Saturday, April 05, 2008

Blog-Roll Deletion

I like to keep my links and so on as open as I can - keep as wide a range of people as reasonably possible involved in the debate and I've always linked to Mind The Gap Cardiff, thought it was a great site. Recently I've noticed a few things:

1) Only one author (Zenobia) is still writing there. Fine if it's good interesting stuff but...

2) Harsh criticism of the other feminist blogs - claiming they don't pay enough attention to racism and classism, which is odd considering they're a feminist blog, you could argue that to focus on anything other than women's issues is beyond their remit. One particular recent post criticises the F-Word for saying they have been "losing sleep" over allegations of homophobia. Surely if they had responded saying that such allegations "didn't bother them at all", that would be a lot more worrying. And also criticism of myself in the comments section over at Brown Femi Power blog - the main criticism apparently being that I went on holiday to Africa in 2005... I have responded on there, rather than going through it all again here.

3) No comments sections any more. This is particularly an issue for me on posts where others are harshly criticised. To attack others for not being open enough to debate and others views while having no comments on your own blog is just downright hypocritical.

So adios MTGC. If anyone out there wants to be added to the blogroll then just let me know - more the merrier, I always like to highlight interesting stuff.


Legible Susan said...

*follows links* Aww, what a cute baby gorilla! Aww, what a cute baby!

Really, don't you see why people might have a problem with a "gorilla blog" being half full of photos of (black) people? And jokes about herbal viagra? Please.

You can't have the internet be a political medium only when you want it to be. It all comes over the same wires.

Cruella said...

The trip was to see the mountain gorillas, obviously while I was there I met the local people who lived around the gorilla sanctuary. It had never occurred to me that anyone would interpret this as implying that the people in the photos were gorillas. Maybe there are people who think that way and maybe this is what they're complaining about - but until you suggested it in your comment - it had never crossed my mind. And yes, both gorillas and human infants can be cute, as can baby cats and dogs and cuddly toys and whatever strikes me as cute.

And the jokes about herbal viagra were the jokes that the guy in the photos made when we spent time with him. Those are his jokes. Would it not be more than a little patronising of me to decide to re-write his lines for him. He thought it was hilarious. And had I been in some part of the UK visiting a white herbalist with same sense of humour, I would have given them the same captions.

I really think people are having to try very hard to take offense at my holiday photos. And if I had said something offensive then fair enough, but my holiday photos are not supposed to have a political message - if you want to see my views on racism then look at my blog, where my political views are.

Judith Weingarten said...

Firmly feminist in history and filling in the missing Z-spot in your blogroll (perhaps), see Queen Zenobia's blog Empress of the East

Cruella said...

Oooh definitely - very confusing since the woman who has been criticising me posts under the name "Zenobia" too - but you are Queen Zenobia, quite different. Love the Burqa rock band. Will add your link. Cru

Judith Weingarten said...

Sorry to confuse but it was the lapse of that Zenobia which gave my Queen Zenobia her chance.

Thanks very much for the link (when you get a moment: not UK feminism; just plain unflavoured Feminism and Added Archaeology).

Jennifer Ewing said...

Hi Cruella,

It's not the fact that you went on holiday in Africa that offends me - I'm sure the holiday company was ethical etc. To be honest it was the captions under your photos that kind of bothered me - particularly the 'I bet she wishes her husband took less herbal viagra'. As for the fact that it was your personal holiday blog, it was still linked from your profile for anyone to see and posted publically, so I don't see any problem with linking to it or criticising it.

As for posting a comment up here, you stopped responding to my comments so I thought I'd leave you alone. I found you didn't so much argue with my points as assert the same thing over and over, and to be honest you seemed so unwilling to argue and to be open to any new points. It's like the whole point of it is that quote at the top of the page, that you're 'so right' anyway, so I concluded that there was no point arguing with you.

Plus you make jokes about preventing certain people from reproducing, and about 'joy-riding chavs'.

I slightly regret posting a link to your blog at Brownfemipower, which was sneaky of me, but really, no one in the UK seems to give a shit about this stuff or at least no one says anything, so I just thought you should be held accountable for some of the stuff you come out with, particularly as you have the privilege of going on the radio to talk about feminism, so you're more likely to embody 'feminism' to a wider public than most of us are. I'm sure you don't realise how racist and classist some of it is, I mean, that's obvious because otherwise you wouldn't say it.

I also don't see how I'm 'harshly criticising' other bloggers, I'm just trying to highlight internalised racism and classism within feminism. The UK feminist blogosphere is 99.999999% white and middle class, so I feel someone has to highlight these things. And of course they're within the remit of feminism.

Jennifer Ewing said...

And by the way, Jess is fine with that last post about the F-Word, we've been exchanging perfectly friendly emails about it, in fact she said it was a good post. I even put it up to be supportive of the F-Word.

Open and honest criticism is incredibly important, and even though we don't have comments turned on at Mind the Gap, people are perfectly free to go off and criticise us on their own blogs.

Cruella said...

Ok so you're now offended about exactly one caption on one photograph. Now as I mentioned earlier, it was the guy in the photos who kept making wise-cracks about herbal viagra. You can, I am sure, write to him care of Bwindi Orphange as listed at the top of the page, but I've got a feeling you're not going to. More importantly you are dismissing everything I write (over 500 posts) because you are uncomfortable with one caption on one photograph on a blog that openly states it's a collection of holiday photos. Yes you are welcome to look at my holiday photos but to reject my entire body of work on the basis of such a tiny thing seems just crazy.

As for things you've taken exception to on my podcast - as you're aware from reading the clearly posted info at the top of my podcast page - I am not the only writer on that recording. So making the assumption that the particular line that offends you was written by me is nothing more than an (as it happens, wrong) assumption.

Further we had a lengthy debate about whether "chav" is an offensive term, and a lot of interesting points were made about whether the term denotes working class people in general or a smaller group, etc and whether or not this group are "fair game" for jokes. As a result of accepting that the term could be interpreted in a bad way, I haven't used it since. But I'm not going back and deleting previous pieces, that would be the definition of inconsistent journalism.

Now, when I say "harsh criticism" - I mean firstly OF ME. Come on - you've called me racist and classist over and over again, I consider that pretty harsh. And secondly I do think you're looking for things to get offended about on the F-Word. Like me they are maintaining a dialog with you, that doesn't mean you haven't been, in my opinion, harshly critical and unnecessarily so.

And this "even though we don't have comments turned on at Mind the Gap, people are perfectly free to go off and criticise us on their own blogs" is totally meaningless unless you are going to post up links to critical blog posts (and you're not cos where's the link to this?). As you can see on the F-Word, and here, reasonable critical comments are left up and responded to. On your blog they are not. Readers are not given the chance to see the criticisms unless they happen to be very adept at searching the web for linked articles.

Jen said...


Jennifer Ewing said...

Crap, wrong account, that was me

lost clown said...

I was under the impression that Winter was coming back at some point as well.

Jen said...

Yeah she is, she's on holiday.

I do think you're being a bit overdramatic about this though Kate, there's absolutely no way I can drag your name through the mud, since it's way too big and shiny for that.

I never 'harshly criticised' the F-Word, in fact I said I think they do excellent work on the whole.

I didn't exactly harshly criticise you either, I just called you out on a few things you said, and suggested you have some issues with internalised racism even though you're anti-racist on the whole. I mean, you once protested against an anti-immigration sentiment by saying that immigrants do excellent work 'in the service industries'. Awesome.

I'm sorry I can't say you're 'so right' all of the time (yeah, I realise that's tongue in cheek), but then again who is?

I'm also slightly amused and bewildered you tried to explain to Brownfemipower what feminism is. Why do you think she doesn't already know? Does your arrogance have no limits?

I think I'm going to post this under the banner of the Society for Non-Violence, Understanding and Helping, it seems appropriate.

Jen said...

Amazing! Your Amazon links thingy linked the words Mind The Gap to a KLF album.

I guess that makes it okay that you have a programme that randomly links words in people's comments to Amazon products.

Otherwise, I think it might be best if we mutually ignore each other from now on. Do you agree?

Cruella said...

Hey hold up - you described me/my blog as "disgusting" and as "racist and classist". In my world that's harsh criticism. Now I've just done a complete search of my blog for the terms "immigration" and "service industries" and I'm not finding a story that mentions both at all. So lets put that down as fiction...

While I was on Brownfemipower's website I noticed that she was saying she was no longer going to refer to herself as a feminist because she felt that she couldn't identify with parts of the movement. My point was that being a feminist isn't about about identifying with other self-described feminists - it's about fitting the definition. In fact I think it's vital that people stick tot he definition, rather than falling for media-pushed stereotypes about feminism being a bunch of man-hating lunatics, etc. Hence why I mentioned the definitions - because I think we should get back to it.

And yes I have advertising on my blog. Sorry I need the money, and yes often the google ads and the amazon ads link to things that I don't necessarily think are relevant and in some cases appropriate. I'd love to be a purist about these things - please set up a direct debit into my account every month and I'll start...

Jen said...

Er, so you're an ex-city businesswoman turned stand-up comedian, by your own admission 'a bit posh', and you're asking a legal secretary to set up a direct debit into your account before she mentions your use of ads on your site because you 'need the money'. Nice one.

Cruella said...

No - I'm making a joke to highlight the fact that we all need to make money in our lives. You have a serious sense of humour failure if you can't see that.

Jen said...

Rest assured Kate, you're comedy gold.

Cruella said...

You're just choosing to take offense at everything. It's really not my problem.

Anonymous said...

I too am sick of Zenobias accusations and massively skewed representations of reality.

FTR - Zenobia I am not middle class. Working (and under)class UK feminists and feminist bloggers do exist, no matter how much you pretend otherwise, and pretend to speak for us.

As you describe yourself as middle class and "mostly white", i reckon your repetitious allegations against the rest of us are just projection. You comfortably ignore us, no links, no listening, no time for disagreement. Worse, you make generalising claims about us without any sort of evidence, knowing that there are those who will believe you regardless of truth. You do it to show how different (and therefore better) you are than the rest of us, that you stand alone in your brilliance, surrounded by all of us terrible people.

Wind your neck in, seriously.