Building an inclusive community

  • EmmaN_EONNext's Avatar
    Community Team
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    Our aim of the community is to make sure everyone has a sense of belonging, a safe space where they can chat about anything and everything. Somewhere that you can also be yourself.

    Our community is continuing to grow each day which is so exciting and we cannot wait to welcome so many more of you 🤗

    It's important to us that everyone feels welcome.
    We have a diverse, inclusive place on the forum that also welcomes everyone from the LGBTQIA+ community!

    To make the community more inclusive for everyone, we have now added pronouns to community profiles.
    You don't have to add pronouns to your profile if you do not wish to - but they are there for everyone to use.

    One of my favourite things about the community is to get to know our members.

    As part of our values to Be kind, respectful and supportive we wouldn't want anyone to feel pressured to reveal their identity and we fully respect wishes from those who may wish to remain anonymous online.

    If however, you do feel comfortable to share, we'd love to hear more about you, your story and experience.

    If you feel there is anything we have missed or if there's anything we can do as a team to make the Community a more inclusive space - please get in touch @Beki_EONNext @DebF_EONNext @Anasa_EONNext @LeeDQ_EONNext @EmmaN_EONNext @Han_EONNext @Connor_EONNext
    Last edited by EmmaN_EONNext; 06-11-23 at 10:44.
    Knowledge is power, community is strength, and positive attitude is everything 💜
  • 26 Replies

  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91

    I think I understand the intention with this, but I wouldn’t have introduced it myself. I think the people who use the they/them pronouns will in effect be coming out to the rest of the community. Some may do so proudly but others may feel that it would be like putting a target on them.

    It will be interesting to see how many people go for displaying their pronoun preference. Frankly it would make no difference to me whether people use it or not. Will existing forum members edit their profile retrospectively, or is it likely to be only new members who fill it in after going down the list?
    Current Eon Next customer, ex EDF, Zog and Symbio. Don't think dual fuel saves money and don't like smart meters. Chronologically Gifted. If I offend let me know by private message, but I’ll continue to express my opinions nonetheless.
  • JoeSoap's Avatar
    Level 91
    Will existing forum members edit their profile retrospectively...

    A highly engaged member has already changed their preference as can (currently) be seen from the contradictory post here (if you read it in its entirety).

    This is a demonstration as to how this could end up tying us up in knots.
    I'm an Eon Next dual fuel customer with no particular expertise but have some time on my hands that I am using to try and help out a bit.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91

    It will only tie us in knots if people use the pronoun option AND we take any notice of it.

    For the life of me , I currently can’t picture a circumstance where somebody’s professed pronoun would alter what I write/advise.
  • JoeSoap's Avatar
    Level 91

    When we write/advise we frequently reference other members. If we refer to someone other than by their preferred pronoun, if they have used the pronoun option, will we have committed some kind of an offence, I wonder.
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92
    @JoeSoap If we use their @handle we'll be fine.

    I won't take offence or worry about it in any way, shape or form. I changed my pronoun preferences to see if anyone actually took any notice...seems @JoeSoap did. But it highlighted a couple of issues for me. There was a rather limited choice of options and I know a few folk who use completely different pronouns from the options available in the dropdown list.

    Plus, the whole LGBTQIA+ business is, in my opinion, rather more exclusive rather than inclusive. For example, it rather excludes me. Ok, if anything, I could say I was covered by the 'A', but as a person I'm perfectly comfortable with my identity and prefer to categorise myself in the 'catch all' category of 'human'. If I went on an annual parade to join with a group of like minded individuals (identifying as white, late middle-aged, working class, centre-right heterosexual) to 'celebrate my identity', I'd be faced with a barrage of hate and abuse from a fair few folk, I'm sure.

    I'm not so 'proud' to feel the need to make a huge song and dance about it. I feel that those who need to bang their drum and make a big deal of being L or B or any other letter are actually making things more difficult for themselves. Surely if we were being truly 'inclusive' then we should not need to 'pigeonhole' each other or even ourselves?

    I am perfectly at ease with most people, regardless of creed, ethnic background, skin colour, age, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity. I don't look for the differences but focus more on what makes us the same. If you have a stated pronoun preference, I will use it out of respect for your personal wishes. If I call you a 'he' when you are a 'she' (or any other permutation) and it offends then I apologise.

    You can call me anything you like...I won't take umbrage.
    Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.
  • Mailman's Avatar
    Level 58
    TBH, I've never replied to threads giving much that much thought as to the pronouns to use (maybe I should have) and usually made the right call (I think) when it comes to using he/she (if obvious by the name) when referring to someone's post or they/their (if I'm not sure). Perhaps now the norm should be a gender-neutral pronoun if the absence of any information when referring to someone's post or the use of the @name 😁. Of course now it could be argued that not using the poster's preferred pronoun might be seen as being deliberate or careless. If the day has come where person X has taken umbrage because I've referred to them by the wrong pronoun when talking about non-gender issues such as 'smart meters', 'billing', 'IHD matters' etc I'd have to think seriously about future participation here.

    I know the Eon_Nexties think of what we are doing here as a 'community' and want all the bells and whistles that go with all the attibutes/policies listed in the first post. However I still tend to think of this as a forum usually (but not always) specific to customers of Eon Next, whereas Money Saving Expert (Energy) is really aimed at customers of all energy suppliers. Inappropriate/offensive posts have been flagged and action taken upon them for a variety of reasons in both these social forums/platforms/communities although I have never seen evidence of widespread or even occasional offence being taken by posters because of the pronoun issue although these are just my observations over a number of years. I have no opinion about how fellow posters refer to me either but pay much more attention to the content of what has been posted. 🍺
    Last edited by Mailman; 03-11-23 at 22:24.
  • JoeSoap's Avatar
    Level 91
    @JoeSoap If we use their @handle we'll be fine.

    These pronouns are used after the initial use of someone's name. We could say that JoeSoap keeps banging on about JoeSoap's IHD when it's actually JoeSoap's smart meters that are at the root of the issues JoeSoap is experiencing. It doesn't read right.

    We don't know who we're addressing purely by someone's avatar and forum name so we often use 'they' and 'them' when referring to one person. I always found it strange in grammatical terms although I'm getting more used to it now. One of the main reasons I started the Pronouns thread last year was to allow at least the regular contributors to declare and thereby make it easier to type posts that read better grammatically when referring to each other.

    I have already stated that I am male and answer to he/him so I will put my preferred pronouns under my forum name for the reason I've just mentioned. I won't take any offence if anyone calls me anything different unless of course it's purely for malicious reasons and meant to cause offence. I will continue to address people using any clues that are available to me but will gladly stand to be corrected if I cause offence to anyone.

    There... I've said it 😁
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92
    I have no opinion about how fellow posters refer to me...

    First class. Always delivers. How's that? 👍😎

    We could say that JoeSoap keeps banging on about JoeSoap's IHD when it's actually JoeSoap's smart meters that are at the root of the issues JoeSoap is experiencing. It doesn't read right.

    JoeSoap - singular self-confessed male subject. IHD singular inanimate gender-neutral object. Smart meters - plural inanimate gender-neutral objects. Likewise issues, although you could say they were pertaining to the subject. Although it could be said that the IHD and smart meters are the 'subject' of the conversation, they are objects from the point of view of a grammatically correctly structured sentence, from what I recall from my O Level English. And the 'banging on'? Nah....surely not?!

    JoeSoap mentions the IHD when it's actually the smart meters that are the root of the (or his) issues.... It does sound better, doesn't it?

    But worrying more about whether or not someone is 'Arthur' or 'Martha' so as not to offend seems to me to be slightly less pertinent to the forum than trying to provide guidance, assistance or advice to another 'human being' (member, customer, whatever...) looking for answers to a query.
    Last edited by retrotecchie; 03-11-23 at 15:13.