Three years, twenty two weeks.

vkitty's picture
Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:05 -- vkitty

I have been a member of this community for three years and twenty two weeks.

In three years and twenty two weeks, I have shared with this group my stories of dating, marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood. I have shared my work stories, friend stories, and sex stories. I have vented, ranted, and raved. I have shared my joy and I have asked for (and receive) so much support when I was in pain.

I appreciate each and every mama on here who has been a source of support. I hope that my own attempts at support have been useful. I love the links, the videos, the stories that make me feel more like a normal mama than an outcast, which is generally how I feel in my part of the world. Hell, I've even made real life friends!

But nothing lasts forever.

I have a right to my opinion without being made to feel like that opinion is wrong. I have a right to my beliefs, and I have a right to happiness. No one is allowed to take that happiness away from me, and no one has the power to make me feel like my beliefs or opinions are less than what they are.

I feel like some cyber bullying is going on within this site. I'm not the only one that thinks so, and I'm sure I'm late to that observation. I won't be bullied, and I won't be in a room with a bully.

So I'm leaving Hip Mama after three years and twenty two weeks.

I might come back if the bullying stops. I've seen it happen to more than just a few people. But for the time being, I think I'll seek out a more accepting place where I am free to be the person I am without fear of retribution from those who believe their world view is the only valid one. A place where people don't use sarcasm to attack each other. A place where people respect each other, because all human beings deserve to be treated with respect.

Maybe that place doesn't exist, but I know one thing: it isn't here.

And the worst thing about bullies is they don't even see themselves as bullies! If you call them a bully, they will immediately become defensive and blame it on the victims. I know because I was horribly bullied in school and I know the pattern. Victim is bullied, victim accuses bully, bully becomes defensive and blames the victim.

I know I said once that I'm here and I'm never, ever leaving. But I spoke too soon. Sorry about that. Feel free to carry on the conversation amongst yourselves, I won't be joining in.

Comments

shadeshaman's picture

You made a very inflammatory comment, regarding glitter and humor. Saying that people who use humor to make a political point are detrimental to "real" (your term) activists, that's a heck of a statement. Mme. Filth called you out on it, and you took offense. That's hardly bullying.
You then found the George Takei video that I posted to be both humorous AND acceptable, and Mme. Filth pointed out, through humor, the inconsistency in your stance. Again, hardly bullying.

I'm going to say right now that I was deeply offended that you, by saying that people who use humor to make a point aren't "real" activists, negated most of the real political activism that I have engaged in for more than 30 years. I did not call your statement "bullying", I did not take it as a personal attack against me. I've been so busy in my own life in the real world, that I didn't think it worthwhile. I just allowed you to slide down a notch in my esteem. Mme. Filth gave you the opportunity to defend your words (and thereby, I'm guessing, NOT slide down a notch in her esteem). You didn't take the opportunity, you didn't defend your stance or your reasoning. You took the easy way out, and claimed emotional upset, but the matter ("hey, defend this inflammatory statement") remains unresolved.

You see Mme. Filth's comments as bullying. *I* see them as a continued opportunity to defend, or at least examine your original stance. Walking away from hipMama will end this conversation, but it will not resolve the original matter. And, for what it's worth, will take you yet another notch down in my esteem.

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius"--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

bitch-face's picture
Submitted by bitch-face on

I am sorry that another voice is being pushed out of this community. It used to be such a fun, positive, healing, helpful place.

*hugs* I'll see you on the 'book

bitch-face's picture
Submitted by bitch-face on

I am going to add to this. I am reading past comments and, having not been an active member of the community for a while, this is really shameful.

It's not like I am engaged with an emotional stake. I feel like I can be more or less objective. What's going on here, especially these recent comments to vkitty, just sad and shameful.

I have been on sites all over the internet, and I actually do not come across 'real' bullying like I see here. The need to 'follow' someone around & *pick*pick*pick* That's why I stopped posting here and I can't speak for everyone but that's why at least a few other mamas stopped posting

Pretty soon it will just be a few bitter women, with no one to pick at but each other. Sad

Enjoy that ladies.

I'd love to come back & post again if we could get that productive, real community vibe back. Unfortunately I think that would mean we needed moderation. Grown women unable to act like grown women.

One more thing. When most of the folks you converse with seem to have a problem, maybe it's not them. just maybe.

elienos's picture
Submitted by elienos on

I'm sorry to see you go vkitty. Sorry this place isn't the supportive place that you need. I wish there were more people/voices posting, not less.

Susan's picture
Submitted by Susan on

Didn't work when we did heavy moderation either, frankly. We rely on each individual to moderate her own behavior, to be the adults at the playground as it were, and to own their words and actions. It doesn't always work, but it seems, generally, to be working better than moderation actually did.

"Do not forget. Remember and warn." -- Plaque fixed to the hollow shell of Sarajevo's National Library

motormouth's picture
Submitted by motormouth on

I'm sorry that you're feeling hurt. I can understand that it would hurt your feelings that MF was getting snarky with you. I don't agree that she was bullying you, but your feeling hurt is understandable.
I may be wrong, but the impression that i get is that you decided you had beef with MF when Glam walked out. Then when she called you on your statements on guerilla activism you decided you really did have a beef with her, and the rest of us too for not stepping in to "protect" you.
it's not my job to police madame filth or anybody else here, If you have a beef with MF then duke it out with her in private messages. Or if you'd rather just walk away from a whole site because one person bothers you that's your call. Maybe the facebook group is more supportive and affirming for you.

Bee's picture
Submitted by Bee on

Hi everyone,

Hipmama.com is a community site. The community is the heart and soul of the project, and it is as big or small, as beautiful or frightening, useful or annoying, as the community makes it. We have had problems in the past with bullying or deliberately destructive behaviour. As Susan said, having moderators never helped because the moderators were put in a position of authority and judgment, and that was antithetical to the nature of the site.

Those of us who keep the place open and functioning see the trends. The routines. How people strike a balance, or how they do not. I've been working on this project for more than thirteen years, so I hold most of the institutional memory. It is in my own brain or sitting on backup disks scattered around my office here in England, transported from Portland to Seattle, pausing at destinations in between. I can name a dozen dire situations where I watched the community meltdown. Where I watched equal members of the community, people I care about, fight amongst themselves. Each side had a point and I would not presume to choose which narrative was more valid.

It is always just extremely painful when people start to fight. On a practical level it has been my goal to give people tools so they can be safe and still talk. The blog format was the most successful of these, because it made it possible for people to have their own linear place to tell their own stories. It isn't perfect, but it seemed better than the wide-open discussion board format. For the past few years this seemed to work. I have been thinking about offering boards again, and have the beta open right now, but you all seem to prefer the blogs. I logged in this morning to ask your opinions. Instead I am very sad to see an active member of the site leaving in anger.

I respect and admire all of your voices equally and I don't want to see anyone leave. Hipmama.com is by and for volunteers. The community itself is the thing to work on, improve, make stronger. We all matter.

vkitty17, I hope that you reconsider and continue to be post here. Every single member of this site has a valuable and important story to tell. We might disagree on details, might debate matters large and small, but diversity is our strength. I've met thousands of Hipmama.com members in person and I am astonished by how eclectic, interesting, and above all different we are. Living our own lives, scattered all across the globe, but meeting here and building new relationships we would not otherwise have found.

If you or others leave, I wish you well in all of your future endeavours. But I hope that you come back and tell us about what you have been doing. And remember, for every vocal community member there are ten thousand silent readers. We might not know who is reading our words, but they are there. They care.

bitch-face's picture
Submitted by bitch-face on

I understand what you're saying. I felt like we used to do a great job of self moderating and I guess that just went out when fewer people we're posting

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