Thursday, May 3, 2007

What We Write

Last night a friend told me about another friend of hers who was recently fired from her job because of content on her website. The friend had gotten a job directing a program that involves children and youth. She was really excited about the position and was happily getting things started when she was called to a board meeting at which she was fired because of her sexual identity. She was ordered to immediately empty her desk of personal items and escorted to the exit.

The friend is a writer and as such has a website which includes information about herself and about her creative endeavors. She also has content on the site identifying herself as a bisexual person. The board did an internet search for the friend's name, according to my friend, because they panicked because by the Virginia Tech killings. They found her site and decided that because she isn't straight, this single mother is a menace to the children of their community. Of course the friend has no legal recourse for being unlawfully fired, because she wasn't. She's not in a community where sexual identity is a protected status for employment. The only suggestion that my friend could think to make was that her friend contact the ACLU because the board's action could be perceived as a movement against free speech.

I feel angry for the friend, because it's so ridiculous, stupid, and ignorant that this happened and doubly so for the reasons why. However, because I write about my sexual identity in this blog, I immediately thought about what I've written here. I think I'm protected because I do not use my real name on the blog, nor do I generally use the real names of the people who appear on these "pages." I don't do that because of what I write; I do it to keep my identity in general protected, however imperfectly. I also don't use this blog to advertise my business or show my skills, which some people do, so they have to attach their real names.

I'm really angry for this friend of my friend's. I've never seen it, but I imagine her website is a representation of herself, because it seems like that is why she was fired. Wrongly, regardless of the local laws. I'm also angry that people continue to be so damn ignorant! I could go on and on but I think that you can probably fill in why I think this whole situation sucks. I hope that the friend lands on her feet, and that's about the best I can do from here.


Tea said...

Yep, there are many reasons why my name is not on my blog--because once something is out there on the internet it's hard to take it back (and I have a feeling there will be those who regret their MySpace profiles someday!)

pj said...

I don't know how I feel about this yet. I recently went public with my blog. I may re-read it and re-consider it. My dad came across my blog. I don't say much of anything about my family or my job.

I feel it's important (for me) to be public. I am not sure yet if it's in my best interest. But this kind of thing reminds me to be ever vigilant about what I choose to share with the entire world. is a shining example of a woman fired for blogging who made the lemons into lemonade. But I always wonder when her 15 minutes will run out.

And I am not dooce.