A wise woman once said, “Never respond to your critics.” Apparently wiser than me because it seems that I have spent so much time responding to critics that it has contributed to a lot of burnout which my activism (not to mention my ass) can ill afford.
Another wise woman once said, “The lazy and inept are sadly burdened with a million unfulfilled ambitions.” OK, dammit, that was me but you got to admit it ain’t half bad.
Today, I have officially resigned from responding to peanut gallery activists (PGAs) who want to inform my leadership, tell me how AVFM “ought” to be run and especially those with an unending stream of things that others should be doing because they will not invest their effort, time, money or reputation in furthering their own ideas.
I have just finished about 36 hours of ignoring each and every PGA commenter I have encountered and for the first time in a week I copped a solid night’s sleep.
This is not a coincidence. I occasionally learn from history so I intend to follow through with that on what I will call a lifestyle basis. I will no longer answer critics or field questions from the Peanut Gallery. In fact, other than to support my peers I will be pretty much disappearing from responsive comments across the internet.
What I will do, in the very near future is establish a suggestion box open to AVFM subscribers. Those submitting those forms will get direct, personal answers.
If I see a non-subscribing PGA point worth considering or one I have not already answered a hundred time before, I will write an article or bulletin on it for the site.
That change will leave a bit of a gap (namely owed to the fact that there is at least .008 percent of PGA comments stumble accidently into articulating sound ideas, there is a need for someone to actually speak with them. There is also a need for someone to correct some of the crapola that PGAs are so prone to spew, so that no one sees their train wreck level of PGA conjecture go unanswered.
With this in mind, I have asked Suzanne McCarley to act as spokesperson for the AVfM Education, LLC CEO office. He has accepted. What this means is that when PGAs come to the comments with their brilliant ideas du jour on how we can “really” serve the women’s movement, Suz will be my eyes, ears, mouth and fingers.
Let me give you an example of why I trust him with this position (setting aside the fact that he has been a dogged, hard-working AVFM volunteer for years). The following PGA diatribe comes from a recent bulletin regarding one of our bombastic departures from AVFM.
M.G. How • 8 hours ago
I’m looking at Paul’s response article (the other one, not this one) along with Attila’s post. I’m not going to comment on the articles but instead I’m going to make a few suggestions.
- A person doesn’t pull this kind of stunt without vitriolic provocation, which I’m very inclined to think came from AVFM’s end (Paul’s article’s records are less recent than Attila’s). Paul, Attila’s suggestion of letting someone else be the CEO/lead is good advice, regardless of the situation. Stop using an LLC. Fully incorporate AVFM. Set up shares. Make yourself a majority shareholder. Have writers on a contract basis. Let other people be ‘CEO’ to prevent burnout. You’ve clearly been suffering from burnout for the last year or so.
If you want to avoid taxation for the activism activities, set-up a separate non-profit for the activists. That way their blunders aren’t yours. Get the non-profit a charity number for tax exemptions. Do business through the non-profit to get services at lower-than-usual prices. Have the non-profit hire the incorporation for social-media outreach of events and consultations. Thus a much cleaner divide of liability, responsibility, and ownership.
- AVFM should not try to set-up conferences or symposiums on their own. Instead look at supporting organizations for help, and try to associate with a conference under someone else’s direction. New Female Studies comes to mind. Get someone from the academic circles to direct the conference. The conferences might end up being located in Australia and New Zealand instead of the States or Canada, but the operating budget will be lower. Another option would be giving Mother’s-Rights / Shared-Parenting organizations a conference to give workshops (maybe get their lawyers to set-up the incorporation in return for ownership / shares and a medium to have advert-articles to raise awareness through).
Or even just set-up workshops in Education / Teachers conferences.
- AVFM should stop pursuing Attila on social media (which I see this article is sort of saying). Your pursuit is only going to affect Attila’s future job prospects, potentially affect her child custody agreement (likely why she’s so provoked), and open AVFM to legal and reputation complications. Settle the issue in court. If it’s indeed a private issue not including AVFM, then let the individuals settle it in court. As far as I can tell, all of these claims are bullocks until someone sends a letter from their lawyer.
- Please get a CRO or Risk Manager for AVFM. You gals need one to keep yourselves honest with one another, and also to deal with safety concerns at MHRM events.
Personally, had I responded to this, it would have been after reading half of it, rolling my eyes and inviting M.G. How to have very rough sex with herself. I had planned to ignore it.
To my (not so big) surprise, Suz responded to her in much better fashion than I would have. Take a look at Suz’s calm, deliberateness and knowledge of both me and AVFM in his response.
driversuz Mod M.G. How • 8 hours ago
We have been researching the options for years now, and the LLC gives us the most flexibility, control and freedom.
While nothing is set in stone, that’s probably the general direction we are heading.
We did not pursue Ms. V; it was absolutely necessary for us to respond to her pursuit of us. Her own actions are what will affect her future; that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
AVfM’s management team is a CRO. You have no idea what goes in to the decisions Paul makes. If you knew you’d be impressed, and likely dumbfounded. With her team-building skills and management instincts, if Paul’s life ambition was to be wealthy, she’d be among the richest women on this planet. Surely you don’t think AVfM has survived this long, under tremendous pressure from all sides, by happenstance?
Are you volunteering your money, time and expertise? If you’re any good we can use your assistance. Or you could just start your own organization and implement your ideas there.
So it boils down to some simple math. I have an organization to run. I have a huge anti-circumcision project to launch. I am also writing a novel. With an asset like Suz McCarley willing to take over these kinds of inquiries I will get a lot more done in other areas feeling absolute confidence in his abilities to speak for me in these situations. I look forward to the time that I can forget about comments everywhere.
All this being said, mind you, AVFM staff are not PGAs. They will maintain in direct contact with me through the standard internal channels already established. The same for others from outside agencies and the press. Suz’s new position as AVFM’s Executive Liaison means that he will monitor comments across the internet and answer in my stead, freeing me up for other work. He will be able to link back to this bulletin as needed to help people understand.
Oh, and the “Suz didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear so I am writing you emails will be answered only with a link to this bulletin, followed by hitting the trash button in my email options. There will be no splitting.
For anyone having ill feelings about this, I remind you that some time ago that AVFM management was determined to make the site more user friendly for known activists and supporters, less friendly (read hostile) to PGAs and their whiney cousins.
True AVFM supporters we all in favor of that and I anticipate they will feel this same about this move, too.
Thanks for reading and supporting. If there are any questions, Suz will answer them.