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Join the Tiger Beatdown Pledge Drive!

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.

23 Comments

  1. tess wrote:

    Done, done, and done. I only wish I could donate more (tragically, I am also in the business of publishing words and you are right! it does not pay well!), because this blog has given me many more laughs/lolsobs than pretty much anywhere else on the intertubes. Thank you, Sady, for all that you do.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink
  2. (anonymous) wrote:

    Done! But I also want to buy T-shirts!

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  3. Crito wrote:

    Glad to. What’s your suggested donation range?

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink
  4. Sady wrote:

    @Crito: Well, thus far, the lowest has been $2 and the highest has been $50. I love both those people! And all the people! We don’t really have tote bags, and I get that a lot of people don’t have a ton to spare in this particular economic moment, so it is whatever works for you. The $20 range has been commonest, I guess, and that has been totally appreciated. Thank you for asking!

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  5. Occam wrote:

    My pleasure to donate to a site that is commonly my go-to gateway to friends who are feminist leaning but need some more kool aid!

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink
  6. Samantha b. wrote:

    I would absolutely give more if I hadn’t spent so much this month on clothes in a frenetic and, of course, totally failed attempt to comfort myself after my partner’s recent death. But that’s very much a mountainous “If.” In the future I will try to do better by the Empire. Damn you to a hellish place, vintage paperclip and origami necklace that coordinates divinely with a pinstriped Holly Harp suit.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  7. Maura wrote:

    Done.

    Unlike NPR’s Pledge Drives, yours is totally not annoying.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  8. Amanda Hess wrote:

    Let me know if you want us all to sit in a room and make some cold calls.

    I actually think if we sat in a room and made cold calls to people asking them to lend financial support to feminist theory, we could create a very successful blog out of simply recording people’s responses to this request.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Permalink
  9. William wrote:

    Bravo, Sady. I’m glad you changed your mind on this.

    Look at it this way: a lot of us would do the work if we could, but you happen be the one with mad talent. Getting those of us with less mojo and more cash kick in is just letting us participate as we can.

    But if you get tired of doing some of those many jobs, it never hurts to ask if people would rather participate that way. As Wikipedia shows, there are a lot of people out there who will do a bit of work in exchange for nothing more than the fun of it.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink
  10. Courtney wrote:

    You had me at “Look, here is the button!”

    Thanks for all you do.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Permalink
  11. smadin wrote:

    Done and done, though I’m sorry it’s not more at the moment. Would you perhaps consider setting up subscriptions, in e.g. $5/10/20/50-a-month denominations?

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Permalink
  12. Adrianna wrote:

    Done and done.
    Totes agree on the whole “feminist for free” BS that is roaming the internet. Pompous conservatives charge big money to speak at sham conferences, or to lambaste the public with their BS via radio, but those of the feminist bent have to just be thankful that people are reading?
    crock of bologna.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Permalink
  13. orestes wrote:

    there is some money set aside for you on payday, ms doyle. thankyou for being my introduction to feminism and for all the laughs.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink
  14. orestes wrote:

    @smadin; some sites do this to get access to cutting-room floor content like the webcomic achewood. they charge $3 a month for an archive of bits that didn’t make the site and things that wouldn’t be of interest to anyone who wasn’t really into the comic. it seems to work pretty well although i don’t know if there’s enough stuff lying around on sady’s hard drive to keep nerds like me entertained. is there, sady? what are you hiding from us? I DEMAND THE RIGHT TO PAY 3 BUCKS A MONTH TO KNOW.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
  15. Maggie wrote:

    There we go, a little bit from me. More on payday. A subscription would be awesome, though you don’t need to do anything else to get it from me.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 5:24 am | Permalink
  16. Samantha b. wrote:

    Smadin hits on something I’m curious about: how often will the fundraisers be held? Are we donating what we think is fair (or do-able) for a time period of a month, three months, or what length of time?

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 5:34 am | Permalink
  17. Sady wrote:

    @Samantha: At this point, I think I am going to hold a fundraiser every month. Hopefully, people who weren’t able to donate last month, or didn’t get around to it, will be able to do it next month. Obviously, I’m seeking out other methods of financial support right now, and when I have more of those, the fundraisers might become less frequent, but right now the monthly (and hopefully not obnoxious) fundraisers are what I have to do.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 7:35 am | Permalink
  18. Samantha b. wrote:

    OK. I would feel damn chintzy if my small donation turned out to be for a year.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink
  19. Elizabeth wrote:

    Shirts! Totes! We can make them happen.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 8:50 am | Permalink
  20. Sady wrote:

    @Samantha: And also – I can’t believe I haven’t said this already – I’m so sorry for what you are going through right now. You mentioned it before, and I didn’t respond. Please, PLEASE feel free to e-mail me if you need someone to talk to.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink
  21. Mai wrote:

    Donated a little. I also want to buy a shirt!

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink
  22. Brinstar wrote:

    It’s cool that you’re asking for donations, but I would caution against being convinced of the notion that the volume of donations you’re getting at the initial stages will be sustainable in the long run.

    Furthermore, if you’re going to treat Tiger Beatdown as your work, which I take no issue with, please treat this as a business and your readers as your customers, rather than treating them as a charity from which you collect donations. In other words, it would probably rub people the wrong way to regularly ask for donations. I could easily see that turn into a slipperly slope of guilt tripping readers by asserting that if they don’t donate to awesome feminist writers, they are against feminism. I would really, really dislike seeing a Tiger Beatdown commenter guilt-trip brute squad type situation, where your commenters turn into enforcers and bullies as they try to get people to donate.

    I would suggest moving to a microstransactions or a premium subscriber model. Have a few essays that readers can access only if they make a donation. And/or have certain content available only to reguarl subscribers (maybe a small fee, like $2.99/month). Thus you don’t alienate the bulk of your audience, you don’t turn your commenters against each other, while at the same time your most avid fans and readers have an avenue through which to contribute to your success.

    Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 1:20 am | Permalink
  23. Sady wrote:

    @Brinstar: I see where you are coming from? But the whole “you are making us feel guilty and then we will get mad” thing is kind of a tiresome critique, in my opinion. Everybody in every creative or media-related profession right now – music, photography, film, writing obvs – is dealing with the same problem, which is: people who can get their shit for free, legally or illegally, develop an attitude of entitlement which makes them feel like they shouldn’t have to pay for it, and unless people pay for what they make, they can’t continue to make it. Some industries are hit harder than others, of course. And I’m not saying I’ve never downloaded an album or movie (although if the artist is important to me, or independent, I tend to pay, because I get that they are hit harder by pirating than others), or that I wasn’t cranky about the forthcoming NY Times pay wall, but I think you don’t recognize what the problem actually looks like until you have started to create content and you’ve experienced the problem yourself. Nobody’s trying to make anyone feel “guilty” here. I’m just saying, in the barest-bones and most up-front way possible: yeah, unless I get paid for this, it can’t continue to be updated or maintained or expanded in the way that it has been previously. Therefore, if you like it, give what you can. I’ve been really touched and happy with the amount of value people have placed on this site, and the amount of support we’ve received. And I honestly do hope it wasn’t “guilt,” but an understanding that sometimes the best way we can support the things we care about is by deciding that they have a monetary value. Even if that’s just as much as you would pay for a new bag or four cups of iced coffee or ONE cup of iced coffee or a pack of cigarettes or Indian takeout: it has at least that much value to you, personally. You would lose at least that much if it went away. Which is why I went for voluntary donation amounts instead of demanding that everyone pay exactly the same for it whether they could afford it or not, to be perfectly honest.

    As to sustainability: yes, I definitely get that. And, as I’ve said here and elsewhere, other sources of income are being actively solicited. I don’t know why you would think that I am planning to rely exclusively on donation drives, given how frequently and overtly I’ve made that point.

    Monday, February 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink