First and foremost, please let me welcome you to my new location for my blog. Housing two blogs was cumbersome and confusing for me; thus, my solution was to consolidate. I’m also setting a personal goal to be more consistent. I find that blogging is one of the conduits through which I process my thoughts, and making them public seems to aid in this therapeutic processing.
I have heavily debated my recent absence from the blogging world, wondering whether I was relying too much on the external validation of some of my intimate personal thoughts and feelings. But I find no shame in sharing them, especially if others can connect to them and find solace. Therefore, I am going to continue, not only because external validation is not entirely a bad thing, but also because I enjoy connecting with others through my experiences.
Today’s post is neither about my personal struggles nor my return to blogging; rather, it is about an extremely unjust encounter I had today while online.
As a teacher of young children, and in light of Illinois’ recent ruling on gay marriage, I decided that I wanted to find out if there were any resources or news articles that would be relatable to and appropriate for children. In the midst of my search, this disheartening message popped up:
You can only imagine my dismay. Forbidden category. Gay and Lesbian Issues.
What bothered me the most about this issue was that a reputable company, such as Dell, who is the creator and distributor of the SonicWall program, would even allow such nonsense within their programming to begin with. However, it would only seem that this manifestation of censorship is only a representation for a broader problem within our society. It seems that this company, in particular, believes that blocking out this sort of information solves some sort of perceived problem–that filtering out gay/lesbian websites makes this no longer an issue.
When actually, the words Forbidden Category: Gay and Lesbian Issues only seems to exacerbate the problem and draw it more to our attention than actually solving anything.
I was in such a flurry of frustration that I immediately composed a letter to the company–one which I would encourage you to copy, paste, and send to the people at SonicWall/Dell (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). See my reply below: