I've been following this thread with interest & just wanted to throw in another observation.
It sounds like one of the key issues is figuring out what "support" is in the context of an internet forum. I initially found MDC because I was looking for support, and I gather from reading this thread that a lot of women are here for support as well.
Perhaps it would be useful to clarify what we mean by "support" because that word is vague and can be interpreted in a lot of ways.
Here's what I mean when I say I'm here for "support":
I want to find other mamas who share my interest in AP/NFL and hear how they are faring on their parenting journey. I want to hear how it really is, the full range of experience, the good, the bad, the ugly. I appreciate hearing from women who have great results from their choices, as well as women who don't. It's helpful to get a sense of the range of possibilities. I've gotten a lot of information about AP/NFL from books and websites, which mostly present things as the ideal and demonstrate how things should work and what results you should get. That's great, I need that info. But I also need to hear how those ideals play out in the real world. Because let's face it, in real life "results may vary." I have found it very helpful & supportive to hear from women who have experienced a gap between their ideals and their reality. That's certainly where I have found myself on a number of fronts. Hearing those stories helps me stay committed to my ideals, because it shows me that it's not "all or nothing" and helps me see how real women in real circumstances are adapting and adjusting their parenting in a way that works for them. I perceive that as helpful & supportive.
So, my concept of "support" encompasses hearing about risks & dangers, hearing about instances where someone did something "wrong" but everything turned out OK, hearing about instances where someone did something "right" and all hell broke loose, and everything in between. I'm also in the boat of parenting in a very different way than I was parented. So I'm always trying to reconcile what I believe to be true about my upbringing (which was different, but not bad) and what I hope to be true about the way I'm parenting. Sometimes I have to acknowledge that my choices are better than my mother's choices, they are just different.
I can see where another member might consider that kind of sharing unsupportive or unhelpful or even a betrayal of MDC's ideals.
To me there's a world of difference between hearing from a mom who has embraced AP/NFL and is having a "real life" experience that falls short of the ideal, and hearing a bunch of AP/NFL bashing from someone who doesn't get it and doesn't want to get it. I also understand that we're all coming here at varying stages of figuring out what we believe in. I don't always know what I believe until I put it out there, get some feedback (positive or negative), and sort through the gray areas. I find some of the stuff on MDC pretty "out there" but I'm glad I can read about it, think about it, and (if I choose) respond to it.
I'm still in support of less moderation. I hope that however MDC evolves, there will be room for both humility & humor as we move forward.
And moderators, thanks for doing the work you do, then & now. For starters, thanks for letting us have this conversation.
ETA: While I am in favor of less moderation, the one thing I'd like to see is strong encouragement for posting a source if you're going to quote a statistic. There are stats thrown around all the time as if they are irrefutable facts and used to support all kinds of arguments in support of or against a variety of positions. It would be helpful to everyone if the source of those stats were referenced! Then everyone could go and look at the source and decide for themselves if it seems reputable, etc. Without quoting the source, people could just be making stuff up. Maybe that doesn't have to be a moderated rule, but could be something that we all ask of each other.
Edited by CI Mama - 6/20/11 at 10:48am