The Avocado

The Avocado and Harrassment/Assault Discussions

Content warning here: this post is about discussions of harassment and sexual assault, and while direct descriptions of those things will not be included, it could still be distressing.

Because stories of harassment and sexual assault are in the news a lot lately, I wanted to make a post clarifying some things about how we’d like to see discussions of it be handled on The Avocado. Before I start with the meat of this post, I’d like to remind everyone that these guidelines are in place as a way to show kindness to your fellow human beings. These are upsetting topics for a number of reasons, including some of your fellow Avocados being survivors of assault, and I’m sure none of our members would want anything they post to cause harm to their fellow commenters.

1. This is the easy one: trigger warnings. When you post about these issues, please try to use trigger or content warnings if your post or the links in it contain descriptions of rape and sexual assault. If you post an image that contains something that could be triggering, use a warning and put the image behind a spoiler. The key here is not to surprise someone with triggering topics.

2. This gets a little more tricky: victim-blaming and playing Devil’s Advocate. I think everyone here knows that straight up MRA speak (“women often lie about rape for money!”) is not acceptable here: that goes against our stated site rules and guidelines. But there’s another thing we want to avoid here, and that’s victim-blaming or speculation about motivations for people coming forward, as well as playing devil’s advocate when it comes to cases of harassment and rape. For these posts, we ask that you think carefully about what you are going to say and be prepared to defend it if pressed. Be willing to accept backlash if it upsets others. The key here is, again, kindness. Remember what Craig Ferguson said: before you say something, ask yourself 1. does this need to be said? 2. does this need to be said by me? and 3. Does this need to be said by me now?

Also please feel free to flag posts if you feel they are going too over the line in this direction: we would rather have more things flagged and have to clear them if they AREN’T a problem than miss things that are problems because they weren’t flagged.

Please note that these are guidelines that we’d like you to keep in mind, not rules that we’re adding. We are not saying we will warn for anything that doesn’t follow these guidelines, though if your post does break a rule you will of course get a warning, and it is up to mod discretion to ask people to back off of they are getting too extreme.

Also note that these guidelines apply equally regardless of gender presentation.