Community Reminders

1. The Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 section are required reading before commenting. If you have not read them, please do.

2. The best way to send tips if you'd like me, or another contributor, to write about something is to email me. If you are unable to send an email, please don't leave tips in any old thread. There is an Open Thread provided every day, and tips should be left there to avoid derailing other threads.

Also: If you are leaving a heads-up about a story that contains potentially triggering subject matter, please be sure to include a content note. It's difficult to write about something by which one has been triggered, even if it's normally something about which we'd write, so trying to get something in our faces in a provocative way is actually counterproductive if you want a thread on it.

3. Arguing with the moderators about moderation is a violation of the commenting policy.

4. Please remember that you are not commenting into a void. You are responding to posts that have been thoughtfully authored by actual people, who are often writing about their actual lived experiences.

You are also one of thousands of commenters, as well as readers who contact us via email. Your one passive-aggressive insult, your one pedantic nitpick with embedded judgment, your one accusation of bad faith because, hey, you're having a bad day, your one assertion that the rules don't apply to you, surely, since you're a long-time reader, your one demand that we explain an easily googlable fact for you, your one request we fix your comment for formatting or the addition of a content note or removal of inappropriate language, your one request we do more work, or work on demand, or do something differently because the way we do it isn't the way you would, your one "to be fair" when no one was being unfair, your one "I don't always agree with everything here, but" as if anyone does or expects everyone to, your one "I'll probably get killed for this, but" as if disagreement is disallowed in this space, your one mischaracterization as "disagreement" that which is actually bad faith or some other violation of the commenting policy, or any other variation on the above is not just one, but is, in fact, ALSO one of thousands.

And your "joke" disguised as a criticism of our writing, your "fixed that for you!" with our carefully chosen words crossed out and replaced to make a cheap "joke" at the expense of our hard work, your "you forgot" that turns your desire to add something into our failure to include what you want to see in our work, and all the other little frustratingly common rhetorical devices ubiquitously used in internet commenting that devalues the writing of the people whose work creates the very spaces in which you demean it to make jokes or score points, are also, each, just one of thousands.

Please remember that you are not commenting into a void. Comments are, especially in a community like this, a conversation between writer and reader, at least in part. We like being a group that participates in comments with our readership, but it's difficult when there is a lot of casual cruelty, unreasonable demands, and unnecessary nitpicking.

If I get my facts wrong, if I need to be alerted to a typo or a broken link or some other mistake, cool. I appreciate that. But I don't need to hear how I'm Doing It Wrong, where "wrong" equals some value of "differently than you would like," and how I need to do more, and more, and more. And then how I need to use a nicer tone when I say no.

We are held to extraordinary standards here, and that's awesome. We will keep trying to live up to them (and keep failing, no doubt). There is, however, a difference between expecting us to generally succeed and encouraging us to always do better, which is a gift, and expecting us to be perfect, and be 50,000 competing and often conflicting versions of perfect, at that, which is a nightmare.

Thank you, and carry on.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

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