Discrimination. Season 1, episode 1...and 2...and 3...

Hi all. I haven't been posting as I've been busy travelling and work became toxic. It still is. But I just had to post something...I can't air this out on facebook but since this is my personal blog, here I can. As this is MY thread.

There was a bit scufuffle in one of the facebook groups. To make the long story short...Because of one thoughtless post of an individual Filipino, one american suddenly up and targetted me and my entire country.

Full story:
I was able to find copies of a rare/hard-to-find pattern from Mirabilia called Touching the Autumn Sky. The store I got it from only had 7. I grabbed all 7 and for 2 weeks posted asking who wants to trade or buy one. I always emphasized I prefer trades, because the only reason why I buy duplicates was so I can trade and gather the patterns that aren't available here in my country. I finally went down to the last pattern, and I figured, I'd give ebay a try.

I placed TTAS up with a starting bid of $20. Then went to the facebook group asking if the price was ok or not. Before you know it, this lady suddenly up and posted a link to a website that downloads illegal/copyrighted patterns. You know the sites I mean, right? The copyright violating ones. Well, she posted the link under my post saying I had a TTAS up to sell.

Ok, I found that rude. She was undermining my efforts in offering the TTAS legitimately. But ok, I kept quiet, and instead of rising up in ire I tentatively asked "is the site you posted legal?".I for one did NOT want to enter world war in terms of copyright infringement. By my already asking if it's legal, it should've warned her that her link was an iffy. Am I right? But anyway, she replied with an "IDK, I just found it". And again, rather than confront her with it, I wanted a veteran of the group to do it, so I mentioned a members name, then said "help?"

Take note. That's all that I put on the wall.

Then here I get a series of private messages from the illegal site poster and she's complaining to me that I could've just asked her to remove the post. Then she flat out says "I WONDER WHERE YOUR CHARTS ARE COMING FROM".  I don't know about you but that, to me, implies if not flat out accuses me that my patterns were fake. I replied with facts. The name of the store, the location and even offered to give her the number of the store so she can ring it up and ask.

She replied saying she believes me. How I wish she ended at that but she didn't. She adds "It is just bad taste, in my opinion, to try to sell anything on the group board".

Who's she to call it bad taste? Anyway, I replied saying before I offered patterns to trade/sell, I had previously ASKED the members if I could and majority answered yes. So I did. And in the album I posted, I always emphasized that I prefer trades to sales because all I really want is to complete the Mirabilia set. And that I offered it in the group because the group consisted of people who specifically loved the patterns.

(But...isn't it in bad taste to post a site to free patterns right under the post I made that I had posted it on ebay? Isn't it in bad taste or how rude actually, of her, to undermine my efforts by posting the link? But more so, isn't it in bad taste for her to post the illegal site of Mira patterns in the very home group of the pattern which had the original artist herself as a member?? Hmmm....)

Then she goes on to say how sad she thinks it is that when someone wants a chart and they have to pay much more than retail because they can not find it.

Side note: One question. If you buy an antique table, would you complain about the price and demand/ask the person selling it to sell it to you at it's original price when it was first released? Same goes for a rare baseball card, will you sell your one out of print card for the same price you got it? Common collectors sense. Right? Anyway...where was I?

I replied asking her why she was messaging me like that. Did I do anything wrong to her? Did I post anything wrong on the wall? I didn't. And she replied that I didn't. But then goes back to saying if I had any conflict about her posting that link, I should've just told her to remove it.

I'm taking the time now to say the reason why I didn't flat out tell her to remove it is it's not in the nature of us Filipinos to be so direct. I wanted the more peaceful way of letting someone else do it or for her to realize it on her own that it was wrong. Besides, how on earth did it suddenly become my fault that she posted the illegal link in the first place and I should've warned her??? She goes on to say that she hated seeing those who are less fortunate not to be able to obtain a beloved design.

Wait. Is she just ranting at me because SHE wanted the pattern and couldn't get it? I placed it at a starting bid of $20. Not $200 for crying out loud.

Here's my reply to her 'less fortunate' comment:

"I gave 4 patterns as trades to folks in the group. I OFFERED it as trade. One is to One pattern. The last pattern I have, I placed on ebay since so many want it. They can now fairly bid for it. You cannot imply that I didn't give people chances. I placed the TTAS patterns on offer for 2 weeks here in the group."

She replies with "I may have overstepped the line. My bad".

And I thought this was the end of it.

The very next day, I wake up to a bunch of messages from Filipinos exclaiming in outrage over something this girl did.

This girl dug up a post from January (take note, this is now MAY) and bumped it up to the start. It was a post by a Filipina who said the pattern she bought was a xerox copy only and that she's never bought an original. And this illegal-site-poster girl up and says that this post was the reason why a red flag will always pop up to her in regards to anything coming from the Philippines.

Just imagine our hurt and outrage. Just because someone was not aware of copyright laws... who didn't know that what she was doing is wrong (I'm trying to avoid using the term stoop**) (oops!)... this illegal-site-poster girl suddenly generalized about my entire country.

There are a dozen or so Filipinos in the same stitching group who suddenly felt attacked, insulted, and discriminated against. And as I was the unofficial spokesperson of the group, and since I was the one this ISPG (illegal-site-poster girl) attacked the previous day, I spoke up. I wasn't about to stand for her innuendos.

I boldly flat out pointed out a few pertinent facts:
1. I had pictures backing up the fact that what I own are originals.
2. I have already previously traded with a lot of girls in the group and they can vouch that my Mira's were originals.
3. I wasn't the one who posted a link to an illegal site.
4.  I want to see her patterns and see if they're originals. Who was she to imply my patterns were fakes when I've posted tons and tons and tons of pictures showing they were originals. And yet she posts a link to an illegal site...now I'm wondering about her patterns. I wanted to see it.
5. I said for her not to generalize because of one individual persons mistake or thoughtless act. Heck. I don't even know this thoughtless girl at all. Never met her. Just because I share her nationality does not make me her my family or me  her friend. Why generalize?!?
6. Who's she to say what's in bad taste? Wasn't she the one who undermined my legitimate effort of selling an original chart with an illegal site? Who messaged me and started ranting about how it's not fair that people can't get at the pattern they want? I repeat my point, I've already offered all the rest as trades of ONE is to ONE pattern...and I even got none-rare patterns in return. That my goal was just to get the patterns I still don't have.
7. Mere fact she had to dig up a post from 5 months ago to support her argument/opinion was just sad.
7. That she should apologize to me, to the Filipinos in the group and to the artist herself for her posting the link and for her thoughtless comments. I said, apologize and this'd be over.

I had screen shots of her private messages to me, of her posts on the walls. I had facts to back me up. I wasn't about to be silent this time around. Mess with me, fine. I can handle it. I didn't do anything wrong so I was set to keep my peace. But once you insult my country... you have another thing coming.

She finally apologized. Via private message. I wasn't going to have it that way. Insult us publicly. Apologize publicly. Finally she did. On the wall.  But in a lopsided way. Still saying MAYBE she was wrong...that MAYBE what I have were orignals. I decided not to go to war over her halfhearted apology and just repeat that there was no maybe. And for her to stop implying otherwise. And I accepted her apology. So did some of the other Filipinos. I was in another group/chat with the rest and I was urging them that that's it. They can't ask for anything more. Accept the apology, move on, so things in the group will level out and things will be good again. A lot of others still refused to accept the apology. Still hurt and fuming but they kept their silence.

I thought this was it. That all I had to do now was to look for the thoughtless Filipina and update her on what was wrong with her post-- to inform her about copyright infringement.

Then, ISPG (the illegal site poster girl) suddenly up and turns drama queen. Posting that she felt abandoned by people who she thought were her friends-- how no one defended her... how she'll leave the group because she thinks people think her the bad guy.

Uhh... ok. I read her post. And I, along with the rest of the Filipinos suddenly think her apology as trash. What? She wants to appear like a martyr? The SHE was the one who was wronged?!?

Here comes the hoard of people who suddenly go "don't go" "we love you" "we don't know what happened, but don't go". With all the pleas for her to stay, I guess she got the attention she wanted. She is now suddenly a martyr. Nobody remembers that she posted the illegal site in the first place. Nobody remembers she basically flat out said that anything coming from the Philippines raises a red flag... oh wait. She didn't "basically" say it. She DID say it. Now all everyone remembers is she dramatically said she will leave and they're all agog into stopping her.

Now I've been doing damage control. I've had to tell my Filipino friends not to reply to her. Not to get angry anymore. Not to cause anymore trouble in the group. Heck, they want to. Heck, in truth, I want to. But I didn't. I wanted to things to settle down.

But man...she rubs me raw. She rubs every single Filipino in that group raw.
Why apologize when you want to turn yourself into a martyr?

Just because, I suspect, she might've wanted the pattern herself but couldn't get it?

Unfortunately for her, though we are usually a friendly bunch of people who just feel gratitude that we were part of that group of friendly stitchers...unfortunately for her, we have pride. Full blown Pinoy pride. And that pride won't allow me or anybody else to be quiet in the face of her discrimination.

Anyway, that's the story. Sorry this was a long tale. But things just had to be said.
The thoughtless girl has been informed about the rules of copyright. She has deleted earlier post. And all is well. Supposedly. I just hope nothing else comes up from she-who-posted-an-illegal-site.

And... just in case any question comes up as to my collection, here it is. Because these patterns have always been in a photo album on facebook, one wonders how on earth this ISPG could come up with the idea that mine were "questionable" in nature???


Xeihua (Sara) said...

First of all I must say I LOVE your Mirabilia Collection :) and no doubt they are originals.
Unfortunately there are always a couple of "black sheeps" every where and you came across a really bad one :(
I admire your self-control and being the "grown-up" of the situation I would have "exploded" against the person, and wouldn't let the thing settle without a proper apology to you and to the group. You did the right thing :D


ArtsyFartsy Panda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtsyFartsy Panda said...

Oh Sara, I did explode. Exploded really bad. After she mentioned the "red flag". I exploded loud and clear. I sorta called her out and dared her to show her patterns. But I did my best to stick to facts.

I couldn't let it pass without speaking up. It was too... foul. SHe already attacked me the day before. I wasn't about to let her get away with damaging every Filipinos reputation the very next day.

It's a struggle for me to remember to keep calm and behave on facebook now. So... I've gone to my blog to release.

Nic said...

First off wow what an amazing collection of Mirabilia's!!

Secondly I admire your restraint as I believe her comment is racist at the very least!

There seems to be a lot of hubub everywhere at the moment about cross stitch patterns and copyright and for some reason I can't fathom there are people out there who can't understand that these sites are illegal and what they are doing amounts to theft!

Otter said...

I admire your poise in the face of such an unprovoked attack on you. I know I couldn't have handled myself so well. I don't do confrontation well at all.

Your collection of Mirabilia's is impressive! I totally understand your desire to get all the ones that are hard or impossible to find.

SoCal Debbie said...

Good for you for sticking up for yourself and your country and demanding the apology! Your collection of Mirabilias is amazing. No wonder you bought all 7 at once and used them for trade. Good luck on your eBay auction!

Veronica said...

Sigh! I'm just sorry that this entire incident happened. Let's hope nothing like this ever happens again. Everyone should learn to practice moderation in all their actions. Thank you for holding back and letting things calm down.

Like I said on Facebook, we're still all stitchers at the core. So let's return our focus on stitching :) That is what brought us together in the first place. So what are you working on these days?

By the way, may I say that your Mirabilia collection is absolutely wonderful!


ArtsyFartsy Panda said...

Hi Veronica. Right now, I've set aside my QS Mermaid's Treasure (a HAED) and Fairy Idyll to finish a little project from the Praying Hands collection. It says "BY FAITH, THE WALLS OF JERICHO FELL". I woke up at 3am in the morning with the urge to dig that out and stitch it for a Pastor of mine. I'm hoping to finish it by weekend so I can have it framed and give it to him nicely wrapped with a letter by next week. *shrugs*. I think the Big Guy upstairs wants me to pass on a message. :)

Veronica said...

That's very nice of you. It sure sounds like a lovely design. I look forward to seeing a photo of it soon.


Maureen said...

Your collection of Mirabilia's are gorgeous - making me itch to get mine out to work on lol!

So sorry though that you had to deal with other's ignorance - i hope it all is sorted now.