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Welcome to American Girl Collectors, where Collectors of all Kinds are welcome! We're the Socially Conscious, Troublesome American Girl Message Board you've probably heard of. We are both for American Girl collectors and are an openly Social Justice Focused/Oppressed Peoples First board. Please read the rules, and once you can confirm you understand the rules, then contact staff to obtain membership.

A situation has come to the attention of the mod staff, which has collectively led to the the unfortunate decision to restrict access by outsiders to any of AGC's content. Until we can be certain that we as a board are left well enough alone, we will not be accepting any new members that have not contacted a moderator beforehand. Guests and non-members will not be able to read any information beyond rules and announcements. All unsolicited/non-invited applicants will be automatically rejected.
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Announcement, 6/15/17: We are working on some adjustments to our rules, as well as a central post for Rules Updates and Clarifications. The post is here. This is also a reminder that all rules apply to all members from the first moment you are admitted.
Announcement, 11/15/17: A new rule has been added in "Rules of Self Expression: Gender, Race, Religion, and The Like" articulating to that we will not allow Native-mimicking/culture disrespective crafting or displays of any kind, here or elsewhere. The full new rule can be seen here: Why Culturally Appropriative/Non-Native Craft Is Not Allowed
Announcement, 1/3/18: Luciana Vega has been added to the AG Pictionary! Please refresh yourself on the rules for the Pictionary before posting. We have also included Bald Dolls, CYO, and Boy Dolls!
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Rules of Self Expression: Gender, Race, Religion, and The Like; So y'all know how we roll when it comes to Social Justice Goodness
Topic Started: Sep 21 2014, 09:10 PM (2,286 Views)
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This is our master post on the Rules of Self Expression: Gender, Race, Religion, etc. This is being properly broken up into sections as of June 15th, 2017.

Notably, every section applies from the moment you are a member, Day One. We wholly understand that this may be your first time being exposed to Social Justice and the language, terms, and interconnections, especially if you are on the younger side of the fandom. We are willing to, on various personal levels, teach and educate you out of your privileges and social mistakes; none of us are perfect.

However, we expect acceptance from the first day, bigotry to be corrected as soon as it is pointed out to you, and continued education and correction as you learn.

No one expects anyone to know everything, but we expect you to learn properly and continuously.

If you do not feel that this is a board for you because of our positions on this topic, then please do not join. Certain things are not up for debate.
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Freedom of Gender and Sexual Expression

Here at AG Collectors, we love all the patches in our POP QUILTBAG:

Open relationships


Another term that is starting to gain prominence is MOGAI:: Marginalized Orientations, Gender identities, And Intersex. (This was coined by a person in the community.)

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People come in all spots on the spectrum. People are who they are. People ID as they like. And you don't get to call it icky, gross, wrong, or immoral/unethical. If someone talks about their boyfriend/girlfriend/SO or that they're Trans- or inter- or bi-, it's fine and acceptable and all right.

No one is allowed to make anyone feel bad for who they are. No one's going to post about what they do to be happy in the sheets or what's between their legs in detail, and you don't get to raise hackles if a man says he has a boyfriend or a person says zie was MAAB or a person says they are dating/involved with more than one person openly.

This is not up for debate. We don't want anyone feeling they can't talk openly about who they are and who they do and don't love (within the legal limits of the law.) If you don't like the idea that there are people in this world who aren't monogamous, cisgendered, and heterosexual, this is not the board for you.

At the same time, should you CHOOSE to talk about your sexuality and/or expression of sexuality, please use sensible restrictions. Don't go into more detail about your sexual desires/philosophies/kinks/whatever anymore than there is a need for basic information to others. Separate your sexuality from your expression thereof. "I am pansexual/bisexual/a dom/a sub/into drag" is fine. Anything beyond that? Can border on inappropriate. As biased as it is, there are people under age of consent here on this board and we could all get into a lot of trouble if there's too much information. When in doubt? Don't be afraid to skip it.

It's easy enough to understand that sexuality as a identification and going into any detail on how said sexuality is expressed physically and/or publicly are two different things, and the second is NOT COOL on a board where there are people who are teenagers.

If your personal sexual kinks--kinks, not sexuality there's a difference--are so damn important to your interaction on a doll-focused forum that you can't go without talking about it without acting like you're as oppressed as people with socially oppressed sexualities, then this is not the board for you.
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Race, Ethnicity, and Culture

The main rule is very simple. We will not allow racism.

In a more detailed sense? If you do something bigoted or racist, any member may call you on your racist actions and statements and you will be confronted. Now, folk may think that this is just the overt, "I hate other people outside my own race" racism, but no. We operate on the principle of institutional racism: power + prejudice. Racism is not just being mean to other people about their race, it's having the unspoken or spoken idea that society in some way backs up what you say and/or do.

Furthermore, racism is not in your intent. As one of our great friends was quoted in saying:
Racism is not in your intent.

Your intent is immaterial in how racist your actions are.

This isn’t about you BEING a racist. It’s about you DOING A THING that is racist.

Your intent doesn’t change it. Your ignorance of its meaning doesn’t change it. It’s got nothing to do with you as a person and everything to do with the meaning of your action in the context of sociocultural history.


Intent is not magic. Just because you didn't mean to be racist (or sexist, or bigoted) doesn't mean the action wasn't racist, and your best bet when you learn that something you did or said is racist is to be quiet for a little while and learn why people are mad. We're not snapping your head off for our own amusement. Again, to modify a quote from Moni: It’s not your fault that the culture of your upbringing has handed you Bigoted Shit Stew on a silver platter and said ‘eat it.’ And it's not your fault that you did eat it without knowing better. But it’s still bullshit and it’s still hurtful, and it's your fault if, when you learn the stew is tainted, you go back for seconds.

You have the Internet at your disposal. You can become educated in the ways that racism is hurtful. It's not on our members to teach you everything every single time.

And when someone says your pants are down, the answer is not to bend over and wag your ass at us.

There will be open discussions on race and ethnicity beyond just "let's all get along, bring the diversity pool, ebony and ivory, won't you have a Coke and a Smile, happy joy let's just be colorblind." And if you say something that gets you snapped at or corrected, well maybe you'll learn from your mistakes. In fact, we expect it.

Furthermore, the first mumble of us being "tumblr SJWs" or something else equally dismissive, and the mods will come at you with the force of angry hungry tigers. And you're steak.
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There are tons of faiths around the world--Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist, Pagan, Traditional Ethnic, Hindu, and on and on. We expect everyone to respect everyone's faith, lack thereof, or questioning. Faith is not a weapon, and we don't want you to use it as such. Therefore, the following rules are in effect.

* You are free to openly talk about your faith. You may even teach about it or discuss it (e.g. you do an album about Easter and are free to talk about how Christians view this as the resurrection; you post about Hannukkah and explain the background of the faith; you discuss Ostara and the significance of the Vernal Equinox to you).

* Prayer requests are expressly forbidden. If you're having a hard time about something and you want others to think about you, that's fine. But you can't say "Please pray for me!" or "Please light candles!" or the like. Not everyone prays or light candles. At the same time, it's considered rude to openly offer to do so for people. "I'll keep you in my thoughts" is a lot more general and better accepted.

* Proselytizing is strictly forbidden. Talking about your faith is one thing. Trying to get people to convert to yours (or acting as if your faith is the only right one and everyone else is deceived) is wrong. "Witnessing" is not allowed.
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The Like
Everything not covered above!

If a point here needs further expansion, it will be expanded on in its own reply to this topic. We will note that at the time of the expansion.

Ableism: We will not tolerate ableism in any form. Disabilities--mental and physical--are not to be invalidated. We also have policies in place to minimize issues for people with visual disabilities, such as (but not limited to) a lack of font modification/coloring, tagging or indicating sarcasm and the general you, and putting most GIFs and videos behind a spoiler space.

Classism: We will not tolerate classism. Please don't brag about how much money you have or how easily you can throw it around, and don't assume things about the poor or less well to do or that money is easy for everyone. Haul posts are fine. Saying how much you spent is not.

Language Regulation: The mods all speak English primarily, so all posts should be in English. But feel free to use other languages here and there at any time, as long as there is a translation so the mods will understand. As for curse words: The general curses are allowed here. All of them. We can say damn, shit, fuck, bitch, ass, and all that. They are not censored. You may censor yourself, but don't censor others when they use them as parts of their speech. People will curse, cuss, and use "bad words." Do not tell people not to curse, but you can tell people not to curse at you. Note the difference between "fuck this" and "fuck you." There is a difference if they are cussing at you, and that is mod-worthy. Don't report a post for saying "what the shit," for example. This is not up for debate. If liberal, open cursing bothers you to the point you can't participate in this board, then this is not the board for you.

Sexism: None of it. We are a feminist-friendly/sexist free community. We support women, and this means all women. We love all our Sisters, not just our Cis-ters. We also don't cotton to opinions that lead to the oppression of women--this covers a lot of things.

Sizeism: No one will be made to feel bad because of their size, no matter which part of the scale they fall on.
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Social Justice Definitions
This mostly covers things that are not often defined by most boards or people.
Definitions are added without updates to the official rules. We don't expect you to know everything, but we expect you to reference.

Aboriginal: While often used to describe native peoples of the Americans and other locations, this is generally used as a ethnic descriptor to refer to the native indigenous people of mainland Australia and the island of Tasmania, or Australian Aboriginals/Indigenous Australians. Notably, some Aboriginal people and white Australians refer to Aboriginals as "black", but this is distinct from black people who are part of the African Diaspora.

Ableism: Prejudice against people with physical or mental disabilities, including mental health. Saying that someone's depression is all in their head, that it's okay for a person to take a handicapped space in a parking lot "for a quick run in," or asking a disabled person "what happened to them" or expecting them to explain/justify their illnesses to you to justify themselves is a form of ableism. This also includes using words like "lame" as a negative, because it associates disability to negative ideas.

Agender: Not identifying with any gender.

Androgyne: having both masculine and feminine qualities.

Asexual: having no sexual attraction to anyone. Sometimes shortened to "ace."

Asian: Peoples descended from various Asian countries and cultures. Too often this is limited to the Big Three of Korea, China, and Japan--however, there are dozens of countries in Asian and Asians are a varied, multi-faceted people. Asian includes but is not limited to peoples of South Asia such as Indian, some peoples living in places such as Russia (but not all Russians--be clear!), people of the Philippines, and the Asian Diaspora.

Bigender: Identifying as two genders; e.g. both male and female.

Binary: Dividing things into only two options, especially only male or female.

Biphobia: Prejudice against bisexual or non-monosexual people. The idea that a bisexual man is a gay man who won't come out fully and so isn't worth dating or that a bisexual woman must be doing it for men's attention is a form of biphobia.

Bigotry vs Prejudice: Prejudice is the disliking of any race, ethnicity, faith, sexuality, race, etc. Here, we consider bigotry as institutional--the idea that bigotry is not just thoughts and/or actions, but doing those things with the society backing up those acts. Bigoted acts are both overt (telling someone their faith is wrong or evil) and covert (such as the lack of representation of other races in the GotY line).

Cisgendered: Where physical sex and/or assigned gender align in a person. If you were assumed female at birth and you ID as a girl, you are cisgendered. Or, as the flippant way goes, when the doctor said "It's a X" they happened to be right. Often abbreviated as "cis."

Classism: The social oppression that promotes the rich or well to do at the expense of the poor. The idea that the poor don't work "as hard" or the rich deserve more because they "earned it" is a form of classism.

Colorism: The social bigotry that people who appear lighter in skin tone and coloring are more "civilized", more socially acceptable, and/or prettier or more attractive than darker toned people.

Examples include the prominence of skin-bleaching, the perception that PoC that are mixed with white are "better" than others who are not, the inability for darker people to find makeup that matches their tones outside of specialty lines, that the only or most acceptable way to be biracial is to be half (or more) white, "good hair" idealization, fetishistic desire of mixed children (often in an expectation of European traits mitigating PoC traits), and keeping the images of PoC in "diversity" more Eurocentric (such as only showing or offering PoC representation in tan or lighter tones, avoiding the darker end of the tone spectrum in doll character representation, most Black actresses of note being light skinned, or pushing light-skinned narratives over darker-skinned narratives). This is not exclusive to the African Diaspora, Latina cultures, or South/SE Asian cultures, but is very prominent in them and others. This can also include, in European/white cultures, the dominance of blonde/light eyed combinations, with little representation of more "swarthy" white peoples (very little representation of brown hair/brown eyes/more olive undertones).

Demisexual: Needing some sort of emotional bond before feeling attraction to someone. While many people may think this applies to anyone, it's not quite the same. Demisexuals don't think, for example "hey that random person off the street" is sexually desirable. They have to get to know you to want you; they can't just want you off the bat. More here: http://www.asexualityarchive.com/under-the-ace-umbrella/

Diaspora: Peoples living from or descended from peoples who are not living in what is considered their homeland or place of origin, generally because people were taken from the lands against their will or forced to leave them. For example, the African Diaspora includes Black Americans, Afro-Carribeans, and English Blacks, who are often the descendants of the victims of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade; the Jewish Diaspora includes American Jewish people who are often the descendants of people who fled Europe during the Holocaust or were forced out of the Middle East; Syrian Diaspora includes Syrian refugees fleeing the current Syrian conflict; the Armenian Diaspora was formed in part as a result of the Armenian Genocide in the 1910s.

Genderfluid: Identifying as varying genders. Some people may feel one gender under one circumstance and another under another.

Genderqueer: Outside of gender binaries. Sometimes called "non-binary."

Gender Neutral Pronouns: "He" and "she" are gendered pronouns. Gender neutral pronouns assume no gender and thus cover nonbinary genders. Some of these are the singular "they", "zie", and "xie." You should use the pronouns someone asks for, which are listed in their profile.

Heterosexualism: Actions, statements, and prejudices that promote heterosexuality (specifically, male + female) over other sexualities. Also called Heteronormativity.

Hispanic: Peoples descended from or of the cultures of places that historically have spoken Spanish languages--such as Mexico, places in Central America, some Carribean countries, and some places in South America. This does not include places that speak Portuguese. See also: Latinx. The terms are not interchangeable, but can be merged--for example, a person from Mexico is Hispanic and Latinx.

Intent: is not magic. Just because you didn't mean to hit someone in the face didn't mean we didn't get hit. See more below.

Intergender: Not gendered as either male or female, but somewhere in between.

Intersex: Where the physical body is not easily slotted into preconceived notions of "male" or "female".

Kyriarchy: The interlocking connection of prejudices, privileges, and oppressions in human society.

Latinx: Latin American peoples--people descended from or of the cultures of places such as Mexico, Central America, some Carribean countries, and South America. This does not include European Spanish or European Portuguese, but does include peoples that speak the language. The X is often used to make the term gender neutral as opposed to Latino/Latina. See also: Hispanic. The terms are not interchangeable, but can be merged--for example, a person from Mexico is Hispanic and Latinx.

Majority vs. Minority: Majority status means that a person has more social position in the society at large; minority status means that a person has less social position in the society at large. This is not strictly by numbers, but by the power a person holds in a given position in the kyriarchy of the society they are part of. (For example, while white people were and still are not a numerical majority in South Africa, they still maintain a social majority in many positions of power and clout, leaving others such as native Africans in minority status.) Minority status can apply to anyone who does not hold social power in the society they live and interact in.

Mestizo: The term traditionally used in Spain, the Philippines, and parts of Central America, especially in Belize and Latin America, which originally meant a person of combined European and Amerindian or Pacific Islander descent, regardless of where the person was born. Nowadays, particularly in Latin America, the term has become more of a cultural term, with many Latin people preferring the term.

Middle Eastern: Peoples of a region between Africa, Europe, and Central Asia. This includes but is not limited to people that are Turkish, Persian, Chenchen, Afghani, the current Egyptian people, Arabian, ethnic Caucasians (NOT White Europeans), and Armenians. While many are known for being Muslim, not all are. Do not call people Muslim/Arabic if you mean Middle Eastern.

Misogynoir: The combination of anti-black racism and anti-woman sexism that affects the perception and acceptance of Black women in society, especially Western Society.

A combination of the terms "misogyny" and "noir" (meaning black in French) created by Moya Bailey, misogynoir explains how various aspects of mainstream White-focused feminism may not address issues that apply to black women and may, in fact, be actively oppressive to black women. Black women are hit by a mix of sexism and racism in a way that mainstream White women/most white-focused feminist problems generally are not. This is exclusively a term for the misogyny/racism combination against black women. You can learn more about it here: http://www.gradientlair.com/post/84107309247/define-misogynoir-anti-black-misogyny-moya-bailey-coined and here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misogynoir While sexism and patriarchal attitudes is a problem across all races, the unique complicated situation of black women is defined by this term. Misogyny dehumanizes women in, general. "Anti-Black misogyny (which functions because of racism, sexism and White supremacy) makes Black women “not human” and thereby worthy of hatred and abuse yet White women the standard of humanity that Black women should aspire to." (http://www.gradientlair.com/post/60973580823/general-misogyny-versus-misogynoir)

An example of misgynoir being different from white-focused misogyny: Much of mainstream feminism emphasizes the idea that girls should avoid being pink "princesses" and wanting to be extremely "girly" as, historically, white girls and women have been placed into the gender role of extreme femininity, leading to a lack of opportunities as they were considered too "fragile" or "ladylike" to participate. This is oppressive and limiting. However, many black girls and women are stereotyped as "masculine" or manly in their actions, unfeminine, or "beasts of burden"--they were not given chances to be fragile and historically have rarely been seen as femme. Therefore, a black woman or girl who is overly femme and girly and princess-like, embracing an aspect that historically has not been hers, is combating misogynoir.

As audre lorde put it:
“Some problems we share as women, some we do not. You fear your children will grow up to join the patriarchy and testify against you; we fear our children will be dragged from a car and shot down in the street, and you will turn your backs on the reasons they are dying.”

MOGAI: An acronym that stands for Marginalized Orientations, Gender identities, And Intersex. It’s intended to be an all-inclusive umbrella term that covers all people who are not cis straight monosexuals: asexual, homosexual, multisexual, transgender, intersex/intergendered, etc. It's easier than LGBTQIAP+ to type, doesn't put Lesbians and Gays at the lead, and can be more equal/inclusive.

Monogamy: The practice of having only one romantic relationship at a time e.g. if you are dating or married to one person, you are expected/choose not to date or want to have a long term relationship with anyone else.

Monosexuality: The belief that a person can be either heterosexual or homosexual without any middle ground, which ignores sexualities such as bisexuality/pansexuality.

Multigender: Identifying as more than one gender.

Native American/First Nations: These are terms for the first peoples that lived in North and South America for thousands of years, with unique cultures and beliefs. This includes but is not limited to the Inuit of Alaska, Native people of Canada, hundreds of Native American tribes such as the Cherokee, Pueblo, and Seminoles, and native peoples of South and Central America such as Inca. While the term "Indians" is also used, many Native persons do not prefer that term due to the history of the word. Furthermore, every Native culture is unique and it will not be pleasing if you lump all Native people together as one big culture.

Nonbinary: Not falling into the male or female extremities of gender and/or physical sex.

Neutrois: Gender neutral.

* Of Color: a definition for people who are of non-white ethnicities. (non white/minority is not as good a term because it assumes white as the normal and majority.) This is not the same as "colored." People of color have chosen this term for themselves, and the term was created by people of color in the US. This does not mean "black," and is not a replacement word for a single ethnicity. Asians, Latinos/Hispanics, Roma, Southeast Asian, and Native people all can and often do ID as *oC.

Out: To be public about a minority status that can be hidden. This quite often refers to sexuality, especially with the term "out of the closet" when referring to queer/gay/trans status. However, this also applies to people of any minority position in society. (Note that some people who are of lighter skin tones and assumed looks may be able to pass regarding their PoC status.) A person has every right to decide for themselves how much and to whom they wish to be out to; it is horribly offensive to out someone without their consent, especially in the case of trans people and/or queer people.

Pacific Islander: Peoples who are descended from or culturally part of Pacific-based cultures, especially those that are on lands of the North and South Pacific. This includes but is not limited to: Hawai'ians, Polynesian people, the Maori of New Zealand, Guam, American Samoa, etc. While they are often lumped with Asia, especially on US forms, they are separate cultures.

Pansexuality/Pansexual: Sexual attraction to a myriad of genders across the spectrum. Some people ID as pansexual instead of bisexual; some people ID as bisexual but are attracted to anyone on the gender spectrum. Bi means two, but this just means that a person is attracted to at lease two genders, often one not their own--not necessarily that they are attracted to male and female.

Passing: Assumed to be of a more privileged class. A poor person who appears more well off, a gay person who is assumed to be "straight", or a person of color who looks white is passing. This can be done by accident or on purpose. Passing is what is known as a conditional privilege, in that while the person with the privilege may have it as long as the privileged do not know the truth, it can be lost as soon as the person is outed.

Polyamory:The practice and belief that a person's romantic relationships are not limited to one at a time. A woman who wishes to date two men at once openly can be considered polyamorous. This is not the same as cheating. It is ethical love-based nonmonogamy, with open communication between all involved parties. While more of a sexual expression than a sexual orientation, this is allowable within reason to allow people to talk about multiple romantic relationships freely without feeling they have to leave a partner out.

Privilege: The invisible privileges conferred onto a person for being higher on the kyriarchy than those below them. The little things that a person with a privilege doesn't think about, people without it are often forced to think about all the time. Privilege is not an all or nothing situation--you can have one privilege and lack another. Cis white women lack sexual privilege but have white privilege; a rich cis black men has class and sexual privilege but lacks racial privilege; a Latina woman lacks sexual and racial privilege but if she is cisgendered, she has cis privilege. "Check your privilege" is generally a useless statement without any details, but people are free to call others on their privilege.

Queer: a term that covers many non-hetero, non-monogamous sexualities. Some people prefer to just be considered "queer."

Racism: This community defines racism as institutional more than any other: it includes both the prejudice against other people and the power in society to be backed up in that racism. This can be as overt as "Disney doesn't need any more princesses of color, they already have enough!" or as covert as "AG doesn't make a black GotY because everyone can ID with white people first, and she wouldn't sell well."

Romantic Expression/Orientation: Who someone falls in love with or feels romantic feelings for. Definitions such as bi, pan, het, gay/homo-, demi- a-/ace, etc are your romantic expression, and tend to be matched with -romantic. This can be combined with sexuality. For example, one can be panromantic demisexual--that is, they love anyone of any gender but need a emotional bond for it to become sexual desire.

Roma/Romani/Romany: Roma are a traditionally nomadic ethnic group, currently living mostly in Europe and the Americas and originating from the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent, believed to have started in the region that is currently occupied by the Indian states of Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab. Roma are a unique people with a unique language, Romani. They are often horrifically stereotyped as thieves, nonexistent, or magical by nature. The slur term for them begins with a G, ends with a Y, has five letters, and is blotted out on this board. Don't use it. The G-word is not a term that means "free spirit" or "hippy.

Sexuality/Sexual Orientation: Who you desire sexually, also known as sexual orientation. Definitions such as bi, pan, het, gay, a-/ace, demi, etc are your sexuality and tend to be matched with -sexual. This can be combined with romantic expression. For example, one can be aromantic bisexual--that is, they don't fall in love with anyone much, but they sexually desire two or more genders.

Sexual Expression: How you express, physically or outwardly, your sexual desire and romantic relationships. This includes things such as "kink," "fetish," or "paraphilia," but also things as kissing, hugging, and beyond that. It is not the same thing as your sexuality, no matter what the internet tells you. Discussing one's sexual expressions in detail--even the most soft of terms--is wholly inappropriate on this board, and should not be brought up. Sexual expression is not a sexual orientation. This is not up for debate.

Tone Policing: The short of it is telling people to talk "nicer" when talking about various levels of oppression, with the unspoken implication that the oppressed should be ignored because they aren't saying things "nice". It's often used to disregard any messages or challenges to privilege, and is a tool of oppression. It's highly discouraged. We will be nice the first few times, but if it continues the nice will rightfully be dropped.

Trigender: Identifying as three genders.

Trans: Generally, where physical sex and/or genders assumptions at birth do not align with a person's gender. If a person was assumed male at birth but isn't male, they may ID as trans.
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What Do We Mean: Intent is Not Magic
More on "Intent is not Magic", as clarified by Mod Nethilia.

"Intent is not magic", as stated above, is something that is spoken of many times on this board. However, there is nuance in the phrase.

"Intent is not magic" is not a case of "the moment you fuck up, you're fucked forever, screw you and the horses you rode in on." At least, that is not what I ever want it to invoke when I use the phrase.

The phrase "intent is not magic" is--the way I use it, and the way I would like y'all to use it--an admonishment that even if someone did not mean to invoke a level of bigotry, that the harm is still there. No one, for example, intends to trip and drop a dish most of the time, but if they do and the dish breaks, saying they didn't intend to do it or explaining what happened that caused a broken dish doesn't unbreak the dish. We can fix the dish, we can replace the dish, we can pick up the broken pieces. Things can be corrected.

But the dish still broke and all the intent in the world won't unbreak that dish.

People don't intend most of the time--at least, I hope not--to be racist, sexist, ableist, classist, any -ism that invokes imbalance in society. That's understood. I'll keep riding the point that I fucked up over Jewish representation a lot in this fandom (and IRL).


Too many people say "I never intended to hurt you--" and then add on, either overtly or covertly, the second half of the sentence to be "so you can't get mad at me, lecture me, or correct me, because I didn't mean it, it was a mistake and mistakes happen." It's the add on that causes the problem. It's the idea that someone did something wrong--but, because they didn't mean it, the harm is somehow magically negated and thus cannot be addressed.

And that is unacceptable. Mistakes happen, people say mean things, people misstep. But it's what people do when they are corrected and post learning they have made a mistake that can and does affect the outcome.

I years ago, wrote a whole post about this when someone who I used to consider a friend reblogged on Tumblr some asinine bullshit about a mysterious African Tribe that sings magic songs to their people to correct them because "woo magic Africans", right after that Two Wolves Native Woo garbage story. I told her she hurt me, and that story was untrue and reduced African people to magical earthy people standing around being mystical in order to teach spiritual lessons to Western people. Her response basically boiled down to "well, I didn't intend for it to hurt you, and also the story makes me feel good, so you shouldn't lecture me on it."

This actually ended our friendship, because this wasn't the first time she had said that because she didn't intend the harm, that the harm was not significant.

And that's when I posted this: http://nethilia.tumblr.com/post/38499416848/stop-pushing-me-off-cliffs

A display of privilege is like knocking someone off a cliff. You did something, you knocked them over, and they fell down the cliff and were hurt. Maybe you didn’t mean to. Maybe you were just walking and you tripped, or maybe you walked up and shoved them, or maybe you just weren’t looking where you were going. Maybe you had your headphones in while jogging and singing your song and bumped into them. Maybe you body rushed them off the cliff. Hell, you could have picked them up and chucked them over the edge.

It doesn’t matter. What matters is that your actions caused someone to fall off a cliff, and hurt themselves–cuts, scrapes, a black eye, a broken arm. And they told you that’s what happened, and show you the cuts and scrapes and bruises and cast. And the appropriate response? Is to apologize and take steps to try to not do it again and help them heal. Not to say that you didn’t mean to, or that it was an accident, or anything else. It’s to apologize, and do your damnest never to do it again.

That's why I say "intent isn't magic". Because folk may not have intended to harm say, me as a black woman with colorism, or Jewish people with anti-Semetic statements, or poor people with classist statements. Years ago on Doll Diaries, I bet the woman that posted all those, frankly terrible ideas about Native outfits for Kaya didn't intend to invoke terrible Native Stereotypes. I bet the people who do stereotyped Roma garbage don't initially mean to invoke that shit.

But the moment they hear and see the harm--and react by digging in their heels in and say "I didn't mean it like that why are you getting pissy at me, get over it!"? That's when we should say "intent isn't magic." Not when someone makes a mistake and is honest in not meaning it, but when someone claims their lack of deliberate intent is somehow a protection against having to hear or be told about any consequences of their actions or to change their trajectory. It's like when we say "Just my opinion" is not a magic phrase that absolves people from the garbage shit they say on race, gender, sexuality, etc.

Someone invoking harm should not use that statement that they "didn't mean to" to try to avoid not being told what they did was wrong and why.
Edited by Nethilia, Aug 3 2017, 12:13 AM.
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Why Culturally Appropriative/Non-Native Craft Is Not Allowed
(and why it will probably be risking your account to even do it)

What's that? Some blogger recently released a free pattern to make Hopi style moccasins? Or you have some super-"cute" fringe "Indian" mini dress you purchased off etsy? Were you looking through a copy of Sew the International Wardrobe for 18-Inch Dolls by Joan Hinds and there was a pattern for the most perfect jingle dress? Or you read Josefina's book and decided to make Mariana's outfit? And you want to show this off to us?

Yeah. Nah. Nope. Don't.

In fact, you should probably read this entire post and then listen to Native Voices in our Fandom explaining why this is a shit thing to do.

First of all, the The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 states:

It is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian Tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization, resident within the United States. For a first time violation of the Act, an individual can face civil or criminal penalties up to a $250,000 fine or a 5-year prison term, or both. If a business violates the Act, it can face civil penalties or can be prosecuted and fined up to $1,000,000.
It is illegal to market an art or craft item using the name of a tribe if a member, or certified Indian artisan, of that tribe did not actually create the art or craft item.

What does that mean? It means that even labeling a doll clothes pattern as, say, a "Cherokee dress" or "Navajo earrings" is a violation. Yes, a bunch of people do that on Etsy. They're doing wrong. Don't do wrong with them.

On this board and in this fandom, a violation of Native Craft includes but is not limited to:

* Doll-sized Native-simulating footwear not made by a Native person.
* Doll-sized Native pow-wow style wear not made by a Native person.
* Doll-sized Native-simulating tribal clothing not made by a Native person.
* Crafts, outfits, patterns, and/or designs that are often called "woo," "Pretendian," or "Generokee." We're talking your knitfug dresses, your tragic suede fringed minidresses, your rainbow chicken "war" bonnets, the "costume" patterns in the back of Simplicity pattern books, and/or that Tiger Lily costume you spent four months making for your all-doll production of Peter Pan.

Unless you are Native displaying your own tribal work and/or can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that a Native person designed and made the outfit or accessories, you are not allowed to post it here. We don't want to hear about your appropriation.

The main exception are things made by American Girl for Kaya's collection. (We know AG is not a Native-run company, but since the items are made for her collection, we will allow it since she is a character of the line.) We will also consider, appropriately done, Singing Bird dolls/other Native characters as long as she and they are given her full respect.

But? Don't make Mariana's anything. No dolls. No costumes. No shoes. Nothing. Zip-pah. It has been articulated at least twice in this fandom (that Mod Neth has seen, and Mod Neth done seen some shit) that the Hopi and Pueblo people do not appreciate any attempts at all to reproduce their personal cultural clothing. Not even to make Mariana. Don't do it. Go make Clara if your Josefina needs a bestie.

* If you make a fake native outfit or anything for your dolls or you, we are probably going to request that you to take it down and explain to you how Culture is not a Costume. Also, it won't be a request. You will take the post down. Or we will take it down for you.

* Do not link to patterns of Native-implied costumes done by non-Native people once you have been informed they are offensive.

* If you post Kaya's cultural clothes of any form on anyone other than Kaya, prepare to get a long lecture about Why You Best Not Do That Shit.

Furthermore, the rule on displaying culturally insensitive crafts and patterns will not just apply to Native-"themed" craft. It applies to all Cultures of Color. The next re-statement's so important that it's getting a whole line, increase, and center to itself.

Culture Is Not A Costume.
See that? We hella mean it. If you post Roma insulting/mimicking costume, African Diaspora insulting items (just let Mod Neth see a doll with a doobie and a dreadlocked wig; you will regret your whole life from your conception until that very moment), a sorry-ass sari, a coconut bra and tissue paper skirt, or some Jade Pearl Chicken Hat mismash of Asian cultures, we will come down on you with the fury of the Valkyries. (Mods will consider Disney Princess costumes on a case-by-case basis. Even so, you should still probably avoid anything Pocahontas- or Esmeralda-related. They're kinda icky.)

"What about white culture?"
Well when white Western culture has had to fight for hundred of years to avoid being stomped out and there is a history of making it illegal to practice, dress, or even have "white" culture things in public, and white people are systematically decimated under world-wide Native destruction, then we'll think about how mean it is to have Addy in a pair of Uggs and tight yoga pants holding a pumpkin spice latte. Til then, life ain't fair and racism doesn't go both ways.

If we find that any member has made culturally insensitive outfits--and it is found anywhere--then we will seriously reconsider your continued membership on this board.

We respect our Native and Roma members more than your "need" to make doll shoes or a "fortune teller" costume.

Test us not.
Edited by Nethilia, Nov 16 2017, 02:28 AM.
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