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Women's Bodybuilding Megan Avalon

Thursday, June 15, 2006

"GetBig" Message Board Attacked As Unfriendly Toward Women

The owner of Femuscle.org has launched an attack against "GetBig", a message board reported to be hostile toward women athletes. What George Legeros, the owner of Femuscle.org wrote can be seen here, and below (in case the link goes bad for some reason.)

Internet Message Boards and Forums
Where unfortunately in some places Hate Rules

The Internet can be a wonderful place. With almost an infinite number of places to visit for entertainment and to gain information and knowledge, it may well be considered the King of Media edging out television and radio from their top positions. That being said, one must be prudent in their search for entertainment and information as "minimum standards of acceptability" do not exist, and censorship on the Internet becomes the responsibility of the person "surfing the net". The use of surfing filters and blocking mechanisms are our "last stand' against Internet hatred or otherwise unacceptable and offensive materials...but first and foremost is knowledge!

Hate is a very strong and destructive emotion. Unfortunately, it's pervasive on the Internet and there is no single solution for censoring it. In the United States, we enjoy our constitutional right of freedom of speech, and the right to free thinking. Censorship, in almost any form is not acceptable to most of us. That being said, I truly believe that "just because we may have the right to say something, doesn't mean it's the right thing to say"!

Internet Message Boards and Forums are places for people to find information on a certain subjects and share opinions and ideas. There are many such places relating to the bodybuilding industry and most at least try to have a modicum of decency and decorum. Many boards use Moderators in an effort to maintain civility while others remain un-moderated, and as such, there seems to be an "anything goes" mentality.

As this is a website whose primary focus is on the Women's side of the sport, I find it necessary to point out that there are many Message Boards and Forums who are "women friendly". This is not to say that all opinions must be positive relative to women's bodybuilding. No one should look at this sport through "rose colored glasses" and criticism can be a good thing if done responsibly. On the other side of the spectrum, unfortunately I see a need to speak out against those Message Boards and Forums, who would consciously or not, approve of, or allow its members to constantly spew vile messages of hate and disrespect towards women athletes.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest and most well known message board, Getbig, in my opinion, falls into this category. As a previous member, I found the amount of mean spirited, negative, and hate driven posts against female and male athletes to be so overwhelming, that I have asked to be removed from it's data base as I refuse to post there any longer. Getbig has gotten out of control, and the veiled attempt by the owner to rectify the situation can not be taken seriously as it appears that some of their own Moderators, by their own inaction alone, appear to not only support but in fact perpetuate the disgraceful, mean spirited, demeaning, and down right libelous remarks posted by certain members. Opinions are one thing, but women bashing and slander seem to be a favorite past time and the norm there.

I am therefore appealing to you readers and calling for a boycott of Getbig and any other forums that disparage women. I am asking that all women athletes and their supporters and fans boycott such forums until such time as they clean up their act and discipline/ban any members that continue such behavior.

There is a choice! There are other Message Boards and Forums on the Internet where this type of mean spirited behavior doesn't exist and/or is not tolerated. "Women Friendly" boards allow the women athletes, their friends and fans, to enjoy free exchange of ideas and opinions, both possitive and negative, without resorting to "low life" comments. A few that I highly recommend are: MuscleMayhem, GeneX, and Tre' Scott's FemFlex forum for women.

While I still have issues with many forums, and their apparent inability to remain independent and operate autonomously without caving in to pressures from federations and/or other entities that would stifle the free dissemination of information by attempting to dictate what information a forum site should or should not allow to be posted, they do not appear to be disrespectful to women….but that is another discussion. The bottom line….don't lend your affiliation or support in terms of becoming a registered member or supporting sponsors of Getbig or any other message board or forum that permits the disparagement of women by it's members until such time as they get their acts together. Boycott them...send them emails voicing your opinion of their board. You do have a choice, and you do have a voice. Let your voice be heard loud and clear!

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