Administrators take action to ensure site is inclusive of all
One of the biggest knitting websites in the world, which claims to have more than 8 million members, has announced that it will ban users from expressing support for Donald Trump, saying that to do so constitutes white supremacy.
On Sunday, administrators for Ravelry, a site for knitters, crocheters, designers and anyone dabbling in the fibre arts, said that they were making any expression of support for Trump and his administration in forum posts, patterns, on their personal profile pages or elsewhere permanently off limits.
We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy, the sites administrators said in a post.
Users could also be permanently banned under the policy.
The Trump ban comes only months after political upheaval gripped the knitting and crochet community around issues of racial and cultural insensitivity. That debate was sparked by popular knitwear designer and blogger Karen Templer, who wrote in January about a planned trip to India, likening it, in her excitement, to visiting Mars. Many in the craft community objected to the characterisation, calling it othering and reductive.
Templer apologised soon afterwards, but the incident had a ripple effect, sparking off conversations about diversity and inclusivity in the craft community on Instagram, Ravelry and other places that crafters congregate online. A similar debate about cultural sensitivity and appropriation recently occurred in the sewing community.
Ravelry said its new policy was not banning participation from people who supported Trump, only expressions of that support.
We are not endorsing the Democrats nor banning Republicans, the post said. We are definitely not banning conservative politics. Hate groups and intolerance are different from other types of political positions.
The policy drew on a similar statement made last year by roleplaying game site RPG.net, which banned advocacy of Trump from its forums on the grounds that the Trump administration was an elected hate group.
His public comments, policies, and the makeup of his administration are so wholly incompatible with our values that formal political neutrality is not tenable, said RPG.nets administrators in a post. We can be welcoming to (for example) persons of every ethnicity who want to talk about games, or we can allow support for open white supremacy. Not both.
The knitting and crochet community has played a prominent role in the anti-Trump movement in the past, with women wearing homemade pink pussy hats to demonstrations around his election and inauguration becoming a distinctive symbol of protest against his presidency.
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