Commenting Policy (with a shout-out to Bitch Magazine)
The Fembot community is committed to collaboration, collegiality, helping our members achieve the highest standards of research, and creating content that is as engaging as it is rigorous. Decades of feminist intellectual work have demonstrated the need for continued debate within the field: feminist media research requires sustained and often difficult conversations. In order to create an atmosphere conducive to this project, we ask that those who wish to comment abide by the following general rules.
Read the entire thread: Read all the previous comments in the thread, especially if you plan on responding. You don’t want to be repetitive or misrepresent what other people have said, so do your homework before responding.
Stay on topic: Respond to the original post in order not to confuse readers.
Think before you type: Think about the language you’re using. If you want respect, you need to model it. Being snarky isn’t respectful. Responding is political work. So work at it and be strategic.
Disagree respectfully: Address the argument, not the person. Don’t try to psychoanalyze posters or diagnose their “issues.” If you can’t respond respectfully, then find other ways to vent.
Check your privilege: If a post addresses a topic unfamiliar to you, or is about an oppression that you yourself do not experience or have not lived, your first reaction should not be hitting the keyboard. Instead, think it over. This might include doing some research and reading, and listening to other voices before commenting.
Unlearning privilege, as Gayatri Spivak once put it, is a lifelong process. If you’re unsure of your tone, ask someone else to read your post. If you’re going to use personal experience in your response, understand that once you do that, it becomes public experience and thus open to critique and discussion. If you’re not comfortable having your experience or perspective discussed in these ways, don’t use it.
Like Bitch, Fembot is a feminist website. But that doesn’t mean that everyone is going to agree on what that entails or means and we embrace that as a positive thing. One of the purposes of Fembot is to demonstrate the richness and diversity of a range of feminist thought and ideas. We need to be patient with each other and with those who comment, some of whom may be thinking about feminist ideas for the first time. We want commenters like them to visit the website, to engage in discussion, and to become part of a wider Fembot community.
If you violate these policies, you will be banned from the site.