I’m excited to announce that I’m working with amazing open-web organization Mozilla to user-test some of their webmaking tools. A big part of Mozilla’s mandate is to give web users to the tools to not just consume web content, but create it themselves. They have a whole suite of tools you can use to create and remix content on the web, and today I took my first crack at it with X-Ray Goggles. X-Ray Goggles is essentially a browser plug-in that lets you see and fiddle around with the source code for any website you visit. You can apply any changes you want to the source code of an existing website, and publish your finished product. The tool doesn’t actually hack the website itself, but produces a duplicate of it on a Mozilla server with whatever changes you apply.
My shit-disturbing tendencies led me to instantly imagine how I could use X-Ray Goggles to stick it to bigoted organizations, using their websites as my canvas. The first one that came to mind was thinly-veiled hate group REAL Women of Canada, which advocates for a Canada where only straight, cis people have rights, where the only “real” families are heteronormative ones, where abortion is not legally accessible, you get my drift. The kind of organization that relentlessly wields the phrase “family values” as a weapon to oppress others. To give you a sense of how extreme REAL Women of Canada’s view are, they recently spoke out against Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird’s condemnation of anti-gay laws and practices in Russia (here’s a quick primer).
News coverage of their jaw-dropping position on this issue kept referring to REAL Women of Canada as a “women’s organization”, which I suppose is technically true in the sense that the organization is made up of (a narrow subset of) women. However, the designation “women’s organization” kind of glosses over their atrocious support of practices that fly in the face of basic human rights and freedoms. So I used X-Ray Goggles to fill their website with images of LGBTQ2SGQ* couples and families, and replace their ridiculous bigot links with links to news stories and organizations that highlight the importance of human rights for ALL Canadians (and all people). Take a peek at my handiwork! You can compare it to their real website here, but don’t give them too many clicks, ‘kay? And why not try your own X-Ray Goggle project to tackle an issue that matters to you?
Today is the International Day of Protest for LGBTQ rights. If you’re in Toronto, bring your voice to the movement by attending tonight’s #TOwithRussia rally!