talk about to other females tbh... and makes me feel safer. I would be sad not to have womens chat 
    The sun will rise and we will try again 
    The Mix
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 6,169 The Mix Elder
    edited June 4
    I find gendered spaces useful
    What's your reason for having to gender-specific chats?

    I personally prefer speaking with females. But also males, when knowing them. So I have found it useful in that sense. 

    but the site can be anonymous so could be speaking to any gender without them "needing" to reveal it by chat. And that's why people like being anonymous because no one's pre judging you by a particular identity and space should feel comfortable to say whatever on mind. I know some things may think yeah rather speak with specific gender about that but if being critical its anonymous site so should be able to speak to whoever Because no one has to say their gender to you. (Right?)

     I'm probably just overthinking
    Think I'm in critical mood lol I'm not actually bothered either way lol
    “If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care” Marvin J. Ashton
    The Mix
  • The MixThe Mix Posts: 2,446 Community Managers
    Not at all @Shaunie - critical thinking is a good thing. :) It helps us reach the best ideas.

    What's your reason for having to gender-specific chats?

    The reason they started was actually because a focus group of young men said they'd be more likely to chat in a male space. This was part of a project we did a while ago to try and get more guys using The Mix (both as users and volunteers), since the gender split is currently heavily weighted towards female.

    So when we created Men's Chat, we created Women's Chat to also offer that space to those identifying as female. So Women's Chat was more of a way to balance out the Men's space and make sure everyone had somewhere to go for Support.

    Given the Men's space isn't used too much, there may be an argument that we need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new way of helping them come forward to talk. That's probably another conversation, but those are the reasons these spaces exist. :)

    but the site can be anonymous so could be speaking to any gender without them "needing" to reveal it by chat. And that's why people like being anonymous because no one's pre judging you by a particular identity and space should feel comfortable to say whatever on mind. I know some things may think yeah rather speak with specific gender about that but if being critical its anonymous site so should be able to speak to whoever Because no one has to say their gender to you. (Right?)

    This is certainly true - because of anonymity, the gendered spaces aren't (and can never be) 100%. I guess the aim is more to provide an environment where you can be fairly confident that you're in a room of people of the same/a similar gender. :)

    I like womens chats and i find them good... sometimes I have things I only wish to talk about to other females tbh... and makes me feel safer. I would be sad not to have womens chat 

    Thanks @jellyelephant - that's really good to know, and you're definitely not alone there.

    Again, we won't change anything without serious consideration. We may not do what the popular opinion is (there are lots of other things for us to consider), but all of this feedback is a big help while we weigh everything up. :)

    Thank you both,
    Mike & the team
    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 6,169 The Mix Elder
    I find gendered spaces useful
    The Mix said:
    Not at all @Shaunie - critical thinking is a good thing. :) It helps us reach the best ideas.

    What's your reason for having to gender-specific chats?

    The reason they started was actually because a focus group of young men said they'd be more likely to chat in a male space. This was part of a project we did a while ago to try and get more guys using The Mix (both as users and volunteers), since the gender split is currently heavily weighted towards female.

    So when we created Men's Chat, we created Women's Chat to also offer that space to those identifying as female. So Women's Chat was more of a way to balance out the Men's space and make sure everyone had somewhere to go for Support.

    Given the Men's space isn't used too much, there may be an argument that we need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new way of helping them come forward to talk. That's probably another conversation, but those are the reasons these spaces exist. :)
    Ooh thats interesting. I like the idea now. Think should keep it 
    “If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care” Marvin J. Ashton
    The Mix
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,237 Fanatical Poster
    edited June 5
    I think a single Support Chat is more useful
    As it's an online space, there's no way to verify somebody's gender anyway. And in some contexts, maybe
    with female survivors of abuse
    for example, it may be male bodies that a female would rather avoid- and gender is not the same as sex.

    I think it would be unfair to offer a women-only chat and not a men-only chat alongside it, as men still need a supportive space. However, men do use supportive spaces differently to, and won't seek support in as many cases as, women. 

    Certainly if a support space is nearly empty (or even is empty) a prospective male user could be put off talking about their problems there, so the attendance is an issue in that regard too.

    As I understand:
    • Women should have their own supportive space
    • A male space should be offered too
    • But the male space isn't as helpful, or as regularly attended as the female space
    • And you can't treat gender the same as sex
    • Or ensure the opposite gender keep out of online spaces anyway
    The Mix
  • The MixThe Mix Posts: 2,446 Community Managers
    Thanks for your thoughts here @Aidan. :)

    It's important to us (and probably everyone else here) that the community is inclusive. That doesn't mean not having spaces only for certain people, but it does mean making sure everyone has a place to go. As you pointed out, it might be unfair to give women a group chat but not guys.

    Certainly if a support space is nearly empty (or even is empty) a prospective male user could be put off talking about their problems there, so the attendance is an issue in that regard too.

    This is something we've been trying to grapple with for a while. No people usually means there's no appeal to using the space, but also no appeal to use the space means no people. Chicken, egg... ;)

    We're working on ways to cut through this, and we're also considering whether community-based services are just an inefficient way to encourage the average guy to seek support for themselves.

    We'll continue to have discussions about this. In the meantime, feel free to keep the opinions/feedback coming. :)

    Mike & the team
    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,237 Fanatical Poster
    I think a single Support Chat is more useful
    We're working on ways to cut through this, and we're also considering whether community-based services are just an inefficient way to encourage the average guy to seek support for themselves.

    Actually this is something I hadn't considered myself at the time: whether or not it's actually effective, it's known that most males would prefer to problem-solve by themselves. That independence and isolation, helpful or not, could sometimes be all they have.
    The Mix
  • The MixThe Mix Posts: 2,446 Community Managers
    Aidan said:
    We're working on ways to cut through this, and we're also considering whether community-based services are just an inefficient way to encourage the average guy to seek support for themselves.

    Actually this is something I hadn't considered myself at the time: whether or not it's actually effective, it's known that most males would prefer to problem-solve by themselves. That independence and isolation, helpful or not, could sometimes be all they have.

    For sure, @Aidan. Almost all support organisations like The Mix are female-dominated, and it's well known that females tend to exhibit more help-seeking behaviours. It's a tough one to crack, so we'll keep working on new ideas in the background. :)

    Mike & the team
    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
  • The MixThe Mix Posts: 2,446 Community Managers
    Building on this a bit... it would be interesting to hear from those of you who value WC about what you value in that session and what you get out of it.

    @Jellyelephant you mentioned feeling safer, and there being some things you wouldn't feel comfortable discussing with guys around. If you don't mind sharing, what sort of things would you feel more comfortable talking about in a female space?

    Likewise @Shaunie if that's also applicable to you. You mentioned preferring talking to females, so it would be interesting to know why that is.

    @Abi and @Kasa2103 you also voted in favour of those sessions, so feel free to share your perspective if you like. :)

    Thanks everyone,
    Mike & the team
    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
  • JellyelephantJellyelephant Bpd bitch ✌🏼 Posts: 674 Incredible Poster
    I find gendered spaces useful
    The Mix said:
    Building on this a bit... it would be interesting to hear from those of you who value WC about what you value in that session and what you get out of it.

    @Jellyelephant you mentioned feeling safer, and there being some things you wouldn't feel comfortable discussing with guys around. If you don't mind sharing, what sort of things would you feel more comfortable talking about in a female space?

    Likewise @Shaunie if that's also applicable to you. You mentioned preferring talking to females, so it would be interesting to know why that is.

    @Abi and @Kasa2103 you also voted in favour of those sessions, so feel free to share your perspective if you like. :)

    Thanks everyone,
    Mike & the team
    I think there’s different aspects that I’d prefer a women’s only group for.

    the first being obviously the sexual health side: so I’d prefer to talk with other women if I’m discussing periods, sexual health, sex problems, contraception and relationships etc 

    the other part is gonna make me sound mean lol but basically I am sure many of you know that I have experienced sexual violence, as much as I know logically I shouldn’t be scared of men I am... and I do feel safer in a women only space. I will probs get hate for this but it’s just how I feel.
    The sun will rise and we will try again 
    chubbydumplingLaineThe Mix
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 6,169 The Mix Elder
    edited June 22
    I find gendered spaces useful
    Deleted. - dont think was helpful or i gave my point in way wanted lol. 
    Dont know how to word.

    But the idea of having male group chat to get males to use more was a good idea and mostly why i choose that option after you said that. Tho do have other reasons that i dont think can word correctly so probably just not say at all aha
    “If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care” Marvin J. Ashton
    The Mix
  • davcr0ckdavcr0ck South Oxfordshire (homophobic Oxfordshire) Posts: 730 Incredible Poster
    Meh, I'm not bothered
    I would be fine with an set gender chat or without one but I can't seem to get the chats to work for me at all so I've kind of given up on chats 
    Love is love and everyone is accepting and can share their issues with no judge from me and I try to help 
    The Mix
  • The MixThe Mix Posts: 2,446 Community Managers
    The Mix said:
    Building on this a bit... it would be interesting to hear from those of you who value WC about what you value in that session and what you get out of it.

    @Jellyelephant you mentioned feeling safer, and there being some things you wouldn't feel comfortable discussing with guys around. If you don't mind sharing, what sort of things would you feel more comfortable talking about in a female space?

    Likewise @Shaunie if that's also applicable to you. You mentioned preferring talking to females, so it would be interesting to know why that is.

    @Abi and @Kasa2103 you also voted in favour of those sessions, so feel free to share your perspective if you like. :)

    Thanks everyone,
    Mike & the team
    I think there’s different aspects that I’d prefer a women’s only group for.

    the first being obviously the sexual health side: so I’d prefer to talk with other women if I’m discussing periods, sexual health, sex problems, contraception and relationships etc 

    the other part is gonna make me sound mean lol but basically I am sure many of you know that I have experienced sexual violence, as much as I know logically I shouldn’t be scared of men I am... and I do feel safer in a women only space. I will probs get hate for this but it’s just how I feel.
    Thanks for this @Jellyelephant - this is super helpful.

    The thing about sexual violence or trauma affecting how comfortable you are around men couldn't be more reasonable, so don't worry about sounding mean. :) We're mindful that this is one of the biggest reasons female-only spaces can be valuable.

    davcr0ck said:
    I would be fine with an set gender chat or without one but I can't seem to get the chats to work for me at all so I've kind of given up on chats 
    Thanks for your input anyway @davcr0ck - it's still useful to know whether these spaces would be useful for you, even if you haven't managed to use them properly yet. :)

    Shaunie said:
    Deleted. - dont think was helpful or i gave my point in way wanted lol. 
    Dont know how to word.

    But the idea of having male group chat to get males to use more was a good idea and mostly why i choose that option after you said that. Tho do have other reasons that i dont think can word correctly so probably just not say at all aha
    It would be great to hear your other opinions @Shaunie, even if you can't quite think of how to word them. Feel free to PM us if you'd be more comfortable doing that. :) Either way, knowing what you did say is helpful, so thank you.

    We'll keep thinking about this one. In the meantime, if anyone has anything else they'd like to add, please do - the more the merrier when it comes to feedback.

    Big thanks to those who have offered their thoughts. :) It is appreciated and it is useful!

    Mike & the team
    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
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