Guidelines & FAQs

Important things to remember

Fact: Things that objective research shows to be true. It’s a good idea to share where you got specific facts, so others can decide for themselves if they think the sources are objective.

Feeling: An emotion like happiness, anger, sadness, guilt, pride, security. They are valid no matter what they are. Feelings are not facts or opinions. When sharing feelings, it’s a good idea to start with “I feel” (instead of “I think”) so others know it’s a feeling, not a fact or opinion. You are responsible for your own feelings, but not for what others feel (and vice versa).

Opinion: A judgment about something, which may or may not be a provable fact.  For example, “I think Glee is the best TV show.” Everyone has opinions. The most effective way to express and share opinions is with respect—and by listening carefully and respectfully other people’s opinions which may be different than yours!). This is a great way to increase understanding between different people and groups. A good way to take responsibility for your opinions is not to state them as though they are facts.

Belief: Personal or group confidence that something is true, even if it can’t be proven by objective research. Beliefs are common in religious faith, spirituality, politics and the arts. When sharing a belief, start with “I believe” instead of stating what you believe as if it were a fact. On NMG, it’s not okay to personally criticize other people or groups for what they believe.

Bullying: Emotional, verbal, physical or social actions that exclude and/or hurt a person or group—especially when they are weaker or “unpopular.” No bullying is allowed on NMG.

Prejudice: A pre-judgment of people or groups based on who they are.  It applies to the things that are part of a person’s identity including: Gender, Race, Religion, Ethnicity, Culture, Age, Political Beliefs, Disabilities, and Sexual Identity. For example, “Gays and lesbians are ruining America,” or “Muslims are terrorists.” Prejudiced statements aren’t allowed on NMG.

Stereotype: A belief (often based in prejudice) that a group of people all share a certain characteristic or behavior. For example, “Girls only care about clothes and makeup,” or “Feminists hate men.” Stereotypes are not OK on NMG.

Slur: A put-down, insult, or unprovable accusation—usually based on a person’s ethnicity, religion, race, gender, sexual identity, disability or other characteristics.  Slurs aren’t allowed on NMG.