Reposted from here in order to give it a permanent home on the navigation bar.
Due to the number of comments I’ve read lately that had me going, “Why are you even posting here?” I figure I’m at the point where it would be wise to institute a commenting policy.
Here it is.
- A nice first rule of thumb is to treat posters and commenters here as if you’re having a face-to-face conversation with them. Of course this won’t prevent strong emotions or the words that come from them, but it helps the overall conversation if everyone remembers that these are real people we’re all talking to.
- As a general rule on most topics, I feel like the line is crossed when people move from arguing with an action, opinion, or idea to engaging in insults or personal attacks.
- That said, I don’t believe that all opinions are created equal — or that “but it’s my opinion!” is adequate justification for bigotry — and I refuse to entertain fundamental dissent on issues of bodily autonomy here. This goes for issues relating to consent and sexual assault; abuse and harassment; contraception, abortion, and other reproductive freedoms; management of physical and mental health needs and priorities; food and exercise choices; body shape or size — and possibly some others that I’ve neglected to mention. Basically, each person has the right to choose how they live in their own body; however, no person has the right to choose these terms for someone else. If you cannot handle that as a basic tenet, there is a strong possibility that you are reading the wrong blog.
- In addition to minding your Ps and Qs, I’ll also ask you to mind your Is. That is, use your I-statements: When speaking about your own experience, please be clear in framing it as such — and to not attempt to speak for all people in a particular situation or of a certain group.
- To the best of your ability, avoid language that stigmatizes marginalized groups of people. Some examples include referring to an opinionated woman as a “bitch” or to an extremist politician as “mentally ill” for their views. I know there will be things you — and I! — haven’t “thought of that way before,” but I need you to make this a learning process with me as long as you’re writing in this space.
- Akin to the bodily autonomy issue, this is also not the space to promote dietary changes or intentional weight loss. Obviously, have at it in your own life and/or on your own blog if that is your thing, but evangelism on those topics is ubiquitous and my tolerance for them is miniscule.