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Source: (consider it) Thread: Felbrigg Hall lanyards
mr cheesy
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Ye gods, this is pathetic.

If a county seat of some minor aristocrat who gained money from slavery or some other colonial enterprise was being highlighted by the National Trust, would there really be this uproar?

If you don't like it, don't go. If you normally volunteer and don't like the idea of the 6-week exhibition, then don't volunteer for that time.

But for heavens sake, stop making this about something it isn't about - particularly if your only interaction with the National Trust is irregularly visiting.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Curiosity killed ...

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Having looked at where this story came from, I'm now more irritated about what looks like orchestrated outrage by the media, specifically the Daily Telegraph.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Eutychus
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The orchestrated outrage is as maybe. But any organisation that pretends a blindingly obvious symbol of advocacy is no more than a "sign of welcome" (that's on their website) is not going to attract my donations or volunteer time, and when anything short of unflinching support for the way the initiative was implemented is cast as homophobia, it's not going to endear me to it.

[ 07. August 2017, 17:41: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Curiosity killed ...

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I am not sure the National Trust has been labelling people as homophobic if they don't agree with the initiative, that has come from the commentators, including those on the Ship.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
I am not sure the National Trust has been labelling people as homophobic if they don't agree with the initiative, that has come from the commentators, including those on the Ship.

I was referring to the use of this term here on this thread, not by the NT. My charge against them is disingenuousness.

Mrs Eutychus works regularly with the manager of Stonehenge. Perhaps I should see what English Heritage thinks about all this... [Two face]

[ 07. August 2017, 18:37: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
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Doc Tor
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The National Trust has many problems. Its environmental record is patchy, its opposition to wind farms problematic, its accountability as one of the UK's largest land-owners dubious, and yes, its approach to the ownership and curation of symbols of our imperialist, colonialist, slave-owning, exploitative past is, to say the least, a bit of a mixed bag. (Not to mention its recent foray into trademarking disputes).

It's possible that the managers of the property were naive and just a little short-sighted. It's possible that the volunteers have genuine concerns about 'outing' a dead gay man. I'm pretty certain that far more people know Felbrigg Hall for that one fact now than ever heard of it before.

There is, however, a whiff of martyrdom that hangs over this whole debacle. A small number of people chose to die on a very small hill. Well done them. I hope they feel it was worth it.

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Forward the New Republic

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Hiro's Leap

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
A small number of people chose to die on a very small hill. Well done them. I hope they feel it was worth it.

I might just be projecting but my guess is most of them feel stressed out and beleaguered. The only clear winners here are the Telegraph and Mail, who got to throw their weight around and sell a few extra copies.
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Doc Tor
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Perhaps they did feel stressed out and beleaguered. In their situation, I imagine that I'd probably get as far as slightly bemused and possibly a touch miffed.

I've worked for employers who repeatedly did things that were head-slappingly stupid. You have to pick your battles.

I'm not going to tell them they can't feel aggrieved, but I'd certainly suggest a degree of introspection as to why they felt *this* was the place they were going to make their last stand, considering a compromise had already been offered and the whole affair was a temporary summer event.

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Forward the New Republic

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Hiro's Leap

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Doc Tor - yep, agreed.
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I am saying that what you wrote isn't in line with what Jesus taught.

Which bit of his teaching?
I'm not sure I can find a specific quote in which Jesus condemns passive-aggressive threats.
However, if you can find where Jesus' said one's moral rectitude is subservient to one's hurt feelings, I am open to be schooled on this.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Lamb Chopped
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This situation has some parallels with why I refused a National Merit Scholarship to Biola and went to another school instead. Biola required all applicants to sign a paper swearing they wouldn't dance during the full four years at school. I had no intention of dancing--I have two left feet--but being ORDERED to sign a paper, as if it were some sort of loyalty test--nope. nope, nope, nope.

Mind you, if they'd simply said "here's our code of conduct, no dancing allowed," I would have kept the code, ridiculous though I thought it was. But being made to sign a subscription to their views--nope.

If it doesn't directly relate to the mission of the organization, it ought not to be demanded of the employees, volunteer or no. Or students.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

If it doesn't directly relate to the mission of the organization, it ought not to be demanded of the employees, volunteer or no. Or students.

As Louise explained, the campaign is well within the purview of the NT and the volunteers were not asked to do anything untoward. The wearing of lanyards or other promotional items is a common thing for volunteers.
Were this a literacy campaign, I sincerely doubt there would have been any objections.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The orchestrated outrage is as maybe. But any organisation that pretends a blindingly obvious symbol of advocacy is no more than a "sign of welcome" (that's on their website) is not going to attract my donations or volunteer time,

They are pretending no such thing.
quote:
We asked all our staff and volunteers at the house to wear rainbow lanyards or badges during the six week event as welcoming symbol to all our visitors. We remain absolutely committed to our Pride programme, which will continue as intended, along with the exhibition at Felbrigg
As this is on the page about the Pride campaign, the obvious reasoning is that it is welcoming LGBT+.

quote:

and when anything short of unflinching support for the way the initiative was implemented is cast as homophobia, it's not going to endear me to it.

Again, with the rhetoric. You may or may not mean it this way, I cannot read your mind, but this is the sort of statement generally expressed as an excuse for opting out of support.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Golden Key
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I thought of applying to Oral Roberts University. Then I found out that female and male students had different curfews. The idea was that keeping the girls on campus would encourage the boys to stay on campus, and not run around town getting into trouble.

ISTM that was sexist and stupid. And why not just give the same curfew to both??

So I didn't apply there.

(And I think students had to sign some sort of agreement there, too.)

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Golden Key
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My last post was in response to Lamb Chopped.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

If it doesn't directly relate to the mission of the organization, it ought not to be demanded of the employees, volunteer or no. Or students.

As Louise explained, the campaign is well within the purview of the NT and the volunteers were not asked to do anything untoward. The wearing of lanyards or other promotional items is a common thing for volunteers.
Were this a literacy campaign, I sincerely doubt there would have been any objections.

Maybe nobody would have bothered, but there certainly would have been eye rolling, at least from me. Why should my employer sign me up for random social campaigns, however meritorious? now if it were something to do with our main mission, that would be another story.

What I'm getting at is not the content of the campaign, but the irrelevance of it. I am not a chalkboard to have miscellaneous political or social statements drawn upon me. (and no, I don't wear T-shirts with slogans either)

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

What I'm getting at is not the content of the campaign, but the irrelevance of it.

History is part of the Trust's mission. How is this campaign irrelevant?
quote:

I am not a chalkboard to have miscellaneous political or social statements drawn upon me. (and no, I don't wear T-shirts with slogans either)

Volunteers are billboards, to the extent of lanyards and buttons and such.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Gracie
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Volunteers are billboards, to the extent of lanyards and buttons and such.

Where do you get this idea from?

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When someone is convinced he’s an Old Testament prophet there’s not a lot you can do with him rationally. - Sine

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Volunteers are billboards, to the extent of lanyards and buttons and such.

Where do you get this idea from?
IME. it is common to have a visible item from a campaign worn by volunteers and staff.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
if you can find where Jesus' said one's moral rectitude is subservient to one's hurt feelings, I am open to be schooled on this.

I can think of at least two places where he says he feels like chucking it all in because of the grief he's getting for taking the line he does, and several more where he upbraids people for gross misrepresentation of what is said, which is what happened upthread.
quote:
The wearing of lanyards or other promotional items is a common thing for volunteers.
Yes but to my mind in this instance there is deliberate confusion between a symbol used to promote a short-term event and a symbol used to display active support for a contemporary cause. I can understand wearers feeling uncomfortable that they are being made to look like militants for a cause which is outside their own immediate area of concern or whose leading protagonists adopt tactics they disagree with.

I went to one of the national marches in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks (one of the rare occasions I have taken to the streets). Unlike many I chose not to take a "je suis Charlie" ('I am Charlie') sign, because I was there not in support of the editorial line of the publication but in defence of the constitutional freedoms of the country, including the freedom of the press. If someone had told me I had to carry such a sign, I would not have participated.

quote:
the obvious reasoning is that it is welcoming LGBT+.
It's not obvious at all, the page in question is deliberately trying to muddy the waters. The LGBT+ advocates want to be able to lay a claim to the event under the (literal) banner of the gay rights movement, at the same time they are seeking deniability by claiming, at the top of the same page as I already quoted, that "The rainbow is an internationally accepted symbol of welcome".

This caption gives the lie to the argument you're putting forward here. The caption is disingenuous and to my mind can only be deliberately so. It's there so any objections can be met with the argument "oh, we were just trying to be welcoming" and imply that anybody not sporting the lanyard is being somehow "unwelcoming". If there were no deliberate ambiguity about the symbol the caption would say "The rainbow is an internationally recognised symbol of the LGBT+ rights movement".

(I might actually have less sympathy for the dissenters if that were stated unequivocally).

quote:
quote:
and when anything short of unflinching support for the way the initiative was implemented is cast as homophobia, it's not going to endear me to it.

Again, with the rhetoric. You may or may not mean it this way, I cannot read your mind, but this is the sort of statement generally expressed as an excuse for opting out of support.

It's not rhetoric. It's what Louise said and it's why I joined this thread.

Don't get me wrong. I am in favour of gay rights and I seek to progress them as and where I feel I can. What I am not in favour of is replacing one oppressive system with another repressive system. I am not going to sign up to anything, whatever the cause, where I get the impression of a gun to my head saying "you buy into the way we do this or be branded anti-x/y/z". I do not accept the argument that because this treatment has been meted out to minorities the way forward is for them to mete some of it out themselves.

Note I said "I" here. I have come to accept that there is a legitimate role for militants, activists, and so on - but that other roles are important too. I am committed in some small way to an advocacy role in an unrelated field at the UN in my capacity as a member of the international steering committee of a worldwide organisation recognised by ECOSOC. But I do not try to foist my advocacy on unrelated parties, or expect everyone who is broadly in support of the concerns I hold dear to be an activist, or try to stage events at which I can portray people not really adhering to my cause as activists.

The fact is that like most peoplen in most of my many and varied roles I am not an activist and, I would say, would not have achieved as much as I have (whatever that may be worth) had I been acting as one. I'm not denying activists their role, but I'm asserting the need to respect those who aren't activists.

--------------------
One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Gracie
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Volunteers are billboards, to the extent of lanyards and buttons and such.

Where do you get this idea from?
IME. it is common to have a visible item from a campaign worn by volunteers and staff.
Asking volunteers and staff to wear a visible item from a campaign is not the same thing at all as saying that volunteers are billboards. So where does the idea that volunteers are billboards come from?

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When someone is convinced he’s an Old Testament prophet there’s not a lot you can do with him rationally. - Sine

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lilBuddha
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In refusing to wear the lanyards, in dropping membership and donations, people are becoming activists.
The volunteers wearing lanyards would not be considered activists by anyone. It isn't reasonable to do so, they are there to help and how they help or fail to is the only thing visitors associate them with.
That they might not feel comfortable with the campaign is exactly why the campaign is needed.
They could have helped behind the scenes, they chose not to. They chose to make an issue.
You mentioned excellent reasons other than homophobia* to not wear lanyards. I'd like to heat them.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I can think of at least two places where he says he feels like chucking it all in because of the grief he's getting for taking the line he does,

But he does not use that against against anyone.
quote:

and several more where he upbraids people for gross misrepresentation of what is said, which is what happened upthread.

Again, I do not think what you actually wrote was misrepresented.

quote:

It's not rhetoric. It's what Louise said and it's why I joined this thread.

Where did Louise say
quote:
anything short of unflinching support for the way the initiative was implemented is cast as homophobia
quote:
What I am not in favour of is replacing one oppressive system with another repressive system.

Wearing a lanyard is a repressive system?
Seriously?

quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
So where does the idea that volunteers are billboards come from?

Both are adverts.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
You mentioned excellent reasons other than homophobia* to not wear lanyards. I'd like to heat them.

I never wear them. IK just don't like having stuff hang round my neck. Reason enough.
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Gracie
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
So where does the idea that volunteers are billboards come from?

Both are adverts.
Where do you get the idea that volunteers are adverts from?

--------------------
When someone is convinced he’s an Old Testament prophet there’s not a lot you can do with him rationally. - Sine

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
In refusing to wear the lanyards, in dropping membership and donations, people are becoming activists.

That is bullshit. Opting out is not the exact opposite of actively opting in.

This is gun-to-the-head reasoning again. It's saying "if you don't sign up to this in every respect you are anti x-y-z". It fuels the activism by casting everyone who doesn't join in as the enemy of their specific cause, when in fact this opting out can be for a range of legitimate reasons - not just the activists' pet hates.

(If it helps to move the debate from LGBT+ issues, I face exactly this kind of argument from christians approaching the church I lead wanting us to sign up to all manner of causes and events, and I resist it with similar vigour).

quote:
The volunteers wearing lanyards would not be considered activists by anyone.
Cultural mileage may vary, but it seems to me that the rainbow symbol in that part of the world is a badge of LGBT+ activism. It's certainly not anything to do with heritage.
quote:
It isn't reasonable to do so, they are there to help and how they help or fail to is the only thing visitors associate them with.
My point precisely. They are supposed to be doing that everywhere, on all NT sites, and welcoming all people without discrimination - that's the NT's mission statement. Apparently they don't need this "internationally accepted symbol of welcome" [Roll Eyes] anywhere else to do so. The only reason they "need" a lanyard is to make a point for advocacy. It is indeed not reasonable to cast them in some other role - which they inevitably would be if photos of them were circulated, doubtless without their opinions attached.*

quote:
You mentioned excellent reasons other than homophobia to not wear lanyards. I'd like to heat them.
Scroll up. In short, the NT is not primarily an advocacy group, the lanyards are deliberately ambiguous, and whether or not one espouses the cause one can have the feeling of being used for someone else's agenda.

==

*This reminds me of the time at my grammar school when some wag suggested all the pupils wear black (the colour of the school uniform) on the anniversary of Franco's death, and gleefully reported the next day on the massive response...

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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ExclamationMark
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Was the NT's intention to attract more LGBT+ people to their houses?
In this case, I don't see the lanyards as being the draw.

Was the NT's intention to give a bit more information about a past owner?
In this case, I don't see the lanyards as being the draw

Was the NT's intention to show solidarity with Pride, LGBT+?
In this case, the lanyard might have had some significance if only to "brand" the event. Are LGBT+ supporters happy to be "branded" in that way?

Why only Felbrigg? Why not Sissinghurst or Knole etc?

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
But he does not use that against against anyone.

Neither did I.
quote:
quote:

and several more where he upbraids people for gross misrepresentation of what is said, which is what happened upthread.

Again, I do not think what you actually wrote was misrepresented.
The exchange in question is at the bottom of this post. I'll leave readers to make up their own minds.

quote:
Where did Louise say
quote:
anything short of unflinching support for the way the initiative was implemented is cast as homophobia

She said
quote:
someone going there now will know from the lanyard or absence of it whether their guide is anti-gay or not, but on the other hand they now know they will encounter homophobes there...
I cannot make this mean anything other than what I said it means. Can you?

Elsewhere it has been argued, indeed you are continuing to insinuate, that the only reason for not wearing the lanyard is homophobia. Which means that "Nothing less than unflinching support will do".
quote:
Wearing a lanyard is a repressive system?
Seriously?

Not wearing a lanyard can only be "anti-gay" and a way of denoting homophobes? Seriously?

Either lanyard-wearing is significant in this context or it isn't. You can't have it both ways.

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As a note, this Prejudice and Pride campaign by the National Trust is nationwide with a number of properties taking part, featuring houses linked to the Bloomsbury set and also Kingston Lacy as well as others, including Felbrigg Hall. I cannot find any negative stories in the local press for Kingston Lacy. I can find one positive article from a family with two mothers about how helpful the exhibition has been for helping them feel more involved with the house. (I didn't bother looking for articles about a house linked to the Bloomsbury Set.) That article was illustrated with the same badges and lanyards used at Felbrigg Hall.

I have volunteered at events for Crisis and Cancer Research and the first thing I was given was a t-shirt with their logos to identify me as a volunteer. For Cancer Research I had to wear their t-shirt over my Guide uniform the first couple of times we volunteered at the local Race for Life. I still have both t-shirts, but I don't wear them unless I am volunteering for the charities.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
I have volunteered at events for Crisis and Cancer Research and the first thing I was given was a t-shirt with their logos to identify me as a volunteer.

Presumably a Crisis and Cancer Research t-shirt. Which is what you signed up for.

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Curiosity killed ...

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Why only Felbrigg? Why not Sissinghurst or Knole etc?

Knole House and Sissinghurst are part of this campaign, exploring LGBQ+ history on the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts in 1967.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Yes (and so are other places, even Hadrian's Wall) - but, as far as I can discover, it's only at Felbrigg that volunteers were asked to wear these blasted lanyards and/or badges. Can anyone here confirm or deny this?

In fact I doubt if the issue would have arisen if the lanyards had been seen as part of a "branded" publicity exercise across all the featured properties.

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Baptist Trainfan
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PS The Daily Moan says that "Staff have been told to wear the badges for a six-week period at most properties taking part in the 50th anniversary celebrations" but I don't know if that's truth or hearsay.
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Curiosity killed ...

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
I have volunteered at events for Crisis and Cancer Research and the first thing I was given was a t-shirt with their logos to identify me as a volunteer.

Presumably a Crisis and Cancer Research t-shirt. Which is what you signed up for.
Yes, but this is a national campaign to highlight the LGBT+ history of houses owned by the National Trust and I suspect that as a volunteer the agreement will include a phrase like "to be involved in such campaigns as are relevant to the property". This campaign seems to have been accepted at the other properties involved, with just this house the source of public objections.

One of the reasons given is anger that someone should be outed as gay after their death, possibly because this is all within living memory? The godchildren who objected had ages given as 70 and 78, so maybe this is a generational thing?

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Eutychus
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[ETA responding to Baptist Trainfan]

I don't know that it makes a difference. The big difference with CK's example is that she was (AIUI) a short-term volunteer for a short-term initiative.

Part of the problem here is a conflict between long-term volonteer motivations and the goals of the short-term campaign and, potentially, mismanagement of that disconnect.

To my mind if the NT sought volunteers just for their Prejudice and Pride campaign and asked them to wear the l***yards they would have a much stronger case.

[ 08. August 2017, 06:42: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Curiosity killed ...

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Yes (and so are other places, even Hadrian's Wall) - but, as far as I can discover, it's only at Felbrigg that volunteers were asked to wear these blasted lanyards and/or badges. Can anyone here confirm or deny this?

In fact I doubt if the issue would have arisen if the lanyards had been seen as part of a "branded" publicity exercise across all the featured properties.

I am sure they will be branded publicity across all the properties for the six weeks each property is involved, the badges are national from the article I found on Kingston Lacy.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
I suspect that as a volunteer the agreement will include a phrase like "to be involved in such campaigns as are relevant to the property".

Perhaps, but I can see people coming across an issue of conscience at some point or another. The question then is whether this was appropriately handled on either side. I think there's evidence of manufactured outrage, but I also think there's evidence of disingenuousness - at Feltrigg - on the part of the NT as discussed with LB above.

quote:
One of the reasons given is anger that someone should be outed as gay after their death, possibly because this is all within living memory? The godchildren who objected had ages given as 70 and 78, so maybe this is a generational thing?
I think this is another point of argument, yes. Louise makes a case for the person's discretion about their sexuality being a symptom of the persecution of gays at the time. I tend to think that people can be discreet about their sexuality for all sorts of reasons and that at Feltrigg, this is forcing a modern perspective back on another age, and have some sympathy with those who find it intrusive without that necessarily making them anti-gay.

Volunteer management; activism; the politics of history; journalism - there are a lot of contentious issues in play here aside from the DH one, which might be adding some heat to the debate.

[ 08. August 2017, 06:51: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Volunteer management; activism; the politics of history; journalism - there are a lot of contentious issues in play here aside from the DH one, which might be adding some heat to the debate.

Yes, I'd go along with that.
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
Asking volunteers and staff to wear a visible item from a campaign is not the same thing at all as saying that volunteers are billboards. So where does the idea that volunteers are billboards come from?

I think it is probably true that in popular consumerist culture, people are billboards. If you go into a supermarket or other British shop, you are quite likely to see staff wearing branded t-shirts, badges etc publicising whatever current promotional activity is relevant.

I don't know if brands have given staff rainbow coloured badges during Pride events, but I don't think it would be particularly surprising if they had.

I'm not sure that this branding is really much different to that one might see in Sainsburys. If there is a message that is being given, it is about the fact that NT properties are diverse and represent a diverse, if often hidden, British history.

Now, if the issue had been that people don't like being billboards, don't like wearing lanyards, don't like the way that the NT is following the commercial practices of Sainsburys - that might be fair comment.

But that isn't what this was about. The lanyards have just become a convenient silly promotional item upon which the Mail/Telegraph has effectively stirred up conflict amongst volunteers on a wider issue.

And that real issue could and should have been handled out of the glare of national publicity. That's the real story here, not the lanyards.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
I have volunteered at events for Crisis and Cancer Research and the first thing I was given was a t-shirt with their logos to identify me as a volunteer.

Presumably a Crisis and Cancer Research t-shirt. Which is what you signed up for.
Yes, but this is a national campaign to highlight the LGBT+ history of houses owned by the National Trust and I suspect that as a volunteer the agreement will include a phrase like "to be involved in such campaigns as are relevant to the property". This campaign seems to have been accepted at the other properties involved, with just this house the source of public objections.

One of the reasons given is anger that someone should be outed as gay after their death, possibly because this is all within living memory? The godchildren who objected had ages given as 70 and 78, so maybe this is a generational thing?

First off, it's very possible that you had to wear a t shirt as a volunteer for Insurance reasons. It establishes who you are in a public setting. The NT is public but based a specific and identifiable NT location.

Secondly it seems from some of the press that the person concerned was "outed" in his life but chose to remain secretive about it. Very different from Virginia Woolf, Ellen Terry's daughter et al who trumpeted their sexuality.

Yes male homosexuality wasn't legal but the rules were rather different if you had some influence ... it was generally accepted, if not overlooked (hence Tom Driberg and Bob Boothby two gay MP's). It was rather harder to be working class and gay and more likely to end up in court. A little wealth gave you the privacy and opportunity many others lacked.

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Gracie
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

I think it is probably true that in popular consumerist culture, people are billboards. If you go into a supermarket or other British shop, you are quite likely to see staff wearing branded t-shirts, badges etc publicising whatever current promotional activity is relevant.

I would still be interested to read lilBuddha’s view on where this idea comes from.

Are you saying that the staff in supermarkets are seen as billboards by the consumers who see them wearing branded t-shirts? Or by their bosses who make them wear the t-shirts? Do you think they see themselves as billboards?

It seems to me that treating people as billboards is treating them as less than human beings.

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mr cheesy
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It seems to me that there are two issues here: the one that the Mail/Telegraph say this is about; and the thing that this is actually about.

I suspect it is unlikely that volunteers at a particular NT property are this bothered about the "outing" of a dead person. I can't really see why they would be, even with the shouting from the Mail.

I can totally believe that a minority of volunteers will not wear lanyards that they somehow think is promoting gay marriage. And I can totally believe that people out there in middle-class NT membership-land are quitting in protest at the horrible way that the NT are treating people who object to liberal values on marriage and who are standing up for traditional marriage.

If anyone is making this whole thing into a billboard it is the shrill voices who are turning this into something it isn't.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
I would still be interested to read lilBuddha’s view on where this idea comes from.

OK. Sorry for answering a question you weren't directly asking me.

quote:
Are you saying that the staff in supermarkets are seen as billboards by the consumers who see them wearing branded t-shirts?
Yes. How do you see staff who are wearing promotional clothing?

quote:
Or by their bosses who make them wear the t-shirts?
Well obviously if the consumers see them as billboards then it follows that the bosses must also see them as billboards, doesn't it? I'd say the difference is that the bosses obviously see their staff as having a range of functions within the business and that having them also wear promotional materials is just another way to utilise them whilst they are doing other things.

Consumers must be aware that staff are doing other stuff, but in one sense must notice them as billboards more often than they notice what they're doing (which can't be the same for bosses).

quote:
Do you think they see themselves as billboards?
Well yes again. If the consumers and the bosses see them as billboards, then to some extent the staff must also see themselves as billboards. I suspect they probably see themselves less as billboards than the bosses or the consumers, but it must also be part of the feeling they get when they walk into the shop in the uniform.

quote:
It seems to me that treating people as billboards is treating them as less than human beings.
Possibly, but that's a different conversation than this one. This isn't about the fact that volunteers had to wear lanyards.

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Gracie
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

OK. Sorry for answering a question you weren't directly asking me.

No problem with you giving your opinion on it.

quote:

Yes. How do you see staff who are wearing promotional clothing?

Well I certainly don’t see them as billboards. I’m still shocked that anybody could be described as a billboard, let alone considered to be a billboard. I would see them as store employees.

quote:
Well obviously if the consumers see them as billboards then it follows that the bosses must also see them as billboards, doesn't it? I'd say the difference is that the bosses obviously see their staff as having a range of functions within the business and that having them also wear promotional materials is just another way to utilise them whilst they are doing other things.
No I don’t think it does follow. Even if consumers see people as billboards, I would expect their employers not to do so.

quote:
Well yes again. If the consumers and the bosses see them as billboards, then to some extent the staff must also see themselves as billboards.
Well, personally I would think that there are people out there who object to being treated as billboards – and that even someone who is not anti-gay rights may well object to being used as a billboard.

quote:
This isn't about the fact that volunteers had to wear lanyards.
I thought that was exactly what it was about.

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When someone is convinced he’s an Old Testament prophet there’s not a lot you can do with him rationally. - Sine

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
Well I certainly don’t see them as billboards. I’m still shocked that anybody could be described as a billboard, let alone considered to be a billboard. I would see them as store employees.

Right, and part of that function is to wear the clothing directed by the management in order to function as a billboard.

quote:
No I don’t think it does follow. Even if consumers see people as billboards, I would expect their employers not to do so.
Mmm. It seems to me that you are saying that if the bosses see them as billboards it isn't possible to see them as anything else, whereas I'm saying that acting as a billboard is something that the bosses see as part of the role because the consumers often see them as billboards.

quote:
Well, personally I would think that there are people out there who object to being treated as billboards – and that even someone who is not anti-gay rights may well object to being used as a billboard.
Which is fair enough. And the NT gave the opportunity to these volunteers who didn't want to be billboards to do something else for the period of this campaign.

quote:
quote:
This isn't about the fact that volunteers had to wear lanyards.
I thought that was exactly what it was about.
OK, my bad. What I meant was that the issue with the NT volunteers was not about the generic issue of wearing lanyards and supposedly wasn't even about the issue of wearing lanyards promoting gay-rights. According to the reports, the issue was about the outing of a dead gay guy.

Although of course it actually wasn't.

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Cottontail

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Yes male homosexuality wasn't legal but the rules were rather different if you had some influence ... it was generally accepted, if not overlooked (hence Tom Driberg and Bob Boothby two gay MP's). It was rather harder to be working class and gay and more likely to end up in court. A little wealth gave you the privacy and opportunity many others lacked.

The experience of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Michael Pitt-Rivers, and Peter Wildeblood suggests otherwise.

THe BBC currently has on iplayer an adaptation of Peter Wildeblood's book of their trial, Against the Law. I recommend highly both the book and the adaptation. It gives you a glimpse into the absolute terror gay men of all classes lived in.

[ 08. August 2017, 08:19: Message edited by: Cottontail ]

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Curiosity killed ...

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One of the interviewees on The Myth of Decriminalisation so post-1967, described the time when a drunken bus driver smashed into their car in the street outside. The first thing he and his partner did was make up the spare bed. Because police were known to get distracted by the living arrangements of homosexual couples rather than the issue they had been called to deal with.

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
quote:
This isn't about the fact that volunteers had to wear lanyards.
I thought that was exactly what it was about.
Point of order: the volunteers were already wearing lanyards. This is categorically not about the lanyards.

The argument is over the colour of the lanyards.

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Gracie
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Point of order: the volunteers were already wearing lanyards. This is categorically not about the lanyards.

The argument is over the colour of the lanyards.

For there to be an argument about colour, there had to be lanyards in the first place. My specific question was whether or not volunteers could be legitimately seen as billboards.

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Yes, but some people way upthread were talking about the wearing of lanyards in general - which isn't IMO germane to this discussion.
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