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I was honored to participate in the elections for moderation in MO 2022 , but I am sorry to say that my candidacy was withdrawn today without any convincing reason, frankly, I did not find it convincing .

My question is :Do my comments freely and respectfully on a question that has been asked lead to withdrawing my candidacy from the elections? The gaven reason of withdrawn from election were the answer and comments with MO users on this question: A community-specific question asked in both previous elections was: Do you think women are underrepresented in the MO community compared to the mathematical community as a whole? Is this a problem for MO? If so, what would you do about it as a moderator?

Note

My goal in this question is to gain experience to participate in the upcoming elections, And my main purpose remains to participate in the development and service of the site, Namely ,MO more and more.

Moderator message Hello, We're writing in reference to your MathOverflow account:

https://mathoverflow.net/users/51189/zeraoulia-rafik

We'd like to thank you for your nomination in the MathOverflow Moderator Election, and for your diligence in answering questions posed by the community in our Q&A for nominees as well as further questions from the community.

However, we must remind you that several of the opinions you have expressed in your nomination regarding women run counter to the values and Code of Conduct of MathOverflow.

Such statements as

I do not think that the feminist side can be brought to this strict website unless its strictness is removed and it turns into an emotional site.

from your nomination, or

Of course, women can be discouraged by the simplest things, and this is because of their nature. The thing that I noticed in the strictness of this site. I do not think that the female sex can bear this.

The female sex can be attracted to any scientific field by being soft and gentle in treatment, unlike the man who tolerates any strict scientific comment. The woman sees any strict scientific comment as something that discourages her. She cannot accept her scientific reality, her behavior is imaginary, emotional, she believes in emotional aspects, even in scientific fields, and this proves the lack of demand for this sex to such sites, especially the abstract sciences.

from your (since-deleted) comments here and here on the same post. So to does your (not-deleted) comment

I have deleted the comments that you think may offend this site, although I explained simply and objectively the reason for the displacement of the female sex from this respectable site, and that is through a simple psychological analysis of the nature of women. I said that women cannot tolerate discouraging comments in any field, even scientific fields.

Our Code of Conduct calls for:

No bigotry. We don’t tolerate any language likely to offend or alienate people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion — and those are just a few examples. Use stated pronouns (when known). When in doubt, don't use language that might offend or alienate.

Your language cited above is likely to offend and alienate people based on gender. Generally such posts as these merit suspension on the main site. We recognize that the context in this case is slightly different, as these opinions were expressed in response to specific questions from others. Accordingly, we are not issuing a suspension in this particular case.

However, your comments run counter to the values of MathOverflow, where we strive to create an inclusive community free of discrimination based on factors such as gender. Your comments offend our values to such a degree that we have chosen to reject your candidacy in the moderator election.

Regards, MathOverflow Moderation Team, and MathOverflow Board

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    $\begingroup$ However, your comments run counter to the values of MathOverflow, where we strive to create an inclusive community free of discrimination based on factors such as gender. Your comments offend our values to such a degree that we have chosen to reject your candidacy in the moderator election. Sounds like a pretty convincing reason to me! $\endgroup$
    – KReiser
    Sep 22 at 21:53
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    $\begingroup$ @KReiser, But no clear reason show that i'm disagree with mathoverflow values , All of my comments were respected $\endgroup$ Sep 22 at 21:56
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    $\begingroup$ Again, from the message you posted above: Our Code of Conduct calls for: No bigotry. We don’t tolerate any language likely to offend or alienate people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion — and those are just a few examples. Use stated pronouns (when known). When in doubt, don't use language that might offend or alienate. Your comments about women, which are quoted in the message above, are very clearly in conflict with this code of conduct. $\endgroup$
    – KReiser
    Sep 22 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ @KReiser, ok thank you but i deleted these comments upon i was informed .And I deleted these comments, in which I showed my respect for the strictness of the site, as well as respect for its users. $\endgroup$ Sep 22 at 22:09
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    $\begingroup$ Deleting the comments doesn't change the fact that you made them in the first place. Do you think it would be alright if someone made comments critical of a group that you are a member of and then deleted them later? Being a moderator here is a privilege, and making the sorts of comments you did has disqualified you from pursuing that particular privilege at this time. $\endgroup$
    – KReiser
    Sep 22 at 22:18
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    $\begingroup$ I appreciate your enthusiasm. However, no matter your intentions, your handling of the current matter is indicative of how you might act as a moderator. People can make up their minds whether they feel you are suited to the role based on this information alone. Optics are also important, and a controversy being generated over merely nominating and dealing with the resulting discussion does not bode well, even if accidental. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Sep 23 at 4:30
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    $\begingroup$ I intend no disrespect for anyone involved in this. But my impression of reading op's posts and comments was, he has some trouble communicating in English and his language skills might lead to some misunderstandings. So I think his comments should have been taken with a grain of salt. (I mean in general, not talking about this specific case) $\endgroup$
    – polfosol
    Sep 23 at 12:27

2 Answers 2

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It appears that the key issue involved your response to question 8 of the candidate questionnaire, which reads as follows:

A community-specific question asked in both previous elections was: Do you think women are underrepresented in the MO community compared to the mathematical community as a whole? Is this a problem for MO? If so, what would you do about it as a moderator?

It seems to me that this question clearly invites (but does not require) speculation about whether there are aspects of the MO culture that might be less inviting to women than to men.

I did not fully understand your response (possibly in part because it was not written in your native language), but I believe you were saying, in essence, that women, on average, are less comfortable than men with contentious arguments of the sort that sometimes arise here. I don't know whether that's true, but I do think it's plausible. I also think that even if it weren't plausible to me, it might still be plausible to a reasonable person. And I think it's the sort of speculation that's responsive to the question.

Others understood your response somewhat differently. Different understandings led to different reactions, some more reasonable than others. At least one poster called your response "hate speech", which I believe is both entirely indefensible and far more offensive than anything you said, under any reasonable interpretation.

I do not think you should have been removed as a candidate.

That said, there were many aspects of your answers to this question and to others that made me skeptical of your candidacy. Many of your answers seemed impossible to understand (again, perhaps partly because of language differences, but the problem seemed to go deeper than that). And I was disturbed by several other things, including the fact that you did not clearly and unambiguously acknowledge your errors about MathOverflow history when they were pointed out. I would not have been comfortable voting for you. I expect that many other voters would have had the same reactions I did, and that your candidacy would not have succeeded. But I don't think it should have ended in the way that it did.

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    $\begingroup$ You seem to have reformulated what the candidate was trying to express, and your interpretation might be correct. However what was written (and quoted in the question) was: ``I do not think that the feminist side can be brought to this strict website unless its strictness is removed and it turns into an emotional site." At the very least this quote suggests an inability to communicate, which already would seem to be a great hurdle to being a moderator. I agree that it would have been better to specify qualifications for being a moderator which could be applied uniformly (cot'd) $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Sep 22 at 22:57
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    $\begingroup$ However, a bad/unqualified moderator can clearly do a lot of harm, and I am disinclined to argue just based on principle that what happened here was wrong. (Of course you are entitled to your take, and to some extent I understand it.) $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Sep 22 at 22:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Lucia: "At the very least this quote suggests an inability to communicate, which already would seem to be a great hurdle to being a moderator." With this, I absolutely agree. $\endgroup$ Sep 22 at 23:09
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    $\begingroup$ @zeraouliarafik: We have no way to stare into your soul and see what your true intentions are. All we can see is what you wrote, which looks to me like crude stereotyping. If that is not what you meant, the fact that you could not communicate clearly about such sensitive issues makes you (in my opinion) not qualified to be a moderator. After all, dealing with sensitive conflicts is one of the main tasks of that job. $\endgroup$ Sep 22 at 23:24
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    $\begingroup$ All of this controversy is uneeded. The question "Do you think women are underrepresented..." is opinion based. Here are the facts: 1) Women have just as much access to MO as men and 2) There is no evidence women are treated any different than men on this site. So why do we have to "go there" at all? Silly. $\endgroup$ Sep 22 at 23:38
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    $\begingroup$ @AndyPutman: "....which looks to me like crude stereotyping...". But it seems to me that the question called for crude stereotyping. I don't see a way to answer this question without some sort of (probably not very well-founded) speculation about differences between men and women. $\endgroup$ Sep 22 at 23:47
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    $\begingroup$ @StevenLandsburg: I don’t see why one must engage in crude stereotyping (or think that it has any biological basis whatsoever) to discuss how women’s experience of MO and the mathematical community more broadly can be different from men’s. There are plenty of first-hand accounts of this available. How we should handle this is obviously a subtle and sometimes contentious issue, but I don’t think its mere existence is easily disputed, at least without accusing vast numbers of people of lying about their own experiences. $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 0:19
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    $\begingroup$ (but I don’t want to be drawn further into a discussion of this here, so I won’t respond to any followup comments you might make). $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 0:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Carl-FredrikNybergBrodda, The biological logic said man is not equal women .All what i have claimed about the method of dealing were true . $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 15:41
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    $\begingroup$ I think we should move on. It is evident that there are some linguistic and cultural differences that make it very difficult to have a really constructive conversation. Personally, I think that zaraoulia rafik was in good faith and he did not intend to offend women or to be a bigot/a sexist. At least, not on purpose. On the other hand, I agree that some of his comments were inappropriate for the privileged role he intended to take. I repeat, let us move on, after all this is not Twitter. $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 15:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Carl-FredrikNybergBrodda: It is evident that there are wide cultural differences here, maybe he wrote something that is considered appropriate in his cultural context. That said, he claimed that he did not mean any intentional offense, and generally I am inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially if it is the first time they make a mistake. And, as an aside, I think that a potential moderator should make an effort to do the same: after all, their role is to calm things down, not to throw gasoline into the fire. $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 16:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Carl-FredrikNybergBrodda: I expressed my opinion. Since I think we should move on, I will not comment further on this topic. $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 16:17
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    $\begingroup$ Since my name got thrown around a little last time, I just wanted to say that I support @FrancescoPolizzi here. $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Sep 23 at 16:18
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    $\begingroup$ @FrancescoPolizzi And I expressed mine in response to yours. I agree we should move on. $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 16:20
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    $\begingroup$ @zeraouliarafik For the record, neither Francesco nor I said that we agreed with your assertions about "the nature of women". I cannot speak for Francesco but I disagree strongly with your opinions. For what it is worth, I would also have voted against your nomination for a moderator on this site because I do not think you have the required mathematical and academic background. All I meant in my previous comment is that I agreed with meta.mathoverflow.net/questions/5461/… $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Sep 24 at 13:51
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Really, your question has been answered several times over by several different people. The moderator message that you received explains that your comments violated the Code of Conduct, and, as a matter of fact, your violations were so severe that they would normally cause you to be suspended. One person described your comments as "sexist [and] reprehensible," another described them as "vile," and another described them as "hate speech."

However, it sounds like you don't understand why your comments are unacceptable. You've written elsewhere that you want to figure out a way to make the site welcoming for women and that you have no intention of discriminating. So why do we have a problem with the things that you've said?

I think the worst statements that you made were:

  • "I do not think that the female sex can bear [the strictness of this site]."
  • "[The woman] cannot accept her scientific reality, her behavior is imaginary [...]"
  • "I said that women cannot tolerate discouraging comments in any field, even scientific fields."

You've stated that all women are incapable of accepting reality and that all women are incapable of tolerating strictness and discouraging comments. Both of those beliefs are false, which is really quite obvious from the fact that there are a lot of successful women mathematicians and scientists. In my opinion (and it seems that the MathOverflow moderation team agrees with me), the fact that you hold these clearly false and sexist beliefs means that you're not currently qualified to be a moderator.

A lot of the other things that you have said are badly phrased. For example, you keep saying the phrase "the female sex," which sounds pretty disrespectful; it would be much better to say "women" instead. This is merely one example of the many phrases you've written that sound disrespectful.

Another problem is that you're ignoring most of the things that people are telling you. You received a message explaining to you, in detail, why your nomination as a moderator was rejected, and your response was to... post a question asking why your nomination as a moderator was rejected. You already have the answer to your question, but you have chosen to ignore that answer and ask for a different answer instead.

Besides that, when several people described your comments as sexist, reprehensible, vile, and hate speech, you should have listened to them and thought about what they were telling you. Instead of doing that, you ignored what they were saying. You somehow came to the (completely implausible and, frankly, bizarre) conclusion that the other candidate somehow "used a devile tricks [...] to convince people there that [you] have used bigotry and sexism."

My advice to you is this:

Stop and listen. Speak less and listen more, because most of what you have been saying is false and most of what people have been telling you is true. It's time for you to start paying attention.

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  • $\begingroup$ And also my comments about women in my context dosn't seems violent or disrespectful to me but it were appeared to MO community violent and offent lead to withdrawn my candidacy . understanding me ? $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 19:36
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    $\begingroup$ @zeraouliarafik I think I understand you. Unfortunately, if you want to be a moderator, then the way that your words are perceived is just as important as the actual thoughts and intentions behind those words. One of the requirements for being a good moderator is having a good understanding of what sorts of things people find offensive, and why. $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 21:33

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