About My Blog.

Welcome! This is "Catatonic Digressions."
Most, if not all readers don't understand my blog's title. It's an old inside joke from a forum long gone. I was going to change it, but since it's been "confusing" for so long, I decided to leave it. Don't worry about what it means, the content of the blog is what is important.

Unfortunately, my blog isn't what I set out for it to be. A disturbed and manic online stalker and cyberbully has made it impossible for me to post about family, my son, life in my part of New York...so I stopped (for the most part), and I mostly reblog and repost what I feel is important, necessary or close to my heart. As for the stalking sociopath, she can go to hell for harassing me and my family since mid-2008. You can't scare me offline with a few lame threats and dozens of pages of defamation, abuse, depravity and libel. I'm bitchy like that. ;)
(Anyone who knows me knows I'm not actually a bitch, but let's allow this psychopath to think I'm a bitch to her blackened heart's content—it seems to make her feel she has some sort of control over me…and it does not.)

If you read a story and you feel moved in any way, comment. Comments are more than welcome.

Unlike those online who lie and hide behind fake photos and insanely fabricated stories, I'm a real person. I'm real and I don't pretend to be someone I'm not. After years of putting up with online abuse by manipulative, pathological liars, attention whores or narcissists, I've had it. Don't bother me with pathetic drama. I have no time for these types of people and their need to absorb others' time and attention.

Feel free to email me if you have a story or cause you would like shared, especially if it pertains to animal rights, liberation, veganism, animal welfare, health and well-being, geekery, Macs and computer dorkiness, music, lowbrow art, kitchy stuff, skateboards, the beach, swimming, diving, NYC, beading (it's my hobby), recipes (love to cook, especially if I made the recipe up myself!), VEGAN!, ALF, Sea Shepherd, Action for Animals, NIO, 269Life and/or anything you think I might enjoy or others might—you never know. It doesn't always have to be serious. Hilarious stories, local NY, funny videos or photos, photobombs (especially if they contain pets!)...I might be partially censored, but I'm not closed down!

Please, join Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and follow them and The Barbi Twins on Twitter and Facebook.

For the Oceans,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Etsy Removes Rape Congratulations Cards

I like Etsy. I LOVE Etsy. I could buy everything there, well, a lot. I love hand made, original, DIY crafts, jewelry, home goods, soaps, etc. To find out they had some very creepy offrerings was disturbing. 

Victory! Etsy Removes Rape Congratulations Cards

Ladies and gentleman, we have a victory! Just under two months after I began covering the controversial rape congratulations card for sale online at Etsy, the card (as well as the ones mocking breast cancer and Down Syndrome) has finally been removed. Moreover, Etsy has changed its items policy, ensuring that similar products do not pop up on the site in the future.
This was not an easy victory. Since we first started our coverage of the cards in December, nearly 17,000 Change.org members signed the petition asking for the cards' removal. After all, Etsy own terms of use state that it does not allow items that harass others or that are deemed obscene. When we contacted Etsy about the story and the ensuing outcry, they responded, "Different people may find some content to be offensive, harmful, inaccurate or deceptive." Yet this commitment to diverse voices rang false when Etsy forbade discussion of the issue on its message boards and Facebook wall.
Change.org members, Etsy users, and concerned people everywhere were not deterred. As the petition gained momentum, so did the story. All over the internet, blogs were buzzing about it. CNN's Jane Velez-Mitchell covered the story on her show. Change.org members inspired me with their grassroots boycotts and letter-writing campaigns.
Finally, all of our efforts have paid off: Etsy has announced revisions to its policies. Etsy released a statement saying that, while their site had "prohibited disparaging or promoting hate against people based on race or religion," but these policies had "never covered gender, people with disabilities, or sexual orientation." Now, to their credit, they do.
Some argue that this is a First Amendment issue and I won't say otherwise. Etsy is a private company that has the right of free association, and thus the right to regulate its content. No one is saying that people don't have the right to make the most obscene, hateful card they can think of. But certainly we don't have the right to force private companies to sell, market, or facilitate our personal hate speech. We asked Etsy to take a hard look at what kind of company they wanted to be and they responded. Congratulations, Change.org members!
Photo credit: Charles & Hudson
GOT A TIP FOR US? Is there a story or campaign in your area that we'd want to know about? E-mail us atwomensrightstips@change.org. Please also follow Change.org's Women's Rights page on Facebookand Twitter.

Roxann MtJoy is a freelance writer who previously worked as a case manager at a domestic violence shelter. She is currently attending graduate school for theater in Mount Vernon, N.Y.

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