I entered chat rooms and found adults wanting to hook up. This was not my objective. I was seeking expertise in different areas that were not available in my hometown atmosphere. I started out with Black Planet. It was pretty interaction, but young children were interacting in grown folks conversation. So, I left Black planet and headed toward blogging. I selected a name for myself, a generic name, Independent. Independent was my political stance. I quietly made my debut.
Nothing happened. No traffic. I went to other spots and made my comments and safely returned to my blog, to wait for them to come see about me. My blog I could write whatever.. that is until one day, my blog would take on a new direction. I was told to read a posting on another local blog. I did and added my two cents. Big mistake.
My two cents was not wanted and it upset the tranquility of the local blogosphere. For me, an African-American there would be hell to be paid in offering up that two cents. It quickly became a local group blog to discover who is this credo. To discredit my blog and my writing, it was essential that personal information be quickly gathered it did not matter if it was truth, just the semblance of truth was all that matter.
But, unbeknownst to the culprits, I was collecting the attacks as they began to turn personal and racial. It became apparent that at least one thing was certain, I was not one of them. I was not worthy to be counted among the local blogger community.
I thought about starting anew. But instead, I made it crystal clear, who I was, an African-American and a woman, in the change to the title of my blog. No more wondering, local bloggers, yes I was indeed African-American and a woman to top it off. I took the risk of entering a male dominated raced white community of bloggers and integrated it. My rule: attack my thoughts but no racial attacks would be allowed on my blog.
I had read other African-American bloggers demanding the same. And it made sense, especially after one African-American female shut down her site, after being attacked by raced white women. Simply because she was voicing her opinion. I would have to be stronger and sing a little dittie called, and I am telling you...
The issue of blogging while something other than raced white would return upon a visit to African-American Political Pundit post listing bloggers who addressed the issues of blogging while black or brown. And now it appears that raced white women have been dissed in the blogosphere. Misogyny gone wild.
I found this out by doing a click over to Michelle Malkin website. Malkin had a post titled Liberal female bloggers discover Web misogyny... Now that was not my purpose for visting Malkin, this was, The John Doe Manifesto. Web misogyny, nevertheless caught my attention and took me to Huffington Post, where I found Misogyny in the blogsphere:The Debate Continues. The debate continues because it appears that not unlike our sista, Kortney Ryan Ziegler as reported on ColorLines, another female blogger stopped posting.
Melissa Lafsky posted on Huff and Stuff about an anonymous death threat aimed at the female blogger, Kathy Sierra. Sierra maintained the site until her address was posted after the death threat on the site, and that was enough to stop her from blogging on creating passionate users. It appears a typed and posted death threat is not protected speech. but the threat was enough to cause economic damage, Sierre, a techie decided to cancel a ETech presentation at a conference after the death threat.
But some of the bloggers in the community believe it does not matter the issue of gender based blogging. Bloggers of all type must have thick skin. Joan Walsh of Salon.com entered the discussion, and weighed on the issue of Women Web ABuse@ or WWA on whether or not female bloggers need to just cowboy up.
...Is Sierra another woman silenced by vicious online sexism, or just a wuss? Were the threats of violence real? Or is she the real bully, organizing a "lynch mob" to win her blogosphere battle?
I avoided writing about the mess for a day or two because I had mixed feelings about it. Ever since Salon automated its letters, it's been hard to ignore that the criticisms of women writers are much more brutal and vicious than those about men -- sometimes nakedly sexist, sometimes less obviously so; sometimes sexually and/or personally degrading. But I've never admitted the toll our letters can sometimes take on women writers at Salon, myself included, because admitting it would be giving misogynist losers -- and these are the posters I'm talking about -- power. Still, I've come to think that denying it gives them another kind of power, and I'm trying to sort that out by thinking about the Kathy Sierra mess in all its complexity.
Power. Does power allows for certain abuse in the blogosphere?
Was it that need for power when some of these same women tolerated the blackface of Joe Lieberman as okay on the blog? Silence.
However, the newspaper picked up the story of the death threat of Sierra. The media is outraged when women are denigrated on the blogosphere but ignore the same type of experience by African-Americans on the blogosphere? How come?
Both should be handled with swiftness, as the backlash came and prompted the blackface to be taken down from Huff and Stuff. But does the netosphere really provide an equal opportunity for all users regardless of their background? Or is it an exclusive marketing tool for the rich and the famous?
Or does the blogosphere mirror our america? Is the message to African-American you are consumers and are not a part of the global marketing occurring in the blogosphere?
AAPP inquires whether or not campaign dollars will be spent on African-Americans blogspots? Does African-Americans blogs matter? Jeanette Ponder was profiled in the print media, but her blog was not mentioned. When African-American bloggers united in an online campaigning, Howard Witt,of the Chicago Tribute gave a generic mention to bloggers! But not a nayer African American blogger link was mentioned. African-American links matters!
Just ask Francis L. Holland. Holland was censored from Daily Kos. The censorship occurred when African-Americans do not participate in the group think and challenge the one sided conversations. And when attempting to participate beyond the African-American audience, African-American bloggers are censored. That appeared to be what happened to me, as my website was taken over and redirected by a raced white blogger. But who gave him the authority simply because he was unable to deal with opinions from an African-American woman.
Why is this acceptable behavior in the blogosphere? But more importantly why are we women and African-American bloggers not banning together to capture the dollars from those who do not want us on the Afro/Blackosphere/netizens, villager/African-Americans blogworld. Where is the marketing strategy on the net for us?
This post can be found on African American Political Pundit.