VaginaPagina FAQ

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Rules & Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find a list of frequently asked questions about VaginaPagina.

As always, if there's something your curious about and don't see in this FAQ, don't hesitate to get in touch!

Contents


What is VaginaPagina? (Mission statement, name pronunciation, where to find us, and origin info!)

MISSION STATEMENT: Founded in 2001, VaginaPagina is an online community that offers a supportive, progressive, body- and sex-positive environment in which to discuss issues related to female sexual and reproductive health and wellness. It is a unique, empowerment-based safe space that is GLBTQQIA- and kink-friendly. Our goal is to build knowledge and combat misinformation by sharing personal experiences and reliable information from credible sources.

"Página" is Spanish for "page" and "vagina" is Spanish for, well, you get the idea. So technically, this is the Vagina Page. So if you were to pronounce it the Spanish way, it would go a little something like this: vah-HEE-nah PAH-hee-nah. Most of us just call it "VP" or "VagPag" (prounounced "VadgePadge"). But you can call it whatever you like!

Rockstarbob founded the LiveJournal community on September 19, 2001.Nowadays, a team of awesome Safe Space Maintainers help her run VP. Bob and the SSMs do the daily work of running VP, as dedicated volunteers. (Read more about the VP Team and how to contact us here.) We are grateful to all team members, past and present, for their amazing work!

Jaclyn, a comadre and former long-time VP Team member, birthed the original VP Web site back in the day, and still retains ownership of the domain name. Thanks for keeping us up and running, J!

The site design you see now was created in the spring and summer of 2006 by Steven, with lots of nagging and micromanagement from Bob. His brilliance and hard work were donated to us for free and we are eternally grateful.

Vaginapagina.com is where we keep our articles, FAQs, and other resources, vaginapagina on livejournal is where our discussions and other community activities take place. If you would like to participate in VP, you will need a (free) LJ account. Instructions for setting up your account and posting to a community are here.

We believe that by being an active participant in VP, you (yes, you!) are taking part in a revolutionary and life-changing project. The proof's in the puddin', y'all. And hey, there really is no such thing as "TMI," so don't be shy!

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Whom do I contact if there is a problem or to give feedback about VP?

You can contact the VP team in a few different ways. We are always happy to hear from you and will do our best to respond to your question or issue as quickly as we can!

You can make a post at contact_vp. Keep in mind that CVP members will also see your post if you choose to contact us in this way. If you want to have a more private discussion with us, you may email the entire team at vpteam (at) vaginapagina (dot) com, or contact any of us individually (individual email addresses for the team are available here).

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Can I become a Safe Space Maintainer (SSM) on the VP Team?

The VP team is made up of dedicated volunteers, and sometimes, we do find we need more help! When that happens, we put out a call in the VP community. At that point, you are welcome to apply to be an SSM. Becoming an SSM involves a online interview process and mentorship, if you are chosen as a candidate.

If you would like to volunteer in other ways, we sometimes have more short-term or specific needs and we’d be happy to discuss options with you. You can wait for a post asking for help or just get in touch to see if there’s anything you can help out with! We’ve had some great volunteers over the years, and we are grateful to them.

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Is this medical advice?

VP is intended to offer people a network of support, ideas, and resources. It is not in any way intended to be a substitute for medical advice or care. Please see a health care professional if you have concerns, especially if your concern is serious!

To find free or discounted health care in your area (U.S. only) go here. You can also click here for the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Referral Service. (It's a free, web-based referral service that provides information for those looking for LGBT-aware health care providers. You can also restrict your search to kink-aware providers and/or TS-/TG-aware providers.)

Please use VP responsibly and at your own risk/empowerment.

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Is VP for women only? Is it LGBTQQIA- and kink-friendly?

VP is definitely not for women only. Not every person who uses the term "woman" has a vagina, and not every person who has a vagina identifies as a woman. Our community represents people of all genders and genital configurations, and that's something we appreciate folks keeping in mind when they address the community as a whole. Also, if you're looking for a sort of "VP for penises," you might want to check out phallicpregunta, VP's sibling community on LJ.

VP IS absolutely LGBTQQIA- and kink-friendly. If these terms aren't familiar to you, read about what they mean here and here.

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Is there an age requirement to join?

No. And that’s a good thing. Right now, we have members that are teenagers, senior citizens and every age in between. It’s part of what makes VaginaPagina such an effective, unique and revolutionary place. The only catch is that we need to be careful about the images we use in our posts so as to respect LJ's policy on images and minors. This is an all-ages joint, y'all.

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Is it safe to view VP from work/school/church/etc.?

We ask members to keep all graphic images behind cuts, and we do our best to enforce that. That said, sometimes a graphic image will be up for a short period of time, and some workplaces aren’t so friendly to text about sex and so on. For that reason, we make no guarantees that VP is safe to view from work, school, church, and so on.

If images alone are a concern to you, you may wish to adjust your LJ browse options or configure your Internet browser while you are at work so that images will not be displayed. Use your own discretion if you view VP at work.

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What about privacy? Who can see my posts in VP?

Posts that are not made friends-only are visible to anyone on the internet. Posts that are friends-only are only visible to members of VP who are logged in to LJ.

If you're posting about something sensitive for you, you may wish to make your post friends-only. We've had some unfortunate incidents in the past that have involved VP posts being linked to from snark communities. Making posts friends-only will prevent anyone who isn't a VP member from seeing your post. This doesn't prevent an unscrupulous VPer from copying and pasting part or all of a post and sharing it in a snark community, but many snark communities (very wisely) have rules that prohibit this (as does VP, of course -- any member who does this will be banned, as discussed in our section on banning), so it is less likely to happen.

This LJ FAQ item has more information about how to control who reads your journal (and community) entries.

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What is the Vulvapedia, and why don't the memories on VP on LJ work?

The Vulvapedia is a wiki just for VP.

We are using this tool to make the information we provide easier to find. We intend for it to grow into an encyclopedia of the information that VP covers. We have disabled the memories in the VP LJ community because we found they didn’t serve the community as well as the Vulvapedia, tags and links we offer, and we direct members to those resources instead.

If you'd like to suggest a new topic for Vulvapedia, suggest changes to existing entries, or apply for editing privileges, please let us know.

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What are "tags," and how are they used in VP on LJ?

You can access our current list of VP Tags here or in a categorically organized list on the sidebar of the main VP page.

What are tags, you ask? Well, they're basically keywords that you place on an entry to describe what it's about. So, for example, you want to know about urinary tract infections (UTIs). You'd go to the list of tags linked on the sidebar, click "urinary tract infections," and get a list of posts that have all been tagged as being related to UTIs. Click on this link to the LJ FAQ entry on tags to learn more about tags and how they work.

Please note that the tagging system is not a replacement for the Vulvapedia or the other resources on our Web site; rather, tags are designed to complement the systems that are already in place. You should still check the Vulvapedia before posting. The tags are useful, however, because they're like a quick reference to some of the basic info and personal experiences you might be looking for, and they're an easy way to keep old and new posts linked to one another by key words.

To keep the lists of posts related to each tag from getting huge and overwhelming, we only tag selected posts. Tags are now set so that only the VP Team can add or manage them for that reason. If you think a post should be tagged, feel free to get in touch.

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What are the rules?

By participating in VP, you agree to follow the community rules listed here.

While we do things differently here than many places on the Internet, we hope you won't be too intimidated by our rules to join in. VP is a gentle place and we'll help you if you have questions. Welcome!

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What is "Safer Space"? What does "empowerment" mean? What does "accountability" look like?

Safer space and empowerment are the ideas that VP is built on. As a maintainer team, most of the actions we take are intended up support those concepts.

Safer Space

VaginaPagina aims to be a safer space for all members. This means that we try to make sure everyone feels welcome, supported, and safe from personal attacks or judgments. This does not mean that members posting to VP will only hear positive things, or that they will not be challenged - but it does mean that the VP team expects members to challenge or argue in a constructive, supportive way. What people experience as "safer space" varies enormously, and we don't always get it right, but the VP team does do our best to make sure that members feel empowered and safe/comfortable. Posters should know that they have our support. When a user makes a post that could make VP unsafe for others (or even themselves), the Safe Space Maintainers may issue reminders that explain exactly why we're concerned, and suggest alternative ways of phrasing the potentially problematic section.

The easiest and most important way we can honor safe space is by being aware of how the words we choose affect others. If you accidentally use language that someone finds hurtful, they may tell you about it and ask you to choose different language in the future. Read more about language in VP here.

The following will also get the attention of the maintainers:

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Empowerment

VP promotes empowerment (not judgment!) as a model by which we can learn to help each other. This means that we try to provide a space where we can:

  • feel that we're not alone, whatever our experiences
  • help each other come to decisions, by sharing accurate information and personal experiences
  • respect the decisions of others
  • build a community where the members get to say how maintainers should uphold the space
  • be honest, with ourselves and with each other
  • recognise and respect that we have different life experiences and perspectives

To make a space supportive rather than judgmental, it's important to avoid "should" statements - things like "if you want to do x, then you should do y first."

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Accountability

Accountability means being responsible to oneself and each other for our own words. It means entering a space with good intentions but understanding that we all screw up and need to accept responsibility for our mistakes. It means being OK with and open to being called out. It means acknowledging when others are triggered and when we feel pain and working to learn and grow from this experience. And it requires something incredibly difficult, a trust in those we share a space with that their intentions are good, that they mean well just like we do, that we are all in a process of learning and growing and that making mistakes is part of how this happens." (Jos, "There Are No Safe Spaces")


In VP, we ask people to be responsible for their words and actions and their (intended or unintended) consequences. Members will often ask gently that certain language be changed, or be avoided in future. Sometimes it's the case that the VP team will leave a Safer Space Reminder - or, more rarely, a Safer Space Warning. Somebody saying "ow, that hurt" isn't an indication that the person they're talking to is in any sense dreadful or unwelcome in the community: it's just a reminder to be a bit more careful in future. Accountability means taking on that responsibility to learn - and it's exactly that willingness to learn, and to take care of each other, that makes VP so awesome.

Transparency and why it's important in VP

For the sake of being transparent and accountable, we ask that you please leave comments turned on and visible rather than deleting or screening.

We also suggest having the comments to your post emailed to you, this way, if the VP Team needs to leave a request or a deletion notice, you'll receive it in a timely manner. Further, doing this ensures that you're not missing any important information, even if your post gets deleted.

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When Safe Space Reminders Are Issued

VP is a large community with many active members. Often VPers will address problematic exchanges instead of (or before) a maintainer. If the situation resolves itself, the maintainer team probably won't get involved. However, there are times when we will step in to help the process along or put a stop to a harmful conversation.

If you receive a Safe Space Reminder, know it's not the end of the world! You can read more here about how SSRs work and what to expect if you receive one.

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Banning Policy

We acknowledge that there is a learning curve to participating in VP and usually only ban as a last resort (though there are exceptions).

We usually ban on sight for offenses like trolling or spamming. When we ban for other reasons, we generally do so on a temporary basis. If you are banned, after 30 days you may contact the VP team and ask to be allowed back in to VP. If we feel you understand what went wrong and will respect VP members in the future, we’ll be happy to have you back!

Keep in mind that we do sometimes ban for being insulting towards other members, engaging in victim blaming or spreading misinformation repeatedly, or otherwise making members feel unsafe. We also ban members who link VP posts in snark communities.

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Does VP have any rules regarding user icons or macro images?

We ask that members be aware of the images they are using as icons and be sensitive to the fact that some icon images may be triggering or upsetting to other members. If a member asks you to change your icon, we’d appreciate it if you’d respect their request and make the change.

As for macros, keep in mind that we ask VPers to communicate carefully, thoughtfully, and with respect. Since macros can’t really do any of that, and because they tend to clutter up the comment section anyway, we ask that our members not use them.

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What is VP's policy on graphic images? What if I'm under 18?

We ask that graphic images be placed behind a cut, to allow our members to choose when and where they view such images. While we think access to realistic images of the human body is very important, we also realize that some people are viewing VP from places where such images may not be welcome. We’d also prefer if it members linked to images rather than posting them directly in comments, but we will not delete comments with graphic images, so long as they are appropriate for the community and relevant to the discussion.

VP is bound by LJ’s terms of service regarding minors and nudity, and for that reason we ask that if you are under 18, you refrain from posting any photos of yourself that involve full or partial nudity. For more info, check out this info from LJ’s FAQ regarding its rules on this issue:

Regardless of the purpose of your community, all community maintainers are responsible for verifying that any individual posting images of him- or herself is over the age of 18 if any of the images being posted contain full or partial nudity, or are designed to arouse, provoke, or otherwise sexually stimulate a viewer. Any image of someone under the age of 18 who is nude or semi-nude, or designed to arouse, can qualify as child pornography and is not permitted on LiveJournal's servers. If your community is designed for users to post pictures of themselves, you must make sure that you follow these restrictions.

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What is VP's policy on abortion debate?

VP is a community about health and access to information rather than one for politically oriented discussion.

What does that mean for your abortion-related post? Abortion support/resource questions, personal abortion stories, and most other abortion-related topics are all very welcome in VP, and the same goes for questions about other aspects of reproductive freedom. However, debates about these issues will be deleted and referred to more relevant LJ communities. You can read more about the finer points on our abortion policy in this CVP discussion.

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VP's Language Policy

We expect members to recognize that VP is a diverse place and to try to use language that respects the wide variety of individuals in VP. This does not mean that we expect you to be perfect, but we do expect honest efforts at learning. These include:

  • Reading through our language guide to gather ideas of what types of language might be hurtful to members -- and using alternatives in VP.
  • Speaking up constructively when you see someone using language that might be upsetting to you or others -- keeping in mind that VP is an educational space as well as a safe space.
  • Avoiding piling-on (multiple commenters addressing the same language concern before the person in question might have time to respond) when reasonable.
  • Apologizing and/or modifying language (if possible) when people do speak up. Additionally, if you're not sure why something is hurtful to someone else, it might be wise to direct that question to Contact VP rather than asking about it directly in the VP post.
  • Contacting the maintainers and/or directing the conversation to CVP as soon as you notice it's starting to escalate.

Our members are fabulous, and more often than not, language concerns work themselves out productively when everyone participates with a respectful desire to learn. However, the VP Team will issue Safe Space Reminders for comments that are argumentative, dismissive, or otherwise intentionally disrespectful.

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VP Language Guide

The guide is not about mandatory word usage or banning words. Instead, folks should be able to quickly look up alternatives to common but hurtful words or phrases.

We created this guide with help from VP members (see the original CVP conversation here).

We know that most people who use these hurtful words are probably doing so without knowing how they can harm others. Accidentally using hurtful expressions doesn't mean you're a bad person and it doesn't make you less welcome in VP; we only ask that you be willing to use different words in the future.

In addition, we know people choose lots of different words to describe themselves, and that's totally OK. In fact, it can be empowering! There is only a problem when we use words to describe others in a way that can hurt; how we each choose to identify is up to each of us.

If you want to talk more about this topic and how words are used in VP, please join us over at the Q&A post.


Problematic expressions: "Clean" to indicate one's STI status.
Possible rephrasings: STI-free, negative for STIs

Using "clean" to mean "STI-free" can suggest that people who have STI's are "dirty" and can play into some harmful stereotypes about STIs and who contracts them. That's not okay in VP, especially because VP needs to be a space where we can talk about sexually transmitted infections without shame or judgment.


Problematic expressions: That's so gay/retarded/lame/crazy/insane.
Possible rephrasings: That's so silly. / That seems ridiculous. / That's unbelievable. / That's irrational. / That's hilariously ignorant. / That's weird. / That's awful. / That's uncool. / That's bad.

Because VP is a safe space, it is not okay to use "gay" or "retarded" to mean "bad" or "worthless." We also don't want to disrespect those with mental illness by equating "crazy" with "silly" or "stupid" (you can find more alternatives to expressions using "crazy" here).

Even if you "don't mean it that way," words can still hurt. They often have a long history that many of us may not know about.

You can read more about the concept of ableist language here.

Problematic expressions: Hi, ladies! / Hi, guys!
Possible rephrasings: Hi, everyone! / Hello, VPers!

Not everyone identifies as a lady, girl, woman, gal, etc. You can never really know someone's gender identity unless you ask them. With thousands of people in VP, that would be pretty tough!

It is also helpful to use the pronouns "they" and "their" to refer a person unless they tell you they would prefer you use other words. You can read more about gendered word choices here.

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VP's Policies Regarding Posts about Sexual Assault

Sexual assault and abuse are topics that come up fairly often in VP, and we have some policies regarding how to respond to these posts in order to help members feel safe and comfortable talking about their experiences.

Members are welcome to discuss their experiences and ask questions as they are comfortable, and we will provide whatever support and information we can. However, we ask that theoretical, debate-style questions about sexual assault not be posted in VP. We are not here to debate the actions or choices of survivors, we are here for support.

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Things to Consider before Posting to VP about Your Sexual Assault

VP is particularly concerned with protecting and supporting members who come to this community to discuss their assaults. We want to empower members to make the most informed choices possible, and this is especially true when it comes to posting about sexual assault (SA). If you are considering posting in VP about your assault, there are a few things we'd like to share with you first:

  • VP is an empowerment-based safe space, which means that victim blaming is not allowed. The VP Team will do its best to make sure you feel safe and supported in the community. If you ever feel attacked, unsafe, or just uncomfortable, please let us know and we will do our best to act swiftly. That said, however, since VB is so common in our society, we want to let you know that it can occur in VP from time to time. We do our best to both prevent it and educate people about it, but one of the side effects is that we may end up discussing posts outside of their original contexts (sometimes via email or in contact_vp). You may wish to consider this possibility as you are choosing what and where to post.
  • While VP will always welcome and support those who choose to share their SA stories with us, there are communities specifically designed to deal with sexual assault, and you may feel most comfortable posting in those places. VP has formed an alliance with _survivors_ and we strongly encourage you to consider posting there instead of (or in addition to) VP. Although VP passionately supports survivors of sexual assault, we are still a large community with a broad topic range that may not be best suited for providing long-term support. _survivors_ offers a space where the community is smaller, close-knit, shares VP's ideals, and allows survivors of SA to post to a specifically-focused safe space where they will have access to the most resources.
  • If you do choose to post to VP regarding sexual assault, please be aware of any triggering material in your post and use a descriptive LJ-cut tag if your post may be triggering to other survivors.
  • Because victim blaming is such a widespread social problem, sometimes even VPers with the best of intentions can inadvertently engage in it. You may wish to leave a prominent disclaimer in your post to help commenters focus on what sort of feedback you're looking for. Of course, this step is by no means necessary--just an added precaution you may wish to take based on what makes you most comfortable. Here is a sample: Note to commenters: I'd like to make it clear that I'm posting here for support and information, with the understanding that this is a safe space. I'm not asking for personal opinions on what happened (including whether or not what happened was rape or whether I should report it). Your help and support are very much appreciated, however. Thanks so much for understanding!
  • Finally, we leave screened comments for the OPs of SA posts, sharing the basics that are outlined here. That way, SA OPs who haven't yet read our entire FAQ can still have a chance to make informed choices about what and where to post.

Good luck, and if you have any questions before you post, get in touch. We wish you support and healing.

NOTE: If you are currently in crisis, we encourage you to visit our Crisis Center.

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Things to Consider when Responding to Posts about Sexual Assault

As a VP reader, you may encounter posts from time to time about sexual assault (SA). There are a few things we'd like everyone to please keep in mind when responding to posts about SA:

  • Remember that VP is an empowerment-based safe space, and that victim blaming is not allowed. Keep it respectful, and remember that the person posting may be in pain and/or crisis, and they need our support. How we respond to OPs in these situations can have a profound effect on the recovery process (yes, even though it's "just the Internet").
  • Posts about sexual assault are especially not the place to judge the OP's decisions or actions. If you feel that the OP made decisions that led to their assault, we ask that you resist the temptation to hit the "Post Comment" button. We're here to empower and support; telling someone they "shouldn't have gotten so drunk" or "shouldn't have let it go that far before saying 'no'" is in direct opposition to VP's empowerment-based safe space. The only person responsible for sexual assault is the person who committed the crime.
  • If a VPer has identified her experience as rape, we ask members to accept that definition. Every person has the right to define their own experiences, and a post describing an assault is not an open forum for judgment. If you find yourself feeling the need to tell the OP that you don't think they are correct in identifying their experience as rape, remember that VP is not the place to say it.
  • The decision to press charges is one that is solely up to each individual survivor. Telling a victim of sexual assault that it is their responsibility to press charges, and/or suggesting that by not pressing charges they will be somehow to blame for any future assaults perpetrated by an attacker is neither helpful, logical or empowering. There are a host of completely valid reasons why a victim of sexual assault might choose not to press charges. We ask that you keep in mind that the only person responsible for a sexual assault is the person who commits it; therefore, if you feel the need to tell the OP of an SA post that they have a civic responsibility to press charges, we ask that you resist commenting to say so. (You can read more about this here.)

To conclude, VP is a place where folks should feel comfortable talking about all sorts of vulva-/vagina-related topics, and we can't think of anything more sensitive in that topic range than sexual assault. So the bottom line is simple: If you feel the urge to post a comment that might contradict VP's policies on victim blaming, empowerment or safe space, we ask that you step away from the computer.


Additional resources for how to respond to SA victims/survivors can be found here:

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What is "victim blaming" and why is it not allowed in VP?

Simply put, victim blaming is putting the blame or responsibility for the assault on the victim instead of on the perpetrator of the crime, where it belongs.

Some ways to (inadvertently or otherwise) suggest it was the victim's fault are by saying:

  • the victim should have worn different clothing
  • the victim should not have drunk alcohol or consumed drugs
  • the victim should not have been in a certain place at a certain time with certain people
  • it is the victim's civic responsibility to press charges (read more here)

VP's Stance on Victim Blaming

Regardless of whether or not you think a person used poor judgment in a certain situation, no one deserves or asks to be raped. We do not tolerate victim blaming.

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape tells us that "Unless you have been victimized by sexual violence, you may not be able to understand a victim's feelings. And even then, not all victims react or feel the same. [...] A person who blames a victim for a sexual assault probably has never been a victim or known anyone who has, But anyone can be a victim of sexual violence."

Here's an analogy: If a man walks down the street wearing expensive clothing and is violently mugged, no one would tell him he should have worn something different that day or, worse yet, that he deserved it. Rape is the only violent crime for which it is widely acceptable to place at least part of the blame on the victim/survivor. Rather than questioning the victim, we should be questioning the perpetrator--the one person who can claim full responsibility for the crime. No matter what a person wears, drinks, does, etc., no one ever deserves to be raped--ever. No. Matter. What. Period. Here are some anonymous comments from survivors about this phenomenon (we have their permission to share their quotes):

  • "Being raped should not be a consequence of drinking."
  • "People treat you like the bad guy ... like, if something like this happened to you, you must have been somewhere you shouldn't have been, doing something you should have been doing. Don't they understand it's his fault, not mine?!!"
  • "[Because of victim blaming] I now understand why victims don't report or back out if they have."

Oftentimes members will post comments that are truly in the spirit of being helpful, but still blame the victim. For example: "I feel bad for what happened to you, but maybe next time you shouldn't stay out late and party like that or you will only be taken advantage of; women have to be more careful." Comments like those, however well intentioned, still serve to blame the victim, which only hurts us all in the long run.

Here at VP we strive to re-educate people about these sorts of things, so if you see what looks like a victim-blaming comment, please contact us and we'll handle it right away. Our priority is to re-educate when we can (how else can we change things?), but sometimes banning is necessary when there are serious violations of our empowerment based safe space policy.

This issue is particularly urgent because statistics tell us that in every 3 women will be a victim of sexual assault in her lifetime. Consider the many thousands of members in our community and do the math.

What's more, studies have shown that how well/quickly a survivor can go through the healing process often depends on the reaction of the first person s/he tells about the assault. PCAR reminds us, "your response can mean the difference between a quick road to recovery or years of trauma and anguish for the victim." It is likely that many people on VP are talking for the first time about what happened to them, so it's especially important to take care in how we respond to those kinds of posts. A note to those of you who may have experienced sexual violence: If you survived, you did the right thing. It wasn't your fault.

Click here for crisis resources in your area.

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What is VP's policy on sizism?

Sizism (prejudice or judgment of a person based on their size or weight, including fat-shaming and thin-shaming) is not tolerated in VP.

Weight is not automatically an indicator of health, and it can be hurtful to members of our community to suggest that everyone can change their weight if they just "try hard enough" or follow a specific plan. Many factors, including genetics and a person's medical history, can affect weight.

While you are always welcome to share your personal experience, including if weight changes were helpful to you, we ask that you refrain from suggesting weight changes to other people.

Additionally, please keep in mind that comments about weight, especially those naming specific numbers, can be triggering for members of our community who have a history of disordered eating. We ask that you place them behind a descriptive LJ-cut as you would other potentially triggering material.

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What is misinformation and why does it matter in VP?

The VP team feels very strongly that our members should get the most accurate information available in response to their questions. If we see misinformation in VP, we will comment to correct it and/or ask for sources.

We know that personal experiences are helpful and an important part of VP. We do ask, though, that when sharing a personal experience, members are clear that their experience is not a fact that applies to all people. If you are sharing information you’re not certain about, please research first. Inaccurate information can be very harmful.

We also think it’s important to know how to evaluate information for accuracy, so we offer this guide.

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Can I share or sell prescription medication on VP, such as hormonal birth control? How about other stuff, like unused menstrual cups or fun vagina-related paraphernalia? What about fundraising?

Sharing prescription medications is illegal in the United States and many other places. It is also potentially dangerous; for those reasons, we cannot allow it in VP. As for other stuff, we’re okay with giving things away or trading for them on VP, but we don’t allow sales posts.

To protect our members and readers, we do not allow posts requesting funds or donations in VP. Fundraising posts tied to well-known, reputable organizations are allowed over in vp_bulletins, so if you have a fundraiser that fits those criteria that you'd like to promote, please contact us for approval to post it there. Fundraising posts in VP on LJ will be deleted.

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VP's Courtesy Checklist for Posting

  • Check the Vulvapedia, scan the tags, and do a quick Google search to see if you can answer your question on your own.
  • Leave comments turned on and have them emailed to you.
  • Consider whether you've made your word choice inclusive. VP is a place for people of all genders, orientations, ages, and so on, so please make sure your language acknowledges everyone.
  • Include a descriptive subject line for your post. This makes your post easier to find in the future.
  • Format your post to be VP-friendly: Use a descriptive LJ-cut for any images, use standard font size and color -- which makes it easier for everyone to read, and avoid the use of netspeak.


These may seem like little things, but in a community the size of VP, they're important. All of these "little things" work together to make sure VPers get the answers and responses they need.

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What are frequent topics and how can I avoid posting one?

If your question is directly answered by one of the "Top 3 FAQs" linked from the VP on LJ sidebar, then you can count on your post being deleted so we can make room for other posts on the main VP page.

TIP: To avoid deletion, always check the Vulvapedia before you post!

For a quick and easy reference, here are the Top 3:

VaginaPagina's Top 3 FAQs:


NOTE: Whenever the VP Team deletes a post in the LJ community, we always leave a comment that explains the reason behind the deletion. We recommend that you enable the LJ option that allows comments to be sent to you via email to be sure you receive these. Or, you can also go to LJ's FAQs to find out how to edit or delete your own entry if you happen to catch it before someone else does.

If you're still not sure, try exploring the various search options on the main VaginaPagina page, or run your query by us before posting in VP.

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What is an off-topic or out-of-context post?

Because VP on LJ is such a large community, it is important that posts here stay on topic. Our focus there is vulvovaginal, sexual, and reproductive health. Questions related to sex, sexuality, reproductive organs, etc. are fine, but questions about general health would not be on-topic for VP. For example, questions about a cough or dry skin would be off-topic, while questions about sex drive, endometriosis, or sexual experiences would be on-topic.

If you have a general health question that might not be on topic for VP, you might try womenhealth.

An out of context post is one that does not frame itself in such a way to make it appropriate and engaging for VP or a community setting. Your post to VP should be both on-topic and also a discussion starter, question, or means of gaining support. Some examples of out-of-context posts:

  • one-liner posts without questions or other means of engaging the community (such as “I’m on my period, yay/boo!”)
  • promotion of websites, LJ communities, your own journal, etc. If you have an on-topic promotion you’d like to share, please get in touch with the VP team and we will let you know if it’s okay to post in vp_bulletins.
  • announcing that you are joining or leaving the community (It’s too busy in VP for that sort of thing, but there is an introduction post if you’d like to say hello!)
  • images or links without context (It’s fine to post a link or image, but explain why you’re posting it, and make it a discussion starter!)

NOTE: As with frequent topics, if the VP Team deletes an off-topic or out-of-context post, we'll leave a notice explaining our reasoning. If you're not sure whether something is on topic for the community, you're certainly welcome to contact us before posting.

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Can I post quiz results or polls? What about surveys for class or other academic help?

Quiz results may be fun, but please save them for your private journal. Polls must be pre-approved by the VP team, please get in touch if you have a poll you’d like to post!

VP is not the place to get help with homework, but if you have an academic project involving the community that you’d like to do, please get in touch for prior approval.

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Can I make an introductory post about myself in VP?

Sure, but please do it in this introduction post. We definitely want to know all about you, but we keep all introductions in one post to make reading about each other all in one place easier, and also to help reduce clutter in the community and on our members’ friends pages.

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Can I promote other communities and websites in VP?

Sure, with prior approval and in vp_bulletins! We ask that you keep promotions out of the main VP community, so that we can save space for other posts.

We consider link exchanges on VP.com, if those sites are aligned with VP’s philosophy and focus. We look for sites that are body and sex positive, based on empowerment and accurate information, and that deal with sexual health and wellness. For business sites, we prefer sites that our members have experience with.

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Can I post/comment anonymously?

Because of VP's safe space policy, our members generally feel comfortable and safe posting even their most intimate questions/experiences.

That said, if you would feel more comfortable posting your experience/query anonymously, simply email your request (with the accompanying post text) to a VP Team member and we will happily post it on your behalf without mentioning your name. Scout's honor.

While we're happy to post your anonymous requests to VP on LJ, we are unable to personally answer questions via email.

Another option for added security would be to use a dummy account (or sock puppet account) to make your post. You might also consider simply using the "friends-only" filter when you make your post to the community -- that doesn't make your post anonymous, but it does restrict access only to VP members.

In the interests of Safe Space, we have disabled anonymous posting in VP on LJ.

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How do VP's rules apply on off-LJ sites like our Facebook page?

Although we do not moderate Facebook in the same way that we moderate VP's safer space on LJ, our language policies and victim blaming policies do apply on Facebook. We reserve the right to delete comments on VP's Facebook page that include hurtful language or perpetuate victim blaming. Users who show a pattern of this behavior may be banned from VP's Facebook page. Questions or comments about this policy should be sent to vpteam@vaginapagina.com in order to keep Facebook threads on topic.

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