Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Questionable Avatars

In the last post, a new commenter (Mrs. can google her if you want) left a gratuitious comment asking people to go vote in her blog (on a political poll). As those who've been reading my blog for more than a month know, I had to make a rule that requested that people NOT make their first comments in my blog a link to their blog or other websites. It was getting time consuming for me to go through the sites being linked and...frankly, I didn't want to look at most of the links. Then, there was the discomfort when my daughter clicked one of the links and was shuffled to a porn site.

So,...Mrs. Welby broke the rule on the first time out. No links in your comments. Don't come here and link somewhere else on your first comment. Easy. Right? Sure.

Then the drama came. Her avatar was a photograph of a woman reclining with a cigarrette fully nude. I deleted the comment and suggested that the avatar was "porn". I also said that ON TOP OF deleting her comment for failure to follow the rules, I wasn't thrilled with someone leaving that sort of avatar on a blog that is clearly read by children. Well... this set the commenter into a tizzy. She had a hissy fit and left another comment that said, in some language, "you're an atheist bigot because you don't like my nudey pic." Berlie, Poodles, I, and a few others called her on that b/s comment. Being an atheist has nothing to do with my desire to keep this blog family friendly! Mrs. Welby lost any respect I may have reserved for her when she made that comment. She also sputtered out some verbage that said, in a foreign language (which... I guess she figures I'm not only an American-Atheist Prude, but an uneducated one at that...I read fluently in five languages, btw.), that said (in essense), "I guess atheist doesn't mean you're going to get a liberal person." That is true. But, completely unrelated to the issue.

I want to explain why I deleted the comment.
1. Because she didn't follow the rules. Short and sweet.
2. Because the picture was inappropriate for this forum.

I don't mind nudity. In the right circumstances, I encourage it! It's nice to spend time in your own skin sometimes. Without betraying the privacy of my children, I'll say that there are times when you will see someone streaking through this house with a bare bum. It's not a big deal. We have a rule in this house that if you are in your private space and you take care to not expose yourself to the public or make someone else uncomfortable with your nudity, then it's perfectly acceptable to enjoy your privacy. It boils down to appropriateness.

I am not a prude. Nudity, 90% of the time, bugs me not. And, I love classical art that contains beautiful images of the human body in it's natural form. There's much to learn from studying that art. You can make assumptions about what the culture, at that time, valued and how they perceived the body. I *get* art. However, there is a time and a place...even for "art". And, there's such a thing as accountability.

I know that this blog is read by several children. I know it's read by MANY teens and young adults still living at home. Knowing that, and knowing how I like to parent, I would never post anything here that would make any parent question my intent with regard to the personal choices and rules they have in their family. I am willing to give up my right to post anything and everything I may want to so that I know I'm not taking away another parent's right to have their child protected from questionable content. Therefore, I do not post pictures with nudity. I don't post pictures of graphic violence. I don't post pictures of things that would cause me pause to show my own children. Furthermore, I know (for a fact) that my kids have checked this blog from school on occasion. The last thing I need is for my child, or another child, to pull up a comment page with nudity while they're in computer lab. THAT could get them suspended. What might be appropriate at home may not be appropriate for school. That's not being an "atheist bigot". I see it as being the choice/standards of someone who respects childhood and parenting and families. Not all children are comfortable with nudity!! It is not my job, or Mrs. Welby's job, to decide for that child (or that child's parent) what is "art" and what is grautitous nudity. If Mrs. Welby can't understand that, then I would suggest she stay off this blog. Peddle your polls somewhere else. When you want to have a rational discussion about this, I will gladly indulge you...but, you will have to ditch the avatar so long as you're posting here. Don't like the rule? Don't post. Simple as that.

I hope that clarifies my position and explains my rationale.


Poodles said...

I didn't understand the tissy. This is your blog your rules. I dare say your rules are even more liberal than my rules and I am very liberal.

If I consider someone's comments even remotely rude I have gladly deleted them. Mostly because the drugs (roid rage) make me mean sometimes and I don't like gratuitious excuses to make me a pissy biotch!


Chris said...

She's just an attention whore, nothing more. Even some readers of her own blog were commenting she was in the wrong.

You mentioned that the possums could get suspended for loading up your blog in the computer labs if it contained porn or nude art. I completely agree, it wasn't long ago I was in high school myself. There's something else to consider, though...some of us read your blog at work. Even if you view a nude body as art, even if you're the least prudish person around, that still doesn't mean your boss won't fire you for loading porn on your computer, even accidentally.

Yes, America is on average much more prudish than the the rest of the world with respect to nudity. That doesn't change the fact that it's common courtesy to respect it just enough that, if you suspect something you'll post could get somebody suspended from school or fired from work, don't post it or mark it NSFW. Welby can post as much nudity as she wants on her blog, if I was a reader I'd keep that in mind and wait to read until I'm home. PM's blog doesn't contain anything offensive, so I'm comfortable reading it there...sudden appearance of porn, or nude art, ruins that and potentially puts my job on the line.

Thankfully, though, I'm currently finishing my degree and haven't started work yet. I've got a couple more months until my start date, and having worked at the company before I'm pretty sure my boss wouldn't be the kind to fire me over something like I'm safe. Not everybody is, though...I can think of a few people that had a good chance of being fired it they loaded up Welby's comments and were caught.

Note to Welby: I just checked your blog a couple times and made one comment. I'm done. You didn't get a reader out of me, not with that attitude.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation, although it wasn't necessary. As others have noted, this blog is your space, which means you get to set the rules. Those of us who want to visit should have enough respect for you, our hostess, to adhere to your rules. As far as I'm concerned, you need say no more about the matter.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

I agree with your comments. I did go over to Mrs. Welby's blog and read some of her posts, especially the one where she comments on the events here. Chris says...her avatar is definitely NSFW. My bosses, fortunately, are very reasonable if I am reading blogs on breaks (lunch, before work, after work), but a picture like her avatar set off the porn alarms and I had to explain what I was looking at.

I have no negative feelings about nudity. In fact, (TMI alert!!!) I enjoy being a nudist, at home or going to camps. BUT...even pictures of classic nude poses can get people in trouble at work. I had "La Maja Desnuda" as my wallpaper briefly, until I was requested to remove it. Yes, it is art. disturbed people in the area. So out of respect for them, I removed it.

As for her comments...they were just rude. Your rules are clearly stated re: commenting.

OT...thanks for the email re: the window film. I was very happy to be part of this. I'll respond to it when I have more time.

Joe said...

You don't have to explain, PM. Your blog, your rules. I consider myself a guest on your blog and not having nudity on my avatar or acting like an idiot is part of the deal.

Anonymous said...

I know that I don't HAVE TO explain. But, I'm always interested in the rationale of others when they make rules affecting the group as a whole. And, though I'm the one making the entries, this blog belongs, in part, to all of you. Without you guys reading and commenting and putting bits of yourself in here-and-there, it would suck. So, I don't mind explaining my reasons...especially when someone is judging the group (atheists) because of my independent standards/rules/whatever.

Psychodiva said...

Ditto the Chaplain and others- your blog, your rules. I love reading this blog and I love your attitude towards children and parenting.

Autonomous said...

This person seems to have some boundary issues. Like I said in Beelzebub's blog, it isn't that hard to understand. This is a family-oriented blog. It doesn't matter whether the avatar is porn or art-it is inappropriate here.

Potente Giorgio said...

You favor you to be protecting children? Why do you protect from the human body? The children are old enough to read your blog but to young to see a naked woman?

You atheism is consequent that you dislike convention. You prove you tolerant none persons of nudity. Americanos puritan like about naked femme'. It is different to find atheist that disdain sin like a believer. Your choice to no religion say to a world you stand opposite bible like rule of prude habits. If you no believe in bible what problem is there?

Anonymous said...

potente gigorio:
Your horrible grammar aside (I'll excuse it, as you appear not to be a native English speaker), the point is that regardless of what the blog is about, there are places where such content just isn't appropriate in American society, period. As PM keeps it as work-safe as possible, this is the wrong place to put such items.

And the most important part is that the rule about no links was put in for good cause.

Berlzebub said...

@ P-Momma:
If you and Dr. P-Daddy make it this way by September, there's an exhibit you might be interested in. It's called Bodies the Exhibition, and it's more about anatomy than art. It looks really good, and I've heard good things about it. So, when/if you find out you're going to be in the neighborhood, let me know. I'll make the arrangements.

@ Potente Giorgio:
You favor you to be protecting children? Why do you protect from the human body? The children are old enough to read your blog but to young to see a naked woman?
Apparently, you didn't read the post. P-Momma is okay with nudity, within reason. Here's the line you must have missed (it's in a paragraph that gives even more information):
Without betraying the privacy of my children, I'll say that there are times when you will see someone streaking through this house with a bare bum.

See? You must have skipped over a very large chunk of the post, in order to come to that erroneous conclusion.

Now, onto the next part:
You atheism is consequent that you dislike convention. You prove you tolerant none persons of nudity. Americanos puritan like about naked femme'.
As I pointed out above, P-Momma has no problems with nudity: "Nudity, 90% of the time, bugs me not. And, I love classical art that contains beautiful images of the human body in it's natural form."

However, you need to make up your mind. Since she's an atheist she dislikes convention (whatever that's supposed to mean), but, since she's American, she's puritan like about naked females? So, she is unconventional by being an atheist, but she's a conventional American because she didn't allow the pic in question to appear on her blog? Have you ever seen a dog chase its tale, Giorgio? That's the image I'm getting now of your argument.

Now, for the next part:
It is different to find atheist that disdain sin like a believer.
HAHAHAHA... I haven't laughed this hard since I sent P-Momma a check with 666 in the numbers.

P-Momma did not say the avatar was a sin, and the nudity was only part of the reason that she deleted all of Miss Welby's comments. For American's, that avatar could get someone fired from work or suspended from school (just read the post again, it's not hard to find). Since P-Momma has a large readership, she takes their circumstances into account.

Now, for your last incoherent "argument":
Your choice to no religion say to a world you stand opposite bible like rule of prude habits. If you no believe in bible what problem is there?
Because she wants her readers to continue their jobs and education, you imbecile. It's not that difficult to comprehend.

So, let's review (I'll type slowly since English apparently isn't your first language):
P-Momma has no problems with nudity, and regularly and openly talks to her children about it. However, in the interest of her readers (who come from different backgrounds, have jobs, go to school, etc.) she doesn't want NSFW pictures, or links, on her blog.

Now, for the more important part. Miss Welby violated P-Momma's commenting policy. If you read all of the way through No anonymous comments, at the upper left of this blog, you'll see that first time commenters shouldn't leave links to their own blog, and the comments should be on-topic. Miss Welby was neither, and got pissed when her comment was deleted. Since she didn't have a leg to stand on for violating the commenting rule, she tried to throw the focus onto P-Momma's suggestion of "porn".

What were Miss Welby's defenses of her "art"? It was by a "well known photographer", it "doesn't involve intercourse", it "being b/w, it should be clear that the aim is erotic art, not pornography" (my personal favorite), and the artist is "AMERICAN". When all of her arguments were refuted, she ran back to her blog crying.

Now, we'll get to the source of the problems. MISS WEBLY DID NOT RESPECT P-MOMMA!! (Maybe putting it in bold and all caps will get your attention.) Several people have explained to Miss Webly why she was in the wrong, including some on her own blog. That you try to come by here and defend her actions, using only the nakedness of the picture as a defense, speaks loads of your respect and tolerance.

So, go back and read this entire post, then look at all of the facts. (Hint: it starts at P-Momma's post previous to this one) You have made unfounded accusations, gross generalizations (atheists "dislike convention", Americans are "puritan like about naked femme'"), and your case is still just as hollow as it was when you arrived here.


fdqpink/Baal's Bum said...

I consider myself fairly new to blogging, but to me the same rules apply in the virtual world as in real life.You have the right to invite or reject an acquaintance into your life in the real world. So why should it differ in the virtual world. If someone has broken the rules or offended the blog owner and are not prepared to apologise for their transgression then they should at least try and retain their dignity by leaving quietly. Why anyone should be offended that someone they have just met does not want to talk to them is beyond me.

bonnie said...

Pmomma, I appreciate that you keep the comments clean and on-topic. Clearly, nudity or a reaction to it has nothing to do with atheism, but with propriety - and I appreciate it, since I also check your blog from work.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Damn it, there goes my new avatar - me imitating Michaelangelo's David.

Your blog your rules - nuff said.

Anonymous said...

your blog your rules, whether something is profane or discorteous or disrespectful.

dmac said...

Yeah, I had this (sort of) happen on my blog once. Some doofus who doesn't get the internet pulled one of those "Ohthatsreallyinterestingbythewaycomecheckoutmyblog" comments on me. There was no nudity involved, but when I removed his comment and asked him to unlink from his site (which I just asked...he didn't have to do) he got all up in a tizzy and posted a bunch of other comments/links, all of which I deleted.

How do people not get this? Yes, blogs are public places in a sense, but you're not allowed to just write all over a public space without facing the person who has custody over it...