Monday, June 20, 2016

7 Reasons You Might Complain about the Pride Flag on Ravlery

We will start with the following caveats.  You (I use the general you, but any one of you) have the right to complain about whatever you want. You even have the right to offended or uncomfortable about things.  You have the right to suggest to businesses changes they could make that would make you a happier customer.  And you have the right, when you post your complaint on the internet, to have people disagree with you.  So here we are. 
Ravelry operates as several things.  It is a fabulous pattern and yarn database (often called IMDB for crafters), and it also contains friending and forums so it acts as social media.  It is also a sales point with many designers choosing to sell their designs directly through Ravelry.  It is easy to perceive it to be a template of sorts if you only use one portion of it or another, and forget that it is a business underneath all that. 
1. You might think it is a business and and as such it should be a neutral space that only contains yarn things. 
2. You might be new or have forgotten that Ravelry celebrates many holidays throughout the year, putting up silly things for April Fool's, allowing forums to be converted to pirate talk for Talk Like a Pirate Day, putting up Stars of David or Pine Trees in the winter, and in June putting up a Pride flag. Sure, you could object to the use of any iconography.  But when you single out just one I am suspicious to say the least. 
3. You might think that Pride flags are political. I'm not linking to the post in question, mostly because the poster* seems to be taking all disagreement as proof of premise (and I know I'm still falling for that trap by writing about it).  People's gender or sexuality is not political. 
4. Even if being LGBTQ+ was political - and it is not, I want to stress that over and over and over, who people are is not political - businesses are actually able to make political statements.  They do it a lot.  Even yarny ones.  I have seen yarn dyers dye colors for candidates, have seen local spaces here hold fundraisers for political candidates or political causes.  Businesses tend to be run by people.  Sometimes they choose to merge their personal beliefs with their businesses.  But, PS, being LGBTQ+ is not political.  
5. You might think that Ravelry should respect your religion.  There are people of all flavors - religious, areligious, unreligious - on Ravelry. I assume said objector feels that religious people of some stripe(s) are in agreement that being LGBTQ+ is wrong.  I am aware that there are people who feel this way. My religion, for example, does not feel this way.  So really this person is not saying religious people should be prioritized - they are saying some religious people should be prioritized.  You are asking for your religious beliefs to be prioritized over others.  
6. You might have thought that Ravelry was not an inclusive space.  Timing isn't the only reason objecting to this is problematic, but last week was an especially crappy week for you to essentially object to being reminded of people.  Because that's what this boils down to.  The Pride Flag says, these people are here.  They exist.  Ravelry posting the Pride flag says we see you, queer people of Ravelry.  Objecting to that in a week when queer people dancing were murdered requires a particular level of tone deafness.  
7. So, as I said, people can object to things, up to and including the very existence of people you dislike or disagree with.  But people, myself included, can tell you that you're wrong.  

*PS, yes I did attempt to reach out to the poster in question directly, I am not (only) sub-blogging.