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01 April 2008 @ 09:41 am
new safe space rule  
hi all - a quick new rule regarding the safe space here.

Recently we've had a few members posting about a) carrying to term or b) carrying subsequent pregnancies to term after an abortion. Of course, that's great. It is wonderful that members feel comfortable and safe sharing these things with the community, and of course we all respect anyone's decision to carry to term (many members here have children).

But the thing is that this community has a first priority of being safe and non-triggering for women considering, seeking, or recovering from abortions. One very big trigger for some women who choose abortion is babies/pregnancy. How many times have we heard from community members who feel upset or sad when confronted with pregnant women/babies during recovery? How many times have we heard from women who have a friend/relative going through pregnancy at the same time the woman is having an abortion? As we all know, that can be really difficult for the woman, to have to see someone else going through a pregnancy at such a time.

Therefore, in order to be sensitive to the feelings and potential triggers of fellow community members, I ask that everyone:

-use an LJ-cut for announcements that one is carrying a pregnancy to term/birth announcements/comments on an ongoing pregnancy one intends to carry to term

-not ask pregnancy-related questions here unless they are also related to abortion (I'd recommend vaginapagina or a pregnancy community for such questions). If you really need to ask one here for some reason, please put it behind a cut w/a sensitivity warning.

-not use baby/pregnancy icons here

These policies are similar to policies used on infertility or miscarriage communities to keep members from being upset/triggered. Please feel free to comment on these rules. I am certainly open to feedback.

Hopefully no one is offended by these new rules - they are aimed at protecting the safe space, not at attacking anyone! And as always, thanks, everyone, for helping maintain such a great safe space.

EDIT: These rules do NOT prohibit mentioning/discussing pregnancy/baby experiences when it's called for in response to an info request. E.g., when a person asks whether abortion makes you infertile, how a woman will feel emotionally/physically during a subsequent pregnancy, pregnancy symptoms, dealing with pregnancy symptoms, comparing abortion as a physical experience to pregnancy, pregnancy statistics, etc. It's completely reasonable to give personal pregnancy/birth/baby experiences, though it would be best to refrain from making comments that make it clear that you are currently carrying a pregnancy to term.
plump dumplingcupcakecomplex on April 1st, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
I totally stand behind these decisions 100%. Thanks for being a compassionate + caring mod!
electric misfit love machineeyelid on April 1st, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
np :) thanks.
destroyer of clocksjocelina on April 1st, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you for making this change. :)

And I just wanted to second/emphasize that anyone with pregnancy-related questions would be totally welcome over in vaginapagina. VP is also a safe space and, like this community, is all about providing helpful, accurate information and support.
electric misfit love machineeyelid on April 1st, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
yeah, I thought about recommending a specific-to-pregnancy community, but frankly none of them that I have seen are really safe spaces. The main ones have a lot of drama. VP is pretty good about controlling that and maintaining the safe space (no easy task considering how large the community is).
Trinitytrinity85 on April 1st, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
great decision!
kaceemorivan on April 1st, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
I think you'll find a lot of women appreciate this. You seem to be one of the more understanding, without being totally nuts about it, moderators around. I find most are usually too lax or too uptight. Keep doing what you're doing and know that a lot of people really respect and appreciate you.
electric misfit love machineeyelid on April 1st, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
thanks, that is really nice of you to say :)

A community is only as good as its members, though, and I think most of what makes this community really good is that the community members are really great about maintaining the safe space. I know safe space is pretty hard because it is not always intuitive.

I have to say I haven't seen another info or support community on LJ that has members who are so respectful of the safe space, which makes it easy to mod :) I have never had to ban anyone other than out-and-out trolls.
__myxemergencyx__myxemergencyx on April 1st, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
i probably have something to do with this since you hid my comment, but i was just answering a question. i do completely agree with these rules though because when i was going through mine i saw some girl saying that she was happy she didnt have an abortion although she considered it and announcing her sons birth and i was thinking 'this shouldnt be allowed'
kaceemorivan on April 1st, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC)
This might sound rude, but that seems like it would be common sense NOT to post in an abortion community. Especially when you can see that a lot of women struggle with choosing or struggle with the decision they've already made and followed through with.

Then again, I remember a woman posting in the miscarriage community about how she had unprotected sex and then took a morning after pill and did anyone think there would be any reason it wouldn't have prevented conception. :\
electric misfit love machineeyelid on April 1st, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
that seems like it would be common sense NOT to post in an abortion community.

When a person feels comfortable and safe in a community it is not unnatural for her to feel a desire to share something of that kind with the community. It's really a compliment to the firmly accepting nature of the community that people don't feel pressured at all to have an abortion, but can share other choices they've made without fear of judgment or discouragement.

On the other hand, posts of that kind are of course triggering and compromise the safe space, so yeah. This is probably a policy I should have had in place a long time ago.
__myxemergencyx__myxemergencyx on April 1st, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
i agree
electric misfit love machineeyelid on April 1st, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
? I hid your comment? Was this recent? I don't recall hiding a comment recently...?
__myxemergencyx__myxemergencyx on April 1st, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
someone recently asked me a question to a post i wrote a LONG time ago, like almost a year when i thought i might be pregnant again, and i replied but it was screened. i wasnt mad or anything because i understand, i almost didnt want to answer the question :p
electric misfit love machineeyelid on April 1st, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
huh... if it was a post you wrote a really long time ago, I almost certainly didn't screen the comment (I don't check back on old posts very often... who has time!). Also, I normally say something to the commenter when I intervene in any way. Did you maybe accidentally comment anonymously (anonymous comments are automatically screened)? If you could point me to the post I could see what happened.
__myxemergencyx__myxemergencyx on April 1st, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
you're right i accidently posted as anonymous :]
electric misfit love machineeyelid on April 1st, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
That makes sense. If you point me to the post I can unscreen the comment.
~morpheus0013 on April 1st, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
Good reminder. I do love that the community is really and truly about choice, but there's a point where one's particular choice might be better discussed elsewhere.

As a side question, is it still permitted to discuss subsequent pregnancies in comments, for instance if someone is concerned about future fertility or the possibility that one might have a deeper regret about the procedure after one does have a child? I know there are several of us who do so from time to time when relevant, and this reminder does specifically mention "posts," but I wanted to be sure.
electric misfit love machineeyelid on April 1st, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
That's definitely ok. I don't mean to have a no-discussing-pregnancy-ever policy - when it's relevant to an information request, it's 100% appropriate*. In addition to questions regarding fertility, we often get questions about, e.g., how a woman will feel emotionally/physically during a subsequent pregnancy, pregnancy symptoms, dealing with pregnancy symptoms, comparing abortion as a physical experience to pregnancy, pregnancy statistics, etc.

In general, I don't mean to be a hardass about this. When it's informational pregnancy/babies should be discussed. It's mostly gratuitious mentions/posts that I am uncomfortable with. I don't think many community members will have difficulty making the distinction.

*of course, I'm not sanctioning the "I had my baby and you should too because you will LURVE it and gumdrops will rain from the sky and you will get your very own unicorn" troll comments we occasionally get :)
~morpheus0013 on April 2nd, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
Excellent. I just wanted to be anal retentive in my double checking. I have a ton of admiration for this community and the people in it (as well as an oddly protective feeling) and the way it functions, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't inadvertently toeing a line.

(Oh dear lords, gumdrops my ass. I love The Cheat, but if it was even possible, he made me MORE pro-choice than I was. Though now I feel oddly cheated out of a unicorn.)
electric misfit love machineeyelid on April 2nd, 2008 01:23 pm (UTC)
yeah, I never got my unicorn either. we should start a petition or something.
5_fu on April 2nd, 2008 02:16 am (UTC)
This is a sound rule for this comm.
I had that "feeling" i couldn't quite describe while reading a post (here) about someone's pregnancy (not choosing between abortion or pregnancy, just pregnancy). I never thought I'd have "triggering" feelings after my own abortion, but I guess that's what it was, but didn't know it.
Thank you for your sensitivity.
paniquexxx on April 2nd, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
i want to make sure that i REALLY dont offend/upset anyone... obviously... and though i seriously doubt that i would, better safe than sorry! so can someone please tell me how to cut entries and put the link in there so that people who don't want to read it won't have to? this way i can go back and edit my old entries and do the same thing to them.
Kliffpull_rank on April 2nd, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
Type < lj-cut text="Read more" > before the text you want to hide, replacing "Read more" with the word or phrase to link to the entire entry. If you want to start showing text again, type < /lj-cut > after the text you want to cut. (Minus the spaces -- that's just so my comment doesn't turn into an LJ cut.)

In the "Read more" part you can type why you're cutting. For instance, "Cut for possible triggers."
paniquexxx on April 2nd, 2008 02:56 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
electric misfit love machineeyelid on April 2nd, 2008 01:24 pm (UTC)
I think it would be kinder to use a different icon here, but I understand that that is difficult for many people - it's not something you'd be banned for or anything.

Edited at 2008-04-02 01:26 pm (UTC)
Can you handle my keyboard-fu?: My mug againisis_venomz on April 2nd, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
I feel you. :)