Intolerance Is Just a Stitch Away at Ravelry

Ravelry is at it again. In a continuation of its zero-tolerance policy for vocal support of President Trump, the knitting site temporarily stopped accepting new members. The moratorium is needed, evidently,  to root out all Trump supporters—harassing them either into silence or into leaving Ravelry. 

So much for the company’s policy against harassment. Do knitters now need to go through a vetting process? Answer questionnaires about our political and social beliefs before we can join and download patterns?

Creating a “safe space” for crafters now means protecting the tender emotions of left-wing knitters from opposing viewpoints, although those knitters are, of course, free to inflict their worldview upon the rest of the knitting community. The website’s creators continue to infantilize and reinforce the victimhood status of many groups while themselves victimizing others. 

A recent message to users says, “Some Ravelers have shared with us that marginalized people felt unsafe because groups with a history of hate speech violations were allowed to remain on the site. To you, we would like to say that we’re sorry, and you will see us continue to improve Ravelry’s safety.” 

So, there is no safety or sanctuary for Trump supporters. Sorry, you don’t count. 

As a former member of the group, I did a search of patterns before deleting my account. I came up with an entire page of pro-Obama and pro-Hillary Clinton patterns. And three pages dedicated to the offensive “pussy hats,” as if one pattern wasn’t enough. A search for “Trump” will call up three “F–k Trump” patterns. Now that’s free speech! 

According to Ravelry’s June 30 hate speech policy: “Hate speech and hateful imagery is not permitted on Ravelry. Note that support of President Trump, his administration, or individual policies that harm marginalized groups, all constitute hate speech.”

While it is never acceptable to lash out in violence against anyone of any group, especially those with whom we disagree, honest and harsh words are necessary in responding to a company like Ravelry. Do any of these women have the slightest familiarity with the history of the Democratic Party they so love and cherish? Democrats are the original party of hate. They controlled the South from the governor’s mansions down to the local dog catcher. They turned a blind eye to prejudice, unfair prosecutions, rape, bombings, and lynchings. I grew up in the South, so I know it’s true.

I call out Ravelry and their supporters to back up their support of marginalized groups and allow Trump supporters and conservatives and Christians space on their site. No? Why not? If you are so wedded to this ideology of inclusion, it means you must include and tolerate those with opposing views. Look up the definitions of tolerance and inclusion in the dictionary because you have obviously forgotten those terms. One definition of inclusion is “the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.” 

No, Ravelry, we are not included. We are excluded, and you have created a hostile and “unsafe” environment for Trump supporters. 

And it is the designers you pretend to support who suffer the most from your activism. A large pool of individuals can no longer share projects or posts because of your one-sided concern that some user may be sent into fits of  screaming and crying if she sees a pro-Trump pattern. I note that there is no such concern for me and potential damage done to my eyes from excessive eye rolling, as I scroll past the pro-hate posts from Democrats and leftist activist knitters.

And I’ll mention again that the site encourages members to flag posts and people while the site’s owners say they will not tolerate a witch hunt. Their own policy, updated on July 1, says “If you see a profile, pattern, or forum post that violates our guidelines, you can anonymously flag it to report it to Ravelry staff.” 

Ravelry is neither a site that supports free speech nor a site determined to stop hate. It is a group of people who support and foment hate speech and the actions of goose-stepping goons to ferret out dissent and remove it all costs. 

Photo Credit: William Edwards/AFP/Getty Images

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