i’m seriously seriously seriously so sick, so hurting, so DEAD.
but somebody just told me about the “discussion” happening around sustainability, online activism and feminism.
and i’m trying my best not to be a total bitch about the whole thing, but fuck it. i’mma gonna say it. i have a problem with “sustainability” being positioned as “making money” and “getting paid.”
do i have a problem with people getting paid? fuck no. and as other women of color have pointed out, that’s one of the biggest fuck overs performed by the 501c3 industry—they have money to pay for every damn thing but artists/writers. getting “link recoginition” as payment is about as shitty as getting “name recognition” as payment.
can’t eat either one of them.
but let’s be real. there are already fucking feminists making a mighty fine “sustainable” career right now. and the big question i’ve asked repeatedly and pretty much nobody but me myself and i and other women of color really want to answer the big question on the table—
*WHO ARE YOU ACCOUNTABLE TO WHEN YOU’RE GETTING PAID FOR YOUR ARTICLES??”
an editor who wants you to hit a deadline, is desperate to fill their updated hourly website and is more than happy to publish out there over the top sort of shit so the site can get more hits?
or the people whose stories you’re “giving voice to”?
are you accountable to your *career* or to *ending violence in all it’s manifestations*?
blogging for me was not a sustainable job. I needed a job, and once i found one, instead of fighting through the pain of the death of multiple people in my life, instead of figuring out how to negotiate online shittiness, instead of blogging—that all went on a back burner, and the quick not very deep not all that “revolutionary” posts of tumblr stepped up. and I post a few blog posts here and there when i have time to think more deeply.
blogging was not a sustainable job for me, much less a career. i get that it’s a super tough space, and next to impossible to get paid more than $250 (which is a *very* good pay out, most that I’ve worked for are about 25$-50$ a gig, with about 90% of potential jobs being screened out before even trying because they want to pay with a link to your site.).
I get it. but I refuse to believe that “sustainability” only encompasses *money*. is it sustainable to a *movement* for writers keep writing crap essays that don’t say shit? is it sustainable to communities to have writers who have no methods of accountability connected to the community writing about it and bringing the wrath of a frenzied internet down on it? Has anybody ever asked what happened to the Jena Six? And how when all the writers went home, the guns, helicopters, arrests, and 20 year prison sentences came flying out? Is it sustainable to write about people’s lives within a four month news cycle framework? Is it sustainable to keep writing as if every new campus rape that doesn’t get prosecuted is a brand new individual case of injustice? Is it sustainable to have male writers with histories of violence against women getting “careers” (that whole controversy thing is SO PROFITABLE) while the women who challenge them are considered threats that must be silenced? is it sustainable to keep insisting the audience writers must talk to are men and young women who don’t call themselves feminists?
none of these *paid writers* who *HAVE CAREERS* are digging any deeper than “why do feminists do so much free work?” and “how can we start getting paid?”
instead of “how do we fill the gap” of unfunded writers? the question should be how can we utilize the tools the internet has to offer to build a new model of *paid* accountable community driven writing that furthers the goals of X, Y and Z?
i’m SO sick of talking about easy solutions. i’m so sick of career feminism. i’m so so so so so sick of it all.
and yes, i already no, this is a lost cause. the drum beat is increasing its intensity, and i expect to see a proliferation of non-profit career writing soon.
but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t fucking depress the shit out of me. that there could’ve been another choice made—and AS USUAL, reform is rammed the fuck down people’s throats.
the truth herein is of a muchness.
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