Donations and Salary: there’s a difference

In re: the recent criticism of our criticism of Melissa asking for money: The difference between what Melissa does and that person’s hypothetical request for ass wax money, is that Melissa repeatedly and explicitly states that what she is doing is a job,  that the readers are essentially her customers, and that she is OWED a salary, just as if she worked at a cash register or data entry or some other “real” job.  

I have no problem with a donation button, I have no problem with someone saying “if you enjoy what I do, kick me a few bucks if you can, ok?”  Maybe even “Hey, I put a lot of work into this site, so if you enjoy it, you guys really SHOULD donate, please?”

But Melissa explicitly states that what she’s doing is Feminist work, that she deserves recompense, and that to not pay her is putting her in a “pink collar” ghetto (by the way, explicitly linking herself to people like maids and waitresses who bust their asses on their feet eight and ten hours a day.) 

There is a difference between requesting funds, and demanding funds.  And when you demand a salary, you explicitly say that what you’re doing is worth the cash, and you open yourself to criticism on your performance.

Melissa isn’t saying we should donate because we enjoy her stuff- she’s demanding we donate, and if we don’t, we are acting in an unfeminist manner and not valuing HER properly. The former is sensible. The second is bullying and somewhat extortionist, not to mention grotesquely mercenary.  

As for the comments about her not sweating- there is a difference between saying “I tend to overheat easily” and “I have a disease that is causing me issues.” The first is a statement about your body. The second is appropriating other peoples real struggle. If she actually, literally, had the disease where she can’t sweat, she’d be unable to hug, or move, or do virtually anything, let alone run after her dogs outside for hours. 


A friend of mine works at the largest utility company in the state and I asked her about the 25% stat. Here’s what she says:

"I can’t believe it would jump 25%; that’s a huge increase. Stats can be manipulated to prove whatever you need them to—I would be more apt to swallow 10% or under. The engineer I talked to mentioned 2% as a more apt increase, if any—so maybe 2.5? Not 25."


dontbearuiner said: As a native New Yorker who's lived in Austin for the last three years, and who participated in the abortion bill protests to support Wendy Davis and her cohorts, I actually agreed with the post about Lewis Black. I appreciate the spirit in which the campaign was created, but I also love my adopted home and rather than tell it to go fuck itself, I'd rather be politically active and try to de-suckify the state. It hurt to agree with S'ville, though, yikes.

As someone from Ohio I express hatred for Ohio all the time.


Re: the stairs fiasco, it’s not surprising. One of the core behaviors of SV and her daughter sites seems to be beginning with what should at most be a mild annoyance (overenthused promotion of stair climbing with some idea that this will lead to improved public health),and ending up with something ridiculous (stairs are the devil’s work, and making stairs accessible is a form of oppression on par with forced psychiatric hospitalization).

There’s also a pattern of picking up on particular research and exalting it to an unquestionable status, hence the complete ideological commitment to the idea that no one can lose weight, ever, under any circumstances, and that any relationship between body mass and calories ingested/expended is absolutely false. (Effectively, they seem to be approaching the suggestion that people do not actually need to eat, since if eating fewer calories will never lead to weight loss in a significant way, eating no calories should be fine as long as you start off plump. This has potential for solving world hunger issues.) ((OK, I exaggerate, but only by about fifteen percent.)) (((I say this as a rather large woman myself.)))

On a broader scale (see what I did there?), Melissa and Co. seem to represent an approach I’ve started to call ‘The Feminists Who Don’t Do Anything’, in homage to VeggieTales. I started to notice after a while: they don’t DO things! They don’t TALK about doing things. Any suggestion that people organize themselves, or make change in the world, gets shot down as demanding that someone, probably Melissa, maybe the oppressed in general, do work that their oppressors are responsible for. The only people who ever actually have to do anything are ‘allies’, and being an ally is a largely passive role, as they understand it, since you might cross a line by taking any sort of active role, or doing anything except cheering and apologizing for your privilege and the uselessness of your cheering.

In this view, you’re not allowed to put any pressure on other feminists to DO anything. Even expressing a belief that women should keep their maiden names is potentially oppressive, because what about, what about, what about…

After a while, it starts to seem like an amazing defense of mediocrity. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, as long as it doesn’t challenge the group’s orthodoxy. No one need do anything, and if they do, it’s potentially triggering for someone else who couldn’t do that because of their own life circumstances. 

It makes me sad. Is this really what first-world feminism in the twenty-first century looks like?


Anonymous said: Been thinking about it, and Liss is definitely the master Ad Hominem arguer. She very very VERY rarely discusses what she disagreeing and will attack the tone, or the manner, or some particular part of the statement in regards to her delusions of "safe space" for SHAKESVILLE (She insists). Just throwing it out there, using TV Tropes page about that manner of LogicBomb.

Yep. Every time.



Whooooooops: countdown till Melissa posts  another Goodbye Cruel Intertubes! flounce, which will then a round of begging her not to go, and when people ask  if they should email Melissa to enquire if she’s ok, are rounded told off by the bullies known as The Mods who’s main job is to keep this a safe space for the blog owner only. And round two will consist of begging for donations, no amount is too small! even if it’s your last $5.00 in child support money!

  I’ve watched very kind and sincere people on here get fucking flamed for one or two wrong phrases. They then twist and grovel at your feet and the mods, and NOTHING they say is good enough. What about their safe space? The Internet may be their only support system in their lives and you treat them like this?!  How dare you, all of you the mods and you Melissa. ”

This was another comment I was going to leave and I was blocked already. Whoooppps!

Content note: stupidity, passive aggressiveness, bullies

Content note: stupidity, passive aggressiveness, bullies


Lewis Black Doesn’t Represent Shakesville (Thank Goodness)

Melissa heroically defends the ideal that social justice warriors don’t need a sense of humor, as she decries a hilarious “Back in Black” piece for being insufficiently sensitive to the plight of progressive activists who live in the states Black mocks.


Because if there’s one thing Lewis Black is known for, it’s sensitivity to “all the feels” of “Shakers.”


Conservatives and Elevators

What is interesting about the Bloomberg post is how well Melissa aligns herself with conservatives.  They both cannot find any good whatsoever in making stairs more accessible to those who would like to use them.  And both fail to see that there is nothing mandatory about this campaign.  No elevators will be destroyed; nobody will be forced to climb any stairs.

And then there’s this, from the linked article:

"As part of the effort, officials also announced the creation of the “Center for Active Design,” a non-profit organization that will be tasked with finding ways to design healthier buildings, promote public transit and create more inviting outdoor spaces for activity."


More inviting outdoor spaces???  Clearly these garbage-nightmare-eliminationist policies must be stopped at all cost!

STFUS Note: I noticed this as well. It’s mostly conservatives complaining about such supposed government interference and the “nanny” state.


Anonymous said: Re: Stairs Thread -- I also Googled the heck out of it but I couldn't find any information about cost increases connected to cooling/heating stairwells. I did see a commenter on another site repeat Melissa's 25% stat, also with no citation to back it up. Another commenter notes "enclosed buildings have stairwell doors to prevent fire from moving up to the next floor." I'm sure enclosed stairwells do help keep heating/cooling costs down, but that 25% stat sounds like bullshit to me.

I have no idea where it comes from, either.