Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Feminists, too, Steal

It's a pretty simple concept.

Stop stealing.

Cite your ideas, words, and the one who gave you the thought.

Stop stealing.

That echo? That echo I'm hearing in the "feminist" blogosphere is getting a bit too loud for me these days. I've been hearing it for years.

You know who you are.

It's a pretty simple concept, you know. We all learned it at some point in our development:

Give credit where credit is due.

That wasn't your seed, so cite where it came from. Stop spinning it like it's your own.

Stop stealing.

Update: 4/11/08
Funny how this post is being perceived and linked for various reasons. Understandably, given the timing of the latest train wreck and the exclusive BFP links I used in it, this post is being framed as if I had one incident in mind.

Let's back up and do some of my favorite work called Clarifying.

BFP was certainly part of my thought process, but this demand for writers/bloggers to "stop stealing" far exceeds the events (disasters) of this week or just BFP herself. This post vomited on the years of hearing echos in the blogosphere with no visible credit or citation to others' contributions. My links are specific, but my point is wider. I'm not talking about one singular instance that set me off into a knee-jerk reactionary post, I'm speaking about a maddening phenomenon of disregarding BODIES of work . And I'm tired of something that is so deeply problematic being casually normalized by writers and readers of feminism.


  1. Anonymous2:00 PM

    Seriously though... thank you!

  2. That was pretty outrageous. Really unbelievable (well, maybe not). This wasn't just a blog post, but a speech at a conference where both women presented. Don't pretend you don't know about it.

  3. You think she'd get it by now, but...no. Or she simply doesn't care.

  4. Anonymous6:38 AM

    It's really not that hard is it ?

  5. Trackback (never learned how to do it right, sorry about that):

    Borrowing and Appropriating

  6. Anonymous2:30 PM

    Yeah, Renegade, she don't get it cos she don't care. Doesn't WANT to get it. Because yeah, like DD said, it's just not that hard!!!!

    Good stuff, Sudy! Hopefully at least *other* people are getting it.

  7. I apologize if I came across as narrowing down your post in my own response - I talked more about the pattern at work than X's article specifically, but I did link the article too and probably implied more than I should have.

  8. Hi Lisa,
    No apologies! I'm just clarifying -- there wasn't anyone or thing I was thinking about. But thanks!


  9. I'd rather apologize and be wrong than not apologize and be wrong, if that makes sense. :)

  10. :) Thanks - I totally get what you're sayin - I'm the same way!

  11. Anonymous10:35 PM

    Sometimes if you're blogging to an audience not familiar with the issues or who don't visit feminist blogs...one must excerpt the particular substance of what you talking about with attribution back to that site or blog to clarify the topic to wholly unfamiliar readers.

    It's especially fair if the issue is controversial to bring in different or aligning points of view rather than one's own one sided ramblings.

    Attributed quotes are not stealing, but an accepted practice in blogging. Once an issue is out there--and one's words are immortalized on the Internet, nobody appropriates or owns the issue. Anyone can make an opinion or state their case.

    Disagreeing with any written opinion is fine, but implying only certain people can blog and express themselves on certain issues (or they're stealing) is not only wrong, it's downright exclusive and bigoted.


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