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August 2, 2008

UnMommy = UnCool and UnFair?

So it seems that the evil sluts can't go anywhere without finding drama. Apparently, Team Sugar isn't the only website that is a bit contradictory about their... standards. This time it happened at UnMommy.com, a web forum that claims to be:
a growing community of women, uniting together to discuss the trials, tribulations, joys and sadness of TTC [trying to conceive], pregnancy, motherhood, relationships, and life as a woman.
They kind of try to sell themselves as a "different" site for mothers. I first found them when I followed a link from our statcounter to a thread on their forum. (They had reposted our gardasil article, of course). It seemed like a pretty good idea, even if it was still newish-looking, so I registered. However, once I started to read a little bit more, I realized that they aren't actually so different after all.

They had the same basic run of the mill posts you'd expect to find on any mother's website... dealing with toddler tantrums, which conditioner is the best for my hair, my husband did the sweetest thing, Brooke Hogan is like totally dumb, etc... Then I happened to come across a thread in which someone had reposted an article about the "Pregnant Man" (I'm sure you all know the story by now). I expected that a website that had it's own subforum for "GLBT Mommies" would have some insightful things to say... I was wrong.

"Ya know, this is really starting to irritate me...a man can't have a baby...so as bad as you want to be one...you're not. Go sit down somewhere! Shit..."
"This poor child - what is she going to tell her friends when she grows up? I came out of my daddy's hoo-hah and nursed with my mom's boobs even though she was never pregnant? That's just fucked up."

"I agree...just a sick situation"

"Um... really, men can't have kids, they don't have a uterus or any of that, so therefore, he's not a man. he's just a woman pretending to be."
So obviously I was pissed:
I'm really offended and disgusted by some of the comments in here. What makes this situation sick or fucked up or irritating? He was born female. He legally changed his sex to male (he's not "pretending") but kept his female reproductive organs. His wife was unable to conceive, so he went off the male hormones and got pregnant? Why is that so horrible or difficult to understand? How many of you have had trouble conceiving... don't you understand how hard that can be? They found a way to have a baby, big fucking deal.
I was shocked that a forum that had it's own "GLBT Mommies" section could say such things about a transgendered person. (You know, that "T" in GLBT). I responded to the thread and also reported the offensive comments (one of which I think came from an UnMommy assistant admin!) The moderator who received my report sent me a message:
I have recieved [sic] your report about the topic at question and I want to thank you for expressing your concern. I do agree that some of the replies were written rather harshly, and understand where you are taking offense to what has been said. I have forwarded it on to Admin for their review.
Of course, if the site's own administrators are making offensive comments, then I didn't have much faith that any 'action' would be taken. I responded that after looking around some more, I found other things about the site that didn't necessarily match what I was looking for and asked how to delete my account.
I don't think that leaving the site is necessary. I know that GLBT issues is something you are very passionate about, and I can see 100% how you are offended by what has gone on in that particular topic, but instead of leaving the forum all together - why don't you use it as an opportunity to share your knowledge and teach others about acceptance when it comes to GLBT issues? Just an idea, I can understand if you don't want to - but I think the forum as a whole can benefit from your knowledge.

I think as a whole we are openminded. But reality is, there are some issues that people just can't open their eyes to - and without someone to show them, they never will be able to. That's why I think you should stay and use your knowledge. Without a fight, how is anyone going to understand it??
Now just in case our evil slutty readers don't know this, I'm not necessarily "passionate" about GLBT issues. I'm passionate about people not being judgmental bitches. I don't expect everyone in the world to understand or accept something like gender identity and gender reassignment, but I do expect that members of a forum that prides itself on being different and openminded would at least bite their tongue before saying things that are ignorant and offensive.

Shortly after that, the woman who had made the "fucked up" comment responded to the thread again:
Personally, maybe "fucked up" was a bit harsh. But I truly DETEST how he shoved it in everyone's faces, went on Oprah and made it a huge deal. There are millions of people pregnant that don't need to overtly "sell" it to the media. He just crossed a boundary that I thought should have been considered for the sake of his daughter. If this wasn't splashed all over, she might not face these issues, however, now that he's paraded himself around proclaiming all of this personal information, she's going to have to live with the consequences.
What a lame non-apology. I'm sorry my words were too harsh, but I still mean exactly what I said! "Fucked up" was a bit harsh... but calling it detestable is fine. I was further pissed off:
See, that's offensive too... He "shoved it in everyone's faces". You know, people say that about gay couples making out in public and stuff like that and it makes me sick. This is why gay people and transgendered people and pretty much anyone else who isn't what closedminded people consider "normal" are discriminated against left and right. Because our reaction is "ew".

They didn't want the attention... they were getting it anyway, so they figured, okay, let's tell our side of the story. They were experiencing opposition and discrimination from people, including their doctor/s. He was mocked, he was turned away from doctor's offices, they refused to call him by the male pronoun or recognize his wife as his wife.

I'm glad that they chose to "overtly sell it to the media" as you put it. This needs to be less "weird". People need to accept that transgendered people are normal people and they live normal lives and sometimes they want to have children just like everyone else. What should he have done? Hidden away for 9 months like a recluse, ashamed of what he did? No fucking way. My 8 year old already knows that transgendered people are... PEOPLE. Just normal people. I think the more adults that learn this, the better.
Of course nobody else ever "parades around" their pregnancies. All pregnant women sit home for nine months with wearing a burqa. Like celebrities don't sell pictures of their newborns for money or anything like that. Oh wait... they do.

What happened next makes me laugh so hard, that I want to start singing a Tilly and the Wall song (guess which one)... The aforementioned assistant admin. whose words had started this whole thing in the first place, sent me this private message:
I'm sorry if you are offended with some of the threads people have started. Our site is an uncensored one where people are free to speak their minds. If you would like to specifically call someone out, however, for something you find offensive (a rude or ignorant post, for example), we ask that you use the Cat Fight Corner to do so. I understand you won't agree with everyone's opinions, but filling the board with fodder for a fight is not going to help further your point. If there is any clarification I can offer, or anything I can do for you, please don't hesitate to let me know. Otherwise, please respectfully respond to posts and share those experiences you find relevant to the content, or simply ignore the ones that may ruffle your feathers.
Hilarious on so many levels... the main one being that I was being reprimanded for not responding to derogatory comments respectfully enough, by the person who made those comments in the first place. Apparently at UnMommy calling transgendered people sick and fucked up is totally respectful, but saying that they aren't sick and fucked up is inappropriate. Also, I was being directed by a moderator to 'fight' in order to share my knowledge, while being told by an assistant administrator that I should ignore the posts I don't like. Okay.

The whole ESC also had a big chuckle over the fact that they actually had a place called "Cat Fight Corner", which I should note, I didn't even have access to. (Therefore I can't go there to talk about what I felt was offensive, even if I wanted to). I can't see how that forum is really helpful anyway. Here's a crazy idea: How about talking about the issues of a thread in that thread? Taking it elsewhere makes it personal, when it shouldn't be about them as a person... but about being held accountable for their words. I wasn't trying to call her a judgmental bitch (even if maybe she sort of is one); I was trying to discuss transgendered people and the discrimination they face... you know, the topic of the thread.

If we're there to freely speak our minds, then shouldn't I be able to give my opinion of the topic/s at hand? I wasn't calling out a specific person; I was giving my opinions and explaining why I felt that certain aspects of the topic were offensive. I didn't want to have a discussion about why that specific poster was a judgmental bitch. I wanted to have a discussion about transgendered people and the "pregnant man" and why it wasn't sick or fucked up. I don't think people should have to ignore bigotry and ignorance. How else are other people going to realize that they are being bigoted and ignorant?

Shortly after that message, I went to view the original thread again and found that it had been moved to another "Hott Topics" forum that I did not have access to (which you know, makes it a little difficult for me to share my knowledge). So basically, the gist is... UnMommy is run by a bunch of hypocrites.

I love how you can say whatever offensive stuff you want about transgendered people... but I can't call it what it is (bigotry and ignorance and rudeness). And then you move the thread to a forum I can't access... and then direct me to go to another forum I can't access if I'm pissed off about it. Seriously. Are you kidding me? I'm curious. Was anyone else contacted about inappropriate posts (like, you know, calling transgendered people "fucked up" and "sick") or was it just me who was told to be "respectful"?

From their TOS:
You agree that you will not use our forums to post any material, or links to any material, which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violating any law.

...UnMommy.com has the ability to edit and/or remove objectionable messages. Any user who believes that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact us immediately by reporting a post, or e-mailing admin. Upon receipt of such notification, we will make every effort to take such action as we deem necessary within a reasonable period of time.

Ah if only it was true. Apparently it's totally okay for people to say hateful, derogatory things... as long as it's about a group of people that are "sick" and "fucked up". In addition to the lovely comments about the "pregnant man", the same day I found another thread about some woman from a reality TV show (one of the few that I actually don't watch, so I'm not sure who she was). The posters were all going on and on about how she was the ugliest woman on earth. I believe that was the title of the thread actually "The Ugliest Woman on Earth" or something to that effect.

Geeeez… that shit is scary enough to give me nightmares.

… is that even a real woman?

Ewwww – she IS nasty!

O.K. was that really a WOMAN?!?! Holy Sh*%!!!

Is that a drag queen and a transvestite?


I looked at the pic they had and while I'll admit she's no supermodel, I've definitely seen "uglier" women (you know, if I actually bought into that whole societal construction that is "ugliness"). Personally I think attractiveness is entirely subjective. In my opinion, the posters slamming this woman (including the aforementioned assistant administrator; she called her “nasty”) were much uglier than she was (personality wise).

Wow. I expected more from a site like this than to devote an entire thread to calling someone you don’t even know ugly. Yeah, she’s no supermodel, nor does she claim to be… but the ugliest woman ever? Lame.

I’ve seen plenty of people “uglier” than her… And I also realize that attraction is subjective (so I’m sure some people might find YOU ugly too). But more than anything I know that the ugliest thing about someone is their personality.

Of course, they got their panties in a bunch over that too because UnMommy is such a supportive and loving community! The original poster of the thread responded that she didn’t “care if it’s shallow and judgmental to post this” and then one of their fellow respectful members quoted me and wrote:

really? come on now; u gotta be some awesome person we will now all strive to be just like u

with a caption of hot slut or whatever it says do u think she cares if we think she is ugly which she made herself?


Hm. Why didn’t she take this into the Cat Fight Corner before attacking me personally? I was talking about the overall concept of judging people based on their looks, she was attacking me. I never actually called it shallow and judgmental (even though I do feel that way). I wonder if she was also contacted by an administrator and asked to “please respectfully respond to posts”. Probably not.

So the conclusion to draw from this is that it's okay and cool to say whatever fucked up judgmental stuff you want to say about celebrities, public figures, people who are different than you, and basically anyone who won't ever actually see your comments. But attempting to call that out is "trying to start a fight" or "attacking other posters". How enlightened. So I guess the lesson learned is that even groups of people who claim to be hip and free-spirited and progressive and different can have prejudices too. (And it's perfectly okay to mouth off about those prejudices, but not okay to mouth off against those prejudices).

I contacted the site administrator and asked for my account to be deleted. (I tried in vain to find a "delete" option under my profile panel). I was informed that deleting accounts was not allowed, as per the TOS. Even though the actual TOS included this line:
If for some reason a member should choose to delete their account from UnMommy
...which definitely suggests that members are able to somehow delete their accounts. I rewrote to her and asked her to "ban" me or "suspend" me or whatever else would fit their definition of deleting my account.

I don't choose to be a member of a site where other members are permitted to say derogatory and hateful things, but I am not allowed to respond to those comments. It is hypocrisy at its worst.

Related Posts:

14 comments:

Bill said...

Wow. What complete assholes. I hope you posted a link to this blog before leaving for good.

THE EVIL SLUT CLIQUE said...

This blog entry got a few hits from unmommy this week, so it seems that they found it after all. Maybe they'll actually learn something from this.

Nah, they're probably just complaining about what a bitch I am.

UnMommy said...

I appreciate your right to express your opinion on the experience that you had at UnMommy, but I would like to touch on a few topics and add to this discussion.

UnMommy is an UNCENSORED mommy community; our members come from all walks of life and backgrounds, and over all have little in common aside from the fact that we are all women and the majority of us have children. We talk about a lot more than toddler tantrums, and what conditioner works best, but even those topics are important ones to the community dynamic as a whole. There is no limit to the acceptable conversations that can be had on our forums.

UnMommy is different because we allow all members to freely express their own opinions, and are lenient with censorship. We are different than the majority of other “mommy boards” you will find out there, because we won’t shove puppies and rainbows up your ass and ask you to “bite your tongue” when you have something you want to say. Members are welcome and encouraged to participate in adult conversations and freely express their opinions, whether I happen to agree with them, or not. Looking back over the specific topic you mention, there was plenty of room for discussion and education. Had I been a part of it, I would have done my best to educate those who did feel it was “fucked up” or “weird”. (As I mentioned to you in our brief PM discussion, I was on vacation and returned shortly after it all “hit the fan” so to speak) I happen to be very passionate about GLBT rights and issues, as they not only directly affect my personal life, but also many others around me and in our extended community. UnMommy welcomes all families with open arms and is not the hypocritical and bigoted community your post makes us out to be.

I find it incredibly amusing that you are referring to others as judgmental bitches, and calling for education on the topic at hand, when it was clear that all you wanted to do was argue and get out as quickly as possible. To assume that everyone has had the life experiences and education on these issues that we may have had is short sighted and ignorant on your part. Many people simply don’t understand the GLBT community, but would be open to discussion had you felt so inclined.

I stand behind my appointed moderators and assistant admin who requested that you educate rather than instigate. Management is chosen very carefully and I am certain that everything that was done and said (to you, by PM, about this particular topic) was intended to be in the best interest of UnMommy. When a thread starts to gets heated, it is moved to the “Hott Topics” area of our forum. This area is dedicated to regular members who have at least 100 posts (as it says plainly on the forum index). We also have a policy that if a topic that directly involves a “Newbie” (as you were at the time) gets moved; they are to be PM’d the password so they may continue the conversation. The fact that you did not receive a password was an oversight that could have easily been remedied had you any desire to continue your membership with us. Not only that, my assistant admin made it clear well before you made your exit that the thread was going to be moved, had the conversation escalated, which it did.

One important thing that you overlooked (or maybe conveniently failed to mention) was the other additions to that particular thread. Please allow me to quote the following from other members involved in the conversation:

“the baby is beautiful ”

“Hey what ever floats their boats out in this world today! The baby is a lil cutie!”

“The baby is beautiful.....
And although we all have differing opinions on this topic, the main thing to remember is that little Susan is a miracle, no matter what the circumstances were surrounding her conception and her gestation.
Thank goodness, she is healthy.....”

“Personally I don't care that the baby's parents are transgender/homosexual. I'm glad the baby has a loving family. Many people have judged me for being a single mom, particularly for never being married or committed to my son's father. I'm sure these people will continue to judge me. I don't like it, but it happens.”

“I love this story, and I am so happy for this family. My favorite part is that the mom is breast feeding!”

“But I also agree that the publicity is uncalled for and unnecessary. Shit, did any of us go on Oprah when we got pregnant???? The child may have a difficult life and it may not, who knows but I wish them nothing but luck.”

…To name a few. Members also went on to discuss what it really means to be a “man” or a “woman” in today’s society. The conversation took a positive turn after your dramatic exit.

For what it’s worth, our TOS were changed to reflect our policy of not deleting accounts to avoid any future confusion. It is unfortunate that your experience with UnMommy was not a positive one, Lilith. I enjoyed having you as a member on our forums and found the majority of your posts interesting and insightful. While I do respect your ill feelings towards us, I feel like your review was biased, UnCool and UnFair to say the least. To say that you were not allowed to respond is totally false. You requested your account be “suspended, or banned, or whatever” immediately after you made several “hair flippant” posts all over the forum (at least 4 different posts, 2 different topics) about how awful we were and how you didn’t want to be a member anymore, anyway. You were welcome to stop visiting the forums at any time. I did eventually ban your account, at your request.

Our forum is a new one, but we are growing quickly and I’m proud of what we have accomplished so far. Our members are kind, welcoming, supportive and friendly. You are one of very few people who have joined and later decided it wasn’t the place for you. That’s your prerogative. Our forum line-up works well for us (Yes, even the “Cat Fight Corner” *gasp*) you really weren’t around long enough to experience what UnMommy is all about. It’s pretty clear that you were looking for something to write about, and you found it. Congratulations!

Good luck in all your future ventures.

-Jenni
Owner/Admin UnMommy.com

THE EVIL SLUT CLIQUE said...

I know you've been waiting for a response, because I can see on our statcounter that the same user has viewed this page at least 10 times in the past 2 days. So here you go:

You say that UnMommy forum members are not asked to bite their tongues, but I was asked to bite my tongue and 'ignore it'. I was not trying to start a fight as you say. I was offended by something and I explained why. That was a form of my 'educating' them. (Although your moderator didn't tell me to 'educate not instigate'. She encouraged a 'fight').

I decided to leave, not out of anger, but because I did not feel at home at that forum. However, before I even had a chance to delete my account I was reprimanded for being disrespectful. I found that to be astoundingly hypocritical... seeing as my only form of disrespect was in stating my offense to something more disrespectful in the first place.

UnMommy may not be entirely composed of hypocrites and judgmental bitches (nor did I suggest that it is) but the rotten few can spoil the whole. When members of your forum are being bigoted and you ignore it/allow it, you are condoning and reinforcing their bigotry. I took a stand on something I felt to be wrong and I was the only one criticized.

You do not need to have life experience or knowledge of the GLBT community to know that rudeness is... rude. When I pointed out that rudeness, not only did I not receive an apology but then I was 'scolded'. If she had said she felt it was morally wrong for someone to reassign their gender and have a child, I'd have disagreed but I wouldn't have been as offended. You don't have to agree with a transgender man having a baby in order to show more respect to the entire GLBT community than calling him 'sick' and 'fucked up'.

Some other inaccuracies in your comment:

--You asst. admin did not make it clear 'well before' that the thread would be moved. I realized that it had been moved when I tried to access it again and it wasn't there.

--I did not 'overlook' or fail to mention to rest of the kind comments in that thread, because I did not have access to view them. Later supportive comments do not negate the existence of bigoted comments. The bigotry was accepted and ignored long before any of those niceties came out.

--I was not able to respond. When I responded I was a) reprimanded and then b) denied access to the posts without notice.

--My review was not biased. (Actually it wasn't even a review, it was an anecdote). It says 'uncool and unfair' with a question mark because you have not been proven to be judgmental bigots. It was just my experience and therefore my opinion that I was treated in a highly hypocritical fashion.

I may be one of the 'very few' who decided that UnMommy was not for me, but I am also apparently one of the very few who will stand up against intolerance and bigotry when I see it. If I had been a transgendered parent I would not have found those posts to be kind, welcoming, supportive or friendly. I did not go to your forum looking for something to write about. I went there looking for something 'different' and all I got was more of the same... the same prejudices and hypocrisy I could find anywhere else.

So no, I didn't want to be a part of that. And I felt it was worth writing about... you know, so I can educate people on what bigotry is and why it isn't okay. Even if their friendly web forum says it is.

s_sill said...

seriously...get over it. you are a grown ass woman who obviously has too much time on your hands if you can come on here and write a 50page complaint.

what a fucking loser. you are a trouble maker and that's why you didn't fit in. everything you wrote about caused problems. the point is, unmommy is a community that you join voluntarily so if you don't like it then DON'T FUCKING LOG ON!

-An "unmommy slut"

THE EVIL SLUT CLIQUE said...

The purpose of our blog (and well, any blog) is to write about stuff that happens to us and about issues that concern us. This story encompasses both of those things.

I'm not trying to completely bash UnMommy. I'm trying to draw attention to an important issue, one that UnMommy didn't care to address. May this blog inspire you all to be a little more tolerant and respectful of those with lifestyles different than your own.

The fact that you call me a fucking loser and a trouble maker, leads me to believe that you are not yet 'there' yet so good luck with your personal growth. According to Jenni, the owner/admin, the majority of my posts were 'interesting and insightful'. Nothing I specifically started caused problems. The problems (bigotry, intolerance, rudeness) were there before me and will be there after I'm gone.

I did voluntarily join UnMommy and then I voluntarily quit. I haven't logged on since I requested to be banned. If you don't like our blog, then take your own advice and 'DON'T FUCKING READ IT'.

*whitneynicole* said...

i am simply going to say, that you are entitled to your opinion, but unmommy is a tight knit community, who genuinely loves and respects the members.

we do have disagreements and yes maybe we dont agree on everything that is said, but thats life.

for people who read this, i say if your that interested, come look for yourself. make your own judgment on the forum.

i am sorry that you did not enjoy your time at unmommy, but don't make other people think awful things about us just because you didnt like it.

Sondra said...

Uh...yeah, you pretty much did bash the forum. Whether or not it was your intention, you posted several negative things about the forum on a public blog. Left out all positive insights, I fail to see how that is NOT bashing.

Anyway, I agree with s_sill. You're a grown woman, if you don't like it, don't come. Making a complete blog about how "uncool and unfair" we are, is totally immature. Apparently you requested to be banned, so you were done with it. Why create more drama?!

THE EVIL SLUT CLIQUE said...

Well I said not 'completely'. ;-)

Again
I'm trying to draw attention to an important issue, one that UnMommy didn't care to address. May this blog inspire you all to be a little more tolerant and respectful of those with lifestyles different than your own.

Anonymous said...

I remember those threads. Just so you know, there's a thread about this on UnMa right now and everyone is talking about it. They say no one should respond so we don't look bad, but they're still going on and on.

I would never have the guts to say this there (that's why I'm anonymous) but I actually agree with you on this one. I was really hurt by some of the stuff said (my cousin is preop). I had no idea that you were sent those messages about it though!

I don't believe that everyone on UnMa is judgemental and bigotted but I do think it was all kind of hypocrital. I'm secretly glad you spoke up, I wish I had the courage to.

fuck you!!!!!!!! said...

whatever your being a fuckin bitch about this!!!!!!!!! you didnt fit in with us becuz your an evil slut! we are real women here and not sluts or transvestites

i dont care who calls a pregnant man sick or fucked up or gay because we have a right to say that if its true!!!!! your fucked up too if you dont think so so you cant make us agree with you! and who ever this anonymous is your right not to speak up because your wrong too you cant tell us what not to say!!!

Anonymous said...

LOL!

Goanna said...

It's always that little bit more exciting when it's written with poor grammar and spelling, isn't it?

Anyway, I reckon we should call out bigotry and discrimination whenever we see it: Good work. It sucks that you were reprimanded for doing what's right.

I guess the only thing I could say is that the language you used may have sounded a bit inflammatory. I agree that you acted correctly and they did not, but even when we're right it's important that we write in a way that will make the other side listen.

Anyway, keep up with the good work! You're one of my new RSS feeds :)

Anonymous said...

Good job standing up to those morons! Your entry clearly shows how hypocritical and rude those females are on this particular website and the repossesses you have received from this group just further illustrates how uneducated and ignorant they really are.

Frankly I find it very sad and disturbing that these women are raising children, it is a parents responsibility to raise their children with understanding and respect for all human beings. In a country with so many mixes of races, religious and sexual preferences it would be impossible for our communities to form a strong and better future together with bigotry and intolerance for the life choices that people make standing in the way.

They are clearly unfit and extremely immature parent figures and I weep for the kind of citizens their children grow up to be.