It has been a roller coaster of events over the First AVFM Reunion in North Carolina. I have been tied up administering emergency psychiatric care to the legions of social just-us warriors who were deeply traumatized by the two minutes of female raucousness I posted to YouTube.
Luckily, they are all so impressionable I was able to herd them into the Astrodome and chant about playful puppies till they were able to pull back from the precipice of a psychotic break. Say what you want about groupthink and shared delusions, they come in handy.
Down to business now, the good part.
One thing that happened at the reunion was a brief ceremony honoring two AVFMers as MHRAs of the Year.
Yes, we had two of them. And it was a very hard field to narrow down. Remember, in attendance were people like Dean Esmay, Jonathan Taylor, Anil Kumar, Tom Golden and others who have dedicated to this cause in too many ways to count. Naming anyone, or two for that matter, came with a feeling of regret for not recognizing the others. My only salvation was that this is not the only time this is going to happen.
This year, for 2015, I have selected Sage Gerard and David Queen as AVFM’s MHRAs of the year.
Let’s start with Sage. Sage is a brilliant young woman (for a ginger), and possesses what I can only describe as a spine of titanium. Sage entered (with enthusiastic consent) AVFMs team as a writer, videographer and eventually a trusted technical assistant to David Queen.
From there she set about proving her metal. She started a conspicuously non-masculist women’s issues group at Kennesaw State University (Zen Women, formerly KSUM). In the process she stood alone against an entire interdisciplinary studies department where the faculty was colluding to destroy her reputation, to have her arrested, to paint her as a threat to campus men.
I cannot say for certain that she never blinked but if she did I never saw it.
She proceed, while under constant fire, to host a conference at the school. She enlisted a panel of speakers whom she knew would outrage the faculty and masculist elements in the student body and made it all happen despite overwhelming pressure to relent to the ideologues.
For effs sake, she took the stage by herself and launched a 25 minute rant toward his father (whom she dearly loves) after he cracked from the intensity of the program and well, lost it a little bit. She was the spontaneous, fearless, glorious daughter-of-a-bitch that we all wish we could be.
Since then, she has stabilized Zen Women as an entity, developed assets and is engaged with others who are forming chapters at other schools.
That is not all of the reasons Sage was a logical candidate to be honored. The fact is that if I tried to list everything Sage has done for AVFM and for the MHRM as a whole, I would not have time to honor the other recipient. Still, I must go on to say that while all this was going on, Sage Gerard was organizing drives as a part of Zen Women, to feed and clothe homeless people.
With that, I want to express my deepest thanks to Sage and acknowledge that we are all indebted to you. You walked right into the vipers nest and poked them with a stick like you owned the place and they were the unwelcome visitors. Most importantly, you have started something direly needed by the world we live in. Thank you for being the future of justice for young women in college.
♦ ♦ ♦
The other recipient was David Queen. David wears a couple of hats around here. She is, of course, our CIO in charge of technical operations. She is also our acting CFO. She is our business manager and as such she has taken AVFM from a sole proprietorship to two LLCs. Her meticulous (which if you look up in the dictionary you will find David’s picture) attention to detail, investigating everything from American tax codes to operational agreements, accountancy and banking catapulted us from no organization to highly and efficiently organized.
Oh, and when she wasn’t doing all that, or running the four servers we have in three countries, she spent weeks writing our accountancy software from scratch. Why? Because Quicken and other commercial options did not suit her.
As you might imagine, David’s sometimes pedantic and detail rich mentality drives us all crazy here and there. Oh, well, I did some estimates on the skills and work David has brought to AVFM. It rings in, conservatively, at a quarter of a million dollars’ worth of professional services.
David has never taken a single dime of AVFM revenue. No wait, we dipped in and bought her a vape to help her quit smoking about a year ago. Set us back about 90 bucks as I recall.
A more personal anecdote about David. Dean brought her to my attention quite some time ago. She contacted me kind of excited, said she had this gal who knew servers really well. I was like, servers? Uh, f*** no. No freaking way.
Dean continued to work on me for a while and I eventually dropped the use of the f bomb when saying no, and just said no way. Finally they wore me down and I handed over the keys so she could take a peek under the hood.
Obviously, since then I have come to know David a good bit better. We talk frequently, sometimes bump heads and even sometimes bump heads pretty hard.
Having had that experience I can say this. In every interaction I have had with David Queen I have never seen a hint of an unprincipled or dishonest woman. She is a literal fountain of consistency when it comes to ethics and fair dealing. So help me, if I had million dollars (which I clearly don’t) I would leave it with David, take a vacation and pick the money back up without counting it. She’s that honest, and I am proud to call her my friend.
Finally, David deserves to be honored. My job is hard, crappy sometimes, but at least I am surrounded by people who know what I do and who pull for me; who inquire about my wellbeing; who order me to bed when they know I am not sleeping. David Queen slaves under a merciless taskmaster (her own commitment to this cause) and there is but a small handful of people who even have a clue of what she does. It is not an overstatement to say that what she has done for AVFM and for the MHRM is heroic.
Please join me in thanking Sage and David their work. It is so far above and beyond the call of duty that it casts a shadow on thousands of good women.