The Offbeat Bride Tribe mods are angels for many reasons. The latest reason: they apparently give EXCELLENT tips on how to get the most out of Vistaprint. Tribe moderator Missmanda gets down and dirty about how to make Vistaprint your bitch over on Offbeat Bride.
These tricks will show you how to get your business cards and party invites as cheap as possible! Go check ’em out.
Comments on Make Vistaprint your bitch with these tips and tricks
I’d love to hear about that without making anything my “bitch”. That’s a pretty crappy paradigm.
Crappy or campy? We walk the line daily.
I call my friends bitch.
I call my staffers bitch.
I call my dog bitch.
I call my gay neighbor bitch.
I’m 100% comfortable with Megan saying she wants to make a for-profit business like Vistaprint her bitch.
Agreed. Came specifically to see if anyone else objected.
Hey, guys! Thanks so much for taking the time to share this feedback. While I totally share your concerns about sexist language, clearly we’ve got different ideas about what feels feels like it’s over the line.
I’ve written before about coarse language we use on the Offbeat Empire websites, and for me it ultimately boils down to this: I don’t expect every reader to love every post, but even when we disagree I always appreciate that we have a readership that’s so intelligent, invested, and compassionate.
Well, this is certainly different than “I call people bitches all the time, so it’s all good!”
Different? First I explained that it’s language I’m super comfortable with, then I went on to say that I understand that some people may not be comfortable with it. That’s just clarification.
We take different meaning from different words, and as a publisher I have to make decisions about which meanings I’m comfortable with. I’ve explained that I’m completely comfortable with this one… and I also respect that some people aren’t. I also respect each reader to make their own decisions about whether they want to read the site based on the language we use.
Again, I’ve written about all this stuff many, many times before. If you want to have the discussions again, we can.
I wonder if it’s generational. I am assuming by “SuzyRoche’s” screen name that she is older.
Leona – I love that you got the reference! And I do think older generations would be more frustrated with that particular phrase, on the whole, than mine. But I’m 29, which I’m guessing isn’t older than the bulk of this community.
Firstly, you are reading a ‘gotcha’ tone where I simply pointed out that your response to me was completely different than your “Bitch please, I call everybody bitches; nothing wrong here!” response to SuzyRoche. (Obviously, I am paraphrasing – that just happens to be the tone I inferred from your first comment.)
If you had come out and said what you are saying now – essentially that you know “bitch” is polarizing but that the Offbeat editors have made a conscious decision to allow ‘course language’ for the reasons stated in those articles, as well as the fact that you support your blogger – that would be one thing.
But SuzyRoche made a legitimate criticism which you completely steamrolled because you, personally, are the arbiter of ‘camp’ and the appropriate usage of ‘bitch’ rather than referring to your policy on course language and the reasons for that policy.
Quite frankly, that rubbed me the wrong way, especially since, I believe, that the Offbeat Empire is also a for-profit business.
…I agree with Hayden’s comment above; your initial response was super rude, and your second response seemed more thoughtful and like you recognized my opinion/reaction was valid, you just had a different one — which I appreciated.
I also want to point out that my frustration with the idea of making something one’s “bitch” is more about homophobia than sexism. Having a gay neighbor who doesn’t mind being called “bitch” doesn’t explain away paradigms that perpetuate homophobia.
I wish you wouldn’t use that phrasing, but more than that I wish you would have more respectful responses to your readers aka customers. I also don’t see any particular value in using language that is obviously problematic, so what’s the downside to changing it and/or saying “I see your point, thanks!” ?
Apologies for the brusqueness of the first comment — I was trying to diffuse the situation and apparently just escalated it. The truth of the matter is this: after many years of dealing with reader complaints over very specific word choices, sometimes I lose my patience.
Suzy, you mentioned that you “don’t see any particular value in using language that is obviously problematic.” As an editor, I’ve learned that issues of problematic language are very rarely “obvious.” Problematic language is subjective and always changing, and over the last couple years I’ve seen reader complaints move in directions I’m not always comfortable with. Given the Offbeat Empire’s large, diverse, intelligent, and sensitive readership, we receive a staggering number of reader complaints about word choices. As a publisher, I do my best to learn from and integrate as much of the feedback as I can, but I’m not comfortable with the editorial ramifications of changing every post every time someone complains. I choose to respect my editor’s voices.
There is no way to ensure all 600,000 readers of my websites love every post. I can only do my best to keep the editorial voice on my websites feeling authentic to myself and my editors’ personalities. (That includes sometimes letting my own snarky, bitchy impatience peek through, even when I know it shouldn’t.)
We’re all just doing our best here, and ultimately we’re on the same page with wanting to support both women and the LGBT community — I hope the Offbeat Empire’s six years of content speaks for itself on that issue. While we may disagree on this particular word this particular time, it doesn’t change the larger context and values that we clearly share… including providing a space to discuss these concerns.
This is really basic feminism/being an ally to queers. I understand that this is a diverse community of people with different backgrounds, but it shouldn’t be that surprising that someone is offended or feels disrespected by the language you used above (not to mention the gay neighbor comment, which just makes you sound tokenizing). This is really basic. I’ve done anti-oppression work — I hope and assume that you have too — and one core part of that is that when someone tells you that your language or actions are disrespectful, your response is “Thanks for the feedback!” and then “Let me see what I can do to undo that.” Not defensiveness, and certainly not deleting my earlier comment.
This would be true anyway, but this is all especially true because it’s your job. We’re not equals here; you’re facilitating this community, so it’s your job to make it as welcoming and progressive/radical/anti-oppression/just.plain.respectful as you want it to be. I expect to have to have these conversations at my job; I don’t expect to have them at yours.
Agreed with the above.
The use of the word “bitch” in this sense is also triggering of the concept of sexual violence. This isn’t the same as dropping the f-bomb as an exclamation, or commenting that something is really sh*tty. The phrase “making xxxxxx your bitch” is entirely, and really obviously, rooted in the idea of sexual overpowering and violence. That concept itself seems like one that is definitely worthy of reflection in the OffBeat management circle when it comes to your policies around what sort of language you feature.
Wow, I was totally not expecting any of those comments! I happen to need new business cards, so thanks for the tips!
Whoooooa, doggy! (PUN!) I hate seeing this kinda pile up in the comments of my beloved Empire. 🙁 I expect this kind of heated dialogue on other sites, but I come to the Empire comments for the warm fuzzies.
I’m admittedly laissez-faire when it comes to language and word choice: there’s not much that ruffles my feathers. That being said, if Ariel isn’t an ally to all of the bitches (and geeks and freaks and queers and burners and gamers everyone else that walks the offbeat path), then I don’t know who is.
Ariel and her editorial team (editorial bitches?) have done an amazing job of ensuring that no one feels disenfranchised or excluded from this online (and sometimes IRL) community.
I’m an awesome white person, and an anti-racist, and many of my best friends are people of color. But still sometimes I say or think stuff that is disrespectful/problematic/whatever, and sometimes my friends (or strangers or whatever) point that out to me and my response is “Whoops!” (usually followed by “I wonder why I thought this was okay when someone else thought it wasn’t, huh, self-reflection, etc.”).
Ariel can be the best awesomest in the world, ally to queers and survivors of sexual assault and feminist, but that doesn’t mean she (or anyone else) is immune to saying stuff that others find disrespectful — and the best way to keep being an awesome ally is to say “Whoops!” rather than get defensive.
I just wish someone would say “Whoops.” It doesn’t seem like a lot to ask.
Suzy, I have a genuine question I’d love to hear your thoughts on.
We say “Whoops” a *lot* to reader concerns about language on the Offbeat Empire, but sometimes (like with this post), we don’t say “Whoops” because we disagree.
In this case, I understand the concerns with the term “Make X your bitch.” I understand why it’s problematic. Megan and I discussed the title before the post went live, and I made the choice that I am comfortable with playing with problematic language in this way. I totally respect that other people might not have the same comfort level with it, but that doesn’t mean I agree with them.
We’ve said something on the site that you find disrespectful, but we’re not saying “Whoops” because I’ve made the editorial decision that I’m comfortable with this language. Ultimately, it’s then your choice to decide whether you can continue reading a site that you find disrespectful. I totally respect each of our readers to make that decision, but I get frustrated when there’s the suggestion that the only way to be an “awesome ally” is to agree with you about how language gets used.
This has come up with readers many times before — I’d say maybe 20% of the reader complaints we get about sensitive language are things that I simply disagree with and won’t apologize for using.
My question then is this: clearly you have a lot of experience with these kinds of conversations, and have strong opinions about how best to have them respectfully. So, what’s the best way for me as a publisher to have this conversation? How can I say, “I hear what you’re saying, and I’m aligned with you on the larger issue, but we disagree with you on this specific point and I will not be doing what you’ve asked me to?” Clearly, I am comfortable with the fact that I may lose readers who feel disrespected by something published on one of my sites.
This is an ongoing issue for me as a publisher who caters to a wide range of niche readerships, who have many varying and contradictory sensitivities about language. Please email me directly with feedback.
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