Why hello there good people! As this blog is inching towards its first birthday (hurrah!), I wanted to post a couple points of clarification.
First, as much as I would like to, I will not be able to respond to all of the comments I receive. In fact, I don’t typically have the spoons to respond to very many at all, depending on the season. Know that I do read them all and approve those I can for other readers. If there is something that I feel needs to be addressed, I will do what I can. But even if I don’t respond, I am always grateful for your comments and input.
Second, I want to post the general policy I’ve been moderating comments under. This is both available as a resource for y’all and a clarification point for myself. Elements of this may be changed in the future, so try to keep tabs on it (though not literally if you’re like me and have 5 billion tabs in your internet browser…).
In terms of policy, I only really have two core “rules”. Everything else connects to these two in various ways.
- Don’t be mean.
- Don’t derail.
I want this area to be a safe space. Not only is it a place for me to talk about issues that I cannot talk about in various places of my life (such as disability, race and gender identity), but it’s also a place where I talk about the various issues that society has in response to these things. Perpetrating the very -isms or -phobias I’m addressing is counterproductive to this safe space, and puts me and other folks at risk. Also, do not attack the other commenters – if you disagree with something, you’re free to address it, but don’t use elements of the person you’re responding to as a weapon against them.
Are people telling you that you’re misunderstanding or misrepresenting the point? Derailing is incredibly common, and is often a result of privilege, leaving the person unable to perceive the situation from another’s perspective. Fortunately, there is a handy guide that outlines many of the various derailing tactics or conversation elements. Snark aside, this guide isn’t just for dealing with trolls. Anyone can find themselves accidentally derailing a conversation through misunderstanding the person they’re responding to. People make mistakes. If you find someone calling you out on derailing, check the guide and find out why. Understand the situation, clarify and move on. However, do it consistently and without attempts to connect and clarify and I will react to you as a troll.
If you wonder if something you want to say could be considered problematic, ask yourself these two things. Could it be considered mean (and then start to think about why that’s so), and could it be derailing from the point or conversation at hand? If yes to either of these things, either try to reword it if that was not your original intention, or don’t say it at all.
But most importantly, check your privilege. Is it possible that the reason why you’re misunderstanding something is because you don’t have to deal with the issue yourself? If so, stop for a minute. Acknowledge this, understand this, and then listen to the person you’re trying to understand and try to look at the situation from their perspective, their angle, instead of your own.