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View Poll Results: Should Basenotes Male and Female sub-forums be merged?

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  • Yes, merge them--it will benefit everyone.

    34 20.24%
  • No, keep them separate (if you choose this, please explain why that's better)

    125 74.40%
  • I don't know / don't care.

    9 5.36%
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  1. #1

    Default End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    (followup from recent related thread)

    I don't want to subvert the admins here in any way, but this is long overdue as public discussion.

    I always disagreed with the way Basenotes is segregated into Male and Female sub-forums, with the Female playing the role of marginalized minority. For a long time, users have been observing that the Female subforum doesn't have much activity (for whatever now-irrelevant historical reasons), but I feel that this segregation no longer serves any useful purpose whatsoever, and only keeps the women marginalized.

    This seems grindingly ironic, considering how many regulars love to make a big show of disregarding the genderization of fragrance marketing. So are we ready to walk our talk, and treat the women here like equal users, and hopefully be a more welcoming environment for more women to become active participants?

    I see no down-side to this argument, but I'm curious what the concensus of this group (and the Basenotes admins) looks like. You guys DO like girls, right?

    What say you?
    Last edited by andylama; 19th July 2012 at 08:36 PM. Reason: diplomacy

  2. #2
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    I'm new, and I don't frequent the female forum at all to know the usage levels, but I guess that's part of the point from my perspective. I'm (so far) only interested in the male fragrances.

    But, it *is* a valid use of forums: to only split them off when usage of a splintered topic warrants it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    I would be totally opposed to this idea.

    The way I view it, the men's forum is primarily designed to discuss fragrances men use. The point is not how the fragrance is marketed, it's a forum for discussing how fragrances smell and act on men, and for sharing these experiences. The women's forum does the same for women.

    I am (relatively) uninterested in reading about, or sifting through posts addressing, fragrances that are not worn by men. But if I wanted to do so, I'd hop on over to the women's forum and read those posts.

    And the factual basis for the statement that women are "playing the role of marginalized minority" is lost on me. Women are welcome to post here, just as men are welcome to post on the female forum. The two forums are utterly open to anyone. The reason for the two forums has nothing to do with marginalization, just to segregate topic areas by interest. Seems pretty useful to me.
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Andy, I disagree that women are marginalized here, or that BN creates an unwelcoming environment for us. I have no problem reading or joining the discussion on any of the boards here. I simply go to "New Posts" and select the topics that interest me. A quick check just now tells me that I spend more time on the men's board, and I've never been made to feel unwelcome there.
    Currently wearing: MAAI by Bogue Profumo

  5. #5

    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Totally valid points, and that's what I wanted to know. Thank you.

  6. #6

    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    I think things are fine the way they are, if it is not broke don't try to fix it.
    Currently wearing: L'Occitan by L'Occitane

  7. #7
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    I like things the way they are. I get a thrill from posting on the Male forums too - that's nice ! The guys are always friendly.
    I don't feel marginalized .
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Keep things the same.

    From a user perspective, it is easier to view threads/responses.
    "I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Yet another vote for keeping things the way they are...


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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    "Female sub..." - what? :-)

    Last edited by Candide; 19th July 2012 at 09:50 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    I am opposed to the idea as well but for completely different reasons.

    Firstly the atmosphere:
    I myself have hopped over from time to time and found the females side more personal, more chatty (this is NOTmeant in a negative way!!!!) and overall just warmer. I am fairly sure this would soon change in a merged board as the guys are still more in numbers and posts and the level of communication can easier be de- than increased.

    Secondly, boardercrossing, it's already happening:
    Check the females board, there are several threads started by guys, I know a couple that post way more over there than here, for reasons I can only assume but I think the quality of the discussion, the tone of it and said atmosphere will be factors.

    Thirdly, the level of discussion:
    Due to the desire, that leads so many people here (including me at fist), which is finding that ultimate if not pantie-dropping secret holy grail, and due to the insane traffic of people joining, posting like mad for a few months and then, when they could actually be diving into the hobby and developing nose and experience (rather than a quick vacation affair), dropping it.
    the mens board is IMHO very superficial and repetitive compared to the ladies board.
    I'm not complaining, I read and post by choice but it does get tiring to always see topics reappearing that have been covered dozens of times. Sometimes there are almost identical threads on the front page of the forum for Heavens Sake, just because some people dont care to check the other threads but rather just want to dump teir questions on the rest and "get results".



    So overall I am against merging and I dont think it would do the female part of BN much good either.
    There are not only Mens and Womens board but lots of shared ones anyway.

    Maybe it's a bad comparison but equalistion hasnt reached toilets yet either, there could be a reason


    PS: sorry if this came across snide or sensitive, just my two cents.





    EDIT: Alright, during the time it took me to compose this ramble there has been 'nuf said
    Last edited by timaru; 19th July 2012 at 09:22 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Quote Originally Posted by andylama View Post
    (followup from recent related thread)

    I don't want to subvert the admins here in any way, but this is long overdue as public discussion.

    I always disagreed with the way Basenotes is segregated into Male and Female sub-forums, with the Female playing the role of marginalized minority. For a long time, users have been observing that the Female subforum doesn't have much activity (for whatever now-irrelevant historical reasons), but I feel that this segregation no longer serves any useful purpose whatsoever, and only keeps the women marginalized.

    This seems grindingly ironic, considering how many regulars love to make a big show of disregarding the genderization of fragrance marketing. So are we ready to walk our talk, and treat the women here like equal users, and hopefully be a more welcoming environment for more women to become active participants?

    I see no down-side to this argument, but I'm curious what the concensus of this group (and the Basenotes admins) looks like. You guys DO like girls, right?

    What say you?
    I understand your concern, however I respectfully disagree.

    1. The activity in the male forum greatly exceeds that of the female forum. If you wanted to discuss feminine fragrances, then it would be 4 male posts for every 1 female post. It wouldn't be optimal.

    2. The male forum is probably TOO active. It would probably be best if the male forum were divided into sub-forums itself. So that way the lifespan of a topic is more than 36 hours. This topic could be completely gone in 2 days. By adding the feminine topics to it, it will be even more of a problem.

    3. Even if gender is a social construct, it is largely accepted. Feminine perfume is marketed toward women. Masculine cologne is marketed toward men. Sure, some from either side can be unisex, but in our culture, gender associations are meaningful.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Ooh Andy, now I find I want to comment on something from your earlier thread, but I'll add it here to consolidate the discussion. You said that people raise the subject often enough, so you thought you'd ask what people thought of this idea...

    People raise the subject of perfumes being (or not being) unisex, but they don't often raise the subject of how the boards are split up. They're not the same thing, and I think that's an important difference.

    Just to be clear, I'm in the "wear what you want, perfume isn't gendered" camp. But I note that the character and tone of the discussion on women's forums is very different from that on men's forums. We mentioned MUA (overwhelmingly women) and you said you didn't like the format. I'm not sure it's the format that keeps men away, and so my concern is that if you combined the boards, one would eventually squeeze the other out, and then we would be left with less diversity, not more.

    I like it here because there is that diversity. I want to learn about fragrances of all kinds, not just ones marketed to men or women. I can do that here, so I'm really happy with the current arrangement. Rather than looking at it as segregation, I see it as providing space for everyone.
    Currently wearing: MAAI by Bogue Profumo

  14. #14
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    I totally disagree. I think things are fine the way they are and more organized ... Changing this would not be a good idea.

  15. #15

    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Quote Originally Posted by noirdrakkar View Post
    The male forum is probably TOO active.
    I find it ironic that you have written this... though I agree with you. There is an epidemic of pointless threads, polls and redundant questions at the moment, many of which can be answered by using the search (or wardrobe!) function.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    I am not sure how the ladies' are marginalized on the forum, can you explain?

    I visit many different forums for other hobbies in my life, and every one has sub-forums which are incredibly active, and others where the activity level is just above a crawl.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Men can post in the female forum and vice versa!! The opinions of both sexes are appreciated!! There's no actual segregation in my eyes, if anything the msplit just helps keep things more topical!!

  18. #18

    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Neutral on this. Right now, even if the benefits of merging have been accurately, detailed and justifiably explained, still, the change would not be that significant.
    Currently wearing: Halston 1-12 by Halston

  19. #19

    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    I'm in the minority and much prefer a unified perfume discussion. I've never really understood why Basenotes separates fragrance discussion by gender; it seems an artificial construct to me. I wear scents marketed to men as well as to women, and most of the fragrances that interest me these days aren't marketed specifically to any gender. I suspect I'm typical of most women in perfume forums in this regard. The separation here has a kind of 1950s feel to me, or like one of those parties where the women hang out in one room and men in another.

    That said, I don't feel women are marginalized here. Speaking just for myself, the only reason I don't post more here is because I find the weird split mildly annoying. It means I have to check two threads instead of one, and I like having discussion with men as well as women. So I tend to post more on other perfume forums that don't split things up.

    I'm going to conjecture that fewer men feel comfortable wearing fragrances marketed to women than vice-versa (though of course there are exceptions), and that more men than women would therefore be interested in a segregated discussion forum. Because this is less applicable to women, we're more likely to post in a variety of perfume forums. That might also account for the lower number of women posting here; we're spread more thinly across the perfume blogosphere.

    In any case, the gender segregation obviously works for lots of folks here. So carry on.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Ending sexism doesn't mean denying there are differences between men and women. Ending sexism means treating men and women equally. A forum for each is equal. Paying a man and a woman the same for doing the same job is equal. Equal means not assuming it's the man's job to pay on a date or that a woman has to play a subservient role. It means knowing that a woman is just as capable as a man in leadership roles, and knowing that a man has just as much of a duty in taking care of children or doing housework.

    Sexism would be deleting the female fragrances forum entirely or merging it into a general discussion forum while leaving the male fragrances forum intact. That would be sexist because it would be unequal.

    I do wonder why the female fragrances forum has less activity than the male side does. I assume the forums simply have more male participants, but like I said, I don't know why. Maybe many women interested in discussing fragrances are posting in other beauty related sites? Maybe, since there are so many more beauty products targeting women, basenotes doesn't come up as often in female-fragrance google searches, leading fewer women to find the forum. I don't know. Maybe there are fewer places for men to discuss fragrance online, so more of us end up on one of two sites (here or fragrantica).

  21. #21
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    This forum already has a lot of activity and merging forums would create more posts to sift through. I prefer topics to be categorized and would welcome subforums to more easliy find the information I am most interested in.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    I should add that, for collectors and fumeheads, it probably wouldn't matter if the forums were combined. But for those of us who are less experienced, especially those inexperienced with niche houses, combining the forums would make things really difficult. There would be constant questions in threads about "is this a men's frag or a woman's?"

    As it is now, the scents being discussed in the men's fragrances forum are either men's scents or women's scents men can easily wear. If it weren't that way, the forum would be more intimidating to new users and more confusing overall.

    ...I do wish more women posted in the men's forum though

  23. #23

    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Sexism in perfumes would mean the disapproval of one sex wearing a fragrance for the other, and I don't think the merging would eliminated this, as rare as it already is! I like things the way they are.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Quote Originally Posted by barclaydetolly View Post
    I would be totally opposed to this idea.

    The way I view it, the men's forum is primarily designed to discuss fragrances men use. The point is not how the fragrance is marketed, it's a forum for discussing how fragrances smell and act on men, and for sharing these experiences. The women's forum does the same for women.

    I am (relatively) uninterested in reading about, or sifting through posts addressing, fragrances that are not worn by men. But if I wanted to do so, I'd hop on over to the women's forum and read those posts.

    And the factual basis for the statement that women are "playing the role of marginalized minority" is lost on me. Women are welcome to post here, just as men are welcome to post on the female forum. The two forums are utterly open to anyone. The reason for the two forums has nothing to do with marginalization, just to segregate topic areas by interest. Seems pretty useful to me.
    I totally concur.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Quote Originally Posted by barclaydetolly View Post
    The way I view it, the men's forum is primarily designed to discuss fragrances men use. The point is not how the fragrance is marketed, it's a forum for discussing how fragrances smell and act on men, and for sharing these experiences. The women's forum does the same for women.

    I am (relatively) uninterested in reading about, or sifting through posts addressing, fragrances that are not worn by men. But if I wanted to do so, I'd hop on over to the women's forum and read those posts.

    And the factual basis for the statement that women are "playing the role of marginalized minority" is lost on me. Women are welcome to post here, just as men are welcome to post on the female forum. The two forums are utterly open to anyone. The reason for the two forums has nothing to do with marginalization, just to segregate topic areas by interest. Seems pretty useful to me.

    When people discuss "fragrances that are not worn by men", this seems too nebulous and appears to coincide with the whole concept of marketing. My view is that marketing is only a nuisance to the realm of fragrances and is irrelevant -- with that being said, how can there be anything that men do not wear? This is purely personal taste, choice, and opinion of the user and it has absolutely no relevance to the decisions a living being may make. How can anyone say "this" or "that" is what men do and do not wear?

    When you say that these sub-forums should be the way they are right now to talk about the way they "smell and act on men," or women, then why does the feel of the forum right now seem to be clearly divided not by this rationale but by the gender marketing of fragrance in the first place? Of course, there will be outliers and exceptions to this rule, but one has to see that this general rule is true.

    Simply, I think we are all used to the style of Basenotes the way it is. We are programmed at this point to go beyond the marketing stereotypes that may be present into psychologically telling people what and what not to wear. A reformatting would ideally, IMO, benefit and help disintegrate the gender stereotypes present.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    No!

  27. #27

    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    To extrapolate, we should also merge the "Just Starting Out" forum because it marginalizes newbies. No thanks. There is a reason we have subfora: to reduce carpal tunnel syndrome from excessive scrolling. While I am not against wearing fragrances marketed to women, I am against carpal tunnel syndrome.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    I don't think women are marginalized on basenotes. I happily post in both the male & the female fragrance discussion sections and I feel welcome in both :-)
    My current favourites Chanel Bois des Iles & Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

  29. #29
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    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    Viva le diffeence!

  30. #30

    Default Re: End Perfume Sexism - Should Basenotes Merge the Male and Female Sub-Forums?

    I wholeheartedly support the idea of this site (and any other relevant communication medium) helping to put an end to the immature, stoopid notion that any fragrance is somehow inherently "masculine" or "feminine". I'm not sure if rearranging the forums would be the best way to go about it though.

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