The Chainlink

This is how I explain my mushy sensitivity. Maybe sometimes it's a great thing to be (ask my dogs) and sometimes maybe I think and overthink things when worrying about the feelings of those who are on The Chainlink.

I'm writing this because last night a few of us received what I can only describe as very abusive messages from someone that immediately decided to leave the site. I think it's best he did leave because language and general hostility aren't what The Chainlink is about. 

Being a community, The Chainlink is different things to different people but one thing should ring true for all of us - it should be a safe place in which we can talk about riding bikes, the love of riding bikes, how to get better at riding bikes, frustrations, accomplishments, etc. SAFE is the key word here so we have guidelines about usage. This isn't about the first amendment and free speech and if you think it is, just remember you aren't going to find a single community/forum in which you can say whatever you want e.g. Reddit has posting and commenting guidelines too. Just refer to our guidelines if you question that. We've had them for years. Sometimes our arguments are passionate and that's ok too. Just know that someone may be equally passionate in disagreeing with your point of view. Sprinkle in a healthy dose of respect and we have a truly enjoyable discussion.

Since taking over The Chainlink, I've relaxed quite a bit on how involved I get and try to have people talk it out. Sometimes I will hold off commenting all together, not because I don't have anything to say, but because I want to make sure others share their thoughts. I realize there are people that wish I wouldn't talk at all and I'll just say, I hear you but we'll have to agree to disagree because I'm a cyclist too and sometimes I do want to discuss a topic.

Ok, so back to being a marshmallow, sometimes if I hear someone express repeatedly that something really bothers them e.g. the subject line of the two recent posts about "manshoaling" I will make a change/adjustment. I was careful not to disrupt the discussion but I realized the subject of those threads started serving as a big distraction and was truly bothersome/offensive to a number of people. If you have an opinion otherwise, feel free to speak up. I'll listen and do my best to make the call. Do I always get it right? No. Does everyone always agree with me? No. And that's ok. We're all human here and above all, let's be good to each other. If there's a desire to personally attack using words that would make your grandmother cry, don't use them here. 

So thank you to all of you that come here to talk bikes and riding bikes and to meet people. It has been such a wonderful experience these past several years to be involved in this community. I feel so much love for the Chicago cycling community and only hope it will grow bigger, stronger, and even more supportive. Thank you for being a part of it. 

Love and Bikes,

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Yasmeen - I'm glad you spoke up about the recent pattern of abusive speech.

Regardless of whether we agree with each other, being abusive to other people here is unacceptable. 

Thank you Anne, I really appreciate all of the support and guidance you provide daily to our community. 

 Yasmeen, thank you for your thoughtful approach to the often thankless task of online moderation.

At the risk of being sexist, men who rail about being subjected to "sexism" are hysterical -- from Latin hystericus "of the womb," from Greek hysterikos 'of the womb, suffering in the womb,' from hystera 'womb.' Originally defined as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus." 

Brings to mind that scene in "The Producers" when Gene Wilder works himself into a frenzy, screaming, "I'm hysterical! I'm in pain, and I'm wet, and I'm still HYSTERICAL!"

Thanks Curtis. You always have kind, supportive words for me. Today you made me laugh out loud. :-)

Thanks for all you do, Yasmeen! 

The Chainlink has always felt like a manifestation of the Tarik Saleh Bike Club. (For those who aren't familiar:

hehehe. Thank you :-)

Dang! that mustache! I want!


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