I made the comment below in the reposting of the Trans-ghettoized diary. Pam commented to me privately this past Tuesday on how this comment should likely be unburied from that comment thread, and put on the front page. Dyssonance made the same comment a week ago Friday. So, I’m unburying this — but I waited for the weekend when we take a little more liberty to do personal diaries.

Basically, this was a response to a comment by Eshto, where that blender commented that the Trans-ghettoized seemed to be a post that called for civility towards trans blenders, and that Eshto thought some of the comments behind why I originally wrote the Trans-ghettoized diary were really over the line. Here’s how I responded a week ago Friday to Eshto‘s comment in that thread:

Those were comments in The Blend before I became too aggressive with moderating…

…But, with everything, one can go too far.

It’s like mothering. We think of mothering as a virtue, but the reality is that you can over-mother a child.

Definitely, the pendulum has swung very widely in the past two weeks. As a group, we at PHB went from piecemeal, sometimes “over-mothering” of threads to, as a group, not “mothering” the threads at all.

I know for me, saying “I’m sorry for my many mistakes” at this point is part of being civil. But, being sorry for “over-mothering” our threads really isn’t enough.

It’s the repenting that’s the more important part. Sure, changing the system we use to moderate will minimize the chance that a “cis- scenario” repeats here. But too, maintaining awareness of my personal potential to over-reach and “over-mother” — especially when I feel personally stressed — is going to be another part.

So, it’s sort of a two-part fix. One part is The Blend‘s systematic fix for moderating. The other part is more personal — changing my perspective and my actions. It’s the repenting of my past mistakes that is going to be key for my part in maintaining my own personal civility here at PHB.


As if there were safety in stupidity alone.
–Henry David Thoreau

The systematic fix to how we moderate was implemented on Monday, July 13th with the update to the Pam’s House Blend Terms And Conditions Of Service (TOS), as well as the blender Report TOS Violations section (and its Submit Report button) up in the top of the right column.

But, I guess I need to clarify something. And that is, if I actually express that I’ve made a mistake, or express I was wrong, implicitly I’m saying I’m sorry, and I’m already thinking about repenting — about how to change my thoughts and behavior so I don’t repeat my mistakes.

Sometimes, I don’t say the words “I’m sorry” because I think that’s understood in admitting I’ve made a mistake; that it’s understood that I have a habit of always repenting of my admitted mistakes.

But, you blenders shouldn’t be expected to attempt to figure out what I implicitly meant. During these past weeks I should have explicitly stated that “I’m sorry.” I should have also stated that I have been working out with Pam and my fellow barists systematic fixes to the moderation problem, and that my act of repentance — that change of my thoughts and my behavior — was intended as a follow-on to that should-have-been-expressed “I’m sorry.”

Basically, I didn’t clearly state what I should have clearly stated.

So, I’ve listened (and listen) to Pam, and I’ve listened to Dyssonance. So here that comment from the Trans-ghettoized has made it to the front page as its own diary.

So, if it’s not clear what I’m saying:

• I made many mistakes at The Blend in “over-mothering” our comment threads for civility.

• I’m sorry I made those mistakes.

• Pam and my peer baristas have implemented a systematic change to way we moderate so the moderation will be more clear, fair, and even-handed with our new Terms And Conditions Of Service (TOS).

• I’m now very aware of my tendency to want to “over-mother” our threads to tamp down anger. Between those systematic changes to the TOS, and that new awareness of that “over-mothering” tendency of mine, my approach to moderating has changed dramaticly.

It really is the repenting of my past mistakes that is going to be key for my part in maintaining my own personal civility here at PHB.

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen