Saturday, July 11, 2015

Puttin' Away My Soapbox-Response From Etsy

I would like to thank all the the ladies that
have had the courage to post positive, supportive
comments on my previous post.  I cannot begin
to express what that has meant to me.  I take the
censorship or suppression of artistic expression,
speech and the written word very seriously.  It 
speaks to the very heart of who we are as a nation.  A
very stormy wind is blowing across our land.
My post stands and is correct. 

 You can read Etsy's public policy on prohibited items here.

I especially love this quote that is found there.
(I had intended to use this quote myself to make
my point................)
 “Art should not be comforting; for comfort, we 
have mass entertainment and one another.  Art should provoke, 
disturb, arouse our emotions, expand our sympathies in directions
 we may not anticipate and may not even wish.”
Joyce Carol Oates

I had an on going e-mail discussion with Etsy Marketplace 
"Integrity" team on Friday.  Each e-mail clearly states.  
" This message is a private conversation between you and Etsy.
Please respect this confidentiality and refrain from 
distributing this communication without permission from Etsy."

I respect their privacy and didn't ask for permission.
The old timers here in the Ozarks have an expression.
"If it's a dead horse, ain't no point in kickin' it again."
I've put my soapbox away but, by golly it felt good to get all riled up!
"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a
steak just because a baby can't chew it."


  1. I read the prohibited list. It is wide in it's range of items. I did see the Golliwog doll on the list and they allow a vintage Golliwog doll, but not a new Golliwog doll. This is a contradiction of their policy. A Golliwog doll is a Golliwog doll, no matter how old it is. It is like sitting on a fence and not jumping off on one side or the other. I think you were brave and true hearted to stand up and tell this company how you feel, or even to question their policies. People aren't always aware of things going on that effect us and I appreciate your bringing it to our attention.

    1. That's a very insightful observation. So glad you pointed that out. You have what the the old timers
      call "common sense." I don't think schools are handin' out degrees in that anymore!

  2. They heard your opinion and you never know what may come of it. Remember when you wrote the convenience store company? They changed their policy. Lets hope good comes of this.

  3. Thank ya' Cinders! Casey's is run by a great group that made a change in policy and stood up for the right thing rather than bowing down to the fear of being sued! I was so glad.......they make great donuts!!

  4. I especially love ETSY'S quote:

    “Art should not be comforting; for comfort, we have mass entertainment and one another. Art should provoke, disturb, arouse our emotions, expand our sympathies in directions we may not anticipate and may not even wish.”


    Thank-you for another great post and I am glad to support another gifted doll maker.

    Joyce Carol Oates

    1. To quote my dear friend Cinders, "Chins high, walk proud." My "integrity" and moral compass point the same direction ALL the time, even when a strong wind blows against me. I'm proud to stand by someone that's "cut from the same cloth!"

      Two things form the bedrock of any open society - freedom of expression and rule of law. If you don't have those things, you don't have a free country.
      Salman Rushdie

  5. I did not know that about Etsy. I used to hand embroider for a customer who loved everything " mammy" I never gave it a second thought......just loved doing the embroidery.

    1. I really need to get out of the cabin more.....apparently there is much controversy about the term "mammy" (a child's term for one's mother) and the "mammy" doll. I refer you to the Stitch Fiddler Site if you want to check out her last few posts Very interesting. I have really taken to heart the insinuation in any form that what I, or any doll maker I know, create something that is hateful or purposely meant to denigrate any individual or group of people. Just felt the need to dust off the ole' soapbox!

  6. Etsy is simply a selling place - they should not be setting themselves up like this as arbiters of what is tasteful/distasteful, because where does it end? A few people are going to take offence at some things no matter what......Etsy should just get over it and not pander to every PC whim that blows their way. What is the difference between a golly or mammy doll made now and one made sixty years ago? Frankly, I can't see any.

  7. Their public persona of supporting the artists and artistic expression is balderdash! They ban the NEWLY made mammy, golliwog, Sambo and ANY doll intentionally demeaning racial stereotype. I wonder who at Etsy decides an artist "intended to demean?" The whole idea is to make doll makers feel prejudice and hateful therefore we'll stop making the dolls. They are not a company I will support in any fashion and wanted to let it be know. A search of the internet shows many complaints to consumer affairs, shop owner horror stories and law suits. However, they are the premier place to showcase and sell hand made would be hard to leave Etsy. Luckily, I don't depend on my dolls for a living, just some pocket money now and again. It's just felt good to support a fellow doll maker and speak out publicly!!

  8. See? I move away, spend a few months getting settled (and forgetting to check Blogger) and all the excitement happens without me. I'll have to go back and read past posts, but I'm back--I missed you!

  9. Glad you are back......we've missed you too!


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