I answered a question on SO meta today, where the female OP is expressing being upset about some gender issues, only to go back into chat and find a comment about something missing "tits". I flag this comment. A discussion then ensues over the fact there is a flag:

Someone flagging stuff in here...

Upon which the original comment is iterated and more jokes are made and comments about how, obviously it's the flagger's issue, taking a remark about 'tits' out of context in a programming chat room.

The subsequent discussion includes the support of one of the room owner's, who then makes dry remarks that his comment about a mammary gland without a nipple is pointless.

I feel like some people have a built-in blacklist in their minds triggering a flag immediately without looking at the context…

I get feedback like:

Regarding inappropiate jokes in socvr: What is and isn't inappropiate isn't yours alone to decide

So I'm left with this starred comment:

Point is, what is and isn't offensive is a community decision As brutal as that sounds, if ROs and mods have no problems with it, then its not a problem

So we have a repeated issue on the site:

Declining Numbers of Women in Programming, What Can SO do to Help?

Does the SO community view itself as gender neutral?

What can Stack Overflow do to persuade female programmers to participate more?

So I'm uptight because I don't like being in a room, where I'm pretty sure I was the only woman in the room at the time and the guys are making jokes about tits and it's stated clearly that anyone who doesn't like that really is the issue.

On an almost daily basis (not while I was recently away). I am pinged in that room being asked for an opinion from a "Woman's perspective". Whenever there is some type of controversial comment, I am pinged. "Ask Yvette".

I'm on the site as a programmer and Stack Exchange contributor. I happen to be a woman. I say clearly, this makes me feel uncomfortable, please stop. It doesn't stop. When I try to bring it up with one of the room owner's I'm asked to stop.

Ironically, I posted some comments I thought were funny in a side chat room, that is supposed to be a place where people go for humour and I'm doing this to try to appease this push I feel, because I'm (supposedly) over-sensitive to sexism. I'm tired of this.

So my only solution is stay away from that room when there are no responsible room owner around.

I have no voice, no authority in that room. Apparently I need to accept what the community decides is offensive in an extremely male dominated website, which is why I am posting here. More women.

so if

Point is, what is and isn't offensive is a community decision

I'm asking the community.

Is is acceptable to make jokes about tits in chat? Is this Offensive?

Am I the problem OR Does our site need to be educated to understand what is appropriate in mixed company and how to behave?

  • 3
    There's been discussions on this before, when a particular chat room's culture was questioned. The conclusion was (AFAIK) that it needs to be handled on a case by case basis. In this case, the comment was inappropiate in the context, as decided by a moderator. But talking about tits could also mean I'm talking about this (Safe image)
    – Magisch
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 9:21
  • 15
    @Magisch making light of the intention, by referring to birds, it detracting from the issue here.
    – anon
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 9:29
  • 19
    I can't speak for anybody else, but I have a suspicion that "Ask Yvette" type of remarks are not because you are a woman, but because you are a woman with thin skin who is known to react intensively to such issues (for better or for worse). I've known this about you since November, before even starting to frequent the same room as you. I'd also ask your opinion in something like this, not because you're a woman, but because if the given post doesn't offend you, it's surely safe:) Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 9:57
  • 9
    @AndrasDeak thanks and yes that's a better take on my interpretation. Well put, you said I'm sensitive and it somehow came out as a compliment. Have you thought of going into politics?
    – anon
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 10:08

7 Answers 7


Set a benchmark on acceptable behaviour

Okay! Sounds like a good idea to me, let's do it -- oh, wait.

Be Nice is the benchmark.

If what you say doesn't fall within acceptable bounds as defined by Be Nice, it's not acceptable. That includes posts, comments, chat, and anywhere else you can post your own stuff.

That means:

Regarding inappropiate jokes in socvr: What is and isn't inappropiate isn't yours alone to decide [sic]

This is correct. If you think something is offensive, according to Be Nice, flag it. That's your part of the decision. Other community members get to review that flag (I'm going to assume chat for these examples). That's the first line of defence against inappropriacy.

If you think the community has handled the flag incorrectly, mod-flag it. Mod-flags are good, because they (a) only go to mods, and (b) require you to provide an explanation. Indicate that you think the message is offensive, but a regular flag was handled incorrectly by the community and you'd like a moderator to review it.

In essence: "What is and isn't inappropriate" is a community process that can and should be overridden by moderators where necessary.

Point is, what is and isn't offensive is a community decision.
As brutal as that sounds, if RO's and mods have no problems with it, then its not a problem

This is... sort of correct. The community does get the chance to take that decision, but it does need to be taken with one eye on Be Nice. If the decision is made incorrectly by the community, a mod should override that decision. I sound like a broken record.

Now, to judge this specific situation, let me quote Be Nice:

Inappropriate language or attention. Avoid vulgar terms and anything sexually suggestive. Also, this is not a dating site.

If that doesn't make it painfully obvious enough: inappropriate jokes about tits are not okay. Sure, you might have got away with a couple before now, when nobody was looking and nobody was offended. But if you try making jokes of those sorts, you need to accept that if you get flagged and suspended, you have nobody to complain to - it's your own fault.

  • 1
    You've worded it so much better than I did. +1
    – Cerbrus
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 9:51
  • So you're in charcoal chatting about flags and write this up on the side. Amazing and well done!
    – anon
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 9:51
  • @Cerbrus I blame moderatorship.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 9:52
  • @ArtOfCode I blame my frustration of this discussion popping up again...
    – Cerbrus
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 9:53
  • 2
    @Cerbrus this was not triggered from anything but juvenile and bad behaviour that started with one person and was not handled well, now I have talked to rene. I think the intentions of the RO were good, but it failed.
    – anon
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 9:58
  • 5
    let's not have another argument in the comments, endless notifications about an argument will not make me happy
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 10:10

What is offensive and what isn't is kind of a grey area. In some chatrooms "coc*suck*r" isn't offensive but in others "shut up" is considered as rude. Now, coming back to your question, Yes using "t*ts" is offensive IMO.

I have no voice, no authority in that room. Apparently I need to accept what the community decides is offensive in an extremely male dominated website, which is why I am posting here

I have to say, Yes, it's usually the community that decides what is offensive and what isn't. At the same time, just because a large number of people believe that certain comments are OK, it doesn't make those comments acceptable / valid. Even though women represent a very small portion of StackOverflow, it doesn't mean that they have no say in such matters. If you think that something is offensive, do flag it, ROs / mods will take care of it. people who continually post rude, sexist things could be suspended. If you think that a large number of your flags are being considered unhelpful, do contact a mod / RO. They will surely have an explanation for that.

So my only solution is stay away from that room when there are no responsible room owner around.

Running away from a problem doesn't fix the problem. Today, it's just you. Next week, we could have some other user saying that they found some messages in chat to be rude / offensive. The solution that I propose is standing up to what you believe in, flag stuff if you think that they are rude / offensive - in the end you will either make this place better or learn something from your mistakes.

Is is acceptable to make jokes about tits in chat? Is this Offensive?

No it isn't. Please do note that I've had a word with the person who posted these "rude" comments.

Am I the problem?

No, you are NOT the problem here. You raised a flag on what you thought was offensive.

Does our site need to be educated to understand what is appropriate in mixed company and how to behave?

As ArtOfCode mentions, the "be nice" policy explicitly states

Inappropriate language or attention. Avoid vulgar terms and anything sexually suggestive. Also, this is not a dating site.

Bigotry of any kind. Language likely to offend or alienate individuals or groups based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. will not be tolerated. At all.

I think this is clear enough. Before posting anything, think if some part of your comment might offend someone, if in doubt, don't comment/ remove the vulgar part. If people still post such things, then a gentle reminder (to start with) and suspension should be the right approach.

Please note that although many mods have contradicting opinions on what is vulgar and what isn't, I believe if you raised a custom flag and specifically mentioned that you found something to be rude, they would look at it more closely and do their best they can to handle it correctly.

  • 2
    Thank you for this post. It is supportive and balanced.
    – anon
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 10:26
  • 7
    I largely agree with this, except this one passage _ Don't post anything that might offend someone_ thats unfeasible. You can construct near anything to be offensive to someone. I could take offense you just said that. I could take offence to Java being discussed since I think it has too high abstraction. Does that mean talking about Java is now not allowed? No. What happened here was over the line, sure, but just because it offends people doesn't mean it necessarily has to be over the line.
    – Magisch
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 10:33
  • 1
    @Magisch - Yes. You are right. Rephrased that statement Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 10:40
  • 1
    "Next week, we could have some other user saying..."
    – Cerbrus
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 10:45

I'm one of the room owners of the room you had this experience in.

The SOCVR has a well established set of guidance to have a room that should be a safe haven for those users that either want to help in moderating or had their question moderated in an unexpected way and want to discuss that.

The room is lively for 24/7 and sees a lot of chatter during the day interleaved with moderation requests. We have about 6 room owners that follow a laissez-faire style, which I'm a firm believer of.

For that style to work I have this guidance in our FAQ:

In absence of all room owners, the members lead by example.

I don't think it is a great example to talk about certain female characteristics, specially if based on the transcript it turns out to be targeted at a specific user, which should be covered by:

Moderate the post, not the user. Keep the discussion on the merits of the post, not on behavior of the user.

leaving out that our room is not supposed to moderate meta...

So it is clear that the regulars stepped over a line there.

I'm going to defend the RO that was partly present during the incident. They tried to defuse the situation with some messages to bring in a bigger perspective. That is the style I want the RO-team to practice. That unfortunately seemed to have an adverse effect. The users having the discussion felt they were supported by the RO and you didn't feel your remarks were taken into account.

It is logical that you then take the next step and flag stuff. Our room is not known for taking much (public) flags (I don't know how much stuff is flagged for a moderator) so when it happens the regulars respond disgruntled about that. I'll add some guidance for our regulars about that as well.

Now to answer your question:

Is it acceptable to make jokes about tits in chat? Is this Offensive?

Yes, it is acceptable to make jokes about any body part in chatrooms that are open for that, including tits. That by itself is not offensive. What is offensive is the context in which the joke (that is no longer a joke then) is made. When it seems to be about a specific user, specially in a derogatory way, it is off-limits. Flags are warranted.

Leaves the question if tits are on-topic in SOCVR. I honestly think they are not. Despite how much of our regulars seem to want to moderate them, we better don't touch that.

  • 8
    I'd hesitate to say any jokes about tits are okay, actually, given the quote from Be Nice I picked out. Most body parts, fine, but once you start joking about private body parts, you're seriously toeing the line. Still, I can't fault the rest of this answer.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 10:20
  • 1
    @ArtOfCode totally agree. I think much of this answer is good, Particularly the explanation about the RO. As if that was misconstrued, it's good to point this out.
    – anon
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 10:21
  • I can't get into chat meta.stackexchange.com/questions/284319/chat-will-not-load so cannot respond to anyone
    – anon
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 10:59
  • Wait ... but you were in the Tavern earlier?
    – Bart
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 11:39
  • 6
    Are there words for "elbow" or "toe" that carry a sense of dislike for the person whose elbow or toe it is, or an objectification of the person? If there were, would it be ok to use those words in a joke about elbows or toes? The issue here is more than just the joking, it includes the actual disrespectful words being used. Most posters would not say "tits" to their mother, or religious leader, or some other adult they greatly respect. They know it's not a respectful word. Defending a right to talk that way in the presence of someone who told them it is hurtful seems ... unusual to me. Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 13:36
  • 3
    @KateGregory I do get the notion that I need to be mindful about messages I post and how they are perceived by others. Now for this specific case there is no doubt but let's assume good faith for a moment. How am I going to learn that I crossed a line if I'm only flagged? I'm much more in favor to bring it up and then use the flags when I'm met with resistance. It is not I care much about which body parts we can or can't discuss but I'm more looking for an option where everything is allowed until someone calls it rude. But I'm eager to learn if that approach has been proven to be a failure.
    – rene
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 14:11

I think this entire thing is a storm out of a waterglass. There is a very clearly defined procedure for dealing with things you may find offensive, in a particular order:

  • Tell people to cut it (in a friendly way)
  • Flag
  • Modflag

Thats the process. You've went through that and a mod determined the post was worth deleting, and had a conversation with the user responsible. In theory, everything worked here and everything went as intended.

The community decides at first and in part what is considered offensive, and the RO's can, too. If you feel (like you said you do) that you have no power there and the community doesn't agree with you, you can generally always bring it to moderator attention, which you did.

As to the question:

Is is acceptable to make jokes about tits in chat? Is this Offensive?

To you it clearly was. It may or may not meet the technicality definition of offensive, but its against the "be nice policy" as outlined by others in this thread, so away it goes.

There is no default "This word is offensive and this one isn't" guideline that one can strictly adhere to. There is, however, common sense. It behooves that if someone you're in a respectful conversation with says they're offended by something, you cut it.

Jokes are okay, jokes at the expense of others or after you've been told that they make others uncomfortable are most often not.

Now, there are unreasonable outliers, but we're pretty far from that, and we can handle these on a case by case basis. I think in general it boils down to respecting your fellow users and not deliberately insulting or offending them, whatever the circumstances.

An useful analogy would be if you know someone who reacts very badly to grapefruit due to a bad trauma they suffered before. In that case, any respectable person would endeavour to avoid making that person uncomfortable for the sake of it, yet grapefruit in general wouldn't be necessarily offensive.

What I mean in essence is:

It is very easy not to offend others. Don't go out of your way to. And if you do, don't be surprised when you get a stern talking to by a moderator, or worse. We're all adults here, lets act like it.


This is probably going to be a pretty long answer, so bear with me or just skip it if it seems too much.

First of all, let me start with what this issue is not. This is not an issue about a user that flagged something they shouldn't have. Yep, the whole question may have started from a single case. Yes, it got a user confused enough that she had to post a question to try to convince herself that she wasn't really supposed to "live with it or go away". And yes, many of the answers are obviously about this specific case.

But while this probably helps Yvette to see that she isn't the strange one to expect to not have to see offensive contents just because it doesn't bother the "regulars"... it doesn't seem to bring out the actual problem here. One that the ones who are following our prized radio-drama will probably recognize from an episode that was broadcast some time ago on this same channel.

This keeps happening in chat:

  1. Surprise at flags on vulgar messages. Language that would invariably get your comments deleted on the main site occasionally gets flagged and deleted in chat. Confusion reigns.
  2. Controversial topics leading to bickering and name-calling. Folks bring up polarizing topics in rooms dedicated to other topics and filled with people who joined for the same. Anger and resentment ensues.
  3. Moderators step in to try and resolve #1 or #2. Who elected them to solve our problems? Indignation follows.

(from: Ep 12/10: Toward a philosophy of Chat Season 15')

From that old day, almost a year has passed. And yet, here we are once again, discussing yet another time the same issue.

  • Someone posts questionable content, but since they are a "regular" the room is fine with this. They are a friend after all, and our room culture allows this!
  • Then, an intruder came. They may be an external user that just walked by, they may be even be another regular that this time felt offended... what matters is that they dared to flag the message. In our room!
  • and here the magic happens. Now the user that flagged the post, the one who actually probably was thinking to do the network a service by pointing out bad content, is at the center of a warm "Let's burn the intruder" parade, during which other regulars feel the urge to step in to defend their flagged friends, post some always needed free flames towards the mysterious flagger and generally give out a nice welcoming message of "You. Go. Away".

Yes, OK, I know. Maybe I am over-exaggerating it. Or maybe I'm not and have really seen a Room Owner PIN a message that basically was "To the flagger. You are unwanted here. Go away". But that is not the point, so whether you decide to trust me or think I am making the issue bigger than it is, please bear with me a little more before downvoting this as you may wish.

I have to admit it. I cannot understand. I really cannot. It is so difficult to just realize that our liberty ends where the liberty of others begins? Time after time I see similar arguments:

Point is, what is and isn't offensive is a community decision As brutal as that sounds, if ROs and mods have no problems with it, then its not a problem


We have a established room culture here and all the regulars are fine with it, so if you don't like it you should probably bring yourself to another of the hundred rooms on the site and stop annoying us.

(note: neither are actual quotes someone said. They are meant to be samples of common replies, made up by me and Yvette.)

There seems to be a rooted belief that the community in a room has some sort of magical power, and by that power it gets to decide what is fine and what is not, because they are the regulars, the majority of the users, the room creators or any other reason you can come with to justify this...

Well. Let me break your dream then. Stack Overflow isn't a democracy where you get to decide just because you are a regular, you are older or you can raise your voice more. It is actually a monarchy, ruled by an odd group of strange, probably Nordic divinities, with weird names like "Shog the Sleeping One", "balpha the Burninator" or "Grace the Cactuar". Whatever power you think you have They gave you. We are just some subjects under their rule, slowly gaining their benevolence through reputation and blessed to act in their name based on the trust they give us.

This is true on the main site and it is true on the chat too. No Room Owner actually owns anything. We are just users who were lent the trust to do good by the staff that really owns this network, and we received some powers to do so by a team of gods far to busy to be able to follow it all.

As such, there is no "Room Culture". The only culture that exists is the one Stack Exchange itself asked you to follow. The "Be Nice" one - one that Shog himself had to step up to hold high, not just a random tiny Yvette.

We are all humans (well, I am not sure Shog is. Some say he is just a floating head, some talk about a robot... I just don't know) and we do make mistakes sometimes. There will be cases when someone is tired or just too rigid and decides to flag what actually is just a joke (or maybe perfectly normal in the context of the room. A room about medicine for example is bound to touch arguments that may be inappropriate in others). And there will be cases were someone will be offended by a bad pun you would expect others to tolerate. But we still are human and will make those errors. And then do them again.

What we shouldn't do is believe that we are always in the right when someone tells us that maybe we made some error. Or that they are just trying to make us look bad. Or that they should be the one to give up their liberty to not get offended if they want to stay here.

Once a girl in a bar made an impressive realization. Something about how we could all live happy with each other, but sadly the planet she happened to live on was destroyed before she could phone someone else and tell them their idea and all what was left was some references to the number 42.

Years from that, others are asking themselves if this... magic thing could actually just simply be... friendship, maybe?

So... I stand here wondering. Maybe, all could be solved if we just realized that maybe, just maybe, they aren't trying to trick us into doing their biding when they say that some jokes are making them feel uncomfortable? Maybe we could just workout the problem ourselves by making use of this weird friendship thing?




Or maybe we aren't supposed to be able to just live in harmony and the Shog the Mighty One will have to arise from his slumber and restore the order with fire and lighting. This is the only thing we own. The ability to choose what will be.

  • To Yvette: I hope the "tiny Yvette" thing don't sound offensive to you. It is just a joke around the "Gods of SE" thing, ie The Almighty Shog vs the Tiny User. Just drop a line if you want me to edit it out.
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 19:09
  • just maybe, they aren't trying to trick us into doing their biding when they say that some jokes are making them feel uncomfortable? I think there is something in this line. People either think the complainer is oversensitive or possibly trying to control things.. I appreciate your long reply and yes you are getting to the actual source of the problem and that's part of the reason I posted here. Hoping to raise the bar. Appeal to the higher intelligence. Educate people and all that. But what is it just gets the upvotes of the already educated and others really do not learn?
    – anon
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 1:38
  • 1
    @SPArchaeologist: The quote you took from my answer was meant to indicate that users have a voice, but room owners have the power to act, or not to act on that voice.
    – Cerbrus
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 6:48
  • @Cerbrus - nope, IMHO they don't have a power to act. Instead, they have chosen to carry on a duty to act when needed. The choice isn't their: they are expected to enforce the same "Be Nice" policy the staff has declared. Anyway, as promised, since you feel I may have misrepresented your message, I will remove it.
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 17:57
  • "they are expected to enforce the same "Be Nice" policy": Yes, at thier discretion. Some rooms tolerate swearing, while other rooms have tolerate nothing.
    – Cerbrus
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 6:35
  • 1
    @Cerbrus sorry, but as I stated before, that is the mayor point we disagree on. In my opinion, in no situation the community gets to decide to tolerate more than the staff would do. If you tolerate less, then the "victim" is free to have the staff roll back your decision. If you tolerate more, then the only way you have to get away with that is by not getting the staff involved. Which, sadly, isn't you getting the final word over their decision: it is just that they don't know.
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 18:23
  • I wouldn't want to have to assume that the way the "community/RO express their decision" is to hide some things from the staff so that they don't act against them. But that is the only way I see for a consumer of a service to use the service in ways the providers of the service wouldn't approve.
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 18:26
  • 1
    Of course there's a set of rules all rooms have to abide by. However, those are relatively lenient. This allows different rooms to enforce different sets of rules. For example, some rooms allow swearwords, others don't. It's not like the rooms that do allow such language hide it from staff, either. There are quite a few moderators that are very active in chat, in those rooms.
    – Cerbrus
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 19:49
  • What I'm basically saying is: Yes, "Be nice" applies to all rooms. But within those rules, room owners are relatively free to moderate their rooms how they see fit.
    – Cerbrus
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 19:54

Short disclaimer: While I was a part of the meta discussion that started this I was not in chat when the jokes about "tits" started, meaning I was no active part of the chat-discussion resulting of it.

Also, please excuse the lack of formatting and possible ambiguities (feel free to ask for clarification), I sort of wrote this in a rush.

Lastly, please read the answer fully before commenting, some formulations might depict a stance different from my actual stance on this topic.

Let me start this off by mentioning that we had this gender-discussion multiple times on Meta.SO, Meta.SE and in the SOCVR-room, always with the same result: Mad & hurt people. Why? Because it's a topic that naturally comes with opinions that greatly differ, resulting in heated discussions which most likely end with people getting hurt.

I do not want to deal with this topic anymore, I have stated this multiple times in the SOCVR-room, and multiple times everyone who was there at the time agreed to let it rest. Multiple times we came to the conclusion that this topic / discussion is off-topic for the SOCVR-room, as well as religion, ethnicity, skin color or any separator at all. It's not what we should want or have to deal with in the SOCVR-room, it simply doesn't fit the scope.

That being said, chat flags are - in my opinion - what one should consider as "Last resort", the one action that's always available after everything else failed. Everything else includes asking the user who posted it to delete it, it includes asking the other users to stop with their behaviour as well as explaining why they should stop (here: because you clearly felt offended by it), and it also includes telling a RO about it (preferably one who isn't part of the whole business).

You skipped those steps & went straigth for the last resort, something that I and others condemn, as it - on first sight - just indicates the inability to communicate, which makes up quite a big part of the "Chat"-feature.

My guess is that you skipped to flagging the message because you wanted to dodge a "One vs All" situation (that we had last time this discussion took place), which makes the flag - in my book - perfectly reasonable.

Point is, what is and isn't offensive is a community decision.

As brutal as it sounds, if ROs and mods have no problems with it, then its not a problem.

I partially agree with this statement. The "Be Nice"-policy applies, but the "Be Nice"-policy is largely based on interpretation when it comes to jokes like this. In this case though I'd say that it conflicted with the "Be Nice"-policy.

Let me be honest here, I do not care the slightest about the men/women-proportion, everyone could be female here & I wouldn't care. I genuinely do not give a ... about anything about anyone here on this site except for the quality of their contributions.

If you want to participate here, do it! If you don't, just don't, that's fine. If you're an expert, hey, we need those, if you're a newcomer, hey, feel free to join us, your questions might help us learn a lot, too!

Regarding the "Ask Yvette" / "We need a womans perspective here":

I'm not sure wether or not I've ever requested this of you, but it is - for me - actually a step in the right direction. If you don't want this, that's a problem, but most people requesting this from you are actually just worried about stepping on someones toes. If I see a barrel (Meta-Question) dealing with a controversial topic I'd like to know if it's empty or filled to the brim with gun powder, as I often find myself unable to assess the situation properly.

Not stopping with those requests even though you've repeatedly asked for it to stop is a problem though, and I don't really see why people would continue this.

Regarding your last paragraph:

Is is acceptable to make jokes about tits in chat? Is this Offensive?

That fully depends on the setting (imo). Just randomly fooling around doesn't really make it offensive (?), using those jokes whilst discussing a heated topic associated with it (gender) is sort of inconsiderate though, and could be considered as rude.

Am I the problem OR Does our site need to be educated to understand what is appropriate in mixed company and how to behave?

Meh :/ I would say both. But neither one is "fixable". You cannot simply educate this community, it's far too big for that & the issue is seen as "minor" by most of it. Also you're known for being sensitive regarding this topic (which is why many people come to you, asking for an evaluation of certain meta discussions).

I don't think we can change any of those two points, we need to accept & live with them, and maybe, one beautiful day in the future, we will all be able to put this topic to rest.

Thanks for reading.


"I have no voice, no authority in that room."

"Authority" is the Room Owners' job. You do have a voice in chat, but it's one of many. You could say it's a democracy where the room owners can decide whether or not they act on the people's vote.

Now, to answer your questions:

"Is is acceptable to make jokes about tits in chat? Is this Offensive?"

This really should be judged on a case-by-case basis.
A blanket ban on "tits" jokes is counter-productive, as I'm sure there are enough silly little jokes that really are harmless.

"Am I the problem OR Does our site need to be educated to understand what is appropriate in mixed company and how to behave?"

To be blunt: Good luck educating the site's users.

I believe SE is not the place to do that. We are all users. Gender doesn't matter on most SE sites. (The only exception I can think of is parenting.se)

That said, I do not think you are the problem. The issue isn't that "simple".
(Blaming a single user is too simple)

Recently, some issues have just been blown way out of proportion.

What sparked this debate this time is an issue where the offending text was removed, which was made out to be "Censorship, discrimination and cyber-bullying". For that issue, I am of the strong opinion that the OP did make the issue about "gender", while it really wasn't.

The solution is really simple:

If a comment / question / answer is in violation of SE's rules, remove it if you can, or flag it for a moderator.
If a chat comment is in violation of the room's rules, get an RO to look at it. If no RO is present, I'm sure you can link back to the issue when one is.

That's all there is to it.

Don't engage, just fix it.


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