Comments Policy

FEMINISTE COMMENT POLICY, subject to revision.

Pro-feminist, progressive and intersectional social justice discussion is important to us. We aim to provide a space where readers feel comments are productive and not bigoted nor erasing of non-normative points of view, while recognising that it is impossible to be a safe space according to every person’s definition. We will delete comments that are abusive, off-topic, or include ad hominem attacks. “Foul” language is not offensive to us unless it is used as a weapon against a writer or commenter. Because we value our community and will work to protect that community, sometimes we will delete comments that we believe to be harmful or trolling.

Each blogger retains control over the comments on their own posts, particularly negative and incendiary comments. The Moderator Team may unapprove a comment so that it is transferred to the moderation queue while awaiting a decision from the post author on its ultimate publication status.


We Retain The Right To:

  1. Control content and comments.
  2. Edit comments.
    Please use HTML to post links that are relevant to conversation. Posting a long link breaks the template and is irritating to the webmistresses.
  3. Delete comments.
    If they meet the criteria for deletion, we will not hesitate to delete such comments.
  4. Prevent comments by specific persons or groups.
    We will do what is possible to prevent publishing comments that are racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic or otherwise marginalizing. Controversy is not scary to us, but we do aim to create a space that is safe for the expression of pro-feminist ideas. Debate is possible on marginalizing comments if there is disagreement, but care must be taken to avoid splash damage. Commentors can send a Moderator Alert when marginalizing remarks appear on a thread.
  5. Make some posts feminist-only, or exclude certain types of comments and commenters.
  6. Insist that off-topic conversations be taken to the latest #spillover thread.
    This allows discussion of the original posts to remain focussed on the substance of the author’s commentary/criticism, while also allowing thread tangents room to stand in a space of their own.

Alert a Moderator to Problematic Comments

the head of a giraffe against a bright blue sky: its mouth is pursed sideways

Sometimes combative/triggering comments which use innocuous words can slip past our auto-moderation filter. We have a signal commentors can use on-thread to alert the moderation team to such comments so that we can inspect them ASAP and deal with them appropriately. The Giraffe is also available to inspect comments which may merely lack a necessary Content Note/Trigger Warning etc.

The Giraffe may also be called for if commentors are insisting on threadjacking (dragging a discussion off-topic) so that the Moderators may firmly remind everybody that #spillover threads exist to provide a space for off-topic tangents to thrive without disrupting our on-topic discussions. The Moderation Team will enforce topicality when needed.

The Giraffe is here to help – the severe chastisement/exclusion options are only the extreme possibilities, and minor cleanups on Aisle 5 also fall into the Giraffe Inspection brief.

Our Guest Bloggers are not Feministe regulars

Feministe, as part of a site tradition that aims to share the public platform and give readers a taste of our favorite writers and issues, frequently hands the keys to the site over to guest bloggers. Our guest bloggers are chosen by the Feministe crew and approved by all of the regular writers. We expect all commenters to respect our guests as they would the house writers.

Moreover, we invite all these folks write with us because we are their fans and supporters, and because we’re interested in the kind of discussion that their ideas will inspire. While we are very much their fans, that does not mean that we endorse every minute detail of their opinions, much like we can and do disagree with one another. This kind of ideological diversity is a feature of having a group blog, not a bug. Moreover, this kind of diversity is more representative of our feminisms than vetting one another’s writing for cohesion. Our guest bloggers write and publish posts without any kind of editorial review, but with our express support.

As writers, we don’t expect to please everyone, but we do expect that criticism will be hewn to the opinion being criticized and not veer into the likeability of the person expressing it. We will attempt to warn those who are getting into this territory before moderating their comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

I posted a comment. Why can’t I see it on the site?
As the site grows, so does the volume of comments. We have difficulty approving the comments fast enough (we also work day jobs), so provided your comment is not abusive or off-topic, it will appear as soon as one of us gets to it.

If you have been approved with a previous comment, have not since been banned, and your comment is not caught by the spam filter, your comment will appear without the approval of a moderator. If it has been caught by the spam filter on accident, a moderator will approve it when time allows. Or maybe you’ve been banned. Tsk tsk.

Who are the mods?
We are! There is not one person manning (if you will) the comments at any given time. Sometimes the blog is unsupervised. It is a blog, not a small child, and can go some time alone without setting the house on fire.

Why am I blocked from commenting on Feministe?
There are a few reasons a comment might be blocked.

  1. If a comment is abusive, off-topic, includes an ad hominem attack, or is otherwise argued in bad faith.
  2. If a commenter has previously posted comments that are abusive, off-topic, or include ad hominem attacks, the Feministe moderators may decide to ban the commenter’s IP address. The abusive commenter is banned from commenting on the site in the future without moderation, even if the later comments are not abusive. We ban or moderate IPs because it is too time consuming to pick out comments written by someone with a pattern of abuse.
  3. If you share a computer or IP address with someone who has written abusive comments, your comment may be blocked even if you have never written anything abusive.
  4. If your comment has inadvertently been caught in the spam filter, which may occur if you use a term that is commonly associated with spam.
  5. We believe you may be sock-puppeting.

Concluding Statement:

WE VALUE diversity of opinions and we welcome dissent, but our primary goal is to foster a dynamic, robust, progressive and inclusive feminist community. In that spirit, we ask that all commenters post in good faith, and that conservative or non-feminist commenters keep in mind that they are in our house and should behave accordingly. We will use our discretion in determining which comments are posted.