AniList’s stance on the term “trap”

TLDR: To make our community inclusive to transgender and gendernonconforming people we will be discouraging the use of trap when referring to characters or people. Instead we suggest you read over the suggested alternative terms below. In an effort to educate the community on more suitable words we wont be issuing formal warnings or punishments until there are intentional repeat offenses. Before diving into the meat of the matter we as members and moderators of the site aim to make participation in our community a harassmentfree experience for everyone regardless of age body size visible or invisible disability ethnicity sex characteristics gender identity and expression education socioeconomic status nationality personal appearance race religion or sexual identity and orientation. This is all done in an effort to act and interact in ways that contribute to an open welcoming diverse inclusive and healthy community. New Rules To fully outline how we will be enforcing the use of the term trap on AniList from here on out: As has always been the case uses of the term meant to explicitly harass individuals are not allowed in any way on the site. Such uses have been and will continue to be met with warnings/bans from moderators based on the situations context. When moderating slurs used on AniList our process is to remove the slur/comment and then message the user with either a formal warning or a ban depending on the context of the usage and the users history. Our policy for more casual use of the term trap to refer to characters will be not to initially remove the term. Instead we will leave a reply explaining the terms history and our stance on it. This is being done in an effort to educate the community rather than punishing people who arent aware of the implications of the term. Upon repeated reminders of our stance this may escalate to formal warnings or restrictions to a users ability to post on the site. An exception to this is if a person sincerely self identifies as a trap as is not uncommon for a person to do in the LGBTQ+ community. Using the term to selfidentify will be allowed and will not be subjected to the above. This is not an allowance for a user to use the term towards characters or other users on the site this is simply an allowance for them to sincerely self identify in something like their About Me. Alternative Terms As mentioned above we want to encourage users to use terms that do not have derogatory connotations instead of the word trap. As such we would like to provide some potential other terms and explain what they mean: Otokonoko Otokonoko translates to Male daughter. It is used if a character identifies as male and was assigned male at birth but has many characteristics that are regarded as feminine e.g. their looks or voice. This often comes in tandem with crossdressing but does not necessarily have to. An example of this would be Saika Totsuka from Oregairu. Onnanoko Onnanoko sounds like the word for girl but is spelled with the character for male. It is used if a character identifies as female and was assigned female at birth but has many characteristics that are regarded as masculine e.g. their looks or voice. An example of this would be Haruhi Fujioka from Ouran Koukou Host Club. Crossdresser Crossdressing refers to a person that prefers to wear clothing designed for a gender they do not identify as. Crossdressers still identify as the gender assigned to them at birth they simply prefer to wear clothes of a different gender. An example of this would be Koibuchi Kuranosuke from Kuragehime. Josou/Dansou Josou and Dansou are essentially the Japanese terms for Crossdresser. Josou is used to refer to a man who prefers to wear typically feminine clothing while Dansou is used to refer to a woman who prefers to wear typically masculine clothing. Josou and Dansou are general terms that can be used whenever somebody is crossdressing. If a man is doing so as part of their daily life a more fitting term is... Josoko Josoko is a term that is very similar to Josou mentioned above. The key difference is that while Josou is a general term for whenever a man crossdresses Josoko specifically applies if they crossdress as a part of their daily life like if it is part of their job or if they do so as a hobby. An example of this would be Yuki Maisaka from Otome Danshi ni Koisuru Otome. Rationale While many people may use the term trap in what they see as a harmless or even positive way it is always important to consider how others may respond to the language a person uses. It is important to consider the wide variety of backgrounds and experiences held by members of our community. How words can change meanings and implications to some but to other communities may retain those older meanings. In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment we should make our standards with the consideration of members of marginalized groups. For context around terms historical use trap was used in a legal defense called the Trans Panic Defence to justify the assult and murder of transgender individuals. A defendant would claim that they acted in a state of violent temporary insanity following sexual advances from a transgender individual claiming that they had been entrapped. In various countries this defense is starting to be outlawed but in the vast majority it is still used. For example only about ten states in the United States of America have passed legislation against the defense with most of those having been passed in just the past two years. 5 6 A common argument for why the term trap should be allowed is based on the idea that its an anime community term. The issue with this is that while anime creators create characters presenting as feminine while being male the Japanese community doesnt use the term trap to refer to them. The terms typically used to refer to these characters are words like otokonoko jousou josouko depending on context. The English anime community took a word that meant a similar concept i.e. trapping the viewer or another character and used it to replace the actual anime community terms. That usage doesnt erase the history or the origin of the term. A person who isnt affected by a term but is asked not to use it suffers almost zero consequences as they can likely use another word that doesnt have the same baggage. Meanwhile a person who is affected by a term doesnt have much of an alternative option short of excluding themselves from the community in an effort to not interact with the troubling content. We understand that changing what has been a community norm for such a long time isnt easy and thats why were taking this slowly and deliberately. We hope that making these small changes in how we speak will empower our community members who havent felt welcome to participate until now. Finally some links to read on the subject that explain some of the above in much more detail: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
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