Since my friendly hints in some recent posts about keeping the comments here on topic and specific to the points raised in my posts were apparently too subtle, this blog is now instituting formal ruelz for comments and commenters. (I always wondered why some blogs have elaborate and detailed rules pages–now I know!) Since all but two of you have always been extremely well-behaved, I feel a little sad at having to do this. It’s like catching a cheater in a class–you’re pretty sure that there was only one offender, but you’re forced to assume that there might be more in the future. But, since traffic here has jumped recently, it’s perhaps best that we all start at the same place.
As most of you know, this blog is only lightly pseudonymous. Anyone who clicks on “About Historiann” and has the Google can find a wealth of information about my non-virtual professional life. Other academic bloggers make different decisions, but I thought it was best that people know who they are dealing with, since my posts are informed by my academic training and fields of expertise. You are all free to be pseudonymous here if you choose, but because this blog is linked to my life in the “straight world,” I prefer to keep everything on the up and up here:
- Historiann is my blog. This seems obvious to me, but apparently it’s not to some people. Please note the tag line in the header above: “History and sexual politics, 1492-present.” When you comment here, you’re a guest. I try to make everyone feel welcome, but I am not obligated to comment extensively on issues that are important to you, and you have no right to demand that I do so here.
- This is a feminist/womanist blog. Non-feminists are free to comment so long as you follow the rules, but please note that when I post about bias against women, people of color, and GLBTQ people, it’s more than a little obnoxious to start out a comment by saying, “well, as a white man, I’ve been discriminated against too.” I’m sure there are blogs out there that are all about the problems of the downtrodden white man, so please share your concerns there. This is not the place for you.
- Please keep your comments relatively brief and on topic. 400-500 word essays are for the op-ed pages or posts on your blog. They’re not appropriate for the comments on my blog. Some exceptions will apply occasionally, but pay attention as to how your comments are recieved by other commenters and by me. If you’re not generating a lot of discussion about your ideas, posting an even longer and more belligerent comment demanding that we respond to you is probably not the way to go. (I’m just sayin’.) UPDATE: See Dance’s comment below. If you find that you’re repeating yourself, maybe it’s time to acknowledge that the discussion has run aground.
- Be respectful of the other commenters and me. Pointed questions, challenges, and spirited debate are welcome, but attacks on people’s integrity, reading comprehension, and intellectual capacity will get you a one-way ticket to my spam filter.
One last thing: I love my commenters–some of you are friends, some of you I know only through blogs and comments, while others of you are enigmas whose identities are complete mysteries to me. I’ve enjoyed and learned a lot from you and from some of the conversations we’ve had in the comments here (and on your blogs too.) I’m sorry if this post seems like a wet blanket–let’s shake this thing out and let it dry at the beach, since it’s Memorial Day Weekend, m’kay?