I never really thought I would make a journal with that title for the reals.
I can at least say I'm not doing it because someone commented on my pictures and made me sad, or anything dumb like that. My reasons for leaving this site, as they have been for any site I've left, can be chalked up to many different reasons and one big one that broke the camel's back.
Some of the more base reasons I'm leaving are that many of the things I originally liked about this site have been slowly strained out into non existence. Some of it was the site's fault, some of it wasn't.
This site used to be more about sharing artwork no matter what it was or how it looked so that we as a community could help one another get better. I remember when I first joined seven years ago (year seven, I'm old) I could post a mediocre picture and get at least three comments. Back then, people didn't click on just what was shiny or featured characters they knew, they browsed and shopped and tried to help people.
As the site expanded, this went away, mostly because the volume of art was too intense.
I liked the sense of community and how relaxed and easy going the place was. When I joined you could post anything from stick figures to porn to sky's the limit.
Slowly regulations tightened and I followed in without a word of complaint. I didn't even really say anything when the admins completely changed the organization system of the artwork and then sent me a note to bitch at me for some of my art being mis-categorized.
I was upset when Spyed went rat bastard and fired Jark from a website that he created himself. The situation was manipulation, plain and simple.
I've stood by through countless layout changes and attempts to get me to pay money for their services. I watched everything go from being about the art and the community to being about the merchandising and selling subscriptions.
I stayed here when suspicious ads ran that gave people viruses. I stayed after trying to help out the community by reporting art theft and getting tart, annoyed responses. I also stayed after reporting bugs and getting similar replies.
Basically, overtime, the site has become joyless. Un-fun. I don't receive constructive criticism. I don't learn anything. I don't feel like part of a community. Coming here has, in the last seven years, become an obligation. I do artwork and post it here and that's how it should be.
But, it's not so bad, I get pleasant comments occasionally, the knowledge that people fave my work sometimes and I can keep up with friends.
But DeviantArt finally crossed a line that makes me feel that no matter how convenient they've been, it's just too much. Too much snippy, jerky administration. Too much corporation. Too much Microsoft-like business layouts and not enough art for the sake of art.
DeviantArt did this: [link]
I know not all of you will find it as big of a deal as I do. Not everyone who watches me is as into GLBT rights as I am, and I don't expect people who aren't as into as I am to think it's a big deal.
But here's why its a big deal to me:
1. They basically offered an ultimatum and said "Fall into our definition of gender or leave."
2. He asserted his personal opinion of what gender is in a matter that should have been handled with professional care. He, in the same paragraph, stated that if the person in question had been born with both sexes that they should just choose one, which is unfair, stupid, and rude.
If a person is born with genitalia of both genders, they shouldn't be forced to be a boy or a girl if they don't want to choose. They weren't born a boy or a girl, they were born a third gender that modern society doesn't seem to see fit to give its own title. Yes, most of us were born with a penis or a vagina. We didn't choose, we just were born with one.
A person who is born intersexed was given just as little choice as any of us and therefore should not have to fit themselves into a gender they were not born as.
Why does modern society want boys and girls to stay boys and girls even if they'd rather be the opposite but demand that intersexed people have surgeries which conform them to one gender or the other?
Some of you might be saying "but he can't just go in and change the drop down menu." My problem isn't about that.
Here is how I would have responded to the inquiry.
"I apologize, but we don't currently offer an alternative to 'male' and 'female.' I'm sorry that you are being forced to choose one or the other when you don't want to and I will bring it up with the higher ups that we should reinstate the third gender option. once again I'm sorry I cannot give you a more immediate resolution."
Instead, he patronized, basically said "there is no third gender anyway so just pick one."
3. He used the word "hermaphrodite." This is probably the least serious offense in this list, but let me make something clear right now.
"Hermaphrodite" is a dated and inaccurate term. Not only is it completely and totally politically incorrect, it's scientifically inaccurate in explaining the state that an intersexed person is born in.
If a person is born with both male and female sex organs or genitalia, the correct term right now is intersexed.
Maybe he just didn't know that, but the facts are, if he's in charge of Copyright & Etiquette Administration he maybe should practice being a little more appropriate when talking to people of all walks of life.
4. When he was responded to by the person in question that he had offending her instead of resolving the situation he closed the ticket and refused to acknowledge it with a reply.
So let's recap. So far he's told the person filing the complaint that they can pick a gender or leave and that he doesn't have to care because there's only two genders anyway, unless they are a "hermaphrodite" in which case they should just jam themselves into one box or the other. When this hurt feelings, he didn't even bother to apologize or explain his reasoning.
5. This took place of Spirit Day. Yes, remember when the header was purple and the website claimed to be an advocate of GLBT rights? They were apparently lying
You see the point of Spirit Day was to bring to light the inequity of the the GLBT community and how they were being bullied and misunderstood.
GLBT stands for Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender and when the name was tagged Transgender was meant to encompass a multitude of people whose gender was not what common society thought it should be.
Commonly, this means a person who is born one gender and feels they are another, thus choosing to make a transition.
However, I feel that while not specifically mentioned this should also include those who feel they are neither gender or who were physically born neither gender. I am sure there is not an advocate of GLBT rights who would disagree.
When claiming to support this group, DeviantArt was saying it was a safe haven away from such issues, that it supported people whose gender and sexuality was not conformed to a societal standard which is unfair and quickly becoming archaic.
On the SAME DAY
the Copyright & Etiquette Administration manager tells a person who identifies as neither male nor female that they are wrong about their personal identification and that they should just choose a gender.
6. When an abuse report was filed, a completely different administrator excused this behavior by copy and pasting
the same initial response the first administrator gave. It's also disturbing to think that a response which is copy and pasted basically says "get over it or leave."
7. He then states that he will no longer discuss the issue. So obviously it wasn't worth his time.
8. Another girl picks up the issue, is more apologetic but refuses to actually acknowledge the issue that has now become the most prominent which is the blatant abuse by an administrator. Nothing is done about him nor will they acknowledge he did anything.
Pretty much, this is unacceptable. I will not be deleting this account just yet or stop checking in. I would like an online place to post my artwork and will be shopping around for a good one first. So I will see replies and thoughts to this.
I will let you know where I'm going and please know this has nothing to do with the people who watch me. You guys have been fantastic.
But I can no longer support a website that is so blatantly rude to people who are different while on the surface claiming to support them.