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5th-Aug-2014 06:15 pm(no subject)
I just wanted to call this post to attention: http://vaginapagina.livejournal.com/22098796.html#comments There are some big up close vulva pictures showing up on my friends list. People have asked for a picture cut but no response from the OP. Thank you.
16th-Jun-2014 12:01 am - VaginaPagina.com
Hi all!

This is just a quick heads-up to let you know that our main website might be down overnight: we're transferring to new hosting/servers, and it can take a few hours for everything to update.

This is the first step in a serious website revamp: the contacts page doesn't have all our new SSMs, for instance, and we're well aware that our links section is pretty much a dinosaur! Over the next few weeks and months we're expecting to provide a series of posts requesting feedback on new content.

for the VP team
gay communist lumberjack canadian
As we can all tell, LiveJournal has been dying a slow death since things like Facebook and Reddit have become more popular. I held on to my LJ habit because of VaginaPagina.

I have decided that this page is no longer worth it. I received a SSR warning about my use of the phrase "itch like crazy" with the admonition that it might be offensive to those struggling with mental illness.

I believe in avoiding being intentionally offensive. No one should feel like they are being personally attacked.

However, this community has become so obsessed with protecting people's delicate feelings from accidental innocuous insults that it becomes nearly impossible to have authentic discourse. Having to scour one's post looking for possible slights against certain groups is a paranoia-inducing task. It makes it feel like it's not worthwhile to contribute.

So I am done. I liked to think that as a Women's Health RN I could add something of value to this community, but it's obvious that this is no longer a safe place for me to speak my mind.

Without VP, there's no point for me to continue monitoring LiveJournal. So, thank you for helping me cut ties without regret.
10th-Apr-2014 09:44 am - Can't Edit!
Hey! I received an SSR here and, while I am sorry for my wording (I was writing while running out the door, pre-coffee; I just totally wasn't thinking) I do find it weird that SSRs include a request to "please edit your comment". As per LJ's formatting, comments automatically become un-editable once someone has replied, so the request to edit actually in and of itself prevents me from doing so.

Just thought it was worth pointing out. I replied to my original comment with an apology, but that's about all I can do.
Eye in the Pyrawings
...their future spouses will be upset with them for OMG MALE GYNOS?


I wrote a long thing but then deleted it because there is about no way I can answer nicely.

Well, maybe, "Bodies are not spoiled by people touching them." And possibly "The OP was concerned about the probable sensations. Yo, the sensations as I experience them."

But I'm having a stressy day right now and don't trust myself.
25th-Feb-2014 01:29 pm - Censorship?
Hey guys, I'm just a little confused about the rules using some words to post. I will post my answer here to a SSR I received in this post.

Just fixed it.
I do understand to not write crazy for when it is related to people, but about situation isn't it kinda too much of a censorship? Even people who would get offended by the word crazy(including myself, who had been in a abusive relationship) will realize the word was not used towards a person, but a situation.
Just my two cents, but I do see the rules of the community and I fixed the post. And I will be more careful when writing from now on.

Like I said in my answer, I really didn't mean anything, but people can't be that sensitive to a word. Just my opinion. And sorry if this bother anyone, I just wanted to know about it, since I myself get insulted if someone calls me crazy, but I wouldn't get insulted if someone comments about a situation using the same word.
21st-Jan-2014 06:15 pm - public posts
cupcakes: cupcake pretty
Just realised a post I have commented on is public. I don't want to delete my comments, I think they are helpful since I'm in correspondance via them with the poster, and it's helping me too... but I am terrified of the fact anyone can read.
What shall I do?

I suppose I can leave it for maybe a certain period of time and then delete, if there is no other option.

Is that alright? I know it's not ideal...
20th-Nov-2013 09:52 pm - **VP IS HIRING NEW VOLUNTEER SSMs!**
VP icon
Because of changing lives and availabilities of current & former SSMs, we´re looking for a new cohort of 3-4 volunteers. This is your chance to nominate yourself or someone else to join the VP Team.

NOTE: We strongly encourage people of color, people with dis/abilities, trans* or genderqueer identified folks (especially transfeminine folks), queer-identified folks, non-U.S.A citizens, people living with HIV/AIDS, and people of faith to apply.

We will begin the first round of email interviews on December 4, 2013 Extended! to December 15, 2013, so please let us know by then if you're interested.

JOB DESCRIPTION: VaginaPagina Safe Space Maintainer

Being a Safe Space Maintainer and part of the VP Team involves the following responsibilities:

• Read VP and contact_vp daily, with an eye for things that may need maintainer attention.

• Check the VP maintainer community periodically throughout the day and assist with action as needed.

• Check VP email daily and assist in responding to email (you will receive an email address @vaginapagina.com)

• Leave DSLRs, address misinformation in the community, draft and issue SSRs and ban or unban with consensus.

• Be willing to assist with VP's special projects as needed, such as the MMMMonday posts and the LRU.


• Knowing that you're doing important, positive and life-changing work

• Filling an important roll by helping to educate people about sex in a society that's woefully inadequate at that

• Knowing that you're helping to empower people about their bodies, health and sexuality

• Having something really great to write on your CV/resume (seriously--VP maintainership has helped VP Teamsters acquire Actual Jobs)

• Learning new stuff all the time in an environment that fosters personal/communal growth


• Have or be willing to create a LiveJournal account.

• Take this position as seriously as you would take any paid position.

• Be willing to dedicate approximately 5-10 hours a week (this can vary depending on what's going on) to community maintenance issues. Bonus points for people available during the daytime and/or in non-Eastern time zones.

• Be familiar and comfortable with how LiveJournal communities work.

• Have a great knowledge of social media (such as Facebook, tumblr, Twitter, etc) outside of LiveJournal.

• Have a strong proficiency in English spelling and grammar.

• Be pleasant but also sassy and passionate about VP-related topics. Be willing to work through consensus and as a team, but also able to take initiative in a pinch.

• Be committed to helping VP be an inclusive, anti-oppression space (extra points for people familiar with intersectionality). Be open to alternative perspectives outside of your normal mode of thinking. Along with that, know when to hold your ground and when to admit you've made a mistake.

• Be firmly committed to safe(r) space as it is defined in VP and be thoughtful about how to implement it as a maintainer.

• Be compassionate, honest, tough, fair and consistent.

• Be free of (or willing to let go of) other affiliations that conflict with VP's interests.

INTERESTED? GOT QUESTIONS? Yeah, we thought so. Send an email to us at jobs@vaginapagina.com. There is a three-step online application and interview process; more information will be provided once email contact is established.

Feel free to leave questions or nominations in the comments to this post too! All comments on this post will be screened. If you would like to nominate a fellow VP member for mod-ship, please do! And we will contact them privately.

We hope to hear from several of you extra super superstars soon. Until then, please bear with us as we occasionally spam the community with this announcement.
21st-Oct-2013 08:22 pm - Revised Safer Space Reminders
Hi all!

Following our discussion last week, we've incorporated your last few bits of feedback and we'll be rolling out the new-style SSRs from today. Thank you so much for all of your input and patience with us while we've been working through the process!

As ever, if you've got any questions or concerns please feel encouraged to get in touch with us either here in or by e-mail, on vpteam@vaginapagina.com!

for the VP team
Is there a specific policy about comments stating or implying that female HCPs are preferable to male ones? Or is this covered under more general policy?

I see comments from time to time saying something like "you should see a female OB" that bother me, but then I wonder if I'm too close to the situation as a health care provider myself, who happens to be a female one. I know from both the patient and professional sides that there are great doctors, nurses, therapists and so on of many genders, and there are also abrupt and miserable ones of every gender. I also know that some people have a gender preference when they recieve certain kinds of care, or all kinds of care, and that these preferences should be respected whenever possible.

I would not be bothered by comments and suggestions such as "I prefer to see a female doctor," or "If you feel uncomfortable with a male provider, it's OK to ask for a female when you make the appointment" or questions like, "have you considered if you would rather see a female doctor?"

This was a recent comment that sparked my post, although it's really a bigger question than one comment: http://vaginapagina.livejournal.com/21812372.html

Hello superstars,

following the not-quite-so-recent discussion about SSRs, we've put together a draft rewording of our existing template incorporating your suggestions - thanks so much for them. We are also intending to write a section for the wiki that explains in a little more detail what our aims our in leaving SSRs. For now, we'd love your feedback - in comments, or in the poll at the bottom of this post - specifically on the topic of SSR wording and this draft. If you have other concerns, please as ever feel free to e-mail us! We'll leave discussion open for a week, and then we'll take our next steps based on what you think of what we've done so far, whether that's getting another draft to you for feedback or switching over to using this version. Thanks in advance for your feedback!

For comparison, here is the old version.Collapse )

New version:
I'm writing as a VP maintainer to remind you about this community's safer space policies. By posting in VP, you have already agreed to follow the community rules, so if you haven't read them yet, please follow the provided links below and read them before participating further.

-- What are VP's rules?
-- What is "safe space"? What does "empowerment" mean? What does "accountability" look like?

We understand that mistakes happen -- but your comment [QUOTATION] is hurtful to some of our members. This is because [REASON].

[[[Would you mind editing your post/comment so that it does not include [PROBLEMATIC LANGUAGE HERE] to describe [WHATEVER]? This is because [REASONS] we mentioned above.]]]

We know that VP asks members to be much more aware and conscientious of their language than most other spaces, and we don't think that you meant to break the rules or hurt others with your comment. An SSR is simply a reminder for everyone about VP's safer space policies, and a way to educate all community members about how those policies apply to community interactions.

If you'd like to talk more - for example, if you don't understand why you received an SSR - your thoughts are welcome in contact_vp or privately via email (vpteam@vaginapagina.com). We have frozen this VP thread, so it will not draw attention away from the original post.

Thanks for understanding.

This poll is closed.

What do you think of the new SSR draft?

should be used
should be used with changes (please comment)
should not be used (keep the old version)
I have no opinion
other (please comment)
17th-Sep-2013 11:56 am - Rude Commenter Against Rules?
This comment by celticmoni really rubbed me the wrong way. They were sarcastic, rude, and didn't help the OP at all. I'm not sure which rule this violates, but it definitely doesn't foster safe space.

5th-Sep-2013 10:21 pm - Problematic statement
life on mars
Hi mods, there's some ableist language in this post that's troubling me. Pretty sure OP means nothing by it, but still.

24th-Aug-2013 09:08 pm - A thread that's deteriorating
don't look down
Hi mods,

In case you missed it, a thread that started with a complaint about the currency used by a UK-based online store has turned into something ugly. It starts here: http://vaginapagina.livejournal.com/21752351.html?thread=251784223#t251784223
17th-Aug-2013 02:08 pm - Possible problematic comment?
I found this comment to be a bit upsetting: http://vaginapagina.livejournal.com/21740243.html?thread=251682515#t251682515

I'm not sure if I'm just being a little sensitive, but the whole 'Maybe you just need to let go and try to relax?!' really bothered me because it felt dismissive of the OP's concerns, and also doesn't take into account that some of us can't just 'relax' during exams that might be necessary but also can feel invasive and triggering.
VP icon
Hello Superstars!

Following recent discussions here about Safer Space Reminders (SSRs), we've decided to put together a "What do I do when I get an SSR?" guide (working title!). You might remember that SSRs were introduced following some discussions roughly 18 months ago, as a gentler alternative to Safer Space Warnings (SSWs). SSWs are still in use, but we save them for extreme or repeat violations of VP's safer space policy. In the discussions about introducing SSRs, we asked you all to give us feedback to make the wording as gentle as possible. Unfortunately, that's clearly not enough, because people are still telling us that they are too scared of receiving an SSR to feel comfortable participating.

This is absolutely not what we are trying to do: we are dedicated to making VP as welcoming as possible. It's been suggested that we issue SSRs in private (e.g. via LJ message), as part of "softening the blow". We've ruled this out as an option for several reasons: the main one being that if people are hurt by a comment, if it is left publicly unaddressed there is no record that the maintainer team has noticed or cares, and this will drive away members from already-marginalised backgrounds. Secondly, we feel very strongly that reminders issued publicly act as reminders to everyone, not just the person they are left in response to, and that this is valuable for maintaining community standards. Finally, and as a much more minor and technical point, the range of settings available from LJ are such that there is no way we can guarantee being able to contact people privately, so it's impossible to institute this as an across-the-board rule, even if we were comfortable with the idea from other standpoints.

In response to another point raised, we want to note that we do not and will never require people to state, in public, that something has hurt them, before we will take action such as leaving SSRs. This requires people to make themselves vulnerable; it may well derail the original thread; and it was a conscious choice to make it possible to contact the maintainer team privately (via either our shared or individual e-mail addresses). Further, it is not unusual for member-maintainers to be the individuals hurt by comments or phrases that receive SSRs (such as addressing the community as "ladies"), and we don't think it would be constructive for one of us to say in public "ow, that hurt" to be followed shortly after by another member-maintainer leaving an SSR. (When something hurts but we don't consider it deserves an SSR, it is not unusual for us to comment as members rather than maintainers, though.)

We do recognise, though, that receiving SSRs can still, despite our best efforts, be a difficult experience -- which is why we want to put together this guide, and why we want to ask for your input on what it contains. Some of our thoughts are: Take a deep breath. Don't panic. Take a few minutes to reread the rules. Contact us if you don't understand why you got the SSR. Consider apologizing if you've hurt someone. Remember that getting an SSR doesn't make you a bad person. Keep the reminder in mind when posting, but keep posting! Know that you are still very welcome in VP.

We also want to repeat that there is no judgment implied in SSRs -- pretty much every member-maintainer has received at least one SSR/SSW in their time in the community, as have many of our longest-standing members. We view SSRs as simply and exactly reminders -- we don't think less of the people who receive them. We know first-hand how hard it can be to alter language, and view SSRs as an opportunity to learn, not a chastisement. Many commenters have noted that they too don't think any less of people for getting an SSR -- instead, having seen that one has been left, they relax in the knowledge that that user is unlikely to unthinkingly hurt them again through not being aware of the potential issue, rather than staying on-guard around that user as they might feel necessary if a reminder hadn't been issued, so that the same mistake was much more likely to be made again.

We hope this makes sense, and we'd love to have your input on how to improve our systems. Please have at it in comments - questions and suggestions are all welcome!

For the VP Team

Edit: To clarify, while we are always open to feedback about everything, the main point of this conversation is not to change the way SSRs are issued, but to help us create a short article that we can direct people to when they have received an SSR. So, mainly what we are looking for are tips that would have helped/comforted/educated you when you got an SSR. Our first draft is this:

Take a deep breath. Don't panic. Take a few minutes to reread the rules. Contact us if you don't understand why you got the SSR. Consider apologizing if you've hurt someone. Remember that getting an SSR doesn't make you a bad person. Keep the reminder in mind when posting, but keep posting! Know that you are still very welcome in VP.

What do you like or dislike about this? What would you add or take away? Do you think this is enough on its own, or should these be headings with a few sentences beneath each one? What might those say?
Me as of January 2012


The "do you at least pull out?" comment is the worst - the implied judgment is pretty harsh, there.

I think some of the others are borderline...  but then I'm firmly in the "people take their own risks" category, and I really want people to feel safe asking questions in VP even if they're making decisions I wouldn't make...

4th-Aug-2013 01:26 pm - Inappropriate comment.
See subject... pretty sure this isn't appropriate. The latter statement has exactly zero to do with the post and the former strikes me as less than helpful/very dismissive.

2nd-Aug-2013 08:06 pm - Commenting and Safe Space
Hi VP mods,

ETA:  I won't be commenting or posting anymore on VP.  I can't seem to make anyone understand how terrifying it is for me (and how unsafe it makes me feel) to be called out in public for something.   I've tried to change my language and the words I use to make it reflect a non-hurtful manner over the years that I have been a part of VP... but it seems like every time I post or comment, I get an SSR for something new that I wasn't aware of.  It's simply become too overwhelming and I no longer feel safe to make posts or comments on VP.

Thank you for your time.

Original PostCollapse )

ETA:  Because I'm getting defensive and doing a piss poor job of clarifying things... the point of this post is that safe space warnings issued in a public manner can discourage users from commenting.  In my opinion, when issued in public for others to see, they do not foster a "safe space."  Even though it's not meant to judge and is meant to educate, it can make those of us who receive them feel judged and not safe to make future comments or posts.  I go for months (sometimes years) without making a comment or post for fear of giving offense to someone.  When I do post, or make a comment, I do my best to be cognizant of what others might think if I use certain words... and it feels that more often than not, I still get an SSR/SSW for something in my post that could be taken as an offense... even if the terms were used in a semantically correct or "dictionary" type of way.

I understand the point of being inclusive and promoting a safe space and I understand that certain words, topics, etc. can be triggers for others who have had certain experiences.  However, I feel that SSRs would be better issued in private because when issued publicly, they do make people feel uncomfortable and judged.
21st-Jul-2013 12:32 am - *facepalm*
Eye in the Pyrawings
I am sorry. I totally didn't connect the feline origins with... anything else, having grown up with cats with those markings -- and the current one (who I think is lovely indeed) was attempting to get my attention. *sigh*
16th-Jul-2013 11:39 am - re: consent post
I recently commented on consent and got admonished for doing so. I re read the rules and can find nothing about what not to post regarding consent. You should probably look into adding something clearer.

I also want to say that my comment was not meant to be dismissive. I was referring to a hypothetical situation where a sexual encounter requires a separate contract for each act and each kiss. Sorry if I was not more clear.

[edit]I've also deleted my post, so that no more people will be offended.
6th-Jul-2013 10:23 am - Banned?
Hi I just tried to reply to a post in VP and have discovered that I have been banned from posting. I was wondering if anyone could tell me why this has happened? I honestly have no idea what I may have done for this to happen, I can't even remember the last time I posted on VP.
13th-Jun-2013 09:07 pm - Can I post about this?
This is most likely overly cautious but I'd rather ask first if I'm not sure.

Lately I've been doing health-related meditation and the subject of femininity has come up for me. The thought of me being feminine (by which I do NOT mean engaging in female gender roles- just to be clear) gets me a full on "NOOOOOO" visceral reaction, despite intellectual knowledge that of course I have femininity- and there's nothing wrong with that.

So I was kinda curious about how the denizens of VP react to their femininity/masculinity/gender-neutral "energies" (for lack of a better term) and what their thoughts are on identifying with the "energies" that don't match a person's gender identification.

(For example, what are female-identified person's feelings on their masculinity or gender neutrality, or a gender neutral-identified person's experience with masculinity and femininity, as an internal process).

If I need to clarify things, please let me know.
11th-Jun-2013 10:44 am - Personal Appeals for Donation?
Beta headshot
While I can sympathize with the OP's plight, I'm not sure that a personal appeal for donations is appropriate for VP even under those circumstances. Thoughts, VP Team?
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