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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Response to Feministe and To All Large Feminist Group Blogs: Inviting People Of Color InToThe Circle













Response to Feministe and To All Large Feminist Group Blogs

"The progressive blogosphere is segregated," said McCauley, whose What About Our Daughters blog was accepted to the DNC's blogger pool. Essence magazine named McCauley one of its 25 most influential people last year alongside Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and filmmaker Tyler Perry. "Black bloggers link to other black bloggers, and progressive white bloggers link to other white progressive bloggers," she said.

It was published by Common Dreams and was original published by the San Francisco Chronicle on an article appropriately titled:

"Black Bloggers Fight to Make Voices Heard."


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On this website you will see the article that I read and beneath it the comment that I left for feministe: http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2009/02/28/who-gets-to-say-what-part-i-tokenism/#comments

I said many, many things and I gave a detailed reason why they should create a feminist community page that would be in addition to their main page. I believe all large feminist group websites should have a community page in addition to their main page just like feministing.com has one and it has been used by some of the most awesome and outspoken, well known WOC bloggers.

By the way, the website I am posting this too, SaveThePoorBrownChildren.org gives unmoderated community posting access to known marginalized bloggers as well.

Below is the start of Medea's entire response.

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# Medea says:

March 1st, 2009 at 11:31 am

@T. Love

It’s not unreasonable for members of a blog that has been attacked to wish to respond to the attack themselves before putting up unsolicited guest posts. As for donating 10% of their finances–you did read the part where Lauren revealed that this blog makes hardly any money, didn’t you?

The part of your comment I really object to is your suggestion that Feministe should open up a community page. I’m guessing that that would be pretty time-consuming, not to mention the financial cost–Feministing needed five thousand dollars for its upgrade. Who is going to pay for that and who is going to administer the new section? Are you volunteering?

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That is the end of Medea's entire response.

Below is my response.

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March 1st, 2009 at 4:50 pm




Dear Medea, friends, compañeras, allies, and friends who I will come to know soon who are working for a better world,

Thank you for your detailed response. As for the portion regarding the finances, I must let that pass because I want to respond to the community building portion of your response.

I said I wouldn't respond on this thread because I felt (based on detailed reports by other POC and WOC) that I would be attacked, because I felt I spoke enough and because of the inequality of the feminist comment area while you have a series. But I have now left a link on your comment area that links to this response because of two crucial reasons. The first one is because I don't feel I am being attacked in your comment area, which is extremely surprising based on what I have read in detail on many,many, many WOC and POC and people of color LGBTQI blogs (that have details of racial insults and worse) and I really appreciate everyone's kindness to me, and more importantly I am responding because you seem to be making a direct request to me to offer you services and volunteer my skills that would enable your website to create a community page so that WOC and people of color LGBTQI don't have to be 'moderated' before posting articles.

I would be happy to offer those services as an independent volunteer and do so for free. There are only three reasons why I would not want to become a permanent volunteer of your group and that is because:

1. I do not believe the method that you are spending your finances (based on the Feministe statement of expenses) is respectful to the disproportionately women of color, LGBTQI and marginalized people who are suffering in a recession that is starting to look like a depression

2. I do indeed believe that you should give 10% of the funds you earn to a WOC or LGBTQI people of color for a project that they strictly administrate out of respect for all the non-WOC administarted projects and book deals that has indeed traumatized some women and left the feminist movement more segregated.

3. And I think there should be a mediation attempt between Feministe and all the women POC and LGBTQI who you have traumatized and scarred in the past, particularly due to administration of that book Yes, means yes, which is indeed triggering for many POC who suffered during it's creation as they have very loudly stated many times all over the internet even during this very week.

I do not say that as an insult. I say that because I have been very outspoken on numerous comments about the need for mediation, forgiveness and solutions to bring closure to the old wounds.

Nevertheless, I would indeed be happy to volunteer as a independent volunteer on this particular assignment.

As it turns out I could create the entire community website within a 12 hour period and it would be 100% free of charge to maintain and without ads...and it wouldn't be for me, because I think in order acknowledge the long time major feminist WOC and feminist LGBTQI people of color who have suffered as a result of feministe, and in regards to the YMY books that currently still flash on the feminist website that have been part of those old wounds, it should be those people who have been blogging for over 6 months who who should be given unmoderated access to the community page.

Why should anyone ever have to moderate any of the other most outspoken WOC bloggers who have been around from one year to over four years? What makes any member of the feministe collective more capable of moderating yourself than them? if someone says something really against your rules you do have the ability to ban them, if that is your choice. But I can't imagine what exactly a mainstream feminist website would object to. Shakesville is one of the largest feminist sites and they have an advertisement for their website on Pam's website that states the following:

'House Specialties : Mocha Cappucino, Steamed Milk w/ Cinnamon - Sodomy and beneath that it states: Blender Liss McEwan says: "I have GOT to get me some of that sodomy! Nobody serves it up quite like Pam!"

Pam being a Gay Black blogger who has won the largest Blog award in the LGBTQI category two years in a row and she was ranked the #1 Black blogger on the Internet by Electric Village Best Black Blogs that uses technorati ranking.

If Shakesville can use that phrase as an advertisement, and Pam is Ok with it on her website and the Washington Post still features her in articles such as the most recen one titled '“Gay Bloggers' Voices Rise in Chorus of Growing Political Influence” ...I think some of the people who want to censor or moderate feminist WOC or feministe POC LGBTQI people need to loosen up the censorship and moderation rules a bit.

Perhaps none of you desire to censor guest posts, and perhaps that is why you asked me to volunteer. Or, more importantly, why should other bloggers (particularly the well known bloggers who have an archive on their website that you can easily see) be censored? They should be given the chance to speak openly and freely without being moderated, and I think that is the entire point.

I know this is not uncommon.

I want to make it public to everyone exactly how I would set it up just in case there are other feminist websites who desire to create a community page for their feminist group (as long as they don't discriminate against LGBTQI as some feminist groups do):.

Here are the main points:

#1. In respect to the marginalized women, feminist WOC who have been victims at large feminist websites, I would (or you could) first and foremost approach several well known feminist WOC and feminist LGBTQI bloggers about this idea and if I could even get two to say it is a good idea, it is only then that I would proceed.

#2. The platform I would use: Blogger. This is because it is free of charge, it has no nasty flashing corporate ads, it is easy to add RSS feed widgets so people can subscribe, many of the most outspoken WOC and outspoken LGBTQI people of color bloggers and long time bloggers already use it so they could, as a collective, make equal decisions as to other widgets and changes that they want to make on it. This is also because it is well known, after the Feminist Web conference that contracted with a link expert, that blogger is able to reach technorati and have 'authority' and linkage recognition the easiest so their news could actually reach the largest population.

#3. Then I would use the masthead on your website and place it in the blogger template so that it matches. Or, if you would prefer to have no masthead, and simply inform people that it is a community page for whatever reason, that would be up to you.

#4. The comment platform that I would use would be Intense Debate as it is used by one of the most well known WOC bloggers). It is 100% free of charge.

If not that, I would use Disqus because at least one of the indisputably largest feminist group websites uses it now and comments in their area indeed seem to be much higher (ranging over 500 comments in one day sometimes) than most other websites.

#4. I would then invite as many WOC and LGBTQI people of color who have been blogging for over 6 months, who I have already heard talk about these issues and ask them if they like to be signed up for it. Then I (or one of you could) go into the blog account and place them on the permissions list and then they could very easily submit their post without moderation. They should not have to be moderated by me or anyone else and that is the point.

As far as comments, where the most racial insults are seen, simply have each blogger control the moderation of their own post. Just that easy. Or have the come up with a collective code of conduct [not a policing policy] only if they desire to do so but many people are against it so that is a grey area.

I would not need any money or any password to your website. You would simply place the word 'community' at the top of the main page of your website and then it would link to the blogger community page.

You could change the password and username after I am done if you like or I could just help to invite other marginalized people.

So, that is my proposal and it is a free of charge offer. I also have detailed this offer so explicitly because I am 10,000,000% (ten million percent) certain that there are many other people who could create the communiy and create this exact tangible solution of allowing marginalized women and LGBTQI and pro-immigrant women and LGBTQI to speak in a community page...if you really want to happen.

It is a sign of the most extravagant racial and financial privilege that in the middle of an economic recession (that some awesome women bloggers are already calling a depression ) for you to continue spend thousands of dollars on such technology that is free for expensive upgrades for several reasons:

1. The technology already exists that makes it free.
2. The technology that women of color and LBTQI bloggers have already proven they are comfortable with (such as blogger) is what should be used so as not to run into the technical problems of moderation that I have heard occur at feministing's community page. Also, using standard technology would welcome new marginalized people.

Anyway, I still think many of these A-list feminist (like feministe) have done more good than harm.

Also, the community area should have a tab at the top of your page, just like feministing.com, so their thoughts get as much publicity as yours in the main area.

I do apologize if I offended anyone.

Overall, Keep up the wonderful mission of trying to outreach,

Towards an end to patriarchy, especially institutionalize patriarchy...within our lifetime,

The work you do for equality is very hard (especially with changing technology and economic turmoil) and I acknowledge that you do seem to be trying to change and welcome more people, so if for nothing else, you are great for that. I love you all :)

Love for the people,

-T. Love

With more love everyday in the quest for a better world.

http://www.BlackManFluff.org


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Update later that same night:


So at least one member of Feministe, replied to my suggestion. They said basically that a group of blogs is not a community page. This is not true at all. It is has been used many, many times by marginalized people and the idea that there is so much priviledge that they would not use it is sad. On one hand I feel very sad, because indeed I felt like there was some hope which is why I took time to write it all out...I felt like they were actually interested in creating a community page so that WOC and LGBTQI don't have to kowtow to them through moderation in the digital colonialism and digital apartheid manner that exists over there. Though I must admit, as with all organizations, some of the women in that group seemed indeed very open to change... and on the opposite extreme...a few people in that group, folks whose names I have seen mentioned in a very bad light by WOC and LGBTQI time and time and time again in that group, seemed to be the ones to stop the community page from happening.

So now that I have finally visited Feministe, after hearing so much bad stuff about how they treat WOC, I don't think its fair for people to say everyone in the crew is not trying to make it more inclusive.

I think that is positively worth noting because often oppreseed people have a tendency to lump everyone in a group and say an entire organization is bad. Which is a good time for me to recommend you see the movie, The Reader, about a woman who gets a job as a Nazi but was actually... just... caught up in an organization that got out of control...ethically. Thats how most organizations get out of control... a little censorship here... a little hierarchy there... a little out of control spending over here... and little bit of unwelcoming stance towards the most marginalized groups of people on earth and pretty soon you have a dictatorship... colonialism. Really good movie. I ws very impressed by the entire movie actually, I've never seen a Nazi cast in that light.

In regards to Feministe, I think ultimately what happens is that the non-WOC who have the most control and run Feministe (a few of you know their names) tell Women of Color Bloggers and POC LGBTQI the following statement:

"We have known you for years. We love you, We respect you. But we just don't trust you... and most of all we have to moderate your guest posts and occassionally censor you... because you're just not as responsible as we are."

Know what? I don't care that they don't know me, what hurts is that they use that website to attack the digital colonialism article... while at the same time they still distrust all the WOC and all the POC LGBTQI...who they have known for years... and years... and they still are practicing digital colonialism while attacking the authors about it. The Hypocrisy is so deep I can't be quiet about it.

As far as I'm concerned all the WOC and POC and POC LGBTQI and pro-immigrant people, and the victims of the Yes Means Yes scandal (a book which Feministe still flash on their website like a brutal image that causes a traumatic trigger) who spoke up about the issue...and spoke up about the power imbalance at feministe and other feminist A-list group websites... listen to me, if you spoke up about oppression... - YOU ARE HEROES TO ME AND YOU ALWAYS WILL BE!

If websites like Feministe and all the others want to subject you to the humiliation of requiring 'moderation'... the fact of the matter is they have No Trust For Heroes... and it does not make you, the hero look any worse.








I'm not a hero, I'm just someone who hurts from all the oppression of racism and digital colonialism within the feminist movement. It gets worse all the time.

In regards to their part in the ever worsening digital apartheid and digital colonialism in the feminist blogosphere…I do indeed believe feministe has unintentionally kicked it up a notch with the action of posting/featuring a series of their responses to the extremely controversial digital colonialism article, with no community section, while having everyone else wait for them…on an issue about a lack of access, censorship, privilege and having mostly non-WOC speaking up for WOC, among other issues that they are replicating by the action of creating that series.

For me, the double standards and hypocrisy of it all makes my head spin...and yet sometimes I wonder if I am being too openly honest about all this. If it will all come to bite me in the butt. But then I remember that Black Men have some of the shortest life spans in the country... so I might as well tell it like I see it in hopes that some one, maybe a pro-immigrant woman, maybe a LGBTQI who was censored, maybe a WOC... will live a life of equality, free speech and inclusion some day. And at the very least sisters who have been victims of website like feministe... I want you to know that your suffering will never be ignored by me!

I love you all!

Love for the people,

-T. Love

http://www.BlackManFluff.org


p.s.

Again, The best news of the day was hearing about the Aboriginal News Groups! I encourage you to go click here and check it out! I love to see marginalized people get organized!

WOOOOooooooOOoooHOOOooo! Thats exciting!





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