We want to recognize that we all have varying degrees of comfort or discomfort with conflict (or even with passionate dialogue/debate), and that none of us are free from difficulty at times in communicating effectively and with consideration for others’ feelings and respect for others’ points-of-view. This list of rules should be viewed as a general guideline for interacting with one another whether on the Feminist Assembly list, the teleconference calls, on social media, or at the in-person conferences in a way that is constructive and enhancing to the individuals involved and to the group.
Our hope and belief is that we can strive for positive, affirming, respectful dialogue, even while disagreeing on an issue or proposed action, and our intent is not to sit in judgment or punish any member of our group, suppress dissent, or restrict free speech, but to hold people accountable for the way in which ideas and viewpoints are expressed (that is, behavior). These rules maybe reviewed at any time and modified or updated as needed and will be submitted to the Feminist Assembly for a vote if any changes are made.
1. Frank exchange of different views are welcomed and encouraged but shall not be done in a disrespectful, unsisterly manner.
2. No personal attacks, name-calling, or maligning of anyone’s character and/or motives of other FIST members, whether on the Feminist Assembly email list, in group teleconferences, or in person meetings or conferences. We discuss and criticize ideas, we don’t attack individuals.
3. Any woman who violates these rules on the email list will be directed to rephrase her comments and given specific feedback re what is offensive; the second time she will receive a warning and again given specific feedback and more appropriate interaction modeled; the third time she will be removed from the list and given specific examples why this decision was made.
4. There shall be a committee of three to five list moderators, chosen by the group. The decision to redirect or warn can be given by any of the moderators; the decision to remove a woman from the list shall be made only after 2 opportunities have been granted to self-correct, and two-thirds of list moderators agree she should be removed.
5. Anyone removed from the Feminist Assembly email list can appeal the decision and seek reinstatement by contacting one of the moderators stating why she was removed, whether she thinks the decision was fair (or not), and why she wants to be reinstated. The decision to reinstate or not will be put to a vote. Reinstatement will be based on a majority vote by at least 12 members voting. Once reinstated, the member is again subject to the same rules of decorum as everyone else and starts over with a clean slate.
6. Any member can voice her concern with the tenor of an exchange on the Feminist Assembly email list, teleconference calls, social media, or in-person conferences and request review by the moderators. Temporary assignment of the role of “vibes-watcher” to one of the members present may be made on calls or at conferences in order to help guide interaction.
7. Any member can be removed from membership for violation of the Rules of Conduct as provided for under section 1(h) of the Bylaws.