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Wednesday
Aug312011

Inspiring, Exasperating, Disgusting, and Downright Scary

There has been a lot happening on the Internet. Let me share some of it with you.


Inspiring


Meagan at the Happiest Mom wrote a blog post asking Do inspiring blogs make you feel bad about yourself? I thought her post was spot on and I loved the comments too. Do you like to read inspiring blogs? I like to read blogs that make me think, which sometimes includes inspirational ones, but sometimes also critical ones. I also like to read blogs that make me laugh. It is a mixed bag. 


Exasperating


Tracey Moore on Jezebel's Motherload blog asked Where, Exactly, Is It Okay To Take Your Kid? Ultimately, she says:


Would-be parents should be told one harsh truth: Just assume everyone you meet hates your baby. That's it. That's all you've got to work with.



Read the post, it is both exasperating and therapeutic, if that is possible.


Disgusting


JC Penney thought it would be a good idea to sell shirts that help girls to demean themselves. The t-shirts, on sale for $9.99, read "I'm too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me."


Yesterday, people started expressing their disgust over the t-shirt on facebook and twitter. This morning there were blog posts popping up all over the place, including my post about it at Care2.com (with some pretty awesome quotes in it from people like Mom 101). As I was writing the post, things changed quickly. The t-shirt was still available for sale when I started writing and 20 minutes later it had been removed from the site. A couple of hours after I published my post, JC Penney had apologized (and I updated the post to include their apology).


This is another example of how powerful social media can be in getting companies to respond to consumer concerns. I do credit JC Penney with responding quickly. However, I do worry that perhaps a few too many people on their staff took the advice on this t-shirt to heart when they were in school, because I do not understand how any educated person could have thought it was a good idea to sell t-shirts with a message like this.


Downright Scary


Another woman blogger is receiving death threats. This week, Naomi Dunford from IttyBiz wrote about the escalation of death threats, hate crimes and other attacks on women online. This has been happening for years and was recently discussed in a panel at BlogHer called Cyberbullying Isn't Just for Teens: What To Do If You're a Victim of Trolls, Haters and Worse.


There has been a lot of talk about anonymity online recently and whether it is a good or a bad thing. When I look at cases like this I think that anonymity is one way for people to protect themselves from attacks like this, but it is also a way for people to perpetrate attacks while hiding in their basement. I'm a fan of allowing anonymity and think that the good outweighs the bad, but there are certainly both benefits and risks to it.


All that to say, anonymity or no anonymity, death threats, hate crimes and other attacks are completely out of line and really scary, especially when the victim did nothing more than express an opinion.


So, that's what I've been reading this week. What have you been reading?


Reminder: I'm giving away a copy of The 21st Century Motherhood Movement: Mothers Speak Out on Why We Need to Change the World and How To Do It. Join the conversation by September 3 for a chance to win it.


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Reader Comments (1)

I feel like the Penney's shirt is just one of many - a quick look around online and you can find other stores selling similar ones - though perhaps not quite as egregious as this one. and lots of people are posting pics of another offensive-to-girls tee available at Penney's. I think we should work together to address the bigger picture of gender stereotypes in advertising/marketing so that stores like Penney's won't make this kind of "mistake" again.

More of my thoughts if you're interested: http://bit.ly/prs4Ej

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranna ~ random handprints

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