What the everloving fuck is this, Rachel?
“There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that people aren’t aware of. One of the many reasons I left was because I felt there was a level of dishonesty there that I wasn’t comfortable with.”
What were you uncomfortable with, again? The nearly all expenses paid trip to ICMI? The nearly all expenses paid trip to CalEx? The nearly all expenses paid trip to GGinBC?
Were you uncomfortable with that? Because, you know, you didn’t seem very uncomfortable with that.
“Mainly because it’s been Alison’s intention, (for longer than I was aware) to make HBR a for-profit corporation, while running it like a non-profit organization with lots and lots of unpaid labor.”
HBR is Alison. It’s been her baby from the beginning.
She has worked 60+ hour weeks for more than a year trying to build it into an enterprise where people can be remunerated for their time and effort.
She is the first person who deserves a living wage, given the amount of time she puts in, and especially given the liability she has taken on.
Do you realize that if she didn’t incorporate, every penny HBR receives would be taxable, and Alison would be held ultimately responsible for that?
So let’s say HBR takes in $50,000 a year, and she distributes that evenly among you, me, Mike, Brian, Hannah and the others. Alison is the one who gets stuck paying income tax on the full $50,000, Rachel. That’s the burden she bears if she doesn’t incorporate. She’d have to pay personal income tax on every penny coming in.
And don’t give me any of that “running it like a non-profit” shit. The SPLC is a nonprofit, with a net worth of hundreds of millions of dollars, and which pays its directors hundreds of thousands a year, all while operating on the backs of well-meaning volunteers who work for nothing. They can get away with that *because* they are a non-profit.
Maybe you just don’t know what things are like in the real world, where you have to earn what you eat, Rachel. Not all of us are able to reach the age of 30 without ever having held down a job for more than a couple of months. But Alison couldn’t run HBR if she wasn’t taking a wage from it, because she doesn’t have her mom there able and willing to put a roof over her head. I couldn’t do what I do without accepting money for it because otherwise I’d be back working 52 hours a week waiting tables.
But I don’t know if you even understand what it’s like to have to support yourself, because you never have. You have never had only your own effort and ability standing between you and a cardboard box, no less you and your fucking kids and a cardboard box.
“For the past two years it’s survived on the backs of what amounts to unpaid part-time and full time workers. Artists, editors, web designers, writers, animators, etc.”
None of whom were retained on the basis of being offered a wage. All of whom volunteered their time and effort because they wanted to. None of whom were tricked into thinking they were going to be paid for their contribution when they were not. Some of whom, like Hannah, have refused to even discuss accepting pay for their work.
And none of whom will ever end up getting paid for their work if HBR doesn’t actively seek financial support from listeners and fans, or if you manage to scare people away from contributing funds with vague assertions of dishonesty and financial malfeasance.
“I’m not even talking about a few hours here and there. It’s criminal the way that she’s run things all the while alluding to the idea that this works like a charity or non-profit.”
It’s not criminal, Rachel. Though your blog post might be considered libellous.
She has never told anyone we are a nonprofit organization (and fuck sake, Feminist Frequency is a nonprofit. Do you really think Anita isn’t profiting from it?). Alison has NEVER suggested that we’re a charity. We’re a business. A business that is finally on its way to being able to actually compensate contributors for their time and effort. You know, if we’re not constantly forced to field accusations of Alison being a money-grubbing whore.
“This isn’t even the half of it. When I asked her about what she intended to do about all the unpaid labor, she shrugged it off and said she didn’t feel like it’d be a problem and that working out the international payroll would be far too troublesome.”
Do you have ANY idea what it’s like dealing with tax treaties and international payroll, Rachel? Do you? No, you don’t. I doubt you, as someone who’s held down a job for a few months of your entire adult life, have ever had to file a fucking tax return, let alone one that involved income from, or expenses to, foreign countries.
Let me let you in on something. Since I began doing business with an American publisher, I have had to pay an accountant $500 a year to do my tax returns. JUST to deal with the cross-border bullshit. And I have to pay her that AFTER I have spent up to 20 hours each tax season organizing, tallying and documenting receipts, expenses, pay stubs, bank statements and the rest. If I just handed my accountant a crate full of papers, she’d charge me an extra $500 just to sort it all out.
So you are literally asking Alison to pay contributors out of gross income she is personally, solely responsible to pay taxes on as an individual in a high tax bracket, and then she needs to pay an accountant out of what is left over after those taxes to keep her on the right side of the law. Oh, and none of the time she has to put into keeping track and documenting every fucking penny coming in or going out counts as work that should be remunerated.
Are you even living in the world of grown-ups, Rachel?
“The end goal is not to help men,”
Don’t you fucking dare impute motivations or intentions on any of us.
“but for Alison to create a business so that she can fund her personal projects of creating installation art, her comic book, and creating sensation materials for autistic kids.”
Alison sacrificed her comic book on the altar of the MRM and GamerGate. What a disgusting accusation. As for creating sensation materials for autistic kids, even if that was one of Alison’s goals, autism spectrum disorders disproportionately affect boys. If Alison wants to use some of the less than minimum wage she collects through HBR on installation art or a project to help autistic kids, who are you to tell her what to do with her earned income, Rachel?
If I choose to use the funds from my channel to buy groceries or pay my rent, am I misappropriating funds? What if I use some of it to see a movie in a theater? Buy cigarettes?
How did your paid trip to GGinBC help men, Rachel? Your paid trip to CalEx? Just wondering.
HBR is about producing content that people feel has value. It takes a LOT of time, energy and organization to do that, the vast majority of which, and the least fulfilling of which (stuffing envelopes, taking meeting minutes, coordinating shows), is put in by Alison.
As senior board members, Hannah and I have BOTH enthusiastically encouraged Alison to take a wage for this work, because neither of us have the time or patience to do it, *even if* we were being paid to.
“When I confronted her about this ethical breach I was treated like I was being unfair to her.”
Because there is no ethical breach, Rachel. Learn how the real world works, please.
I stumbled into the admin chat when you and Alison were having it out, and my first response to what I was reading was to nuke you from orbit. Alison has, over and over, been the one to talk me out of it. Then you posted this blog post, and after doing so have managed to get yourself invited into a group chat where you have access to our patrons. Some have been asking questions that dovetail too nicely with this post for comfort.
Why are you trying to sabotage HBR, Rachel? With lies, no less?
“When I realized that it was her intention to go corporate, and how badly she managed it all, I knew I had to jump ship.”
And if only that flounce had stuck. But now you’ve insinuated your way back into our group skype chats because you “miss” some of us. The moment you were allowed in, I recommended you be booted. Yes, you heard me. If you want me to send you the email I’d written when I saw that admin chat that I never sent because you quit before I had the chance, I will. I don’t think you’ll like it.
“I knew that if I spoke up about it I’d get painted as a villain like Diana Davidson.”
Diana Davison. Not Davidson. And she’s not a villain. She just is. But for all her supposed villainy, she never tried to take a wrecking ball to HBR from the inside, the way you’re doing now. Think about that.
“It’s why I’ve kept quiet about it for as long as I have. I feel a lot of shame for unknowingly being a part of what amounts to exploitation.”
Exploitation of whom? In what way? In the thousands of patron dollars that sent you to ICMI or CalEx or GGinBC? Exploitation of people who enjoy our content and willingly contribute time, talent and money to it?
You profited from that, Rachel. YOU profited from other people’s willingness to contribute. And that’s what makes this fucked up, libellous diatribe so disgusting.
You’re an unemployed woman living in your abusive mother’s house on her dime because the alternative—earning a living and being independent—is just more difficult.
And you have the fucking gall to bitch Alison out for turning HBR, through her leadership, into a going concern. Into an enterprise that might, at some point, NOT have to rely on the unpaid labor of willing volunteers, all while moaning about how our volunteers aren’t getting paid.
Tell me, Rachel, is there any way whatsoever we could do things that you’d approve of? Because, you know, I’m not seeing it. We take in money, build the platform, increase revenue, and we’re selling out. We don’t take in money and everyone’s, necessarily, an exploited volunteer. And somehow, none of this bothered you when you got to travel to BC and Detroit at someone else’s expense.