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Jan 06 2013

No, You May Not Have Shoes (Update)

There’s a weird little tendency that many of us have, when we have given money (directly, through charity, or as a tax) to someone, to think we have some right to dictate how that money is spent. It once belonged to us, so it still has some homeopathic memory of our will or something. Or maybe it’s just that belief we have that anyone who doesn’t have more money than they need is in that position because they’ve bundled life in general and their finances in particular.

It’s an appalling little habit of thought, but this sort of thing happens over and over. The latest target? Greta Christina, who needed a new pair of shoes that she could wear all day while working.

For months — years, actually — I’ve been on a quest for shoes that are both dressy and comfortable. I had high standards in both departments: I needed the shoes to be dressy enough to look good with dresses and skirts in a professional setting… and I needed them to be comfortable enough to walk in for miles, comfortable enough that I could be on my feet all day in them. And this being me, I was picky about how they looked. I wanted them to be comfortable — but I didn’t want them to look frumpy or boring. I wanted them to be stylish and expressive and interesting.

[...]

On a day-to-day basis, my usual answer to this conundrum has been boots. About which I have already waxed poetic. But boots have a certain sporty, rakish vibe, and in many situations they’re just not right. They’re not dressy enough for many professional settings; they’re often not dressy enough for evening. And they’re definitely not okay when it’s stinking hot.

She found a pair that is as unusual as she is, and that’s when the condemnation started. You see, these are moderately expensive shoes. You could easily pay more for a pair of Marc Jacobs shoes, and these wouldn’t cover half the cost of Blahnik’s or Choo’s, but they are designer shoes. They’re the sort you wear for years and have repaired–investments–rather than the disposable shoes most of us convince ourselves to live with until they collapse and need to be replaced. They’re the shoe equivalent of a good suit.

Apparently that’s a problem.

Now all you need to do is tell everyone you have Galactorrhea, grift for donations and buy yourself a nice LV purse.

You see, Greta was so uncouth as to get uterine cancer and ask the readers for whom she has been writing for free for years whether they would be willing to help her take care of her concerns while she couldn’t practice her business. Then she had the unmitigated gall to spend some of that money on professional attire.

So this all means she’s a lady-bits con artist who throws away gobs of money at the hint of a label. Obviously.

Bob, our friendly commenter, would never, ever, ever spend money on shoes. But if his employer insisted he couldn’t go barefoot and forced him to do something so hedonistic, he would clearly take the moral route and blow through five pairs of the things in the time it took Greta to wear this pair to bits.

Sarcasm aside, this is that same stupid authoritarianism at work, at least in part. When you add the dash of misogyny (of course it’s more shameful if your illness is a woman problem and of course it’s more frivolous if you’re buying a purse or shoes–if they’re women’s shoes), though, it’s even worse. If Bob donated any of the money that Greta spends on these shoes, I’ll eat my hat.

Don’t worry. My mother-in-law knitted it for me. I won’t be wasting anyone’s money. Just her labor of love.

Yes, there are a bunch of people who think they get to moralize over how Greta spends money they didn’t even contribute.

Only months after rattling her cancer beggars cup,@ goes shoe shopping http://t.co/cROPjI0E http://t.co/L6WIT35E #atheismplus
@felch_grogan
felch grogan

If you’ve ever had cancer, don’t forget to dress in rags, boys and girls. That includes on the feet.

Remember, e-beg for money when there's a cancer scare then go out and buy some really expensive shoes when you get the ok!
@reneehendricks
Renee Hendricks
@ Oh, yes she did - check out her blog post recently.
@reneehendricks
Renee Hendricks

Greta, of course, didn’t actually have cancer and have to have a major organ removed. No, no, no. It was just a “scare”. And buying shoes that constitute an investment in a professional wardrobe is a scandal to leave people speechless.

Even if you think you have some claim on how someone spends their money, the only reason to consider a purchase like this to be frivolous is because it is a woman buying feminine shoes. We don’t get this stupid over safety equipment. We don’t get this silly over uniforms. We certainly don’t get this ridiculous over a good pair of men’s leather shoes that will last several years. Those are expenses.

We only do this over women’s professional clothing. That becomes fashion.

Sadly, it doesn’t get any cheaper when that happens, which is why organizations like Dress for Success exist. Good-quality clothes and shoes are a requirement for professional women to achieve professional jobs, but they are expensive. If a woman doesn’t currently have the income that comes with the job they’re working toward, someone, somewhere has to donate to make those clothes available.

It’s a credit to Greta’s fans that none of them are indulging in this kind of behavior. It’s a demonstration of the sad state of affairs that anyone else is.

Update: I seriously doubt that anyone will take her up on this, but Greta is offering refunds to anyone who donated who wants their money back.

63 comments

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  1. 1
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Wow, the levels they sink to.
    I don’t mean Greta.
    In fact, it didn’t even occur to me to look up the price of the shoes or to make a connection with the money I actually did chip in (no, not bragging or fishing for a cookie, just stating my thoughts or better said lack of them). Money I donate is money given and it’s not mine anymore and I don’t fucking care if it goes into a mortage or a king-size latte macchiato with 3 different flavour shots. It’s not my fucking business or money.

    Oh, and for you assholes:
    When my mum in law got breast cancer we gave her 500 bucks to frivolously spend on a really nice wig. Such a vain thing as she could have gotten the run-over racoon imitation paid for by health insurance.
    It’s not ike the fact that she could participate in normal life was good for her mental health and therefore contributed to her overall health. Just female vanity…
    Assholes

  2. 2
    Argle Bargle

    I remember that several people made donations to Greta and told her to either spend something on herself or have some fun with some of the money. So she did.

    There’s a weird little tendency that many of us have, when we have given money (directly, through charity, or as a tax) to someone, to think we have some right to dictate how that money is spent.

    Somehow I doubt the people complaining about Greta’s new shoes actually donated anything to her. So they’re not complaining about “misuse” of “their” money but rather about money others donated.

  3. 3
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Those people would be piling on no matter what the issue might be.

  4. 4
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I remember that several people made donations to Greta and told her to either spend something on herself or have some fun with some of the money. So she did.

    I think that was the agreed sentiment when she said “look, it’s more than I need, should I donate it?”

  5. 5
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Come on, you’ve got it all wrong. They’re not saying it because it is shoes, they’re saying it because it is a FtB blogger, and therefore EVERYTHING she does is wrong. If she’d died of cancer, you know they’d all be on Twitter saying “one down, many to go” or some such. They are some of the worst people on fucking Earth, but let’s not give them the credit of pretending there’s anything complex behind their lashing out. They are just horrible people who want to hurt other people any way they can.

  6. 6
    Stephanie Zvan

    Joe, they’re saying something because Greta is who she is. They’re saying what they’re saying because there are people who will take it seriously. Both matter.

  7. 7
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    This sort of Twitter harassment by Hoggle, Hendricks, and Becs marks a new low in Slymepitter hypocrisy, given that it is highly doubtful that they contributed anything to Greta’s fund: they are complaining about the spending of donated money that wasn’t even their money in the first place. (Oh, and what Giliell pointed out at comment 4.)

  8. 8
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    If I never hear anything from Renee Hendricks and the slimepit people that are part of her extended family, I would be so happy. These people know nothing of empathy and disgust me.
    A cancer *scare*???

  9. 9
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Stephanie, I just can’t agree with you. I think they are saying what they are saying because ANYTHING Greta does will be seen as negative and ANYTHING they say will be taken seriously by their fellow haters. If Greta had blogged about eating chicken wings, the haters would have said “WHITE MEAT! Look how well she’s eating on someone else’s dime! Nothing but unseasoned beans and rice for her, if she’s so poor that she had to ask for help!”

    … and frankly, if she’s posted about eating beans and rice, they’d probably have shouted at her for playing at being a martyr. I think you’re fooling yourself a little by ascribing deeper meaning to their attacks, maybe pretending that deep-down they feel like there are reasons for the attacks rather than the attacks being their own reason.

  10. 10
    Stephanie Zvan

    Joe, I’m not saying they would have refrained from making shit up. I do see plenty of that aimed my way, you know. I’m saying that, in this case, they pointed to what Greta did and thought that was enough. The reason they think they can do that is worth looking at and thinking about. I, for one, would also like to be able to buy professional clothing without someone deciding that because I’m a woman, that makes me frivolous.

  11. 11
    DuWayne

    Fuck these asshats, disgusting excuses for human beings! I try to pay as little attention as possible to what these bastards get up to, because they are just hateful. But they are just bent on hurting people they disagree with, to the best of their abilities. And they are bent on hurting anyone else they see fit to hurt. Have any kind of online presence, express any kind of vulnerability? They will happily show you and anyone else paying attention, that the internets are absolutely *not* for the faint of heart. Why? Because they fucking can.

  12. 12
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Stephanie… nah, I can agree to disagree. Which is sort of the point, isn’t it? :)

  13. 13
    Tom Foss

    “Major organ,” Stephanie? Surely not. Why, I’ve lived without a uterus my whole life, and I’m doing just fine. If she hadn’t been so frivolous as to be born with the luxury of extra, unnecessary organs, she never would have gotten this cancer in the first place. At worst, she would have contracted cancer in something useful, like a testicle or prostate, and then she would have really had to sacrifice.

    (Sarcasm, of course).

    There is so much wrong with the sentiment that I scarcely know where to begin. Like, there’s the classism of it–only people who wear rags and scrape bread crumbs off the dirt floors of their hovels are allowed to ask others for money (and we still probably wouldn’t donate), and the larger social problems that require people to dress in comparatively expensive clothes in order to get even basic employment, or that affordable clothes often tend to be more expensive in the long run due to lack of long-term durability (leading to more frequent replacement). There’s the obvious sexism underlying it all–shoe shopping being the penultimate extreme in feminine excess, surpassed only by purse shopping–not to mention the dual problems of women’s shoes typically being made for comfort or fashion, rarely both, and a society that places heavier judgment on women’s appearance than men’s. There’s the utter inanity of it all: let’s say that Greta spent every penny that was donated to her on medical expenses; the whole point of doing that would be so that she could spend the rest of her money–money that otherwise would have gone to hospital bills–on other things. My wife and I received a bunch of gift cards for the holidays, and we’ve mostly used them to buy groceries and other necessities, so that we could spend our normal income on other things. That’s what donations are for.

    Not that, of course, Greta’s under any obligation to anyone to spend her money in any particular way. But it’s not like women are their own people capable of making their own choices or anything. The silly things need some direction from their betters, or they’d fritter away all their (husbands’) time and hard-earned money on frivolities. (Sarcasm again)

  14. 14
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    … although I will say that this is YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE of boundary violation and entitlement that defines the pitter-type.

  15. 15
    susans

    I sent her money. And now URLs for good looking comfy stylish shoes. Made in first world countries where workers are more likely to get paid at least somewhat fairly. Maybe she’ll spend my donation supporting those workers. Works for me.

  16. 16
    latsot

    I’m delighted Greta bought something she wanted. Even if she didn’t need the shoes for work I’d support and encourage her splashing out. She deserves something nice. If the shoes have given her some pleasure then it was money well spent and I cannot fathom the minds of people who would prefer she didn’t have that minor pleasure.

    Even if they weren’t work shoes, even if they *were* an apparently frivolous purchase, I’d still say it was well-spent money.

    These people shouldn’t conveniently ‘forget’ that Greta received more in donations than she needed and gave the excess to charity. And they should remember that even in her grief and illness and pain, she’s been thinking about other people, blogging about things that matter to other people and showing enormous sympathy to people who aren’t her. I don’t begrudge her a pair of moderately expensive shoes.

  17. 17
    latsot

    Tom,

    Nicely put, I am experiencing some comment envy.

  18. 18
    julian

    This is such bullshit.

    And Hendricks is supposed to have been in the army. I dunno how soldiers do it, but we Marines spend a fucking fortune and a half on clothes. Constantly getting our uniforms pressed, tailored and altered. Buying new pieces (like shoes when they get scuffed), new ribbons, new medals, a new EGA for every cover, a new belt for the blues coat whenever the Ball comes around (and don’t forget everything you have to buy for your date/spouse on top of the hotel room)-

    Why am I even going into that? This is not something Greta owes anyone an apology for. I’ve given money to people directly before and so long as they spent it in a way that made their lives easier, I’m happy. I’m not quiet a shitty as person as Hendricks or Becs.

  19. 19
    mouse

    Wow, Renee Hendricks is really the scum of the earth. In a sense we all are scum literally sticking on the earth as Hitchens or someone once said, but Renee Hendricks is figuratively the scummiest scum of the earth.

  20. 20
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    julian,

    Somewhat off topic, but I was stationed on an Army base twice. The Army gets free uniforms, and their gear replaced for free if they lose any of it. No worry about buying new stuff.

    And yeah, Renee Hendricks is just a shitty person.

  21. 21
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    As I’ve said many times since these scumbags started up their campaign, it’s funny how the slymepitters/skepticinkers and their ilk will retort with ‘But the FTB/Skepchick/A+ people are guilty of bullying and harassment’ – and yet there’s not a single example of anything as vile and reprehensible as this kind of attempted shaming.

  22. 22
    mouse

    I donate an extremely modest amount to Greta monthly, but it adds up to a significant chunk of what turns out to be the price of these shoes. (I only looked after seeing this post.) When I saw the headline of her fashion post about shoes I thought “probably leather, gross, no thanks.” I didn’t think “what is that woman doing with MY money??” Same as when I buy something from a store, I don’t go criticizing the CEO of the relevant company for spending his salary on whatever stuff he or she wants.

  23. 23
    oolon

    Not totally surprising as Joe points out any avenue for attack is fine. They were also primed by their master ERV…. Her faux concern for me being ‘fleeced’ as part of the same community as them makes me retch, and they wonder why people want to differentiate through things like A+.

    As far as I know only Phil Giordiana and John Welch were talking about donating money to Greta, so it really is none of Renee’s/Felch the Fools business anyway.

  24. 24
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Though I neglected to mention that, in their eyes, Greta is guilty of the heinous crime of daring to go outside the acceptable role of an atheist blogger, which is to provide atheists with the means to make themselves feel smarter/better than those dumb ol’ religionists; that’s she also insists on pointing out that there are problems in the atheist community that should be looked at appears to be another no-no.

    Presumably that – to them – is a justification for what they’re doing.

  25. 25
    johnliesch

    Terry Pratchett saw the price of boots as a great example of socio-economic unfairness:

    http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/72745-the-reason-that-the-rich-were-so-rich-vimes-reasoned

  26. 26
    Anthony K

    So the Slymepitters are basically Republicans who believe in evolution.

  27. 27
    didgen

    Thank you for mentioning dress for success, one of my favorite charities. I actually donated to Greta and I hope she loves her shoes. Leaving to go look for details.

  28. 28
    Jafafa Hots

    Even if it DID matter what she spent her money on, having a decent pair of shoes can have a huge impact on your health, especially if you have something you’re recovering from.

  29. 29
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    So the Slymepitters are basically Republicans who believe in evolution.… yeah. Pretty much. See my comments on the Pharyngula thread on Italian atheists and “progressive” causes. It is all very regressive, and like all regressives the ‘pitters live in a constant haze of projection of their flaws onto others, “bad for you, good for me” attitudes, a rejection of basic human decency in favor of “being right,” and the previously mentioned violations of boundaries and sense of entitlement.

    At this point, most people would recomment The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer. It is good, and twice as good because it is free. I’m going to recommend a different book, ‘The Bush Dyslexicon’ by Mark Crispin Miller. It is political, but a good read on the subject and also applicable to “liberals” excusing the excesses of the Obama administration.

  30. 30
    Steve Caldwell

    Given the response that the shoes caused, I’m glad that Greta didn’t follow my suggestion and spend any extra contributions on artisan slim-jims and cardamom-flavored pork rinds.

  31. 31
    latsot

    Yeah thanks for that, Steve, I’m hungry now.

  32. 32
    Randomfactor

    So the Slymepitters are basically Republicans who believe in evolution.

    But oppose it.

  33. 33
    Tom Foss

    Ugh, it’s like the people (Republicans) who complain that people on welfare or receiving emergency aid aren’t actually poor/deserving because they own TVs or cell phones. Their idea of “luxury” is stuck firmly in 1955, and ignores the basic idea that spending more on a quality item often means spending less on replacements. But I repeat myself (and everyone else) at this point.

  34. 34
    ReneeHendricks

    Gonna say bullshit on this. My guy, knowing what we may be faced with, has put off buying boots. Both us have. His for work, me for work/personal reasons. So, my asking what is the money going toward is “horrible*? We’d ask the same of many charities, organizations, and most of all – televangelists. But not our “own”? Very hypocritical.

  35. 35
    Stephanie Zvan

    Oh, bullshit yourself, Renee. You haven’t responded to anything in the post, if you even read it. Run off and find someone else to sneer at. Maybe someone who hasn’t just had cancer.

  36. 36
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Fuck you, Hendricks. You’re a lying shit-weasel. You didn’t “ask”, you made nasty insinuations. Crawl back in your hole, and come back when you’ve grown some basic human decency.

  37. 37
    Tom Foss

    Charity. Organization. Greta Christina.

    I think this calls for a rousing game of “one of these things is not like the other.”

    “Televangelist” is the closest, but still misses a couple of key differences:
    *A televangelist provides nothing of actual value. Greta Christina has been providing thoughtful writing to a large audience for free for years.
    *A televangelist will pass the hat every week, regardless of any circumstances. Greta Christina did so once, under extenuating circumstances, and closed donations when the costs were met.

    One similarity? When a televangelist (or pastor, or other member of a church community) falls ill, their church will often collect money to help pay for hospital bills. We’re atheists; we don’t belong to a church, but there is still an online atheist community that can (and did, and does) rally around those who fall ill (or are kicked out of their houses or ostracized by their communities–or who have their churches vandalized by apparent atheists) to help pay for hospital bills. Maybe the people in those church communities would also act like snide jackasses, sneering at the afflicted if they have the audacity to use money (donated or otherwise) to purchase something not directly related to immediate survival within a six-month window after receiving those donations, but then, that’s part of why I wouldn’t want to be part of many churches.

    But it sounds like you’d fit right in.

  38. 38
    doubtthat

    I think my favorite part is the notion that the cots of a pair of shoes — even nice, expensive ones — is a relevant calculation when dealing with cancer surgery.

    Hmm, maybe if I don’t buy these 2, 3, $400 shoes, I’ll be able to afford this $100,000 round of chemotherapy and surgery.

    I’m not aware of Greta’s specific costs or what insurance she had, but it’s very likely that absent FUCKING CANCER she would have been able to pay for those shoes. She was raising money for FUCKING CANCER treatment.

    “You sick, ungrateful bastard. Why, just last week you needed to borrow $500 to pay your rent, and here I see you indulging in the luxury of a $0.50 ice cream cone. Maybe if you didn’t eat that, you wouldn’t need to borrow money from me…”

  39. 39
    julian

    Wait! I know what Christina did with the extra funds! She donated them! And then she encouraged all of us to donate to Secular Students and Camp Quest. Like she does all the fucking time.

  40. 40
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Renee Hendricks seems to have no qualms about spending money on shiny shovels to keep digging herself in deeper.

  41. 41
    doubtthat

    @34

    The problem is two fold: 1) you’re being an asshole and 2) you’re being pig-ignorant.

    As to 1, you’re assuming, without any justification, that the money donated for cancer treatment went to purchase shoes. Set aside the issue of whether or not that’s a problem (it isn’t, according to the people who gave Greta money), the money was spent on cancer treatment (point #2), and the rest was donated. Now Greta is working again. Did Greta forever lose her ability to spend money the way she saw fit when she asked people reading her work-product for free to help contribute to her health care costs? Only an asshole would say yes. You’re saying yes.

    Why on Earth would you start babbling about this when you know so very, very little about the situation?

    I’m going to keep an eye on your twitter feed. If your fucking husband buys boots in the next 5 years, so help me god, I will…well, I don’t really know what one can do via twitter, but you will receive a stern talking to.

  42. 42
    bcmystery

    As someone who donated to Greta, I have to say it never would have occurred to me that how she spent the money was any of my business. I wasn’t paying for the privilege of butting my nose in her life and judging her. I was responding to the need of someone I admire.

    And I knew she got more than she needed because she told us. I thought, “Glad to hear it.” I didn’t want my money back because she got more than she needed. Rather, I felt good that enough people shared my admiration that we were together able to meet her need and then some. And if it turns out she is able to afford what amounts to a quality tool she needs to do her job, well good for her.

    It’s stupid that this is even a point of contention, and yet of course I’m not surprised that certain people want to make it so.

    Sigh.

  43. 43
    hjhornbeck

    Cross posted from here, since Hendricks has repeated the same argument:

    That aside, if for some odd reason I *had* to e-beg, ethics would compel me to let all those donating know where their money was going. It’s a small matter of courtesy.

    And that’s exactly what Christina did; she informed the world that she bought a pair of shoes, amongst other things. Does this mean that you’re now OK with the purchase of those shoes, contrary to your prior assertions?

  44. 44
    Anthony K

    So, my asking what is the money going toward is “horrible*?

    Reneehendricks, you didn’t ask fuck all. This is what you tweeted:

    Remember, e-beg for money when there’s a cancer scare then go out and buy some really expensive shoes when you get the ok!

    Fuck you, you liar.

  45. 45
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Greta, of course, didn’t actually have cancer and have to have a major organ removed.

    Of course Greta didn’t have a major organ removed. It’s her uterus. Only icky nonpersons have uteruses, right misogyscum?

    *spits*

  46. 46
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    So, Renee, we can just sum this up as you being envious.
    BTW, since you’re so concerned with how the money was spent, did you actually donate some?
    Because, well, of course yu could still lie, somehow I haven’t seen you mentioning it.
    Apart from the fact that, even if you did, you had absolutely no right to ask what happened to the money.
    Your whole argument is that in your opinion Greta should really suffer a bit. Cancer itself was not enough, she obviously mustn’t have anything nice or feel good now. You’re really, really scum.
    Have you considered becoming a tea party christian Republican? They would happily agree with you and you’d fit right in with them.

  47. 47
    anthrosciguy

    Renee Hendricks, if it’s YOUR money you can get it back from Greta. Problem solved. If it’s not YOUR money you can take your faux concern with you and go take a flying leap.

  48. 48
    Gregory in Seattle

    Like many, MANY bloggers, Greta rattled a tip jar. That is not “begging.” That is not asking for charity. It is called business. Free enterprise. You may know it as capitalism. And unlike most bloggers, when she had enough to meet her needs, Greta offered much thanks and asked people still in a giving mood to give elsewhere.

    I find it quite difficult to believe that Renee Hendricks would have done the same thing.

  49. 49
    embertine

    NO YOU CAN NOT HAS SHOEZ
    NOT YOURS

  50. 50
    Scr... Archivist

    This artificial controversy reminds me of some of the criticisms of Anita Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter campaign last year. There were some who questioned the amount raised, and have (even recently) demanded to know how it is being spent. I think these are both examples of a stereotype that assumes women are irresponsible with (men’s) money.

    But what really gets me is the critics’ contradictions, especially within those who are propertarians. They want to police the voluntary monetary exchanges from one stranger to another. Because freedom. I guess the donors who don’t attach strings and demand receipts are the wrong kind of chill, free-wheeling individuals. Or something.

  51. 51
    plutosdad

    I remember a few years ago a story about a family who received a large amount of donations when one family member was in the hospital. The family bought a new car and everyone was upset with them.

    The family explained, the old car was over 10 years old and falling apart, and with the mother in the hospital they were constantly driving back and forth and needed more reliable transportation.

    People give money with no strings attached. Then they get upset when the person who receives it doesn’t spend it according to their never articulated rules. And even then, each person would have a different idea of rules. If she spent it on food, would they be upset that she bought name brand food products instead of generic?

    If you give your money no strings attached, then you have no right to complain about how the person spends it.

    If you want to make sure your money is spent a certain way, then open a trust fund that has rules. Or give a designated donation to an existing non profit. But people have all sorts of expenses in their day to day life (this is the very reason Aflac offers “extra” insurance above medical costs and AD&D insurance)

    It is the same attitude of people on facebook who put the disgusting images that people who have tattoos or smoke or have TVs don’t deserve help. They should suffer living hand to mouth and only be given enough to sustain their lives as miserably as possible.

  52. 52
    freemage

    Ugh. This is so vile I cannot even fathom it–especially Renee Hendricks’ “cancer scare” tweet–that one bordered on the slanderous, frankly, (as it implies that Christina had never suffered from actual cancer at all). Disgusting.

  53. 53
    TerranRich, Yet Another Atheist

    Never before has “Slyme Pit” been so aptly named, and deservedly so.

    But yeah, these are like far-right Republicans (and/or libertarians) without the crazy god-bothering.

  54. 54
    Joerg

    The point is, it doesn’t even matter what she did with the money. It wouldn’t matter if she bought shoes that don’t fit her and then nails them to her trashcan. If it’s a gift, it’s a gift. You give money, someone is now the owner of that money and does whatever they please with it.

  55. 55
    A Hermit

    Renee, my 80 year old father is undergoing his final round of chemo for lymphoma this month. Fortunately we live in Canada where this kind of thing is fully covered by our evil socialist public health care system. Even so there are a lot of pressures and some expenses that aren’t covered, so I can understand the position you’re in. So if you and your husband need a little help with things I’d be happy to throw a few dollars your way. And I won’t complain if you spend it on some little luxury to make yourselves feel better, because that’s important too.

    It’s OK to ask for help.

  56. 56
    Greta Christina

    One clarification: Some people have been saying that I did the fundraiser to cover medical costs. This is not accurate. I said in the fundraiser that I didn’t need medical costs covered, because I had insurance. I did the fundraiser to cover living expenses: i.e., to replace lost income from being unable to work while I was recovering from surgery. The link to the initial fundraising post is here, for anyone who needs further clarification.

  57. 57
    hypatiasdaughter

    It is the same attitude of people on facebook who put the disgusting images that people who have tattoos or smoke or have TVs don’t deserve help.

    The really stupid thing about this attitude is that many people actually OWN things (like TV’s, cars and tattoos) before they got into financial hardship. An illness, a job loss, a divorce or death can change you from being a “have” to a “have-not”. What are they supposed to do – sell every 5 year old appliance they own before they deserve money to buy food and pay the gas bill?

  58. 58
    Paul W.

    Stephanie,

    Joe, they’re saying something because Greta is who she is.

    Yeah, and no. They’re willfully ignoring the fact that this is of course exactly the kind of thing that Greta in particular would buy under normal circumstances, for unusually good, very professional reasons.

    It’s not just that two or three hundred bucks is a reasonable investment in high-quality shoes for somebody with difficult feet who needs to be able to walk miles and look professional—it’s difficult enough to find well-built, long-lasting shoes that are comfortable for iffy feet and look merely pretty good—but Greta is a fashion writer, among other things. It’s part of her fucking job to try to buy good, comfortable shoes that are expressive of her tastes, and then to write about whether she’s satisfied or not, and how and why, and invite discussions of such things.

    It’s kind of like Ed (hypothetically) buying a new $2000 laptop to write on, with a bigger, higher-resolution screen or whatever, if he feels it’s time to do so, using money people donated precisely to keep him from taking a financial hit from his illness that would preclude such normal purchases for a professional writer. It’s not just a worthy professional tool, but a particularly apt professional tool for a specific profession—and even more specifically apt in Greta’s case.

    Some people might not care for fashion or fashion writing, or Greta’s fashion writing in particular, but presumably many of the people who donated do, and presumably more at least accept that it is part of her job, whether it’s their favored part of her job or not—and if they give her money to help her do her job and to avoid taking a personal financial hit from her illness, that’s exactly the kind of expenditure they should expect, if there’s enough donations beyond the barest necessities to do it.

    The fact that some donors expressly said to get herself something nice—you know, to ease the blow of having fucking cancer, which can be kind of a downer—is just the icing on the cake. The permission was implicit anyhow.

    I suppose these grinches would begrudge kids with cancer the occasional free trips to amusement parks between rounds of chemo, too. People with cancer don’t need no stinkin’ luxuries like that. None. Fuck ‘em.

    Assholes.

  59. 59
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Yeah, and no. They’re willfully ignoring the fact that this is of course exactly the kind of thing that Greta in particular would buy under normal circumstances, for unusually good, very professional reasons.

    Actually, I don’t like the “she needs them for her job” line of argument much.
    It tentatively goes back to the “you need a good justification for spending that much money on you, woman, or you are vain” trope.
    The only reason Greta needs for buying those shoes is because she wants them.

    Funny how I’ve never heard that line of argument when a guy buys something like a playstation (not that there aren’t many women gamers): They spend the same amount of money on something that has only one use and that is fun and nobody says a word. Why would Greta need any more reason to buy those shoes? That she has them is irrelevant.

  60. 60
    Paul W.

    Gilliel,

    You are certainly right. The stuff I was saying was not the most important, and shouldn’t need saying at all. It just makes the assholery even clearer.

  61. 61
    Sam Barnett-Cormack

    This really resonates with me because of the vitriolic storm whipped up in recent years here in the UK, against people receive sickness and disability benefits, a lot of which seems to end up as “well, if you’re sick enough to need support, what are you doing socialising?” and similar.

  62. 62
    Allison

    They only cost 200$. What’s all the kerfuffle about?

  63. 63
    shari

    R. Hendricks Again!!? golly, when I act like an asshat twice in the same week, I try not to do it in public.

    And NEVER at, you know, CANCER VICTIMS.

    Ever.

    That’s not my latent christianity showing. (or do i mean blatent? who the hell cares, this isn’t about God)

    That’s my ‘I’m a human who gives a damn about what other people go through’ showing. I am in the same boat as Hendricks – i did not donate to Greta. I didn’t know she was accepting donations. I will give this to her though – I hope she never ever gets anything except good shoes. And I hope she is in full recovery. And if my friend Steph continues to open my eyes to other writers and THEY need donations, I will step the hell up. Cancer has taken out my brother, two uncles, an aunt, and my grandfather, and one aunt and cousin have escaped so far. Cancer fighters Need support. It’s not a one person show.

    Hendricks needs a heart transplant. The one she has isn’t working right.

  1. 64
    This is why we can’t have nice shoes » Butterflies and Wheels

    [...] yesterday, but was too disgusted and short on time to say anything about it beyond Twitter. But Stephanie said anything, and said it damn [...]

  2. 65
    The Absurd Manufactured Shoe Controversy: A Brief Response » Greta Christina's Blog

    [...] shoes that are somewhat more expensive than most people typically spend on shoes. Some people have taken exception to this (yes, it’s the usual gang of haters), and are expressing their objections [...]

  3. 66
    How to use UK libel law to try and suppress free speech but end up looking stupid » Oolon's Blog

    […] opinion that Renee Hendricks (pseudonym, I won’t dox them) has engaged in victim shaming assholery and I have good reasons for holding that opinion. Not that I need them […]

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