Hey, dudes and ladies! Probably especially ladies! But dudes as well, sometimes: we like those, also. Remember last Sunday? Because I sure do. I wrote a little Meta-Post for you all, about how it is important for people to have jobs, and right now Tiger Beatdown is my very favorite and most frequent job of all, and how it was really nice for you all to keep sending me the e-mails and the blog comments and the so on and so forth, about how you would like to be able to donate money, but while it is important for me to have money (and a roof over my head, and things to eat, and all those lovely things that money allows) I got all aw-shucks about the donation thing.
Well, sometimes we change our minds!
So, here is the deal: Tiger Beatdown, right now, is work for me. It is work that I’m passionate about, and work to which I am dedicated. It is also work which I will be entirely unable to perform, at this current level of investment, or possibly at all, if I don’t receive compensation for it. I do put in several hours per day on this site: not only writing, but comment-moderating, and speaking to ad networks, and promoting, and speaking to merchandisers, and fucking around with the web template, and etc. Art director, marketer, editor-in-chief, business manager, copy editor, columnist, tech support, referee, receptionist: that’s me, right now. I won’t be able to continue to do this without funding. I’ve looked at my options, and trust me: I can’t. I shouldn’t. So I am opening this blog up to donations, right now and right here, on this very day. Look, here is the button!
This isn’t just about me, or just about Tiger Beatdown – or, if it is, then it is just about Tiger Beatdown as a microcosm for other things, things about women’s work and creative work and media, and how we support each other or value good work, or basically take responsibility for keeping the things we care about alive. I have had a hard time even thinking about Tiger Beatdown as a potentially “monetized” site, for a variety of reasons, many of which were covered in that Girl Culture piece a few weeks ago. This was just my work, the work I was most passionate about; therefore, it must not have value. This was just feminist work, just work done for a cause I believed in; therefore, I should be doing it for others and not myself. This was just writing, and the only people who deserve to get paid for their writing are real writers; therefore I didn’t deserve to get paid. Bullshit, all of it. If you care about Tiger Beatdown, and you can afford to send out a bit of money to keep it going, then I don’t feel so bad about asking for it. Because I care about Tiger Beatdown, too. And I want it to stay alive. And right now, without funding, it can’t do that.
And it’s not just about that, not just about the ways women devalue their own work, or fail to ask for what they deserve. It’s also about feminist media, and new media, and how those two interconnect. I’ve written a lot, on this site, about how crucially important the Internet has been for feminist media – how, in the absence of other feminist media markets, and in a climate where feminist-backlash pieces are often more marketable and publishable (hi, Roiphe!) than pieces with feminist content, we have taken to these here Intertubes to do the writing that matters most to us. But it’s kind of sick, actually, how that is starving us out: everybody knows that Internet publishing pays substantially less than print media publishing, even when it does pay. I’ve done both, and I’ve seen the difference in the paychecks: believe me, it is so substantial that it would make you laugh, if it didn’t make you cry first. But even beyond that, I’ve checked in with or asked around about some of the few remaining print outlets that are specifically for feminist voices, and guess what? A lot of them, maybe most of them, are not doing so well. They’re understaffed, underfinanced, running on fumes, trying to perform this immensely valuable service for as little as they possibly can, just so that they can keep doing it. Because they care; even if they could probably be making more money elsewhere for doing the same kind of work with the “feminism” taken out of it, they’re dedicated to doing the work that matters most to them, which is feminist media. Which doesn’t, not often or not really, allow them to take care of themselves or the people with whom they work.
I mean, feminists are all about equal pay for equal work. That’s kind of a cornerstone of the whole deal, yeah? And yet we’re living in a climate where, if a woman dedicates herself to doing feminist work in the media, there is a tacit agreement or understanding that she will not be able to do this to support herself. She will be making less money for doing this than she would be for doing something else. Like I said: feminists are not only being shut out of the media, a lot of the time, we’re being starved out of it.
I refuse to let that happen. I will be honest with you right now and say that I am not making enough money, probably not enough even to live, certainly not enough to keep this site going or to take the time to work on a book or to maintain, in any sense of the word, a writing career. And I’m well-published, and in relatively high demand, as these things go. I don’t even want to think about the sacrifices and compromises and other terrors women who are less well-off than I, career-wise, are making. If we care about our feminist media outlets, we need to give whatever we can to make sure that they remain viable. And right now, right now specifically for Tiger Beatdown, that includes money. Look, here’s the button again:
Of course, this isn’t going to be the only thing I do to take care of myself. For example: did you know that Tiger Beatdown is also looking for work right now? Tiger Beatdown is definitely looking for a job, at this very moment, as it happens! Tiger Beatdown will write articles for you, if you pay Tiger Beatdown. Tiger Beatdown will do your copy-editing, or your editing. Tiger Beatdown will answer your phones. Tiger Beatdown will clean your house for you! Tiger Beatdown will wash your car! Tiger Beatdown will do a lot of things, really. But, in order for there to be a Tiger Beatdown, Tiger Beatdown needs to get paid for them.
In summary: here is the button.
Thank you; I love you all; and good luck.