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Wait WHAT by Amagire

Apparently Weasyl sh*tcanned its gender-neutral policy on nipples in art, and deliberately singled out its trans/genderqueer/nonbinary users while doing so.

According to the current ratings guidelines, a "mature" rated image:

May not include clearly defined genitalia, female nipples, or areola (including prominent definition through clothing).

  • Female in this case refers to organs which represent or imitate the traditional biological representation. While we understand many of our users may not subscribe to traditional gender/sex dichotomies, we are using this language to match present laws and entertainment requirements of the United States.

I've enjoyed using Weasyl as my primary art site this year, but I am going to have to think seriously about whether I want to maintain a gallery here.

Either go back to the previous ratings guidelines (all nipples require an 18+ rating regardless of character gender), or rephrase your current guidelines to determine exactly what sizes/shapes of nipple/breast are permitted in the "moderate" classification using gender-neutral terms (because even in a sample set exclusively consisting of cis men and cis women, there is CONSIDERABLE OVERLAP in both categories). And don't hide behind the "present laws and entertainment requirements of the United States" as an excuse for your gross opinions, either, as though U.S. legislation isn't consistently sexist, racist, homophobic, and transphobic as sh*t.

EDIT: The wording has been changed. The relevant portion of the ratings guideline for "moderate" now reads:

May not include clearly defined genitalia, nor defined nipples or areola on developed and/or postpubescent mammaries, including prominent definition through clothing.

I much prefer this non-gendered wording, and the removal of the offensive footnote. Hopefully it's still clear enough not to cause issues with ratings moderation. Thank you, Weasyl team, for dealing with this so quickly.



16 June 2014 at 14:06:58 MDT

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    Yyyyyeaaaaah, I saw that and had a little brain fart. I had thought Weasyl was more progressive than that. ( also, since when has US entertainment requirements had anything to do with entertainment on the Internet? That's what that ass-covering little disclaimer on all multiplayer games basically means )

    IMO though, compared to the other options out there, Weasyl is still the least shit-baggiest ( and there's no way I'm ever going back to FA, moneybase or not )

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      Because our servers are based in the US. The internet isn't the lawless space that people seem to think it is. There are very serious consequences of not following the laws of the country you're based out of.

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    I have to hold out hope that if people get angry enough, they'll change it back. Weasyl so far has been pretty good about listening to its community.

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    Either go back to the previous ratings guidelines (all nipples require an 18+ rating regardless of character gender),

    This has never been the case...

    And don't hide behind the "present laws and entertainment requirements of the United States" as an excuse for your gross opinions,

    It's not an opinion, it's the current law. Our servers are based in the US, so we're beholden to US laws. Weasyl could get into extreme legal trouble otherwise.

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      Additionally, if you have suggestions on a better way for us to approach this, please feel free to contribute to the discussion thread on the forums. We are actively listening, nothing is ever really set in stone. If enough users talk about something, we'll know it's a big issue and discuss ways in which we can rectify it.

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        I'm with Amagire.


        Complying with the law is what your lawyer will help you do.

        Complying with the wishes of the trans members of the community is right there.

        If you think these things are mutually exclusive, you are either ignorant of the law, or have a really bad lawyer.

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          This isn't my place to argue. I'm going to say it again: f you have suggestions on a better way for us to approach this, please feel free to contribute to the discussion thread on the forums.

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        'May not unculde detailed nudity and/or defined genitalia)'

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          include, whatever its 5 in the morning.

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      Yes, it definitely has been the case, as it's why I joined the site in the first place.

      And "don't hide behind 'present laws... etc.' as an excuse for your gross opinions" means DON'T HIDE BEHIND THE LAWS OF THE U.S. AS AN EXCUSE FOR YOUR GROSS OPINIONS. If the laws governing entertainment somehow apply to Internet gallery sites AND are also gross and sexist, that doesn't mean you have to be gross, sexist, binarist and transphobic in order to comply with those laws. IF they apply. I don't know the legal governance of sites like Weasyl and you may be right, but that doesn't mean it is compulsory to alienate your non-binary or non-cis userbase.

      CHANGE THE LANGUAGE TO SOMETHING LESS TRANSPHOBIC, PLEASE. It should not be impossible to describe, in gender-neutral terms, exactly what size of breast/nipple merits a "mature" rating vs. a "moderate" rating.

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        The laws absolutely apply since we are a site whose severs are based in the US. We don't create the laws, we simply have to abide by them. We do not have the legal manpower to fight any sort of suit against us nor do we have the intention of spearheading social change in American society. We're an art gallery site, a relatively small one at that. As such we're not exactly in the position to take a social stand to change societal standards and policy. To remain operational and continue to allow people to post the content they create, it is imperative that our users rate their content in accordance to our guidelines which we've fashioned to abide by where our servers currently reside.

        In short, the personal opinions of the staff regarding what should and shouldn't be acceptable don't supersede US/Delaware laws and regulations.

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          (b) A female is guilty of indecent exposure in the first degree if she exposes her genitals, breast or buttocks to a person who is less than 16 years of age under circumstances in which she knows her conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm.


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            Indecent exposure laws have little to do with how we operate the site, mainly because they are mostly concerned with public displays of active nudity. Artistic nudity from drawn models, sculptures and so forth are a different set of obscenity laws since it deals more with media.

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          You're throwing away one of the main points that drew people to Weasyl. Which was that it was more reasonable than other sites on being socially progressive. Change your rules to comply with whatever sick 'law' you have to follow (though I would get a lawyer rather than just making up what you think the law is) AND make your non-binary, trans folks feel welcome.

          If you guys can't do both...

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            Well one of the great things about this site is that we're always open to suggestion by our users.

            If you have a suggestion in regards to how we can better word our guides, we're currently fielding suggestions in this thread:

            We've always been committed to making our users feel welcome. That certainly has never changed.

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              A great suggestion would be make female nipples not explicit or mature or whatever. A man and a woman's nipple are the same thing, it isn't fair that breasts should be sexualized in any place. I was frustrated when a few years back my ref sheet was removed from FA because it showed my fursona's nipples just because she's a girl. That's very unfair to me IMO would like to see different on Weasyl.

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                Well as I've mentioned to others unfortunately that's not really a matter of us being able to enforce our opinions but more so complying with contemporary standards of US society so as to avoid potential issues with lawsuits or someone attempting to police us. While you or I may agree that we don't have any sort of issues with breasts or see them as taboo, a large portion of US society does, specifically when it comes to them being viewed by minors without proper parental guidance or adult supervision.

                I do think however that at least in terms of the language we've come up with to replace what we had, we've found a means of getting our rules across in a responsible manner.

                If you'd like to talk this further please message me personally and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.

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                  Sorry for the late reply. =/

                  The solution is all nipples or no nipples.
                  It's pretty simple really.

                  Being shirtless is being partially nude, it doesn't matter which of the spectrum of genders/sexes the person is. They are presenting themselves in a light that is typically in our culture reserved for private occasions. People bring up the argument of the beach, but life isn't just a beach. At the beach people are doing whatever makes them comfortable. Nude beaches exist. I've gone to empty beaches and skinny dipped. I've swam completely clothed! XD

                  The beach argument or being "sensitive" or "law" arguments really don't matter as long as you follow them but you don't have to be so exclusionary when it comes to what KIND of nipples are allowed in one tag. By bringing gender/sex into it you're over-complicating the issue so it's best to use language that doesn't reflect such. Also people are sensitive to many different things so saying that it "shocks" people is really off-topic...

                  The way you should word the rules should be something along the lines of "no shirt, no shoes, no service". It's simple and to the point without dragging unnecessary political and social issues into your TOS. If the goal is to stimulate positive interactions within your community and have it flourish, you have to be careful not to upset the user base which would in turn make them less loyal to your website. Especially on such a new site, this kind of unambiguous ruling makes everyone feel equal and fair and free to do what they'd like(for the most part). It would make them respect those rules you wrote out.


                  May not include clearly defined genitalia, nor beings that are prominently or partially nude.

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          I would really like a citation for this law that governs internet art galleries with adult content, such as Weasyl, first of all. What exact piece of legislation is involved here? Since you're comfortable with your interpretation I'm sure you have it handy.

          Secondly, you are continuing to miss the point in an intensely frustrating way. Whether the LAW ITSELF is cissexist is not the primary issue. No one is asking you to risk a lawsuit (????) or fight City Hall (???????) or whatever the hell it is you're grandstanding about.

          Use GENDER NEUTRAL TERMS to describe your site's LEGALLY COMPLIANT ratings policy. Describe what is "moderate" and what is "mature" without using "male" or "female", "traditional" or "biological" (and without directly addressing the trans/GQ/NB users of the site to tell them their identities are invalid, FFS). That's it. That's all. If you can't do that, then go back to what you had before, and enforce a gender-neutral policy that doesn't differentiate between "male" and "female" exposed breast tissue.

          Is it the law that "female" nipples must be covered up in areas of the site that minors can access? Maybe. I don't know what law your citing (again, please provide it), so I can't say. Is it the law that "male" nipples MUST BE VISIBLE? I doubt it.

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            Laws regarding specifically internet art galleries? None such exist. However that doesn't mean we're a lawless land where anything goes.

            Obscenity and the internet have had a rocky history since the 90s. Most recently images defined as "harmful to minors" was made by the Children's Internet Protection Act in 2000 which claimed "Any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that – (i) taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion; (ii) depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and (iii) taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors”

            Now what's patently offensive then is determined by the local rule of the state, and in Delaware things get more tricky under their codes when you start using language like "The average person applying contemporary community standards would find the material or conduct, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interests..." Now what we consider the "average person" is up for debate of course, but in most walks of life, at least in the US, it's usually viewed that a woman showing her breasts uncovered in person or in media is considered, by community standards, inappropriate. Complaints are made, lawsuits are filed, and things get all legal up in there.

            Now the reason we singled out female breasts and didn't go with gender neutral terms this go around is specifically because we wanted to clarify what exactly we were talking about. We've had several people complain that our rules weren't clear enough to them because not clarifying biological or simulated female breasts/areolas made them wonder why we didn't also rule across the board in regards to biological or simulated male breasts. So we worded this to be closer to how we actually operate to avoid confusion, because admittedly what we had before was incredibly vague, which unfortunately tends to be the case when attempting to keep things gender neutral.

            Is it the most ideal solution? Admittedly no, but we've talked about it for a long while internally to attempt to come to some sort of consensus on the best way to get our point across and this was the best we could come up with. Which is why now we're taking suggestions from people to help see if we can't come up with a better solution to help clarify our points while using non-offending phrasing. Unfortunately, "just make things how they were isn't an option because we're right back to where we started with vague, unclear rules, which if we honestly were to enforce by the letter would cause sweeping changes to Weasyl which would be detrimental.

            If you have any specific suggestions, we'd appreciate it if you put them here:

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              I don't see how you can assert that the wording as it is has clarified anything. I assure you that "biologically/traditionally female", in addition to being potentially hurtful and offensive to the aforementioned groups of Weasyl users, is not a meaningful categorization. Do you believe that trans or NB people don't have biology? Or, to head in a hypothetical direction, given that this is a fantasy art site: could an illustration of a robot with clearly defined breasts and nipples with areolas be given a "moderate" rating, as it isn't a biological organism?

              Obviously not. If you were enforcing your original gender-neutral rule in a gender-biased way, that's a problem with the enforcement, not with the rule. And I would say that targeting and alienating your trans/GQ/NB users is a "sweeping change that would be detrimental", right here and now. If you cannot come up with a wording (seriously, what's wrong with "clearly defined fatty breast tissue or simulated breast tissue** and/or detailed nipple with areola" or something similar) that defines the potential legal issue in a gender-neutral way, then you can either

              • A) Create and enforce a clearly-defined gender-neutral rule, i.e. "nipples must be covered in all images rated 'moderate'". Sorry, He-Man.

              • B) Leave the wording as "female breast" without the targeted asterisk (or even just "breast", it's not as though most cis men think of themselves as having breasts) and let the moderation team handle illustrations of trans, GQ, NB, etc. characters on a case-by-case basis. Ideally after consulting with an actual lawyer who can define precisely what qualifies as "obscenity" in the exact jurisdiction where your servers are located.

              Thanks for continuing to direct me at that disgusting forum thread, but I don't really feel like contributing to the very important discussion of how much of a non-anthro dog's sheath and testicles can be shown before an image is considered pornographic, particularly when mods/admins keep replying to me here. Does my opinion only count if I post it to the forum?

              ** gotta account for those sneaky robots

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                I bring up the forum post because the forums have proven to be a great way for us to keep track of and reference back to suggestions. The issue being discussed there is but one of the issues being currently brought up in that thread. We've asked in thread there already to see if our users have suggestions for phrasing, and tossing ideas around/seeing what people like that's suggested helps in our decision making as well as refining ideas into something that is communally decided to help rectify an issue as opposed to having a bunch of splintered conversations on multiple pages and someone's ideas possibly being left out.

                Now in regards to your example with the robot, that's already taken care of by what we wrote based on the exact phrasing we used. "...organs which represent or imitate the traditional biological representation." The key phrase there being "represent or imitate" which doesn't require a biological organism to be sporting them, just that we can clearly see that say, someone drew an anthropomorphized car and drew the headlights on the character's chest to made them look like breasts with defined areolas/nipples. That would be a representation/imitation of what is seen as a female breast and therefore would be subject to the Mature 18+ rating.

                Now your more anatomical suggestion for phrasing could be a way to go. Unfortunately, it may fall under the same issue with us just stating "areola/nipple/breast" in that people find that too vague or broad. While yes, I'd say that most people get the hint that "breast" as a term is referring specifically to female anatomy as you suggest, unfortunately there are those people who either need the rule spelled out for them in meticulous fashion because they're going simply by the word, or argue that we're moderating unfairly because we never mentioned anything about female breasts specifically.

                Of course the reason we do that and why I brought up to you the issues of taking a social stand on this issue is that in most communities in the US, including Delaware, a man at the beach, on the basketball court, what have you with his shirt off isn't considered unacceptable. Movies, television shows, video games, novel covers, comics, etc all tend to run under this same principle, which we in turn also do. Now is it arbitrary? That's certainly up for debate and I tend to be on the side of not really caring all that much about someone walking topless down the street on my way to work. However the all or nothing approach you seem to be suggesting with your "A" suggestion of "all nipples must be covered" would easily alienate several more people as opposed to fixing an issue.

                Your B suggestion appears to just mean get rid of the clarification asterisk and just leave it at "female breast" which is a possibility of course. I'll certainly relay this and your other posts and see if we can't use these things to improve the documents.

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      hahaha well shit I'll be over here gnawing sadly on a hat

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    Knee-jerk reaction by furry porn artists. Kekekekeke.

    The sad part is the staff is willing to hear you out and all you can do is flail about like a whacky waving inflatable arm tube man and shout INJUSTICE! And you're calling THEM counter-productive. Kekeke

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      And a few people have yet to contribute to said forum that is linked all over these journals.

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        That requires leaving the comfort zone of your fan base. Kekeke, better to cry and not be heard than to cry and have to confront.

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      And thank you very much for taking the bold stand of "bawwww no1curr". Truly, it is you who are the heroes.

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        I call them like I see them: You're a biggot.

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    The intention is obviously not transphobic and is in line with what the (rather stupid) law says. Go out and change the law instead. There is no way to differentiate between physically male and female nipples without using those words. There are no words that distinguish between sex and gender. In this case, you chose to interpret "female" as gender (psychological). They really meant sex (physical).

    Have fun raging at nothing.

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      Oh look, it's totally possible! Almost like someone sat down and thought about it for five minutes. Unlike your facile "sex/gender" definitions there. Oops.

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    Seems to be fixed IMO. Probably not the 'best' solution but it works.

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      Much better, thank you for the quick fix.

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    Kleenex for everyone! :3/

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    hahah thanks to the bigots for crawling out from under their rocks there! I lit a citronella candle, who invited you

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    there's nothing the site can do about it. it's not their fault that the United States is so restrictive of media.

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      I didn't ask anyone to change the government, I asked them to change their wording. And they did. Hush now, naysayers, your time is over.