Comment Policy – The Feminist Wire

Comment Policy

In the interest of creating The Feminist Wire as a space where what Black Feminist Lesbian Mother Warrior Poet Audre Lorde calls the “creative power of difference” can be in full effect, and where many divergent voices and opinions are respected, including the voices and opinions of contributors and readers, we have decided to implement a commenting policy and set of guidelines on the site and related social media outlets (i.e. facebook and twitter).  This philosophy is inspired by the commenting policy on and their years of experience in the blogosphere.  The Feminist Wire reserves the right to not publish or to delete comments that we deem to be violent or that violate our intention to create an anti-oppressive feminist space. Homophobic, racist, ableist, sexist attacks and hate speech are not conducive TO the dialogue that we intend to create here.  This applies to comments by readers, guest contributors, and members of the Editorial Collective.  Disagreements–between The Feminist Wire contributors, guests, and/or Collective members–are to be expected and are even encouraged. However, the philosophy of this site is one of growing, nurturing, and community building towards a better world. Thus, comments, even controversial ones, should be made in a way that respects our Mission and Vision. To this end, rather than disagreeing in order to tear down an individual, disagreement will be part of a process that contributes to dialogue.  The Feminist Wire contributors and readers will be held to this standard.  Therefore, especially in a case of disagreement, these are our guidelines for making a comment (again borrowed with gratitude from
  1. Detail *exactly* where you see a critical issue that should be discussed. Pull the exact quote. Highlight the exact passage. Reference the exact comment. Be as precise as possible. All you need to do is copy and paste–but be sure you have the *exact* space where you have a problem–so that we all know and YOU know the language you have an issue with. Many times when heated discussions are happening, we ALL sort of skim over posts or comments and take issue with something that we THINK was said rather than what REALLY WAS said. This step will be used to a) slow us all down as commenters and b) make sure we all know and agree on what was said. Once you have copied and pasted or otherwise referenced the passage that you have a specific problem with, proceed with your critique. All critiques should reference the stated passage. If you must critique the author of stated passage, the critique should be in reference to the role of the author in connection with the stated passage (i.e. a white woman talking about a woman of color in a way that is offensive because….Or, as an organizer, the author should know that …., etc.).
  2. After you have made your critique, give suggestions as to how the idea/passage could’ve been conveyed differently.  While we welcome your feedback, this does not include: telling the author that s/he should never have written the article to begin with, throwing the article into the sea, walking the writer off the docks, etc.
  3. Give us a timeline/guide as to how and when YOU might implement YOUR suggestions.  This should move beyond, “I will now stop reading articles on this site,” (which of course would be your prerogative) toward proactive critical engagement in the service of the vision and mission in which you are presenting.

We hope this policy reflects our wider belief in interdependent circular discourse and that the role of the contributing author might be decentralized.  To be sure, it takes a base of power to build a mass movement.  That said, our hope is not to silence, but to CREATE SPACE FOR EQUITABLE, QUALITY, AND MEANINGFUL ENGAGEMENT, WHERE DIVERGENT CRITICISMS AND IDEAS MAY NOT COLLIDE, BUT RESPECTFULLY AND ENTERPRISINGLY PARLEY.  Let’s honor this in our engagement.

Sincerely, The Editorial Collective