First and foremost, this is a safe space for people with disabilities. Please respect that, and please be respectful to yourself, other commenters, and the contributors here. This is also a space which centers the first person voices of people whose marginalisation lies at the intersection of disability and gender.

Quick Overview: Expanded Information is Below

  • This blog needs to be a safe space for its contributors.
  • Please pick a stable pseudonym, read thoroughly, be succinct.
  • Respect the voices of women with disabilities.
  • We will refuse comment publication at our own discretion.
  • Comments are moderated, please be patient.
  • Readers have the right to request accommodations.

Nuts and Bolts of Commenting

To combat a deluge of spam, we’ve been forced to close comments on posts older than a month. We would be delighted to reopen comments on an older post by request if you have something to add!

Please attempt to read the entire post and all comments before commenting. Someone may have addressed your question or concern already.

When commenting, don’t post anonymously; pseudonyms are encouraged. We encourage you to select a pseudonym you like and stick with it. If you’re a new commenter, please check to see that the pseudonym of your preferred choice is not already in use, to avoid confusion. You must use a real email address in the interests of good moderation. (Web-based email is fine.) Your email will not be published or shared with anyone other than the FWD/Forward Team.

Do not dominate a comments thread. Do not lecture in the comments threads, especially if the substantive content of your lecture consists of “you are wrong, and I am going to tell you why, even though I am not a person with disabilities/not familiar with the issue under discussion.” Allow other people to speak, do not leave extremely lengthy comments (over 400 words), and listen when people tell you that what you are saying is hurtful.

Because FWD/Forward covers both basic and advanced subjects, we have different expectations for different types of comment threads. In a post labeled “101,” we anticipate that readers may not be very familiar with the topic under discussion, and we welcome thoughtful questions asking for clarification and more information. This does not include lecturing from people who disagree with the content of the post or demands that the post author or other commenters explain anything to your particular satisfaction.

If you are unfamiliar with the topic at hand, or you find yourself inspired with the need to dash off a critical comment, please check your privilege. Read the thread. Carefully. Think about the material being presented, and listen. On other posts, we assume that readers have a basic familiarity with the content under discussion, and expect people to engage at a more advanced level. 101 questions on such posts will be replaced with a link to 101 content which answers that question.

If moderators and contributors deem that a single comment is a violation of the comments policy, it will be deleted. If repeat offenses occur, an email notification will be sent to inform the offender of probationary status. Continued violations after this point will result in a blanket ban.

Unacceptable Content

We reserve the right to decline to publish content which we deem unacceptable. Our server, our rules.

Here are some examples of unacceptable content:

  • Antifeminist language, which includes racist, sexist, ableist, sizeist, ageist, heterosexist, classist, transphobic, and cissexist language.
  • Language which is offensive, triggering, damaging, or marginalizing to people with disabilities is strictly not tolerated here.
  • Language suggesting violence: including any remarks, however ‘hypothetical’ or well-meant or untargeted, that people should be raped, beaten or killed in retaliation for ableist or antifeminist behaviour. (Or for any other reason.)
  • Ad hominem attacks, concern trolling, straw man arguments, derailing, and other pointless rhetorical tactics are also frowned upon here.
  • Any comments policing disability and disability status.
  • Comments which centre the experiences of citizens of any nation at the expense or erasure of experiences of immigrants or people living in other nations.
  • Grammar and spelling nitpicking. If a semantic question has to do with word use, it’s a contribution to the discussion. Derails in the forms of screeds about typographical errors, however, are not welcome.
  • This is not a space for chasers and devotees to hook up. We discuss sexuality plenty, but we discuss the authentic desires and needs and pleasure of people with disabilities as full humans and from our point of view; not as sex objects for others based only on the specifics of our particular impairments.
  • Criticizing and talking about pop culture is absolutely a part of social justice work. Comments suggesting otherwise are not welcome, in accordance with Moff’s Law.
  • ‘splainin’ of any kind will not be tolerated.
  • We will not publish comments which disclose personal information about contributors or other commenters (full names, street addresses, phone numbers, etc). We will also not publish comments which disclose a third party’s medical information, even with details obscured. Please remember that FWD is visible to the public!

If we decide that a comment has merit, but contains objectionable language, it may be edited to redact the language, leaving the rest of the comment intact.

We reserve the right to edit comments as necessary, or to allow particularly juicy examples of bad form through to the public forum for general mockery. No one is obliged to listen to you if you are being an ass, but women with disabilities are allowed to bite back if we choose to allow your comments through moderation. We also reserve the right to report abusive commenters to their ISPs or relevant law enforcement agencies.

Please note that editing/declining to publish comments is not an infringement upon “free speech.”

We at FWD have a wide variety of disabilities and life experiences. Sometimes, a comment you think is innocuous, or throwaway, or “objective, rational dissent” might trigger one of us. Something you might intend as “lively debate” may be experienced by one of us as precipitating a flashback to extremely manipulative, unpleasant or abusive past events and interactions.

Sometimes, we can handle this, and wade into the fray happily; other times, we might swallow the discomfort and try to deal with it; other times, we can’t. This changes from blogger to blogger, from day to day, and from comment to comment, and is not readily encapsulated in a laundry list of “do”s and “don’t”s.

One of the major startup principles of this blog project, something that we are hoping will contribute to the sustainability of this project instead of us experiencing burnout one by one and disappearing, is that we have the right to protect ourselves. Part of this involves retaining the prerogative to delete any comment that we are not capable of dealing with, or to publish it and not respond, and to choose not to engage in a back-and-forth correspondence arguing with us on the issue. You might characterise this as “Hey! They deleted my comment just because it hurt their feelings!” And you know what? That’s exactly it. This is a privately owned blog. You don’t have an overriding right to insist on using our servers to hurt us, no matter what your intentions were.

We realise that some commenters may find this challenging. We realise that this isn’t the way some other bloggers do things.

This is part of our commitment to making our blog accessible to us.

Currently comments are under full moderation, which means that a contributor must approve a comment in order for it to be posted. Everyone has a slightly different moderating style; what is acceptable on one contributor’s posts may not be deemed so on another’s. For this reason, each contributor focuses on moderating comments left on that contributor’s own posts. When we publish a guest post, FWD/Forward staff handle the comment moderation on that post, and we will also consult with the author of the guest post if we have specific concerns; post authors always get final say about what does and does not make it through moderation.

Please be aware that moderation can take several days, as we have contributors all over the world and we often attempt to achieve consensus before deleting or allowing a contentious comment. The moderator responsible for the post in question may also be away or indisposed, in which case you may see comments going up while yours is held in moderation because those comments are deemed acceptable by other moderators, but your comment is waiting for the attention of the original author.

Contacting Us About Commenting Issues

If you have questions or concerns, please contact a contributor. If you identify a comment which is abusive, inappropriate, or in questionable taste, please contact the author of the post or admin[@]disabledfeminists[.]com, or leave a comment requesting that someone examine the questionable content; your comment will only be seen by the moderator, not by the public. We take reports of abuse extremely seriously and will respond to them as quickly as possible.

For more complex discussions and any questions about moderation of your comments, please use email. Please be aware that we are not required to explain moderation decisions to you.

The contents of email and email addresses are private and will never be shared with anyone other than the FWD/Forward Team unless required by law.

If you aren’t sure about where to direct an email related to commenting issues, please send it to: administrator or admin at disabledfeminists dot com, or to the contributor who authored the post of concern.