Victory! Youbeauty Changes Their Sexist Article

At least they were polite
At least they were polite

Those of you who have been reading my blog will know that I’ve recently had a minor skirmish with the editors at Youbeauty.com, part of Dr. Oz’s health and beauty empire.

It all came about on Wednesday, when they published an article, “Pick Your Pregnancy,” about how you can increase your odds of having a son by getting healthier.

Not only did the article make a number of distressing assumptions (that women prefer sons, that daughters are born to unhealthy women, and that dominant males are supposed to be in charge), but the research it used to support its claim directly contradicted it.

Hoping to prompt readers to see where Youbeauty went wrong, I commented on the site, pointing out that the study actually reached a different conclusion. My comment was removed by the administration within the hour, which I blogged about here.

That post received a surprisingly high number of views, generating enough interest that I was motivated to try again (thank you, Bubbles and Beebots readers!). Last night I posted another comment to the article, noting that my previous one had been removed and pointing out that the study flat out concluded that “healthy females do NOT produce more male offspring.”

This time it took. Youbeauty contacted me, apologizing for the oversight in reporting and saying they had corrected their mistake. The article has been amended, and now reads, “Can you defy the odds? A recent hypothesis believed that women are able to adjust their offspring’s sex… But based on the mating patterns of bighorn ewes, ewes-to-be don’t seem to have much choice in the matter (without a helping hand from a fertility doctor, that is.)”

It’s a small victory, but a victory nonetheless. I still don’t care for the loaded language in the article. Saying that women “don’t have much choice in the matter” of increasing their odds of having sons without the “helping hand of a fertility doctor” sure seems to suggest women prefer sons, doesn’t it?

Is Youbeauty hinting that women should see fertility doctors to aid them in male gender selection? Did I fall through a time portal and wake up in the 17th century?

At any rate, I thought there was enough reader interest to promote the post from my blog’s Facebook page. Millions of women read articles like these every day, and are often too busy to check out the supporting research. The internet is supposed to be a free market of ideas, allowing critical voices as much air time as supportive ones. I’m not comfortable with the idea of major news sources reporting supposedly scientifically-verified claims, then just obliterating reasonable dissent, are you?

So I created an ad link, asking why editors of Dr. Oz’s Youbeauty site were removing reader comments. Facebook rejected my link on grounds of profanity or offensive content.

Profanity? Really? Thousands of underage girls are splashing Facebook daily with g-string photos, but I’m offensive?

It didn’t make any sense. I didn’t swear or say anything racist or sexist, unless you count pointing out sexism as sexist. Maybe they took issue with the post itself, so I scoured my post and found the term “bullshit.”

Sigh… Apparently I like to work blue. Look, I don’t swear in front of my kids, but I’m a grownup and my site is for grownups and sometimes “bullshit” is the best word to describe what you’re talking about. Like when it’s sexist bullshit. “Poppycock” just doesn’t have the same flair.

Still, I amended the word “bullshit” to “B.S.,” so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of your average Facebook reader. You wouldn’t want a mommyblog that says “bullshit” when dissecting the latest sexist media article, so thank heaven there is nothing offensive for kids to run into on the internet anymore.

After censoring my work, I resubmitted the ad. And it was rejected again, on the grounds of profanity and/or offensive content. Perplexed, I sent a note to Facebook admin asking why my ad was rejected.

I still haven’t heard from them. What’s going on here? Is Facebook afraid of pissing off Dr. Oz, with his gazillion dollar media empire? Is using the word “sexist” enough to get my ad shut down? What do you think?

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