Help us in welcoming a new addition to the Bitch Blogs: an updated and much-improved COMMENTS POLICY! As you know, we've had some issues over the past year with blow ups in the comments section, and our former comments policy just wasn't up to the job.
Oh, and while we're on the subject of blow ups, we've gotten some feedback from our readers recently in regards to comment moderation on this site as well. In the past, our policy has been that the author of any particular post be in charge of moderating her own comments. However, leaving full responsibility of moderating to guest bloggers has proved inadequate when it comes to certain posts and topics, especially when privileged voices dominate threads. Commenters in the past have failed to check their ableist, gender, cis, sexual, and national privilege at the simple math equation required for commenting. It's for this reason that we've decided to update our comments policy and are working on a new flagging system.
Please keep in mind, though, that we have an extremely small web staff (hi, there's just two of us working part-time up in here) and cannot moderate every comment in a timely manner, and we feel it would be irresponsible to set a precedent that we could. We are reevaluating our roles as thread moderators, but we also need to rely on you, Bitch blog readers and commenters, to help maintain a productive environment. In addition to our updated comments policy, we will also be implementing tools in the future to put moderation in your hands as well as ours. Please read the new and improved comments policy, located in our navigation menu under "blogs," and let us know your thoughts!
Many of you have likely seen, or even participated in, the comments sh*tstorm happening on Jessica Yee's post on Native appropriation from earlier this week. If you haven't, trust us that things have blown up over there, and not in a great way. We are working on a response to this blow up, as well as a change in our comments policy and perhaps an upping of our comment moderation (your input would be helpful here). As you may know, we aren't used to getting tons of comments here – most of our posts average about 15 comments or less – so we haven't felt the need to moderate with an iron fist in the past. Unfortunately, an iron fist would've likely helped in this case.
For now, we'd like to direct your attention to a great post by Thea Lim from our friends at Racialicious that responds to many of the comments Jessica's post has received. An excerpt:
Racialicious considers Bitch a friend – all year Racialicious bloggers will be guesting at the Bitch blog. But when Jessica sent out an email to the team with a link to said Bitch post and its comments, we shuddered a long, sad, collective sigh. This kind of blowback is so depressingly standard, and calls immediately to mind the dozens of times we've received these types of responses when we've asked for ourselves, our cultures and our experiences to be respected.
The resistance Jessica got is so standard that we can categorise it into three, typical responses that entitled folks make when called out for their privilege.