Update: I’ve been in touch with Tian (which was basically why I was waiting to make a final decision… which I meant to mention in the original post and totally forgot). Apparently “moderated” doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing on Blogger than it does here — as it was set up to filter spam. Since he agrees with me that the comment was inappropriate, he has removed it. I’m keeping the original post below, although I no longer have any question on whether or not to keep it on my blogroll. Thank you all for your replies.
I’ve had a few qualms with Hanzi Smatter in the past when it’s come to women’s issues, but they were always minor enough to be outweighed by the good I see it as doing. You see, the purpose of the blog is to poke fun at the (mis)appropriation of Asian language (specifically Chinese and Japanese) for tatoos, products, and other items. It’s not exactly the hotbed for critical analysis of race relations or oppression, but I see it as fluff for a good cause.
Except, a recent post has made me rethink whether or not I want it on my blogroll. It’s not what Tian says, but rather what he has approved in the comments. For the link-phobic, the picture in question is of a woman who has a lower back tatoo.
The first one is from Pappi:
It reminded me of è²ž when I first saw it, maybe she’s aiming for “unfaithful” (as in “player” or “cheater”)? The location of the tattoo and the picture certainly don’t contradict that guess O.o
Although I wince at the stereotype that a lower back tatoo on a woman (it’s always a woman, you see) is slutty, that one itself wouldn’t be enough to cause a strong reaction from me. After all, it can be argued that the argument, while tasteless, is based on the tatoo and isn’t attacking the woman herself.
Emily’s comment, however, makes me wonder what Tian’s criteria is for moderation:
I can’t believe people are still getting tramp stamps. In addition to simply being ugly and skanky, having one is like wearing a sign around your neck that says I DO WHATEVER’S TRENDY.
Gendered slurs like “tramp stamp” and “skanky” are specifically attacking the woman herself, not commenting on the tatoo quality. In fact, they have nothing to do with the tatoo hanzi smatter at all, but are instead making a moral judgement on the woman in question, shaming her for being (assumedly) slutty, which of course is bad because good girls don’t enjoy sex.
I fail to see why this is an acceptable comment, and because Tian believes it is, I’m wondering if it’s worth my time (and my link space) to endorse his site anymore. Gender is not the only important issue, but I would be no more accepting of a feminist who allowed racist comments to be published unquestioned on her site. I don’t believe that you can fight one type of oppression and ignore the other one — even if the expressions differ, oppression is oppression and I don’t think you can rightfully battle one while endorsing another.
So, what do you think, folks? I’ve taken people off of my blogroll for less. In my position, what would you do?