The success has come at a price, and it's a cost that is now becoming too high to bear. If rectifying the situation means we lose some readers then I think it will be worth it.
I write, of course, of our comment threads.
We wanted this to be an overtly feminist, openly progressive, safe space in the turmoil of Blogland. Largely I think we've succeeded. But one or two trolls on a thread, even when there are fifteen friendlies commenting too, starts to feel bad. And I don't want to feel bad about this blog, or about blogging. I don't want to have my blogtime eaten up by nasty munters who seem to take every response, every deletion, as a boost to their self-worth.
So let's head back to our base; to (most of) you, dear readers, and to us, the writers.
What are we, who are we, and what do we want in our space?
Here's what I think:
- We are people - men, women, human beings. Inherent in that is treating each other with respect, as if we were face to face. We know we are not heartless robot monkeys typing away in search of Shakespeare in a cavern underneath Mt Eden.
- We are interested in discussion and debate - we don't mind disagreement, and we enjoy exploring points. We know that abuse is not necessary to achieve good discussion.
- We like inclusive language, and we know we're not perfect at that either - so when we get it wrong we call each other on it gently, as we might a dear friend. And we try not to get it wrong in the first place.
- We acknowledge that this is a feminist blog, written through the lens of women from and/or in Aotearoa New Zealand - when we step into this space we have a 99.9% probability of encountering posts that are within that brief.
- We all want The Hand Mirror to be a comfy corner in Blogland - we want it to be a blog where ideas and experiences can be shared without fear of trollish abuse or irrelevant thread jacking. We're all going to work together to keep The Hand Mirror a space free from sexism, racism, homophobia, and other nasty stuff like that. We're ok with the bloggers here moderating threads to delete comments that seek to sabotage that environment. This blog is ours.