I have a LiveJournal. I admit it. I am active in communities, check my friends page every day, update regularly, blah blah blah. I’m not nearly as into it as I used to be, seeing as it has proven itself to be way more conducive to silly, insular meta-snark than I really have the patience for, but I still like hanging out there, usually.
And then there are days like today, when I read a post on the graphic design community which dealt with copyright issues and a former employer and mentioned, in passing, "[…] sorry you had a baby and ruined your slowly rising career … j/k :P"
Ick. And furthermore, huh. Having a baby is a career-breaker? And is somehow relevant to a freelancer’s copyright issues?
Despite the chorus of let it go marching around in my brain, I commented that I found that statement offensive and then offered advice to the problem at hand. Then – wouldn’t you know it? – I got flamed. Because GOD FORBID I point out an instance of THOUGHTLESS PREJUDICE on a PUBLIC BOARD.
It’s not so much the implication that motherhood = the end of any business aspirations (although the whole concept is patently ridiculous, not to mention antiquated and inaccurate). It’s the fact that people think it’s okay to marginalize those they feel are below themselves in order to make a (completely unrelated) point. Would the former employer be taking advantage of the freelancer regardless of whether or not she had a baby? Yes. Does the fact that she has a baby have anything to do with the problem at hand? No. So why bring it up at all?
And, people, I’m sorry, but following a statement with "j/k" does not make it less irritating. It’s kind of like saying something breathtakingly rude and following it with "…no offense." Which people do, and – funny thing! – it doesn’t make them any less breathtakingly rude, and it doesn’t make me feel any less offended by their breathtaking rudeness. If you’re "j/k," perhaps you should consider keeping your irrelevant commentary to yourself. And learn to use real words instead of cutesy, childish abbreviations.