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Thursday, May 03, 2007


A letter to Indie Bloggers.org

I want to start by letting you know that I adore IB. I just found out that you're only four months old, and I was shocked. Not that the site feels old; rather, it's got the feel of your favourite pair of Chuck Taylors that you've had for three years, and nothing else feels quite as good.

But like any pair of 3 year-old sneaks, something's gonna stink to someone. Today that someone is me. The stink? Well, let me first quote from the FAQ:

"I’m offended at what someone wrote. Who should I e-mail to complain?

Yo mama.

Seriously. We very closely moderate all posts and none of us will tolerate any form of hate or intolerance IN ANY WAY. If you make an inappropriate and/or bigoted comment against anyone’s - Member or otherwise - race, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, bra size, bowel habits, age or anything else, we will ban you immediately and without notice. Then we will fight."

In light of that position, I was a bit surprised to see the graphic posted on May 1, for the Weekly Challenge (this would be the aforementioned stink).You know, the one that likens the Weekly Challenge to "mail order brides except we wont dump you when our visa shows up."

If glanced over quickly, without really reading it, I can see it passing as kinda funny. But is much of what is posted on IB meant to be glanced over quickly without really being read? No? Ok, so how is the WC like a m.o.b. (except of course, that it won't split once it's got its papers)? Is it that the WC is a hot, exotic import who will do "anyt'ing you want"; or a homely-looking immigrant (as pictured), who will get your laundry done with her "ancient Chinese secret"? And about the visas, is that what m.o.b.s do? Are they just visa-hungry aliens, looking for a way to slide into the country?

Considering IB's tremendous support of Women writers, I was quite shocked at the implications of this simple phrase: that m.o.b.s are simply opportunistic immigrants, not hopeful women coming from poverty and strife, who, looking for a better life, are sold as commodoties.

Furthermore, this was posted on the first of May, a.k.a. May Day, International Workers Day, and (unofficially) Immigrants Day. To me, that made this WC call doubly insulting.

I would have written to my mama, but considering her political affiliation, she probably has this opinion of mail-order brides (in spite of her sharing the same country of birth as many m.o.b.s).

Is this where we fight?

Again, I must tell you that I love IB, but it is that very love that drove me to write this.

Am I just being too sensitive? I hope not, just as much as I hope this wasn't one of those "oh-no-harm-was-meant-so-no-harm-was-done" kind of jokes.

Again, is this where we fight? Because I've never been in one, and I'm afraid of doing poorly.


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Anonymous Alison said...

I hadn't seen that. I have not been on IB in a while.

Good letter.

11:49 AM  

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