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How do you talk to your kids about politicized homophobia and bigotry? - Page 4  

post #61 of 143

The foundation by the way that was founded by Maggiore. Who, with the backing of the foundation, went on to influence the decisions of South African president Mbeki, which led to him restricting AZT to HIV+ mothers and the deaths and infections of literally thousands?

post #62 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonWillow View Post

 

 

 

 I asked Peggy to come here and address you all specifically in QP because as your mod I felt that you had been the hardest hit by the mistake. 

 

 


MoonWillow:  I'm sorry if I wasn't being clear.  I appreciate that you brought attention to this and I appreciate the Peggy O'Mara has responded to this here.  I do think that, as someone else has already suggested, a two-pronged approach is best.  Addressing us here is great but it still doesn't provide visibility to the statement that's apparently needed that this is not acceptable to MDC.  The FaceBook commentary should show that not all members are clear, here, on MDC's policies surrounding these issues. 

 

 

 

post #63 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post

I appreciate the sentiment, Peggy, and I trust that your feelings are authentic. In the interest of authentic communication, I think it is important to allow you the opportunity to learn from your words. The term "sexual preference" is extremely dated and offensive. It is offensive because it implies that one's sexual orientation is a choice, and that gays and lesbians could be in a straight relationship, except for the fact that they prefer the same sex.


yes.

 

Thank you spedteacher.

post #64 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggy O'Mara View Post

I know some of you might not know me so I'd like to introduce myself. I was the editor and publisher of Mothering magazine for 31 years, started this website in the late nineties and am its owner. My comments from a previous thread have been posted here, but I wanted to let you all know how concerned I am that recent events have caused you to feel unsafe. There are enough places in society where queer parents are made to feel unsafe. I don't want this to be one of them. I consider this an inclusive community and want everyone regardless of race, religion or sexual preference or gender identity to feel safe here. We moderate our conversations from this place, our UA supports it. I'd like to tell you what happened from my point of view as there are so many stories on the threads that are not true.

 

On June 1st, we put up a question of the day about a study on racism suggesting that whites experience racism. Adina, our assistant board administrator, and Cynthia, our board administrator and web director, talked out the possible controversy of the question, but thought it would provoke interesting conversation in a community that has always wanted to discuss racism. Some of the responses to this question were hateful and the mods (who are volunteers) scrambled to clean things up.

 

On June 2nd, Melanie Mayo, our web editor, posted a link on FB to an article on the site about a family with two moms. FB was OK for awhile, but then it got hateful. June 2nd was a Thursday, Melanie did not become aware of the direction things had gone until Sunday, June 5th and then by Monday she took down a lot of FB posts. We have not been in the habit of moderating the FB posts so were not expecting this. Then, as you well know, on June 15th an ad for Operation Blessing was put up as a thread in Adoptive and Foster Parenting, just like some kind of fox getting into the hen house.

 

This ad was put up by a new ad associate who works for the company that sells ads for us and she had no idea of the implications of her actions nor did she have the authority to speak for Mothering or MDC as she did in the thread. I don't mean to throw her under the bus, but she is a new, junior employee who made a mistake. She was in a hurry to put up an ad on her schedule and did not give us the notice before hand we require so that our Mothering staff could have reviewed it. We did not. We've all been talking with this gal and our ad team about how to make sure an ad of this nature never happens again. 

 

The idea of putting an ad in a thread in general is also controversial and we are in the process of redefining this program with our ad reps. It was something they wanted to try and we are suggesting other alternatives. But, neither the woman who posted the thread about Operation Blessing or MDC is tolerant of homophobic behavior, hate speech or any of the other missions of this organization.

 

I am very sorry for the fear this must have caused you. What a panic you must have been in. The conversations you're having here are so rich and I hope you will continue them because I think the worst is over.

 

I'm not opposed to a formal apology, as some have suggested, but things move so fast here, that I'd prefer to address the threads specifically. I think it might be a good idea to put an announcement at the top of the forums that we are an inclusive community and I'm open to your suggestions as to what would make you all as queer parents feel safe.

 

Regarding the AIDS denialism attack that surfaces from time to time, it is because I have published articles in Mothering magazine about pregnant and breastfeeding moms who tested positive to HIV but had no symptoms of disease and who questioned the use of anti-viral drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding and even the diagnosis of HIV in itself as pregnancy is one of the conditions listed on the product insert that can cause a false positive HIV test.

 

I am accustomed in the magazine and online to publish articles about people who are making courageous and difficult decisions that may be alternative to what the mainstream culture is doing. We've published articles about those choosing to leave their sons intact as early as 1978, articles about people choosing to have homebirths, breastfeed older children, selectively vaccinate or not vaccinate at all, have children with same sex partners. Articles about freedom of choice regarding even HIV and AIDS treatment seems to me to fit right in the context of our historical coverage,

 

I'm happy to answer your specific questions about what happened and am open to your suggestions about what might make things better in future and make you all feel safe now.

 


I'm not even sure where to start...

 

Yes, it's incredibly outdated and insensitive to use the term sexual preference - but my sense is that the "other" (race, income, nationality, etc.) has never been equally valued at MDC.  And, yes, it's incredibly marginalizing to post this response only in the queer forum.  Do I need to be queer to be offended these actions?! 

 

But fear and panic?!  The only fear I've detected is not being able to question the actions of MDC without being labeled a troll, having a thread locked or erased, or being banned.  The only panic I've seen is scrambling to find another site where one's need can be met for honest, open, respectful debate (not to mention a high tolerance for snark!). 

 

Peggy, all your post does is confirm how disconnected you are with the members of MDC and the recent actions of your staff. 

 

PS - I'm still waiting for the replacement magazine from the gift subscription my mother bought me...

post #65 of 143

Magazine subscription problems aren't going to be dealt with on this thread. Please post in Q&S. 

 

If Peggy made a choice to support a person/organization then, given her life's work, I would assume positive intent. If that organization went on to make bad choices well, that really sucks *but* she does not hold the responsibility for those choices. Maybe she didn't even know! The thing is, the info that's being relayed here is being done in an accusatory manner which is counterproductive and has the possibility of devolving what was a respectful conversation into mudslinging. Share information if you wish but if you are coming over here just to rake Peggy over the coals then you're going to get resistance and probably lose the point you were trying to make in the process.

 

Thank you so much for the members of this forum for keeping this conversation respectful! luxlove.gif

 

 

 

 

post #66 of 143
Hi, I'll join in. I've been reading along for a couple days now and I'm a little shaken by all of this. Some of the things that commenters are saying do seem a little over the top to me, but I think it's a response to the feelings of being attacked that this has provoked. Peggy, I appreciate the apology, but there really does need to be something in a more prominent place than four pages in on a thread buried in the queer parenting section in order to make people feel safe here.

MoonWillow, I know that you've been here and are trying to make things better, but it feels a little bit like you're the only one who is helping. And I think that's because you're the only one being open about what you're doing and what is going on. If we knew that things were being done to fix the situation (a formal apology, and maybe the announcement of a new policy for vetting facebook comments on articles about LGBTQ parenting, for a start?) i think people would feel like we were being heard and that our place in this community is important to MDC.

Personally, I don’t want to leave. I’ve found a really great community here and I expect that it will only become more important to me as my family grows and we have to face the actual parenting decisions that so many deal with in these forums and articles. I do hope, however, that this whole debacle is something that MDC is taking seriously, and will seriously work to make right with all of us. It would help to have reassurances or an idea of what the plan is going forward to make all families feel safe and welcomed here, and to make it clear that that is the expectation of behavior whether you agree with someone else’s life or parenting decisions or not (heaven knows there are people on here who have TOTALLY different lives than me—but I respect their choices, and I think it makes for a better, more interesting forum to have all of us here).
post #67 of 143



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggy O'Mara View Post

I know some of you might not know me so I'd like to introduce myself. I was the editor and publisher of Mothering magazine for 31 years, started this website in the late nineties and am its owner. My comments from a previous thread have been posted here, but I wanted to let you all know how concerned I am that recent events have caused you to feel unsafe. There are enough places in society where queer parents are made to feel unsafe. I don't want this to be one of them. I consider this an inclusive community and want everyone regardless of race, religion or sexual preference or gender identity to feel safe here. We moderate our conversations from this place, our UA supports it. I'd like to tell you what happened from my point of view as there are so many stories on the threads that are not true.

 

On June 1st, we put up a question of the day about a study on racism suggesting that whites experience racism. Adina, our assistant board administrator, and Cynthia, our board administrator and web director, talked out the possible controversy of the question, but thought it would provoke interesting conversation in a community that has always wanted to discuss racism. Some of the responses to this question were hateful and the mods (who are volunteers) scrambled to clean things up.

 

On June 2nd, Melanie Mayo, our web editor, posted a link on FB to an article on the site about a family with two moms. FB was OK for awhile, but then it got hateful. June 2nd was a Thursday, Melanie did not become aware of the direction things had gone until Sunday, June 5th and then by Monday she took down a lot of FB posts. We have not been in the habit of moderating the FB posts so were not expecting this. Then, as you well know, on June 15th an ad for Operation Blessing was put up as a thread in Adoptive and Foster Parenting, just like some kind of fox getting into the hen house.

 

This ad was put up by a new ad associate who works for the company that sells ads for us and she had no idea of the implications of her actions nor did she have the authority to speak for Mothering or MDC as she did in the thread. I don't mean to throw her under the bus, but she is a new, junior employee who made a mistake. She was in a hurry to put up an ad on her schedule and did not give us the notice before hand we require so that our Mothering staff could have reviewed it. We did not. We've all been talking with this gal and our ad team about how to make sure an ad of this nature never happens again. 

 

The idea of putting an ad in a thread in general is also controversial and we are in the process of redefining this program with our ad reps. It was something they wanted to try and we are suggesting other alternatives. But, neither the woman who posted the thread about Operation Blessing or MDC is tolerant of homophobic behavior, hate speech or any of the other missions of this organization.

 

I am very sorry for the fear this must have caused you. What a panic you must have been in. The conversations you're having here are so rich and I hope you will continue them because I think the worst is over.

 

I'm not opposed to a formal apology, as some have suggested, but things move so fast here, that I'd prefer to address the threads specifically. I think it might be a good idea to put an announcement at the top of the forums that we are an inclusive community and I'm open to your suggestions as to what would make you all as queer parents feel safe.

 

Regarding the AIDS denialism attack that surfaces from time to time, it is because I have published articles in Mothering magazine about pregnant and breastfeeding moms who tested positive to HIV but had no symptoms of disease and who questioned the use of anti-viral drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding and even the diagnosis of HIV in itself as pregnancy is one of the conditions listed on the product insert that can cause a false positive HIV test.

 

I am accustomed in the magazine and online to publish articles about people who are making courageous and difficult decisions that may be alternative to what the mainstream culture is doing. We've published articles about those choosing to leave their sons intact as early as 1978, articles about people choosing to have homebirths, breastfeed older children, selectively vaccinate or not vaccinate at all, have children with same sex partners. Articles about freedom of choice regarding even HIV and AIDS treatment seems to me to fit right in the context of our historical coverage,

 

I'm happy to answer your specific questions about what happened and am open to your suggestions about what might make things better in future and make you all feel safe now.

 


 

 

First off, apologies for forum-crashing, but I wanted to give my response to Peggy since she refuses to post something for the braoder MDC community which was affected by recent "events". I have avoided posting on the many threads throughout the forum these past weeks as I believe that enough had been said to explain the outrage of our community on all that has happened of late. But I feel compelled to say something now since this is the closest we have come to a public announcement and position statement from MDC leadership/management. 

 

Peggy, this is the lamest excuse for an apology that I have ever read in my life. An apology typically comes with some willingness to take responsibility for what happened, which you have not done in any shape or form. At my job, when something goes wrong "on my watch", whether I was directly involved or not, I take full responsibility - as part of my job is to be on top of what is going on. You have failed to be on top of what has been happening under your neglectful "watch". Time to take some responsibility for what happened and disclose clear steps that will be taken to ensure that such hurtful incidents to do not happen in the future.

 

Your so-called "apology" has only succeeded in reinforcing both your lack of understanding of what type of climate has been created at MDC by these action for which MDC leadership is reponsible (not the hapless "gal" or other junior staff), which goes well beyond this one forum, and the offenses that you continue to make against a community in your choice of words.

 

At least you have shown your true colors...I can appreciate that, I guess.

post #68 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonWillow View Post

Magazine subscription problems aren't going to be dealt with on this thread. Please post in Q&S. 

 

If Peggy made a choice to support a person/organization then, given her life's work, I would assume positive intent. If that organization went on to make bad choices well, that really sucks *but* she does not hold the responsibility for those choices. Maybe she didn't even know! The thing is, the info that's being relayed here is being done in an accusatory manner which is counterproductive and has the possibility of devolving what was a respectful conversation into mudslinging. Share information if you wish but if you are coming over here just to rake Peggy over the coals then you're going to get resistance and probably lose the point you were trying to make in the process.

 

Thank you so much for the members of this forum for keeping this conversation respectful! luxlove.gif

 

 

 

 


Additional apologies for taking up space in this forum with this issue.  And boooooo to Mothering for limiting homophia and racism to be queer issues. (as reinforced by Peggy's post in only this thread, which IMO deserves coal raking - big cost to be the boss)  I wouldn't have even known about this post if it wasn't for another website!!!

 

Moonwillow - I can only assume this post was directed (somewhat or fully) at me. Peggy provided history and context in her reply and I was attempting to do the dame when reminding her about the magazine debacle.  (Ya know, the one in which many people belief money continued to be taken after the decision was made to close up shop...?!)  I can move it to Q&S but I doubt that would be fruitful.  What is really needed is a forum for members to address accountability and transparency - I think they call it customer feedback or customer service in some places...? (yes, snark intended!)

 

It's very sweet of you to keep fighting Peggy's battle for her.  Depiste the purity of her intentions, she cannot own a business touting certain values and then not be expected to explain herself when her actions don't appear to coincide with said values. 
 

 

post #69 of 143

Quote:
Hi, I'll join in. I've been reading along for a couple days now and I'm a little shaken by all of this. Some of the things that commenters are saying do seem a little over the top to me, but I think it's a response to the feelings of being attacked that this has provoked. Peggy, I appreciate the apology, but there really does need to be something in a more prominent place than four pages in on a thread buried in the queer parenting section in order to make people feel safe here.

MoonWillow, I know that you've been here and are trying to make things better, but it feels a little bit like you're the only one who is helping. And I think that's because you're the only one being open about what you're doing and what is going on. If we knew that things were being done to fix the situation (a formal apology, and maybe the announcement of a new policy for vetting facebook comments on articles about LGBTQ parenting, for a start?) i think people would feel like we were being heard and that our place in this community is important to MDC.

Personally, I don’t want to leave. I’ve found a really great community here and I expect that it will only become more important to me as my family grows and we have to face the actual parenting decisions that so many deal with in these forums and articles. I do hope, however, that this whole debacle is something that MDC is taking seriously, and will seriously work to make right with all of us. It would help to have reassurances or an idea of what the plan is going forward to make all families feel safe and welcomed here, and to make it clear that that is the expectation of behavior whether you agree with someone else’s life or parenting decisions or not (heaven knows there are people on here who have TOTALLY different lives than me—but I respect their choices, and I think it makes for a better, more interesting forum to have all of us here).

 

I'm sorry it seems that I am the only one who is helping. I am the only mod of this forum though. There are discussions happening about policy and the incident was taken seriously. Also, this isn't the only thread where the recent issues are being discussed. 

 

Quote:

Additional apologies for taking up space in this forum with this issue.  And boooooo to Mothering for limiting homophia and racism to be queer issues. (as reinforced by Peggy's post in only this thread, which IMO deserves coal raking - big cost to be the boss)  I wouldn't have even known about this post if it wasn't for another website!!!

 

Moonwillow - I can only assume this post was directed (somewhat or fully) at me. Peggy provided history and context in her reply and I was attempting to do the dame when reminding her about the magazine debacle.  (Ya know, the one in which many people belief money continued to be taken after the decision was made to close up shop...?!)  I can move it to Q&S but I doubt that would be fruitful.  What is really needed is a forum for members to address accountability and transparency - I think they call it customer feedback or customer service in some places...? (yes, snark intended!)

 

It's very sweet of you to keep fighting Peggy's battle for her.  Depiste the purity of her intentions, she cannot own a business touting certain values and then not be expected to explain herself when her actions don't appear to coincide with said values. 

 

I am not sure how you came to that conclusion but as I've stated, I specifically asked her to come here to this particular forum and speak to the people that I felt in my heart had been the most hurt by what happened. Peggy agreed about the importance and took time away from handling the massive amount of things that she is having to deal with right now (related to this incident and otherwise) to come here and make a statement.  

 

I'm sorry because I didn't mean to squash your concern for your subscription but rather I was letting you know that I couldn't help you here with that problem, in this forum.   

 

I am not fighting but I will continue to support the woman whose life work (I believe) has made a positive difference in the world. I am also here for you guys though! I am reading and taking seriously every word. And no, I'm not admin but mods do participate in discussions about policy etc. 

   

Quote: 

 First off, apologies for forum-crashing, but I wanted to give my response to Peggy since she refuses to post something for the braoder MDC community which was affected by recent "events". 

 

She did not refuse to post something to the broader community.

 

There is so much happening and sometimes we wish we could just turn over everything to you guys and let you all hash out how best to deal with it all. No offense intended by that statement. It just seems literally impossible to please everyone or should I say, impossible not to have somebody mad at us at all times. Regardless of how we choose to handle things, there is always push back and complaints. ALWAYS. And I'm not taking away from the seriousness of what happened with this particular event, as evidenced by the fact that we are having this discussion. 

 

My point is that just because things aren't dealt with in the manner that people wish, demand or expect, in the exact timetable that they wish, demand or expect does not mean that A) admin doesn't listen or B) that they don't care. 

 

 

post #70 of 143
p>She did not refuse to post something to the broader community.

I stand "corrected" - she "prefers" not to do so.

And, in fact, she has not, so excuse me for jumping to logical conclusions. Thank you for picking that out of my post.
post #71 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonWillow View Post

Magazine subscription problems aren't going to be dealt with on this thread. Please post in Q&S. 

 

If Peggy made a choice to support a person/organization then, given her life's work, I would assume positive intent. If that organization went on to make bad choices well, that really sucks *but* she does not hold the responsibility for those choices. Maybe she didn't even know! The thing is, the info that's being relayed here is being done in an accusatory manner which is counterproductive and has the possibility of devolving what was a respectful conversation into mudslinging. Share information if you wish but if you are coming over here just to rake Peggy over the coals then you're going to get resistance and probably lose the point you were trying to make in the process.

 

Thank you so much for the members of this forum for keeping this conversation respectful! luxlove.gif

 

 

 

 


Forum crashing.  You can go to the Alive and Well website to learn all you need to know about their AIDS denialism and their efforts in regards to Africa.  Funny though, a lot of their information isn't too up-to-date.  Probably has something to do with the whole thing being a steaming pile...

 

post #72 of 143

 

 

Quote:
I stand "corrected" - she "prefers" not to do so.

This is also untrue.

post #73 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonWillow View Post

 

 

This is also untrue.


If she prefers to respond to specific threads, then it seems to stand to reason that she would prefer not to do something else.

In any case, it does not change the fact that her "apology" fell far short of what many would have liked to see given the circumstances.

It is hard to keep giving the benefit of the doubt when all the formal responses to date have just seemed to be a means to deflect the conversation, rather than address the heart-felt concerns of long-time members.
post #74 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by amma_mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonWillow View Post

 

 

This is also untrue.




If she prefers to respond to specific threads, then it seems to stand to reason that she would prefer not to do something else.

In any case, it does not change the fact that her "apology" fell far short of what many would have liked to see given the circumstances.

It is hard to keep giving the benefit of the doubt when all the formal responses to date have just seemed to be a means to deflect the conversation, rather than address the heart-felt concerns of long-time members.


I understand that it seems that way but I'm just letting you know that its not actually the truth. 

post #75 of 143

These issues with MDC and the Mothering mag (including the two particular people mentioned) go waaaaay back. For the fun of it, I Googled it and found blogs/posts going as far back as 2000. It makes me think things are far from changing which makes me sad, but just makes me realistic.

post #76 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kgulbransen View Post

These issues with MDC and the Mothering mag (including the two particular people mentioned) go waaaaay back. For the fun of it, I Googled it and found blogs/posts going as far back as 2000. It makes me think things are far from changing which makes me sad, but just makes me realistic.



The vague nature of this post makes it difficult to respond. I am sorry that you feel sad though.  

post #77 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonWillow View Post

 

There is so much happening and sometimes we wish we could just turn over everything to you guys and let you all hash out how best to deal with it all. No offense intended by that statement. It just seems literally impossible to please everyone or should I say, impossible not to have somebody mad at us at all times. Regardless of how we choose to handle things, there is always push back and complaints. ALWAYS. And I'm not taking away from the seriousness of what happened with this particular event, as evidenced by the fact that we are having this discussion. 

 

My point is that just because things aren't dealt with in the manner that people wish, demand or expect, in the exact timetable that they wish, demand or expect does not mean that A) admin doesn't listen or B) that they don't care. 

 

 


Bolding mine because this makes me very mad (and forgive my forum crashing). Yes, if Mothering would post a strong statement on the front page condemning homophobia and bigotry I guess that would make homophobes and bigots mad. Is this the intended audience for MDC? Otherwise I do not understand why it is such a complicated question whether a forum wide apology is appropriate. soapbox.gif
post #78 of 143

As a person in a heterosexual lifetime partnership, I can say I'd much rather there be some kind of more public apology. At the very least some kind of  site wide statement condemning homophobia on this site.  It's not just the queer community who is appalled by this "mistake", and I agree with the other previous posters that addressing the issue only in threads is not enough.  I think we have heard from many people saying the response was not public enough. I am trying to be calm, to feel patient, but when none of us here can understand "why not" it really starts to eat away at you.

 

If a site wide statement is something that means so much to so many of us, why is it being met with such resistance? Why is it too much to ask for? What could be the harm in reinforcing what has been said here, but to a larger audience?

 

When these types of questions are unanswerable, I personally tend to go with what my life experience has taught me. The kid on the school yard who is silent when I got beat up only to tell me in private how horrible he thought it all was, is not my ally and is not to be trusted.

 

I want to believe in Mothering, I want to trust. I'm just not sure of how long I can wait before I start to feel like a fool.

post #79 of 143

There is something up on the main Forums page now ....

post #80 of 143

I saw it flash very quick on my phone but i can't find it again, but i just wanted to say that makes me feel happier.

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