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I like Deviantart!

Thu Nov 4, 2010, 1:59 PM
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Drinking: water


I do. I've been on here for many years and I've had an enjoyable time overall.

However, today I found out about repeated gender insensitivity on the part of the staff here... you can read the article for details about what happened.

I know that gender issues aren't as srs bsns to some people as, say, race or sexuality issues. I'm sad to say that I receive fairly insensitive and sometimes angry notes and messages regarding my gender on a weekly basis. I have gotten used to the fact that many people are only comfortable when they're able to fit people into distinct categories. It would be nice, though, if this could change. I can understand if the dA mods mentioned just weren't very well informed, I'm sure we can all pick a topic that is very important to someone else that we can admit we know nothing about.

Instead of getting up-at-arms and vitriolic, I hope that maybe we can all take the chance to read up a little bit about gender and how important it is to some folks. Let's just get informed (here is a nice essay written by dmarling if you want to start somewhere), make the changes and apologies that are needed, and give others the respect we'd like given to us.

What do you think?


*edit 3* It looks like the issue is in the process of being resolved :) Props to dA for their sensitivity and willingness to work on the issue until a reasonable conclusion was reached! You can read the details of the solution here.


*edit 2* via spyed DA will add an "other" sex option (okay..) and an extended gender option. Took them a while, but they might finally be on the right track.

*edit* From now on, DA only wants to know what you have in your pants. Problem solved? or just avoided?


Add a Comment:
 
:icontheepicmellofangirl:
theepicmellofangirl Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2011
I'm gender-queer, and this post made me smile a lot. I've had this problem on many sites, and I'm glad that they fixed it on this one.

I feel like I need a doodle to express my gratitude.
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
Reply
:iconthalia-is-crazy:
thalia-is-crazy Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Did this ever get *re* resolved beyond the "what's in your pants currently" base?
That direction actually pisses me off - big time.

It's hardly fucking relevant. For a bunch of "deviants" deviantart sure seems to have a problem with people deviating from the standards used to determine sex visually at birth,
And NOT used to determine gender BAJHDFKJHDKGH fucking hell ok now I'm getting angry again and this issue is months old.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I think they changed the info bar to say something else or have more options or something, honestly I forget. But yeah, some of the staff here are not as educated as they could be...
Reply
:iconthalia-is-crazy:
thalia-is-crazy Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I don't generally mind people just not knowing (And thus not caring)
But when you go out of your way to tell someone something,
especially in a community like deviantart (Which is supposed to be some kind of deviation from the norm, right?) it's a little frustrating to see the kind of attitudes that you get in response.
Reply
:iconclumsypeachesart:
ClumsyPeachesART Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011
Oh I love dA as well, I've ran into lovely bunches of people~ who (for the most part) are here for the same reasons, to show their art to the world and see art in return. With that follows this kind community ready to help/support/or have a laugh. I have to admit, overall dA is my TOP #1 favourite site.

Now don't get me wrong, I've ran into two people that no matter how kindly you ask a question, they jump to the defense and deem you a "troll" which I think is quite silly. When only you're trying to better understand their piece.

But as I've said, only two people, its bound to happen, but to think I've been here for over 2 years and only ran into THAT many rude people? Its amazing!! The people here overall are wonderful talented people, and I'm so in love with it.

As for the gender thing, pardon me for being a bit naive, but I'm actually not quite sure what gender you are, and whether you're a woman or a man doesn't change the fact that I adore your artwork, the time and skill you put into your work is grand! And gender shouldnt have a thing to do with a persons talent.

So no matter what, heres lookin' at you babe! ^__~ lol
Reply
:iconxxanemia:
XXAnemia Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2010
Wait, that's ridiculous!
I totally hadn't heard about them taking away the third option until now :O
I can't get my head around why they would do that, why put effort into taking something way that was good to be left as it was and risk upsetting a hell of a lot of people here.
I thought dA was better than that...
Reply
:iconsnapesangel:
SnapesAngel Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2010
</i>*edit* From now on, DA only wants to know what you have in your pants.</i>

Socks. Many, many socks.

Just kidding, actually, since I don't wear socks.
Reply
:icondigital-socrates:
digital-socrates Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
@the last edit: avoided I'd say. I can only assume people who don't like being grouped into 'male' or 'female' gender probably won't like being defined strictly by their sex either.
Reply
:iconshibuyacrow:
ShibuyaCrow Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2010
A friend of mine had a 'stalker' acouple years ago, and because this person was uncomfortable with not knowing what my friend's gender was, they just WOULDN'T LET IT GO. ranting and emails and guessing games ala yikes.

I'm lucky enough to not have the gender complications alot of people in our society have to deal with; i r girl. and I'm cool with that. but reading these emails, opinions, journals, posts, blogs, ect on this topic sure does heat the fire up in distaste towards the pigheadedstupiditylimitedthoughtocitysegrigatingdumbfoundedness of alot of what is still out there.
I suppose by spreading the word on these sorts of things, people are doing the exact opposite of what they're fighting against: promoting information and knowledge. and thats good. yeah. I think.
Reply
:iconfly-tiger:
fly-tiger Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010   General Artist
Well I am glad to see that it is being resolved :D
Reply
:iconthinkgrace:
thinkgrace Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2010
Definitely remember reading about this somewhere else. It makes me a little sad, esp because DA used to actually have more than two options for gender. I wanted to leave DA... and then I realized that I'd have no way of getting my artists' work from anywhere else.
Reply
:iconjediserra:
jediserra Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010
I'm sorry, but using the word "hermaphrodite" to refer to transgendered person isn't being ill-informed, it's being a bigoted fuck. I honestly don't understand how you can defend realitysquared because "he just wasn't very well informed." He was rude and offensive.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I'm not saying he wasn't, but it would be rather judgmental of me to assume that he has the same understanding of gender issues as you and I do.
Reply
:iconjediserra:
jediserra Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010
So if I hit someone with my car accidentally, I've done nothing wrong because I didn't mean to do it?
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Yes, in real life you can't view things as either/or. This links back to the original issue: should someone be forced to fit into a black or white category when there is a gray area in between? I would absolutely agree that someone who makes an unknowing mistake should not be judged as harshly as someone who did it with a purpose. Since you want to go there, accidentally hitting someone with your car counts as vehicular manslaughter (accidental death, with a lesser charge) as compared to a calculated murder.

If someone offends you without meaning to, are you going to write them off as a bigot if they truly may not have known better? Or will you use it as an opportunity to give them a chance to learn what they've done, and possibly correct their errors? Unfortunately your defensive comments is a harsher reflection on your personality than on theirs... You set a poor example if you are unable to extend the same respect and non-judgmental attitude to others as you wish for them to extend to you.
Reply
:iconjediserra:
jediserra Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010
It's unfortunate that you expect me not to be angry when told my gender does not exist according to dA. I'm sorry I can't live up to your expectations. Perhaps next time you could speak to a Vulcan about gender issues, as that appears to be what you expect from members of the non-cisgendered community regarding offensive behavior by members of dA staff. Good day.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Out of 250+ comments I've gotten on this journal from cisgendered, transgendered and neutral gendered people who both agreed and disagreed with me (including a few others who decided ultimately to leave the site), yours was the first that wasn't able to discuss the topic with an open/ objective mind. I truly hope you will be able to achieve the self-confidence and emotional security to discuss a personal topic without resorting to curse words and absurd metaphor. Good luck.
Reply
:iconjediserra:
jediserra Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010
For the record, I seriously doubt I was the first person to get upset that you treated "he didn't know any better" as a legitimate excuse for this kind of behavior.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Please feel free to read through the comments. I really mean it. There were some people who were upset but still able to communicate and explain themselves effectively, and quite a few people who became educated about gender issues and vocabulary who were in the dark before. Are you trying to tell me that there is no value in having educated people who honestly and unmaliciously didn't "know any better?" Should I have assumed that they were going to be awful bigots simply because they didn't know?

For the record, I really have no problem with your opinion. When you express yourself like "Not tolerating bigotry doesn't equate to not having an open mind. On the slim chance that he honestly DIDN'T realize how rude he was being, he should offer an apology," I really can't take issue with that. If he hasn't apologized (I haven't checked), then I agree with you that he should! Espeically since he is part of the paid staff here.

But when you tack on "I'm sorry you have such a hard time understanding this," it is much harder to take you seriously. You are no longer discussing it with me but are telling me how I feel or think. That's aggravating, since you are both offending me and defending yourself from your idea of whatever my opinion is. Not to mention the fact that you aren't really responding to my other points that I'm trying have a legitimate discussion with you about.

If you're going to write back to convince me that I'm wrong again, then please don't bother. I'm more than happy to discuss views in a calm way and try to understand where you're coming from, but I'm not willing to be talked down to or have you assume things about me on my own journal.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconjediserra:
jediserra Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010
Not tolerating bigotry doesn't equate to not having an open mind. On the slim chance that he honestly DIDN'T realize how rude he was being, he should offer an apology. I'm sorry you have such a hard time understanding this.
Reply
:iconhubby-n-dad:
Hubby-N-Dad Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010
I enjoy DA too when I have time for it... but I am a relative unknown here, which I think is preferable. I also have a fairly obvious user name that leaves little to the imagination... I'm a husband and a dad... ummmm you do the math.

I am sorry you've personally received negative notes about your gender, I guess I'm confused as why anyone would even care. And I'm utterly perplexed about the need to attack someone... I guess I will never understand the way people behave when their is no accountability for their being a douche.

Hope you've been well, kiddo. Old man out.
Reply
:iconchun64:
chun64 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010
I feel kinda bad. I'm doing my best to read this from both sides and get a good look at how gender and sexuality are being viewed by all the parties involved, but I keep finding myself caught on a single side comment the author made. They talk about the existence of only two genders being an outright lie. So while I'm trying to look into how we view people of various genders in society, in the back of my mind I'm trying to count the number permutations you can make with genitalia. So far I got 4.
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:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
This can be confusing without the correct definitions: a person's "sex" is based on their genitalia. In that case, you can either be male, female, or some kind of hermaphrodite with both female and male sex organs (that happens a lot of in frogs exposed to pesticides, interestingly). A person's "gender," by comparison, has to do with their perception of their gender role. Usually a person with female parts will have a female gender, and similarly for males. Sometimes you have people who identify strongly with the opposite gender, and they are called transgendered. Or you have people, like the OP, who don't identify with either one and prefer to be called gender neutral or some similar term. So when dA took down the "unspecified" gender option, they were basically limiting your response to male or female, or forcing you to not say anything (where previously there was that third accommodating option). They've now changed it so that you can mark you sex as m/f/other, but that doesn't make a lot of sense either unless there is some significant hermaphrodite population on dA of which I was unaware...
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:iconchun64:
chun64 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010
I understand the difference between gender and sex, I was just making the comment that I found it hard to focus on what the author was saying because I had forgotten there were people with both sex organs or none at all, and I have a habit of getting side tracked when I see something I find intriguing.
Reply
:icondawn-gazer:
Dawn-Gazer Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I don't even know what gender you are, and people are giving you crap about it? Strange world we all live in.
Reply
:icondoggyspew:
DoggySpew Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010
Gender is weird (Just biologically speaking). I agree, labeling people in one group is wrong and is shortsighted. It is the same as saying you are Black, because your great-granfather was black. It makes not sense.

The problem with gender is that gender is generally considering a very black an white field, when in reality, it is far from it. Most insects are technically "female" but lost the ability to reproduce. Some amphibians change sex depending on environment. Plants are pretty much all Hermaphrodites, and single celled amoeba's and bacteria are genderless.

And even when a species is mostly neatly devided into "male" and "female", variations remains, either due to genes or hormones doing something different then the status quo.

People need to remember that "different" =/= bad.

BTW alexds1 : I'm posting a view fictional Magic the Gathering cards shortly, might want to check them out.
Reply
:iconphsycotatie:
PhsycoTatie Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
This is something I had no clue of and I think itz wrong.For one why would you want to know what gender or whats between my legs?
Reply
:iconellerinsook:
ellerinsook Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010
Thank you for posting this, alexds1! I, like many, was unaware of neutrois. Although I personally am comfortable with my sex and gender, I related to the blog in a different way: my religious and political views are very uncommon and I have to live with the mocking caricatures of religious people which are so common today; I don't like to be squeezed into a box either. It can be frustrating at times to see the theory of evolution used synonymously with intelligence while religious views are consistently depicted as being blind and irrational. I read the Bible, therefore I must be stubbornly clinging to senseless doctrine, and I must also be prejudiced and close-minded.

You're probably wondering what this has to do with you. I just want to thank you, because this made me more aware of a group of people who are even more misunderstood than so many now acceptable orientations, and when I encounter someone who is genderqueer, I won't blunder and hurt or demean them now! We are too quick to categorize in this modern world, and so many are led by the nose through life by fear!

From now on I'll refer to you as "they" if that is acceptable to you :) Take care.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Yes, it is definitely aggravating for people to assume that your personality is a certain way just because you belong to some large group... I feel the same way about my politics as you do about your religion. When certain people nowadays hear the word "liberal" they immediately assume I'm going to be PC to a fault, a bleeding heart, interested in the suppression of freedom of speech in anyone except myself, hypocritical etc. I really dislike feeling like someone has already pre-judged me before I've even had a chance to explain myself! I learned in college not to jump to conclusions about religion after meeting a few highly religious grad students who were studying in the field of evolution, and quite eloquent about their dedication to both subjects :)

As for me, I'm not gender neutral or anything, just bringing what I thought was an important current event on this site to light. But thanks for your understanding in general!
Reply
:iconellerinsook:
ellerinsook Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010
I'm consistently impressed with your tactful, respectful comments and journal entries! :D
Reply
:iconpbcrackers:
PBCrackers Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010
(I'm young-so I'm pretty ignorant. XD)

So, um, exactly why is everyone getting all upset about this 'gender' button? It's really confusing me. Like, in my mind I'm going, "So...nobody wants to say they're fe/male? What? O__o That doesn't make any sense?" And, isn't there an option in which you can choose wether or not you want to show your gender/age/birthday etc. ?


^ See. I'm really confused.
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:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for asking XD The issue is that there are some people (not myself, but such as the person in the linked article) who don't identify strongly with either gender. There are also people who are just private and would rather not say their gender publicly. There used to be an option under the gender tab called "unspecified" so that if you didn't want to put male or female, you could just choose that. Everyone was pretty much happy with that option. Then for some reason the site took it away? So you could only choose male or female, or not fill in the space at all. The point is that it is kind of weird to have taken it away after people were happy with that option for years, and then complain and be mean to people when they asked for it to be put back. And it's not really fair to ask people to leave it blank when maybe they want to put "unspecified" like they did before, and then had that option taken away (like, why should I hide it when straight-up males and females don't have to if the don't want to). But now dA is working on reinstating a gender tab in addition to a sex tab, which will hopefully make everyone happy.

Hope that clears it up XD
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:iconpbcrackers:
PBCrackers Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010
Ooooh, that makes sense. :XD:

Thanks! =D
Reply
:iconlectriece:
Lectriece Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Student Digital Artist
"Sex" category makes it worse, seriously, not everyone has a completely "male" or "female" set of genitals, they need to stay the fuck out of people's heads and get a grip.

DA staff and programmers need to grow up and learn to fucking use wikipedia at the very least considering how many varieties of gender and sex categories there actually are. If they aren't going to provide an other category under gender then what ever, that's on them and I hope for more community backlash.

Why not just remove a gender/sex category all together from sign up, because really, you DON'T NEED TO HAVE ONE, and add a gender category to user OPTIONS in the profile.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
dA probably uses the gender info to direct market to groups of individuals. I can completely understand that from a business perspective, but it's annoying that they took a step backwards in terms of meeting the needs of their users when the started removing options for the sole purpose of business.
Reply
:iconlectriece:
Lectriece Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Student Digital Artist
I meant to write "pants" in the first sentence, not heads.

(WTB: edit button... No I don't believe the reason why we can't have one, and never will.)
Reply
:iconlethalsquish:
LethalSquish Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010
Unfortunately, while the staff seems to have educated themselves on the difference between gender and sex, they are not putting it to the best use. It has been explicitly stated that the "Sex" data is collected in order to advertise specific products to specific people - that is a tactic that should be used toward gender, not sex. If a transgendered Male has to put down Female in the sex category, they're going to be advertised feminine products like a cisgendered Female would. That makes no sense! The simplest solution is for the transgendered Male to lie about their sex, but that is what started this viral campaign in the first place. Sex no longer matters for data-collecting in this age - gender does.
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:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, I know. Unless they are marketing like... douches. Or condoms or something, hahaha XD Genital-specific marketing go!
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:iconladyscourge:
LadyScourgE Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
dA should have a "None of yer damn business" option, but I doubt that would be considered.
;p
Reply
:iconlibelandslander:
libelandslander Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010
I had no idea about this! It's terrible! GENDERQUEER RAAAAAAAAAAAGE
I present as a cisgender female, but identify as gender fluid. Even though it's extremely easy for me to "pass" and I usually go with "Female" on such choices as I was born with female biology and, uh, look like a lady(usually), but I would be much happier if gender was given as a text box rather than a choice, because "Gender-Fluid Female-Presenting" is never going to be on a multiple choice.
But... this bothers me so much. Fandom is often a much more permissive place than most communities, and it's sad to see a fandom-heavy website be so horribly closed minded... and uneducated! Horribly, terrifyingly ignorant!

Ah well.
At least this whole drama is a step in the right direction.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah. Well, not just fandom but the art community in general? I'm not really part of the irl art scene but I assume it's pretty accepting of folks. Anyways, yeah, alls well that hopefully ends well.
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:iconkuromu:
Kuromu Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010   Digital Artist
Four people unwatched me because they had an argument over my gender. Two thought I was male, two thought I was male posing as a female. They noted me aggressively about this issue and I stated that I was female. They called me a liar and insisted I was truthful - so I told them again and in the end the four of them BALEETED me from their devwatch list and one even blocked me from his/her page.

It's stupid.
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:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Haha, wow. I'd ban and block them too XD
Reply
:iconotherscape:
otherscape Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really don't see why the admins had to change the options for gender in the first place. I don't even see how it would matter to them unless they're doing some sort of statistic. I say we should do what StormArtists does and let people type in their own gender.

And why would people be harassing you about your gender anyway?
Reply
:iconollieteo:
OllieTeo Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010
I had wondered what your thoughts on this issue was, since I remember you posting an entry in the Meek LJ comm requesting that people stop discussing your gender as that made you uncomfortable.

...since I'm here, I've been meaning to ask - what pronoun do you prefer people use for you? They? Zie? (The latter is one I find terribly obnoxious and confusing 'cause I tend to think whoever is using zie and other invented gender-neutral pronouns as trying to sound German) Don't care much? I want to ask why 'cause using your username every time I refer to you in a discussion gets a little tedious and silly-looking.
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
"They" is fine. Honestly I don't really care that much, I'm not going to correct anyone. I get pissed though when my personal life becomes a topic of discussion instead of my work.
Reply
:iconrabscuttle:
Rabscuttle Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010
I'm really glad to see that you brought this up in such a tactful way. I seem to recall that there was once an unspecified option for gender here on dA. Or maybe I just imagined that because it seemed like such an obvious necessity to me. Anyway, I was stunned and disgusted to find, when I went through some enormous metaphysical shift in consciousness of which I will spare you the gritty details, that I could not change my gender from "Male" to "unspecified" or "unknown" or anything that might describe myself more accurately. I was forced to continue committing to male, even though it no longer genuinely applied to me. I don't think cisgendered individuals understand how disturbing it is to be forced to misgender yourself.

The gender tab sounds like a good enough solution to me, but to be honest I remain disturbed by their insistence on knowing what my genitals look like, as if that will somehow invalidate my identity, or as if it has more importance. Bah. : /

It's never pleasant to be reminded of your own marginalization, but it's refreshing to see others who are civilly discussing the issue, like yourself. Thanks for that. <3
Reply
:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Haha, thanks for reading. And yeah, it's nice to not immediately start frothing at the mouth... maybe dA's solution isn't the best at the moment, but at least they are aware that this is an issue that they need to address.
Reply
:iconovercaffeinatedsloth:
OvercaffeinatedSloth Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2010  Student General Artist
Y'know, I think you have an interesting view on things. I'm glad there are ways I can hear many intelligent people's views on subjects I wouldn't normally think about.

I've also considered defining myself as more neutral on the net, because I don't see any reason why my private areas should be distracting from whatever it is my brain creates. I don't get my ideas, nor sense of value or worth, from a magical hole in my pants.

But on the other hand, I think there is also still a fair bit of gender bias, and I don't feel erasing that quality or value will make it any better for the next person, or anyone after that.

After all- what's better at tearing down expectations than exploding expectations? And what better place to explode than within the limits meant to be destroyed?

On the other other hand, I'm not really here to solve one half of the world's problems - or even one tenth or thousandth. All I can do is act to my own ability, and let others decide.


On the other other other hand... I forgot by now. Here is a fanged hamster. .w.
In conclusion:
deviantART muro drawingComment Drawing
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:iconshingworks:
shingworks Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
In my opinion, gender shouldn't need to pervade every aspect of what we do... like the focus of dA isn't really about gender, it's about art. But that doesn't mean we can't be diversity friendly on this site, especially since there are so many awesome and diverse artists here that should have their needs met if it doesn't hurt anyone else :) That's sort of my party line, if it doesn't hurt other people, then go for it. Fanged hamsters though...
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