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Jan 06 2013

The Absurd Manufactured Shoe Controversy: A Brief Response

So here’s the first thing I’ll say about this absurd manufactured mini-controversy:

If you donated money to me during my recent cancer fundraiser, and you’re not happy with the fact that I recently spent some money on a somewhat-more-expensive-than-usual pair of dressy comfortable shoes bought largely to be worn in professional settings, I will refund your donation. Email me at greta (at) gretachristina (dot) com, with the email address you used for PayPal and the amount you donated, or with the check number and the amount you donated. When I confirm that you did in fact make a donation, I will refund your money.

I don’t actually think that this controversy has any merit, and I don’t think I have any moral obligation whatsoever to do this. But I also don’t want anyone who donated money during my fundraiser to be unhappy about that donation. So if you made a donation and you now want it refunded, let me know, and I will refund it.

Now, a few brief words about this absurd manufactured mini-controversy.

To fill you in, in case you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about: A few months ago, when I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, I did a fundraiser on this blog to cover my expenses while I was recovering from the surgery. (Since I’m now a full-time freelancer, the months that I couldn’t work meant months with significantly reduced income, and since I don’t have a day job, I don’t have disability insurance.) The fundraiser exceeded my wildest expectations: after about a day, I had raised enough money to cover my expenses for several months and then some, and in fact I pulled the plug on the fundraiser the day after I began it, redirecting people instead to donate to Camp Quest or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk via the Foundation Beyond Belief.

Last Friday, I posted a Fashion Friday piece, in which I discussed a pair of shoes I had recently bought: a pair of dressy comfortable 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 on Twitter and elsewhere.

Stephanie Zvan and her commenters have already covered most of the reasons why this is ridiculous. The high points: 1: A pair of well-made comfortable shoes that will last for years, bought largely to be worn in professional settings, is not an extravagant expenditure. 2: Many people who donated said specifically that they wanted me to use some of the money in fun ways that would give me pleasure. 3: In any case, when you donate money to someone, you don’t get to dictate how they spend it. 4: When men spend money on clothing, it’s seen as a legitimate expense; when women spend money on clothing, it’s seen as frivolous fashion.

I just have one important point to add to what she said.

Given that I am now working again, and am earning my own income again… at what point is it okay for me to start spending my money the way I want to?

I am now working again, and making my own income again. I was bringing in a small amount of income even when I was sick, mostly from book royalties, and I am now working again and earning income again (although not as much as I was before the surgery).

At what point is it okay for me to spend that money as I choose?

Does the fact that, in October of 2012, I did a fundraiser to help cover lost income during recovery from cancer surgery mean that I should never, ever spend any money that I earn on anything that a handful of haters on the Internet deem frivolous? Should I post in advance about what restaurants I’m going to, what clothing I plan to buy, where I plan to travel, what holiday gifts I buy for my friends and family, and get approval before I make these expenditures? And for how long? Do I have to wait six months? A year? Five years? Or am I never allowed to do this ever again?

In case anyone was wondering: I spent the overwhelming majority of the donations from that fundraiser paying my mortgage several months in advance: something which relieved me of an enormous amount of stress and worry, and enabled me to focus my energy on my recovery. Most of the rest got set aside for taxes — I do, in fact, have to pay taxes on donations — and most of the leftover from that went to bills, groceries, paying off debt, etc. I do still plan to make a healthy donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation through the Foundation Beyond Belief: when I first proposed doing this, several commenters advised me to wait until my health had returned, but now that my health has largely returned and I feel confident about eventually recovering completely, I think it’s okay to do this, and it will make me happy. And yes, I spent some of the money on things that I didn’t absolutely need and would not die without. Which, as many commenters on Stephanie’s post pointed out, several of my donators specifically said I should do. And now that I’m earning income again, I am spending some of that income on things that I don’t absolutely need and will not die without.

At what point is it okay for me to do that?

This is a bullshit controversy, manufactured by the usual gang of people who hate Freethought Blogs and are always looking for a reason to snipe at us. But I will say once again: I don’t want anyone who donated money during this fundraiser to be unhappy about it. So I will say again: If you donated money to me during my recent fundraiser, and you’re not happy with the fact that I recently spent some money on shoes, I will refund your donation. Email me at greta (at) gretachristina (dot) com, with the email address you used for PayPal and the amount you donated, or with the check number and the amount you donated. (If you’re someone who I requested to never contact me again because your private correspondence to me was borderline threatening, I will rescind that request for this purpose only.) When I confirm that you did in fact make a donation, I will refund your money. Thank you.

198 comments

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  1. 1
    Stephanie Zvan

    <3

    Yeah, you're feeling healthier again. Also, I would consider it a badge of honor to have some or all of my donation to you spent on pissing certain people off.

  2. 2
    buddhabuck

    Would you, had you been healthy and had earned income to the degree that the fundraiser replaced, have bought the shoes (or at least, been “allowed” to have bought the shoes)?

    If so, I don’t see the problem with using money given to you to replace your income being used for things you would have spend your income on, if you had had that income.

    If I had donated money, the shoes wouldn’t be the cause of me asking for it back.

  3. 3
    Tony Sidaway

    Dumb non-conttroversy..

    Ill blogger makes appeal in good faith, takes donations in good faith. Later buys shoes in good faith. End of story.

  4. 4
    Gorg

    Wow. I admit I didn’t see this one coming. What a ridiculous “controversy”. I completely agree with folks saying you have nothing to apologize for. Great write-up by Stephanie. Maybe the haters would’ve been happier if the shoes had been made out of burlap.

  5. 5
    Johnny Vector

    Hey, how dare you? If you’re taking charity, you need to be wearing rags and living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road. Also, before I toss a dollar into a busker’s guitar case, I make them fill out a form verifying that they get up at 10 o’clock at night, half an hour before they go to bed, eat a lump of dry poison, and when they get home at night their dad kills them and dances about on their grave singing hallelujah. Now if I could just get Eric Idle to drop the copyright suit.

    FFS, what part of “gift” don’t these people understand?

  6. 6
    Steve Caldwell

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

  7. 7
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    How bloody petty.

  8. 8
    Argle Bargle

    Some people aren’t happy unless they’re spitting in somebody else’s soupl.

  9. 9
    Argle Bargle

    soupl? Come on, Nelson, the word is soup.

  10. 10
    Tom Foss

    Gorg: I think they’d have to be made of sackcloth and hair. And then the haters would say she was trying to play the martyr.

    Greta: It’s great to see that you’re feeling better, and it’s ridiculous that a post like this was even necessary. I hope the shoes work out for you. I used to go through a pair of $15 faux-Birkenstock sandals every summer until my wife bought me a pair of the real things. They’re finally wearing out now after several years, but they more than paid for themselves with that kind of durability.

  11. 11
    Lofty

    Enjoy the shoes. My little donation is exactly that, a donation. To be used as you see fit. Some people simply can’t understand how charity works. Perhaps they are angry because no-one loves them enough to help them in need? Maybe they are just jealous of your popularity and wish they had shinier shoes than you, to spite you.

  12. 12
    Lofty

    Rodney Nelson, I thought the dot had rolled out from under the exclamation mark.

  13. 13
    Tom Foss

    Johnny Vector: By accepting donations on the Internet, you automatically become a 501(c)(3) organization, subject to auditing by all investors, don’cha’know.

  14. 14
    LykeX

    Given that I am now working again, and am earning my own income again… at what point is it okay for me to start spending my money the way I want to?

    Never, ever. Once you’ve received money from other people, you’re never allowed to spend money on anything but bare necessities. Don’t you know that “donation” is just another word for “loan”?
    You thought you were allowed to use that money as you saw fit? No, no, no. You’re supposed to spend it the way that people told you, because they know much better than you what you really need.

    It’s not as if people donated the money because they cared. They only gave that money so they would get the chance to control your future actions. That’s the whole point of donations.

  15. 15
    Renee

    m-/

    These people remind me of the anti-choice nuts who act like every dollar that comes into a Planned Parenthood goes to ABORTION111!!!111!!!! even though every dollar is carefully tracked and accounted for. Besides, if anyone deserves to get a nice pair of unique shoes, it’s you. :D

  16. 16
    movablebooklady

    Jeez. I *gave* you the money and so it became *your* money. Maybe these folk don’t understand the concept of *gift*? Enjoy your new shoes.

  17. 17
    Johnny Vector

    Okay, I need to repost what I said over Hank Fox’s way when he asked for donations, and some douchecanoe named scott jumped in warning us all that it was probably a scam. I leave the words verbatim; they apply equally to Greta:

    Scott’s right, this is almost certainly a scam. In this day and age it’s preposterously easy to just go out and start posting comments on blogs, writing so well that people remember your name, then write a book, get a place on a new blog network and proceed to write some of the most entertaining and thought provoking prose there is, for several months, all as a way to get 20 or 30 people to maybe donate something when you put out a sob story about being broke.

    Hell, you know I’d do the same. If I had any talent for writing. And that many stories to tell.

    So. No donation for you, Mister Fox (if that is your real name). Besides, I can’t afford it, I just put all my cash in your tip jar.

    Because that, Scott, is what this is. We are contributing because Hank has entertained and enlightened us, proving in the process that he is a good man, worthy of our support. That’s what you do when an artist makes your world better, and you can afford to. You throw a dollar in the hat, or the guitar case, or the PayPal button. You buy the CD, you get a T-shirt, you buy the book. And you make the world a little bit better.

    Try it sometime.

  18. 18
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Dear Greta,
    I donated a small amount of money to you. I am delighted for you to spend it on good quality shoes. Or on whatever you damn well please, including not only shoes, but also cardamom icecream, cat treats for the terrible trio, plushie daleks, something shiny for Ingrid, glow-in-the-dark knickers, a life sized model of Lucy Lawless, or – if you really must – rent and food.

  19. 19
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    You know, I’d already weighed in on your behalf elsewhere without having any idea how much you spent on a pair of shoes… and then I Googled “John Fluevog Pilgrim”… and I’m of two minds. One of those minds is my dad’s, which hopes you found a good sale, and the other is “Really? People are angry about that piddling amount of money?!?!”

    Logical: I’ve come here and talked shoes before, years and years ago. I have terrible misshapen and damaged feet, they pain me every minute of every day. I’ve found a few running shoe models that are comfortable, and they all cost $100 and up. I assume that to find a similar pair of leather dress shoes that don’t look like orthopedic shoes, I’d have to spend what you did on the shoes you chose.

    Emotional: As one ‘charity case’ to another, I know that emotional health is can be as important as physical health. A new pair of shoes or a dinner out or a bottle of wine can mean the difference between a bright day and a dark one, and who would dare deny someone a bright day? Only a terrible person, that’s who.

  20. 20
    shouldbeworking

    You spent money on good, comfortable shoes that you will wear for a long time. So what’s the problem?

  21. 21
    hjhornbeck

    Thank you for offering the opportunity to take back our donations. In response, I’m going to ask for $-25 back. This negative amount has just been subtracted from your account, and I think accurately reflects my thoughts towards this manufactured controversy.

    While it’s a donation, and thus free to spend as you see fit, I recommend you set it aside for a pair of shoes.

  22. 22
    Anthony K

    I couldn’t be happier that you used my modest assistance to buy yourself a pair of comfortable, good-looking, and quality shoes. (I’m just now realising how much I’ve ruined my feet with cheap shoes.)

    But, if you wouldn’t mind, would you show us a few more pictures of them? Long-form?

    When Rebecca Watson says, hey, this thing happened, guys, don’t do that, the Teabagger types pull out their skeptics’ hats. How do we know that’s what really happened? How do we know she’s not lying? She’s pushing her agenda.

    But when you post something that they can try to shoehorn their agenda into, then they’re more than happy to toss those hats and convict you on your word. How do we know you didn’t just get an old pair of Keds? How do we know you’re not actually walking around barefoot? Isn’t the so-called problem of uncomfortable shoes just playing the victim?

    It won’t convince the Donald Trumps among them—hell, the atheist community has struggled for decades to best reach people who reason with ‘it’s how I was brought up’—but the rational majority knew where Obama was born.

  23. 23
    LykeX

    @Anthony K
    If it agrees with my preconceived ideas, it must be true. If it disagrees, it must be wrong. That’s called logic.

  24. 24
    georgewiman

    Anyone who pitches a fit over your shoes is an embarrassment to the 2% of genes we have different from chimpanzees. If they go through with requesting a refund on their donation they should have their bathroom mirror engraved with “supercilious globnozzle”.

    Add to that the double standard that women are both criticized for wearing and expected to wear expensive clothing in professional clothing. It’s much easier for guys; I have eight identical shirts, slacks, 2 pair of shoes and that’s it. It’s fine with me if my donation went for money, shoes or whatever you felt was appropriate.

    I hope you will close the refund offer once the total refunds to these idiots equals the value of the shoes.

  25. 25
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    I’m feeling kind of bad that you felt you had to defend yourself, Greta. This is what I posted over at B&W (addressed to Renee Hendricks).

    You keep calling Greta’s request for money “e-begging”. Maybe that’s the crux of your confusion. What Greta got wasn’t charity, and with all due respect to Maureen and others on this thread, wasn’t really a gift either. Greta makes her living writing for us, her audience. Just as with a novelist or screenwriter, we pay her to write. Unlike a novelist who makes enough per book to last on till the next one comes out, Greta must make enough to sustain her day to day with subscriptions and one time donations and speakers’ and freelance fees. If she’s not writing every day, or is unable to make speaking engagements due to illness, she has every right to request that the consumers of her writing to pay for it now rather than six months from now or whenever. And she has every right to spend her earnings on anything she desires or requires without answering to anyone (save perhaps her wife).

    So, in short, fuck you.

    Now I’m going to pay you some more so you can buy another pair of shoes or maybe a handbag to go with it.

  26. 26
    olivercrangle

    Given the state of online scams, given how even our most trusted leaders can let us down, it is perfectly reasonable for people to ask for transparency in donations.

    I buy $100 shoes regularly because my feet demand it, and one time, I even, with great trepidation, bought a pair of $400 semi-dress shoes. Because my feet need it.

    However, I won’t blow smoke up anyone’s butt and claim I am not incredibly privileged to be in a position to be able to afford $100 shoes, and I know many many people with terrible foot problems that make do with $40 shoes.

    I think you were correctly called out to be transparent, and had you acted with transparency from day one, and thanked people, and told them how you spent the money, this kerfuffle would never have kerfuffed.

    So live and learn. I think you owe Hendricks an apology for demanding transparency. Her actions were the actions of a true skeptic.

  27. 27
    julian

    This is an old game certain elements of conservatism love to play.

    “How can you be poor? Your kid has a cell phone.”

    “You obviously don’t need any kind of assistance, you own a car!”

    That’s it’s normal iteration but you see i to with things ike government aid and public assistance.

    “Hey! That money’s for food! What are you doing buying clothes with it?”

    “Fuck, those god damn fakers. I came to drop off some old toys and they had a PS2!”

    There’s a distinct element of policing how us “charity cases” spend any charity given to us. ot surprising, much of conservative philosophy is distinctly opposed to providing any form of aid so it makes sense for them to look for “legitimate” cases and “fakers” like myself and Ms. Christina. Within the US in particular the narrative revolves around welfare queens looking to game the system, looking to take more money out of te hands of those who earned it.

    So money is only ever given grudgingly and only ever for the most extreme of circumstances under incredibly narrow parameters. This money can only be used one way and one way only. The freedom to use funds as you (an adult) deem fit is waved when you accept money from another. It is a reminder you are not independent, you are not free, you are a charity case and that, above all, the few dollars now in your pocket aren’t yours. That sense of security money brings, the peace of mind, that optimism that the next month might be better, is something this wing of conservatism resents.

    You, a charity case, simply don’t deserve the same comforts, peace of mind or dignity they enjoy.

    It disgusts me that these people also seem to dominate a sizable portion of the atheist community.

  28. 28
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    I think you owe Hendricks an apology for demanding transparency.

    Do you provide your boss with a spreadsheet? Didn’t think so, asshole. Hendricks can choke on her demands.

  29. 29
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Yet again, olivercrangle shows off what a pile of slime he is.

    An apology for a person who piles shit on Greta, no matter what Greta does.

  30. 30
    evilDoug

    … emotional health is can be as important as physical health.

    I was thinking along those lines as Imp’ Joe was writing them.
    Recovery from major surgery, especially where life hangs in the balance, isn’t over when you leave the room marked “Recovery”. It isn’t over when you leave the front door of the hospital, and it isn’t over when you walk through your own front door. It is approaching over when everyday life returns to normal. When you can get up from a night’s sleep untroubled by bad dreams. When you can approach the day’s work without thinking “what’s the use”. When dread and uncertainty fade. When you can say to yourself, though a giggle, “One, two, buckle my shoe” and trundle off to work actually feeling normal again. If a bit of fashion has always been part of your normal, then, dammit, a pair of fashionable shoes is necessary.
    It is pretty clear from the amount that was donated that a lot of people had a stake in Greta’s recovery. I don’t mean a financial stake, I mean an emotional stake. A stake that establishes that Greta has been part of their normal, and, dammit, Greta and her life and health and happiness are necessary.

  31. 31
    zekehoskin

    I remember when President Clinton needed crutches, people got bent out of shape because he got good ones. Me, I got a pair like his. Drugstore crutches: $60, twice a year. Fettermans: $700. ONCE. Fourteen years ago and counting.

  32. 32
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    olivercrangle,

    Her actions were the actions of a true skeptic privileged asshole.

    FIFY.

  33. 33
    antialiasis

    To me, your addition is the final nail in the coffin here. You’re working again; you’re earning an income and spending that on shoes. There is no sense in which you’re spending cancer donations on frivolous extravagance, even if we did concede that these shoes are a frivolous extravagance and that the donations can’t be spent on frivolous extravagance.

    Money isn’t earmarked; your particular five dollars aren’t there somewhere in the payment for the shoes. Greta has a pool of money that she uses to buy both necessities and non-necessities; it was briefly boosted by donations intended for necessities and now continues to be refilled with her own income. I’d get feeling scammed if your donations that were supposed to cover necessities during cancer recovery were being used to let Greta buy shoes or a pool or a mansion while she relaxes on an extended vacation for months after full recovery (and let’s pretend that means no book royalties or any other work-related income at all), but that is not even remotely what is happening. This is a woman who has accepted donations for a crisis also buying shoes with her own earned money after getting back to work. The objection makes no sense except under the assumption that anyone who gives anyone a gift gets to dictate the rest of their life.

  34. 34
    Stephanie Zvan

    Just a reminder to everyone about the specifics of Greta’s comment policy.

    Greta, I will point out that crangle has gotten himself banned on Daylight Atheism for using Reap Paden as an excuse to call me the same names several times over. Have no doubt that he’s not acting in bad faith here too.

  35. 35
    Stephanie Zvan

    Or, you know, is acting in bad faith. Silly fast typing.

  36. 36
    highdudgeonaz

    Shoes are OK but I DEMAND to know if you bought national or house brand peanut butter with my donation. Cause CANCER.

    :: face palm ::

  37. 37
    garysturgess

    As far as I’m concerned you can spend half of what I donated on chocolate and the rest on the tables at Vegas. I’m just glad you’re feeling better.

  38. 38
    antialiasis

    (And by the way, for my parts, I donated and would have absolutely no objection to you spending “my” money on some nice shoes – I didn’t give to you just because you had cancer (though that was incentive to get off my ass and do it), but because you’re my favorite blogger, your insanely large archive of insightful posts has inspired and entertained me immensely, and I am generally thrilled to give you my money. But that’s not even what is going on here, which is the most maddening bit.)

  39. 39
    olivercrangle

    Re: Stefanie Zvan @34,

    “Just a reminder to everyone about the specifics of Greta’s comment policy.

    Greta, I will point out that crangle has gotten himself banned on Daylight Atheism for using Reap Paden as an excuse to call me the same names several times over. Have no doubt that he’s not acting in bad faith here too.”

    A) I honestly have no idea why people ban me, but it’s rarely for spam, libel, abuse, bullying, profanity, threats, privacy invasion. It’s often because they don’t know how to refute me, but dislike what I write. I am not even sure who Reap Paden is. When did I call you names?

    B) That’s some argument you have, it amounts to a call to ban him, ban him and your seeming inability to actually refute what I have to say.

  40. 40
    olivercrangle

    To clarify, my argument is pretty clear.

    How on earth could that argument be a cover for “bad faith”?

  41. 41
    julian

    Shoes are OK but I DEMAND to know if you bought national or house brand peanut butter with my donation. Cause CANCER.

    I’m actually gonna have to add to this. Greta had better not have spent a dime on any mayonnaise that wasn’t Duke’s.

  42. 42
    Blake Stacey

    So, let’s recap:

    Policing a stranger’s shoe-purchasing habits is a valuable use of a True Skeptic’s time. But working to end sexual harassment at conferences is doubleplus ungood, because there are so many bigger problems and we shouldn’t waste our time and energy frying the small potatoes!

    Sheesh.

  43. 43
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    It’s often because they don’t know how to refute me, but dislike what I write.

    Thank you, olivercrandle, for showing off your double jointed elbow.

  44. 44
    m lafontaine

    It might not be a bad idea to just make an accounting of how much was donated and how it has been used. Those knuckleheads are just filling in an information vacuum with their worst suspicions.

  45. 45
    Badland

    FFS it’s ridiculous you have to stoop to dealing with this puerile shit. My donation was made without any strings attached and it was my pleasure to make it. I enormously respect your courage, your writing and your honesty, and I’m sorry you’ve had to waste any of your time or talents on the mimbling twitters of these silly little gobshites

  46. 46
    Badland

    psst, olivercrangle – I guess you’ll be asking for your donation back? I assume you made one. Didn’t you?

    *crickets*

    What a surprise

  47. 47
    Nemo

    I feel very comfortable in presuming that none of the complainers were actual donors, and in predicting that no actual donors will ask for a refund. But do let us know.

    And yeah, this isn’t just FTB hate, it’s the typical Republican mentality, about everything.

    (I didn’t donate, but I did buy your book!)

  48. 48
    Lofty

    And PZ has banned olivervcrankle at Pharyngula over the comments xe left here, just so xe can wallow in more self pity. So sad. Did xe donate to Greta’s cause?

  49. 49
    Anthony K

    It’s often because they don’t know how to refute me, but dislike what I write.

    Hint: see how often you simply assert No True Skeptic™.

    You did it in this thread:

    Her actions were the actions of a true skeptic.

    And in another:

    It’s appalling that anyone that claims to represent the “Center for Inquiry” would hold either of these positions, both of which are directly anathema of Inquiry.

    And here it is again:

    And your behavior in that raises questions about your ability to think critically, be skeptical, or understand science.

    What’s to refute? You simply describe what you think is happening, and declare it to be unskeptical. That’s not any kind of argument. That’s just you asserting yourself, over and over.

  50. 50
    Corey Wrenn

    “4: When men spend money on clothing, it’s seen as a legitimate expense; when women spend money on clothing, it’s seen as frivolous fashion. ” Excellent point.

  51. 51
    Anthony K

    I honestly have no idea why people ban me, but it’s rarely for spam

    No, it’s for spam. No True Skeptic™, over and over.

  52. 52
    Anthony K

    Also, as a donor; know, somebody who actually stands to be victimized, should Greta spend her money in some sort of Ponzi scheme, or whatever you fucking dipshits think is a probable scenario for material machinations, stop White Knighting me. I don’t need your help.

  53. 53
    kyoungers

    These people are unbelievable dicks. I hope your shoes last 5 years.

  54. 54
    doubtthat

    My brother works for a non-profit that works to reintegrate homeless folks into the workplace. They raise money specifically to provide people with business appropriate attire. Proper work clothes are necessities. Purchasing quality products when possible results in long-term thrift.

    I don’t understand any of this on any level.

  55. 55
    Greta Christina

    Greta, I will point out that crangle has gotten himself banned on Daylight Atheism for using Reap Paden as an excuse to call me the same names several times over.

    Stephanie Zvan @ #34: Noted. He’s now been banned. Thanks for the heads-up.

  56. 56
    hjhornbeck

    Aww, but I wanted to reply to olivercrangle! [pouts]

    More seriously, I’m seeing a common thread here. Two people have criticized Christina for not revealing what she spent her money on. And yet, the controversy is over a post where she showed off one thing she spent her money on. Christina was quite clear where the money would go:

    The fundraiser has been a thumping success. It has exceeded all my expectations. I will be able to comfortably cover my mortgage and other expenses for a few months, while I recover my health and get my writing and speaking career revved up again afterwards. No further donations or spreading of the word are necessary: I’ve actually gotten somewhat more than I really need, and I’m seriously contemplating donating the overflow — probably to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk via the Foundation Beyond Belief, and/or to Camp Quest. (I feel okay about asking my readers for financial help, but I feel weird taking more than I really need.)

    Their argument is self-refuting. This fake controversy was never about skepticism or accountability, it’s just an excuse to slam a writer on FreethoughtBlogs for the crime of being a writer on FreethoughtBlogs.

  57. 57
    llewelly

    Congratulations on the new shoes.

    Back when I had to live on very little for a long period of time, shoe quality was very, very important, due to the kinds of work I often ended up doing.

    Now that I make plenty of money, ironically, shoe quality isn’t that important; I could get by with very cheap shoes.

  58. 58
    TooManyJens

    It might not be a bad idea to just make an accounting of how much was donated and how it has been used.

    I think it would be every bit as effective as President Obama releasing his birth certificate.

  59. 59
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Given that I am now working again, and am earning my own income again… at what point is it okay for me to start spending my money the way I want to?

    Presumably when you die and are reincarnated as a gender-conforming man*.

    *white, straight, and able optional but highly preferred.

  60. 60
    James

    I wanted my donation to ease your suffering and help try to bring a little happiness to you in an incredibly crappy time in your life. I believe it did so, and am happy for whatever burden it may have helped lift. I hope this year is as full of love and joy as possible for you.

  61. 61
    brucemartin

    Dear Christina,
    We want real answers to real questions, and the biggest question of the day is if it is true that Atheist Shoes are literally as soft as if one is wearing kittens. So you need to also go to atheistberlin.com and buy some hand-made leather shoes with genuine atheist slogans on the soles. Then wear them and then tell us if they are that soft or not. You should pick between the slogans “Ich bin Atheist” or “Darwin Loves”. As these shoes are only 140 euros or less, you should be able to cover it with $183, which is very reasonable for custom hand-crafted leather shoes. Please let me know how much is my share, and I will be happy to send you a donation to cover it for you. But we have inquiring minds here, and we want you to do this research for us. Thanks for all you do.
    Bruce

  62. 62
    Reality Enthusiast

    I donated a little, and I was very happy for you when I saw the shoes. It never even occurred to me that “my” money went toward their purchase. (Because the money was no longer mine! That’s what a gift is!) The bullies are really grasping at straws here.

  63. 63
    butchpansy

    I didn’t exactly donate; wanting a return on my investment, I bought Greta’s book. I also bought some goat hair apres ski boots. I do not ski anymore; they’re waaay apres.

  64. 64
    Holms

    Apparently, the detractors are shocked that you have the means to splash out beyond thin gruel and sacking for clothes. What arseholes.

    Not that it matters; I highly doubt any of these tools donated shit.

  65. 65
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Anyone who pitches a fit over your shoes is an embarrassment to the 2% of genes we have different from chimpanzees.

    You mean to the chimps, right?

    olivercrangle

    I think you were correctly called out to be transparent, and had you acted with transparency from day one, and thanked people, and told them how you spent the money, this kerfuffle would never have kerfuffed.

    No, Oliver.
    I know, I know, you’re still angry that your ex-wife doesn’t have to hand you a receipt and that your kids are entitled to something nice occasionally like a new shirt for the younger one, but what happened with the money Greta got is non of your business (oh, and actually she WAS transparent and if you had read the OP you’d know).
    If only Greta had been perfect, they would still hate her and use whatever they found against her. She owes nobody an explenation.
    You’re power-obsessed and you can’t stand the thought that a woman might have independent power over some money that might or might not have been in your pocket before.

    mikelf

    It might not be a bad idea to just make an accounting of how much was donated and how it has been used. Those knuckleheads are just filling in an information vacuum with their worst suspicions.

    No.
    That would mean they had any case. They haven’t. I don’t have to provide you with a list of my phone calls to prove I did not call Bruce Springteen when me calling Bruce Springsteen wouldn’t be anything wrong in the first place.

    +++
    Oh, and actually, when I saw your shoe post, my mind didn’t even make a connection between them and the donation. Really. Not. Why would it?

  66. 66
    oolon

    I’m pissed off you had to write that Greta, especially as the inept band of haters involved did not donate a dime. Anyway I don’t know what set of fucked up morals they go by and call “skepticism” but when I GIVE money to somebody it is then theirs to do with what they will!

    So a big fuck you to Renee Hendricks, Franc Hoggle, Sapient Ape and ERV… I get paid end of the month and I’ll donate some money to the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society in your name, thanks for the link.

  67. 67
    Deanna Joy Lyons - Mentioner of Patriarchy

    Holy crap! This is absolutely absurd. If the haters can’t find something substantial to complain about they make ridiculous controversies up out of thin air.

    I don’t care if you buy platinum plated bookends with emerald inlays. It’s all your money anyway. You earned it.

  68. 68
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Oh, by the way, wasn’t Abbie Smith’s responsible and mature action to simply not pay your hospital bills and recommend that to anybody else?
    Of course that’s not taking money from other people* (i.e. those who have to cover the costs via higher bills)

    *I know that many people can’t pay their medical bills and it’s a great problem. That’s not what I’m getting at.

  69. 69
    grumpyoldfart

    Anecdote – take it with a pinch of salt…

    A long time ago on Australian TV (I can’t even remember which channel) a woman was interviewed about her tough life on social security benefits. The story was then discussed in the local newspapers and a huge number of commenters observed that the woman was fat – so she obviously had enough money to buy lots of food and therefore deserved no sympathy. In fact she was probably ripping off the system! Other commenters noticed that she had a colour TV set – why didn’t she sell the TV instead of taking money from the Government? I remember thinking at the time that she probably had an overcoat in the wardrobe as well – would her detractors expect her to sell the coat too, because she wasn’t actually wearing it at the time? I think that is exactly what they did expect. Arseholes!

  70. 70
    ischemgeek

    I can’t even. Words fail me.

    Shoes? They’re pissed you bought shoes?!

    What. The. Fuck?

    Me and my $400 orthopedic inserts whilst living at about half the poverty line will be over here, I guess. Poor people aren’t allowed to have shoes that won’t wreck their feet and joints, apparently. *eyeroll*

  71. 71
    tim

    I am brand new to your blog, I read your book and thought it was excellent and figured that I start reading your blog. (BTW, I am a practicing Catholic with two kids who me and my wife send to Catholic school and I am also someone with big, big doubts) My thoughts: 1) I didn’t know that I was going to start reading a soap opera (aka, the big shoe controversy). 2) I think it’s hilarious that I am posting a comment for the first time when I see that there were exactly 69 comments before me.

  72. 72
    doublenerds

    I made a small donation in October. Please feel free to count my 20 bucks as part of your Frivolous Female Frippery Fund. Use it for something sparkly, please!

  73. 73
    dgrasett

    This message before reading the comments.
    Greta, dear. I am just so happy you are doing well, you spend that money any way you want.

  74. 74
    slc1

    Just for the record, Mr. crangle made a complete ass of himself on a couple of threads over at Mano Singham’s blog and went away in a snit when he was criticized by several commenters.

  75. 75
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @tim:

    Get used to the soap opera if you start to read these blogs. There’s a “big rift” between Freethought Blogs and the True Skeptics™ who think we’re all a bunch of Feminazi-Stasi’s and are some kind of Atheist Cult because we want to treat people fairly and equally.

  76. 76
    AshPlant

    I donated $0.00 to you back in October, and I would like it back. To cover the charges incurred, I have just sent you approximately ten of my British dollarthings via Paypal (identifying nos available on request).
    :P

    In light of the serious controversy and understandable widespread dismay at your bizarre spending habits, though, this donation has conditions attached.

    I want you to spend it on the most pointless, frivolous thing or things you can possibly conceive of to spend it on. I wish you to buy the most temporary, vaporous crap imaginable. Buy twenty Mars Bars and accidentally let them fall into the street. Make a hat out of expensive tissues and go out in the rain. Withdraw the corresponding dollar amount and literally burn it to ash with flames just to prove a point. I don’t care.

    And nor do I get to. It’s your money now. Why are people not clear on this?

  77. 77
    Karen Locke

    As a donor, I DEMAND to see a pic of Greta in her spiffy new shoes. No, wait… wrong attitude. I humbly request that Greta show us a picture of herself in her new shoes. I’m sort of duck-footed, and the pics she showed made my feet hurt just looking at them. But everyone’s feet are different, and I’d love to see the shoes worn by someone who finds them comfortable.

    As for how “my” money was used: it was a gift. How a gift is used is completely up to the recipient. It was a gift given in appreciation for many hours of intriguing reading. If Greta had used it, say, to start a llama farm, I might have written and inquired if she were really taking all her meds. But that’s a different issue. :)

  78. 78
    stakkalee

    Man, the ‘pitters are a pack of petty, shitty assholes; they grow more ridiculous by the second. Still, it’s good to hear your recovery is proceeding well. Congratulations.

  79. 79
    Didaktylos

    I’ve not bothered to read all the comments, just putting in my €0.02: this why “charity” sucks so much – far too many “donors” think their “donation” entitles them to an everlasting lien on the recipient’s soul.

  80. 80
    brucegorton

    So live and learn. I think you owe Hendricks an apology for demanding transparency. Her actions were the actions of a true skeptic.

    No, her actions were those of a true asshole. The donations were towards Greta having money to spend. Funnily enough, Greta got money, and spent it. She didn’t lie about anything to do with the money, and I am betting nobody who actually gave her the money would begrudge her having those shoes.

    Had Greta gotten enough and decided to buy her wife a shiny new Australia, I don’t think anybody would have minded one little bit. Well apart from Alan Jones and making his ‘life’ just a bit shittier would just make donating the funds that bit more worth it.

    However to Hendricks, someone actually getting the enthusiastic help of a community of goodhearted people is something to twist into a weapon. Hendricks and the other anti-FTB types who jumped on this, are the precise sorts of people who would take anything that is in the least bit good and shit all over it. We know this because that is exactly what they did.

  81. 81
    picklefactory

    D.D.F.T.

    Fluevogs are goddamned awesome; I loved that post and may have even indulged myself in a moment or two of feeling like I have good taste in something. I wore my Future Angels regularly for five years until they had no soles, and a couple weeks ago I convinced a co-worker to go for a pair of Executors. If only I had gotten the powder-blue ones I saw a few years back. Anyway, the back of my hand to accusations of being a spendthrift, I hope you enjoy them for ages. Is there a term for giving money to someone at least partially for the reason of spiting someone else?

  82. 82
    A Hermit

    I didn’t get a chance to donate any money (you’d pulled the plug before I saw it…guess I’m not your only fan…)

    But I will give you this…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmbUNF1Q4R8

    I’m glad you’re feeling better.

  83. 83
    embertine

    A few points:
    1) Damn you, Greta. Those shoes are gorgeous and I made the mistake of googling the manufacturer. WANT. WANT ALL. And I think they’re pretty reasonable for what they are. I am telling myself this as I eye my debit card.
    2) Holy crap this is a stupid manufactroversy. Let me see if I’ve got this straight: RH wants to control what you do today with money other people donated months ago, on the basis that… No. Clearly I’m not getting it because that would be ridiculous.
    3) Best wishes for your continued convalescence and the power of ridiculous shoes.
    ember
    :)

  84. 84
    Raging Bee

    (yes, it’s the usual gang of haters)

    (So why the Hell are we even bothering to respond to them? It’s not like that lot have shown themselves to be reasonable in the past.)

    Besides, shoes are a NECESSITY. What do those asshats expect you to do, go about barefoot in populated areas? That lot’s objections don’t even rise to a level where they can be called “childish.”

  85. 85
    noelplum99

    4: When men spend money on clothing, it’s seen as a legitimate expense; when women spend money on clothing, it’s seen as frivolous fashion.

    Haha, this certainly isn’t my wife’s perspective!

  86. 86
    Raging Bee

    PS: When I said shoes were a necessity, I forgot to add that BAD shoes are bad for one’s physical health. And since you were asking for donations to deal wtih medical problems, spending the money you get on good shoes is pretty much in line with what you said you need it for. (And since you also mentioned you needed the money because of loss of income, not just particular increased expenses, the MRAs’ complaints are even lamer on a second look.)

    PPS: You banned Ollie Crankcase before I could kick him to the curb?! Damn you fun-hating feminists and your sensible shoes!!

  87. 87
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    I’m reminded of the Fox News segment in which they quantified the percentage of the SO-CALLED POOR who have the temerity to own a refrigerator.

  88. 88
    Uncle Ebeneezer

    ME: Thanks for the $ you sent me, Dad.

    DAD: I was happy to help.

    ME: I have bills, have to get my car smogged, and really need some new running sneakers.

    DAD: Well it wouldn’t be my place to tell you how to spend your money. You’re an adult now.

    ——–

    I for one, was thrilled to see that you bought a dandy pair of shoes. And it filled me with joy to think that maybe a little of the $ I paid for your book, helped to make that happen. Enjoy your shoes. Use them to continue kicking ass. You’re a better person than all these a-holes creating the fuss.

  89. 89
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Haha, this certainly isn’t my wife’s perspective!

    Am I right guys? Women! HAhaaa…

  90. 90
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    And Jim is here to add his unique brand of nothing.

  91. 91
    noelplum99

    Dysomniak @89

    You are only betraying your own prejudices, not mine.
    Greta made a sweeping statement stereotyping how she feels society views the situation as it applies variously to men and women and you had no problem with that (neither did I tbh, it is a bit unrealistic to expect people never to generalise and yet still say anything about anything); I then made a statement purely about how my wife, and my wife alone, would view it and THEN you suddenly take issue and respond as if i were generalising for a whole group of people.

    You see that thing on your shoulder? It is called a ‘chip’.

    Jim

  92. 92
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Wrong, Jim. This is the stereotype; women go gaga over shoes, that women are easily distracted by the mention of a sale on shoes. That plays into the stereotype of women being shoppers and frivolous ones at that.

    Do you think that wee are so dumb that we do not realize this?

    And you, Jim, drop and and play yet an other sexist stereotype; my wife…

    You have not succeeded in pointing out how we are the real sexists. All you have done is play with tropes. Again

  93. 93
    Anthony V. Toscano

    Dear Christina,

    This so-called controversy reveals the presence of some sick and sad-thinking Morlocks crawling not so deep beneath the ground. I wish you nothing more nor less than joy. I also wish you had felt no need to address these Morlockian Gruntdevils who would eat alive your Eloi soul. Sheesh. And I didn’t even like the shoes!

    Anthony

  94. 94
    noelplum99

    Janine @92

    With respect you are wrong. I will quote you what Greta wrote again, perhaps you missed it:

    When men spend money on clothing, it’s seen as a legitimate expense; when women spend money on clothing, it’s seen as frivolous fashion

    The implication being that ‘this is what society thinks’. That is a stereotype. That other stereotypes exist is not the issue. However, I find it somewhat objectionable that you refer to my wife as a sexist stereotype. Fuck you for that.

    You have not succeeded in pointing out how we are the real sexists.

    janine, your defining feature is your stupidity. I haven’t shown that you are the ‘real sexists’ because i wasn’t trying to show that you are the real sexists and, certainly on the basis of this thread, i have no reason to suppose that you are sexist. I made a light-hearted comment on what is one of the most stupid arguments that has been made in this whole sorry saga (and by that I mean a stupid argument made against Greta, not by Greta). However, the likes of you are so used to generalising and stereotyping that you immediately assume that, because you have placed me in pigeonhole A, I must be trying to claim you are sexist.

    Jim

  95. 95
    TerranRich, Yet Another Atheist

    And in comes Jim with the ironic statements and making it about HIM…

  96. 96
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Jim, bless your heart.

    Contrary to what you are asserting, we do not live in a post sexist world. What Greta said is what many people think about this. And it is sexist.

    But I am afraid I am too fucking stupid to understand the subtle point you are making.

    Wait. I am not.

    Troll.

  97. 97
    Joerg

    No need to make any point ever or to give any justification ever. It is your money, you do whatever you please with it.

  98. 98
    TerranRich, Yet Another Atheist

    Quiet, everybody, let Jim explain sexism and how we’re really all wrong about ALL the things! *sits cross-legged*

  99. 99
    epweissengruber

    A very classy response. Then again, if the USA had comprehensive health coverage, you would never have had to resort to fund raising. Keep up the good work.

  100. 100
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    TerranRich, I hope you are in a comfortable chair. It really does not get better then this for Jim.

  101. 101
    noelplum99

    TerranRich @96 and more goading trollishness @98

    I keep forgetting the rules. I read Greta’s blog and posted a small inoffensive comment and then clean forgot that i am expected to ignore people like janine and dysomniak when they respond to me with unnecessary comments like

    And Jim is here to add his unique brand of nothing.

    But ofc you really don’t want me to make any more comments here do you, which is why you yourself say

    Quiet, everybody, let Jim explain sexism and how we’re really all wrong about ALL the things! *sits cross-legged*

    ….because, obviously, that is making it much more likely that I won’t respond.

    Janine, you call me a troll which suggests you think i am perhaps lying about something I have said or don’t believe what i have put here. I simply made what to me was a lighthearted comment. My wife has a real thing for shoes – I have uploaded a photo of about a third of her shoe collection (the other wardrobe door to the left houses another load and day shoes and boots are downstairs)
    http://noelplum99.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/shoes.html

    I think you are attempting to fashion an argument and a disagreement where there is none. I am quite sure many people associate women with a greater interest in clothes and clothes shopping though, I have to admit, I have never heard anyone suggest, or ever felt the implication that they believe, that men buying clothes is in some way more important (most men i know see clothes buying for themselves as a chore, nothing more).

    I won’t post anything else in this thread unless someone explicitly asks me to respond, so you can have the best of both worlds.

  102. 102
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Methinks Jim is trying to be a martyr.

    *snickers*

  103. 103
    TerranRich, Yet Another Atheist

    Awesome. Thank you for choosing to abstain from posting any further on a post that has nothing to do with you or your wife’s shoes.

  104. 104
    hostilecyclist

    I signed up in order to post. I have casually lurked on FTBs and seen the attacks on people who are “too feminist.” I am going to donate to each of the bloggers who I see attacked.

    Trolls cannot be ignored because everyone won’t ignore them. But I can counter the trolls by spending my money on people they attack.

    Nice blog, Ms. C.

  105. 105
    Raging Bee

    I find it somewhat objectionable that you refer to my wife as a sexist stereotype.

    NO ONE is talking about your wife except you, dumbass. YOU are the one who brought her into all this, after Greta described what everyone understood to be a negative and incorrect stereotype that wasn’t really true of women in general.

    Greta mentioned a stereotype, you know damn well she was talking about a stereotype, and you mentioned that your wife doesn’t conform to that stereotype, and NO ONE here said she did. “Unique brand of nothing” indeed, Janine.

  106. 106
    hostilecyclist

    OK, I donated here, to Butterflies and Wheels and Blag Hag. Who did I miss? Who else has been the subject of unrelenting attacks? I am on a roll.

  107. 107
    Nick Gotts

    I’ve not bothered to read all the comments, just putting in my €0.02: this why “charity” sucks so much – far too many “donors” think their “donation” entitles them to an everlasting lien on the recipient’s soul. – Didaktylos

    It’s not the donors who are complaining – AFAIK, not one of them. It’s the mean-spirited misogynist shits who hate Greta Christina, and are too stupid to see that this campaign says far more about them than their target. I’ll add my voice to those who made donations (a small one in my case), and are happy for Greta to have used it however she wished.

    Oh, and noelplum99 – it really isn’t all about you.

  108. 108
    bubba707

    Greta, very glad you’re doing better. The comments about stereotypes kind of amuse me. In my experience the closer someone resembles a stereotype the more they’re likely to object to that stereotype. At the same time they’ll happily trot out a bunch of other stereotypes.

  109. 109
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    hostilecyclist:
    Stephanie at Almost Diamonds and PZ Myers at Pharyngula both get a good degree of ridiculous attacks from the same group of people*. I’m not sure if you follow Skepchick, but I know some of them get attacked too.

     

    *Let’s see, that’s five blogs at FtB, so that makes them the UNholy Quinfecta?

  110. 110
    SallyStrange

    small inoffensive comment

    The smallness of your comment added to its offensiveness.

  111. 111
    Greta Christina

    And that’s it for noelplum99. Banned. High time,

    And just so my only comments in this discussion aren’t notations of who’s been banned, want to say this: I am so touched by the support being expressed by my readers, I can’t even tell you. This ridiculous non-troversy has been upsetting and distracting — it’s more than a little disturbing to realize that people who hate you are tracking your expenditures — but the support from my readers means an enormous amount to me, and is making it much, much better. Thank you.

  112. 112
    Greta Christina

    Oh, and just so y’all know: As of this writing, the number of people who have requested that their donations be returned is exactly zero. Either the people creating this non-troversy never donated to the fundraiser in the first place, or they did but don’t actually care enough about this to request their money back.

    However, a few people have made new donations and specifically requested that I spend it on something frivolous. I’m once again deeply touched. And I’m on it. Consider the Greta Christina Frivolous Shoe Fund open. I even know what I have my eye on…

  113. 113
    Raging Bee

    …jackboots. For when you’re angry, right?

  114. 114
    hostilecyclist

    Tony, thanks for the information. I will donate to them as well. And back to lurking.

  115. 115
    sisu

    I wasn’t able to contribute back in October, but thanks for the reminder! Contribution made.

  116. 116
    Matt125

    “4: When men spend money on clothing, it’s seen as a legitimate expense; when women spend money on clothing, it’s seen as frivolous fashion.”

    Noelplum’s first comment was to make a joke at this stereotype, and then he was trolled by other commenters here. So why was he banned? Is it a bannable offense to argue back to trolls?

  117. 117
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Oh, and just so y’all know: As of this writing, the number of people who have requested that their donations be returned is exactly zero.

    How come I’m totally not surprised?

    Somewhat realted: How come that we are apparently the thought/PC/everything police who want to tell everybody how to run their lives but Renee is the one who actually thinks she’s entitled to tell us (the donors) and Greta what to do with our own money and how we should feel about the things that happened thereafter?

  118. 118
    Greta Christina

    Matt125 @ #116: Take a look at my comment policy. Bannable offenses committed by noelplum99: derailing, personal insults and invective aimed at other commenters, behaving atrociously in other blogs, being an asshole. Any one of these offenses committed in isolation won’t usually result in being banned, but a repeated pattern of them over time definitely will.

  119. 119
    kbonn

    Greta, honestly, do whatever you want with the money. It is -your- money after all. I suspect that some are all in a buzz because it seems(thankfully) that your cancer scare was not nearly as bad as we were all afraid it could have been, also, You were still able to speak at at least one event recently via skype (No idea if you were paid), and you are still blogging somewhat regularly.

    The IMPRESSION is that the whole situation impacted you less than you were afraid it would, both in terms of medical bills and missed income, or in other words, you didn’t/don’t need all the money you received. If that is true, then great! Untimely illness can be very scary and really affect finacial stability. I personally don’t see this as a problem. But I suppose the question is what did you do with the money you didn’t/don’t need, assuming that number is not zero. Some people have not problem with you using it for whatever you want, some people probably prefer any excess was donated (even perhaps to Ed, who also had a heath scare recently). They are totally within their right to “prefer” whatever they want, and if they felt it wasn’t used appropriately to not give again should the need arise.

    From what I’ve seen(and I don’t pay particularly close attention, though I saw three posts were up talking about shoes and something or other), you haven’t said if you even have excess funds from the donations, and what if anything you’ve done with them. The IMPRESSION that you didn’t end up needing as much as you thought, and then YOU post about buying new shoes, (I would hardly saying people are tracking your purchases when you post it to the internet) just makes people wonder what you did with the ‘extra’ money.

    TL:DR

    There is an impression that you didn’t end up needing all that you got from the donation. I think that anyone who donated has every right to be curious about what you did/didn’t do with any actual excess, as its been some time since you posted you were cancer free(hooray!). Not at all saying they went about it in the best way, but I can understand the question.

    Best wishes,
    -Keith

    Also, why was Noel banned? He made a light hearted comment regarding his wife RE: shoes. Even if he was baiting, your other commenters didn’t have to bite. Also, he tried to defend himself, and left a “I won’t respond further unless asked” comment, that is banable?

  120. 120
    kbonn

    Also, I should clarify, I don’t believe people are entitled to an answer regarding your finances, but I think anyone who donated can ask a question without being an asshole.

  121. 121
    Joerg

    I say we pledge some money so Greta can buy herself some extravagant shoes. I pledge 10$, who’s in?

  122. 122
    Timid Atheist

    @119

    The problem is, the complaints are not from people who donated to Greta. The complaints are from detractors of Greta who say that her asking for help is “e-begging” and that she is as bad as televison evangelists because she’s not being transparent with her use of the donations.

    Another thing, Greta stated more than once that she cut off donations once she reached enough to cover expenses. She redirected all the rest to other charities. She did not take more than she needed. (Though I get the impression that those of us who donated wouldn’t have cared if she had.) And the impact was exactly as she said it would be. In fact, if anything, she was asking for less that what she really needed.

    The rest of this is just a general comment:

    I find it depressing and frustrating to see one of my favorite bloggers coming under attack and being accused of such ridiculousness.

    Greta, I’m so glad I decided to buy your book and subscribe to your blog. I will continue to support you in whatever way I can. And if I could, I’d send you even more money so you could buy frivolous things, if for no other reason than to celebrate that you survived and you’re a strong, amazing person. Thank you for all you’ve done.

  123. 123
    Raging Bee

    Also, [Noel] tried to defend himself…

    No, he overreacted to an offhand comment he could have ignored, and then started accusing us of saying things about his wife that no one had actually said. There’s a difference between “defending oneself” and getting needlessly defensive over imagined slights.

    There is an impression that you didn’t end up needing all that you got from the donation…

    “There is an impression?” That sounds kinda vague and evasive. Who has this impression? The people who donated, or some other unspecified group whose opinion may or may not be relevant to Greta? (It seems most of the objections are NOT coming from actual donors.) Who are you pretending to speak for?

  124. 124
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    Keith @ 119

    If that’s the “impression” people got, then they are ill-informed, or dishonest, or both.

    Fact 1: Greta held a fundraiser and gave it up after a day because of the overwhelming amount of donations made.

    Fact 2: Greta had extra money from that fundraiser, which she committed to redistributing to various charities.

    Fact 3: Greta is doing very well, despite having had cancer and major surgery, and is now working again.

    Fact 4: Greta bought some pretty reasonable-priced shoes.

    I don’t see how one can get the impression that she’s been frivolous with donations or anything of the kind. In fact, she’s been transparent through the entire process. The people tearing her down now are the same ones who’ve been harassing Ophelia, and Jenn, and PZ and Stephanie (and others) for being feminists–THEY ARE HATERS. They don’t have a point. They don’t have a clue. And they certainly don’t have a reasonable fucking impression of the situation.

    Finally, fuck off with the implication that Renee et all were “just asking questions” about their donations because 1. they didn’t donate 1 red cent and 2. they didn’t ask–they flat out accused Greta of mismanaging, plus implied that she didn’t really have cancer, calling it a “scare.” They are disgusting human beings. Stop defending them.

  125. 125
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Some people have not problem with you using it for whatever you want, some people probably prefer any excess was donated (even perhaps to Ed, who also had a heath scare recently). They are totally within their right to “prefer” whatever they want, and if they felt it wasn’t used appropriately to not give again should the need arise.

    No, they fucking aren’t.
    Once you pushed that “Send money” button on paypal that money is now gone from your account and no longer any of your business. You didn’t buy anything, you’re not entitled to anything.
    Somebody who feels that they are entitled to any say in what happens have a character flaw they should work on.

  126. 126
    ReneeHendricks

    And I’m off to do something a bit more worthwhile – raising money to repair cleft lips/palates in children of non-1st world areas. Feel free to contribute when it’s set up. I guarantee no $270 shoes will be purchased with the funds :)

  127. 127
    John Horstman

    These are the same people who want drug tests for people on welfare, or want to restrict their shopping to Good Will and the shittiest, cheapest caloric substances (I will NOT call them “food”) available. These are the same people who think it’s appropriate to dictate that women not spend their pay on birth control. These are the same people who complained that Anita Sarkeesian was “scamming” people after their misogynist trolling motivated one of the most vehement anti-sexist (and largest fundraising) online push-backs I’ve ever seen. In short, they’re hateful, authoritarian fucks who think they should get to dictate how you’re spending your money despite the fact that they’re not involved in any part of any transactions with you. My guess is that Greta will not get a single legitimate request for a returned donation; no one complaining actually gave her money.

  128. 128
    Anthony K

    As someone who was a professional fundraiser for the early part of his career: you are literally the worst kind of human being, reneehendricks.

  129. 129
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    Oh word, Renee. Who cares about Greta’s cancer when there are 3rd world children to feel paternalistically self-congratulatory about?

  130. 130
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    And I’m off to do something [...] worthwhile

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  131. 131
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    raising money to repair cleft lips/palates in children of non-1st world areas.

    …until, of course, someone in one of those countries says something mean about a group you like, and you renege on your promised donation…

    (Someone should check in and see if this ever happens.)

  132. 132
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Wow, now we can all turn off our lights, Rene’s halo shines bright enough for everybody.

  133. 133
    Anthony K

    Wow, now we can all turn off our lights, Rene’s halo shines bright enough for everybody.

    How so? She couldn’t defend her claim that she was “just asking questions”, so now she’s back to policing Greta’s purchases.

    And this new idea of hers is a transparent attempt to deflect from the fact that she lied, and doesn’t have the ethical spine to retract it.

    Must be her parents’ fault. It’s how she was raised.

  134. 134
    Argle Bargle

    Renee, go and do whatever you want, just as long as you go. You don’t even have to tell us how well you’re doing whatever it is you end up doing.

  135. 135
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    @ 130 LOOOOOOOL FOREVER!

  136. 136
    Anthony K

    You don’t even have to tell us how well you’re doing whatever it is you end up doing.

    Think of how many cleft palates she could heal if she stopped paying for her internet connection.

  137. 137
    edithkeeler

    I didn’t donate to Greta’s fund because I already had a subscription and as she says it was closed shortly after opening. However add me to the chorus of get the hell over yourselves, haters. Greta, I’m sorry you have to go through this shit even though it was a good opportunity for people to turn out an support you, and despite the fact these drongos are so completely absurd there are some LOLs to be had.

    They remind me of that gif from the VP debate. This is my face every time one of them pops up with some petty rubbish (so, multiple times a day):
    these fucking guys!

  138. 138
    slc1

    According to the web site, these shoes sell for $259. Having just shelled out nearly $400 for a pair of Shimano cycling shoes, I don’t think that’s out of line.

    Just as an example, a pair of men’s Johnston Murphy dress shoes will retail for $375.

  139. 139
    emburii

    blockquote cite=”And I’m off to do something a bit more worthwhile – raising money to repair cleft lips/palates in children of non-1st world areas. Feel free to contribute when it’s set up. I guarantee no $270 shoes will be purchased with the funds”

    So you’ll be showing up to meetings with potential big donors in the scruffiest, most worn out items possible then? Feel free, demonstrate to these potential financial assets how you so poorly use money that you can’t even afford to keep yourself properly shod. Or maybe you’ll buy shoes that are just good enough for a few meetings before you have to replace them, shoes that probably exploit those same third-world countries you claim to be so worried about, shoes that in the chain of replacement will probably cost more in the long run than just one damn decent pair would have.

    (A fact of economics that many other people have pointed out before you even posted your latest ‘gem’. You haven’t bothered to refute it or address like a ‘true’ champion of skepticism. You’re a real value to CFI, though sadly it’s as a rather large negative aspect rather than anything good.)

  140. 140
    emburii

    Nyaargghhh. Not good with the block quoting.

  141. 141
    Greta Christina

    ReneeHendricks, unsurprisingly, has been banned. Y’all can stop piling on her if you like.

  142. 142
    sceptinurse

    I am another one who didn’t donate because you had already closed it by the time I saw it. I did buy your book. I am on who would have said, if I had donated, that the money was then yours to spend as you saw fit.

    Glad you found shoes that work and are comfortable. As someone who worked on their feet for years I understand well the importance of comfortable well fitting shoes, regardless of the cost. I would add, in my book, that was money well spent.

    I’m glad you are doing so well and back to working. It’s good to see you posting again.

  143. 143
    Inaji

    Greta, I’ve kicked a few dollars your way because of this – get shoes! Get anything you want! You should be able to have a good pair of shoes, dammit, and you should be able to enjoy life. We all should and the little things count.

  144. 144
    TerranRich, Yet Another Atheist

    I love this pattern of barging in, getting facts wrong, and then making it all about THEM. Renee is apparently a saint, because look, everybody! she donates her time and money and energy to help people! And she won’t do this evil act of buying shoes… which… has… nothing to do with her donating her efforts to a cause. If others had donated their efforts toward her, then I could see her point. But she… I… er…

    Yeah, glad she’s banned. Ten bucks says she’ll brag to her fellow board-crapping pigeons about having been banned “just for disagreeing”.

  145. 145
    teragram42

    I didn’t think of the funds I sent as a donation, but as payment for a thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking blog. And I loved the post about Fleuvogs, they are awesome shoes.

    I am so glad the cancer was treatable surgically, and that Greta’s back to blgging.

  146. 146
    Greta Christina

    Oh,, btw, I should clarify a small but relevant piece of misinformation. Some people have the impression that I did the fundraiser to cover medical expenses. I didn’t. I specifically said in the fundraising post that I had health insurance, and that my medical expenses would be covered. The fundraiser was to cover living expenses: i.e., to replace lost income from being unable to work for some time after the surgery.

  147. 147
    julian

    Greta, you could at east ban Janine and Raging Bee for trying to provoke other people. They always pull these exact same stunts and they keep getting away with it.

    I’m sorry for derailing but the pair of them really grate my nerves.

  148. 148
    carlie

    I am very sad that Renee spends money on computers and the internet, which is money she should be spending on charity somewhere or other. Why does Renee hate the poor and needy?

  149. 149
    Greta Christina

    kbonn @ #119 and elsewhere: Others have already addressed both the factual and logical errors in your comments. (Including the fact that I didn’t, in fact, spend money from the fundraiser on the Fluevogs: I spent money I earned as a writer on the Fluevogs.) I just want to respond to this:

    I suspect that some are all in a buzz because it seems(thankfully) that your cancer scare was not nearly as bad as we were all afraid it could have been, also, You were still able to speak at at least one event recently via skype

    I see. So I am to be judged, not only on what I did with money given to me to cover my living expenses during my sickness, but on how sick I really was. If I wasn’t really all that sick, then people who donated money — or more accurately, people who didn’t donate money, the people who did donate money are not the ones raising a stink about this — have the right to publicly excoriate me.

    So. About that Skype talk.

    Do you have any idea what it took out of me to give that Skype talk for Skepticon? I gave that talk two weeks after I had a major organ removed. I was in serious pain, doped up on Vicodin, exhausted, shaky, emotionally traumatized. But Skepticon is an important event for me, and I wanted to have a presence there if I possibly could — even if just a remote one. So I pulled it together enough: not only give the to talk during my recovery, but to write it.

    And now, because I did a reasonably good job of pulling it together and maintaining some semblance of professionalism for the one hour it took me to give this talk, “some are all in a buzz” because they judge my illness to have not really been all that bad, and thus are judging me to not be deserving of help. The fact that I managed to give this talk is not seen as evidence of my ability and willingness to work through pain and trauma — it’s seen as evidence that the pain and trauma really weren’t that bad.

    I strongly encourage you (or rather — not you, it’s other people who have these “impressions,” you’re just kindly informing me of them as a neutral third party) to read On Sometimes Feeling Okay and Sometimes Not: Grief and Cancer Diary, 12/19/12, which discusses this very issue — the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” problem of healthy people judging sick people based on what they think sick people should and should not be capable of. (On a very similar topic, I strongly encourage you to read The Spoon Theory, on the But You Don’t Look Sick site.) Perhaps after you read these pieces, you’ll be less quick to judge sick people who are trying to manage and/or return to some semblance of normality.

  150. 150
    michaeld

    This is a new low in manufactured controversy. Don’t let this stupidity get you down greta.

  151. 151
    hypatiasdaughter

    #88 Uncle Ebeneezer

    Enjoy your shoes. Use them to continue kicking ass.

    Ahh, so really they are a work related expense……………

  152. 152
    Raging Bee

    And I’m off to do something a bit more worthwhile – raising money to repair cleft lips/palates in children of non-1st world areas.

    …after going out of your way to tell us we’re not worth going out of your way for? Who do you think you’re fooling?

    You’re right — giving money to peole less fortunate than yourself is more worthwhile than acting like a self-righteous twit without saying anything worthwhile here. Take all the time you need…

  153. 153
    sambarge

    Hi Greta,

    I didn’t send you a donation last fall because, by the time I read about it, you had already surpassed your target. I did donate to a local cancer charity, with you in mind. I guess I’m not really in a position to comment but then it didn’t stop Renee or olivercrangle, did it?

    I’m glad you’re better and I hope those shoes are as comfortable and classy as they looked in the picture. If I had sent you money, I would be pleased to think you were doing better and moving on with life. It wouldn’t occur to me for minute to begrudge you the use of your money in any way that you feel was the best, just as I assume the Northwestern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre is using my donated funds in the manner they deem most appropriate.

    Take care and please keep writing, even in the face of the pettiness.

    Renee – I hope your husband responds well to treatment. Even though I disagree with your position, I imagine this is a difficult time for your family. I hope you enjoy the same support that Greta did from family and friends. Good luck.

  154. 154
    georgewiman

    See that, haters? People who actually care about Greta gave money to help her with living expenses, because we value her and what she does. And she spent the dough on living expenses, like food, clothing and shelter, as we hoped she would. So crawl back under your respective rocks.

  155. 155
    hypatiasdaughter

    Just a note that serious medical treatments can have lots of extra expenses, even if one has good health insurance. Twenty years ago, the Canadian health plans didn’t cover things like wheelchairs, crutches and drugs This depends on the illness. Hospital treatments, like chemotherapy meds were covered, but not antibiotic prescriptions given in a doctor’s office. Generally, companies offered their employees supplemental insurance to cover these expenses.
    In the US, there are usually co-pays on covered treatments. My plan (which is very good) charges co-pays of $25 for a doctor’s visit; $10 for a prescription refill and $100 for an ER visit.
    I have a neighbor who had a 10% co-pay and after surgery and physio for a brain aneurism, was left with $90,000 in co-pay bills.

  156. 156
    hjhornbeck

    While poking at the haters is fun, I’d like to reply to something more important:

    a few people have made new donations and specifically requested that I spend it on something frivolous. I’m once again deeply touched. And I’m on it. Consider the Greta Christina Frivolous Shoe Fund open. I even know what I have my eye on…

    [squeeeee!] Oh, I hope I hope it has sparkles on it!

     

     

    (PS: Great to have you back and kicking, Christina!)

  157. 157
    Anthony K

    Greta, you were absolutely clear that your fundraiser was to assist with the living expenses that were not related to your treatment, but your inability to work at your regular capacity during your convalescence.

    You weren’t unclear on that aspect in the least.

    We know the haters don’t read your full posts, but just look for cheap and easy gotchas.

  158. 158
    evilDoug

    Greta, if the Frivolous Fund gets big enough, please consider some custom made shoes. Then we can have The Absurd Bespoke Shoe Controversy (when I first saw your heading, I wondered what was going on in the manufactured shoe trade that was controversial).

    So glad you’re back on your feet. Dancing on the Arc (supports) de Triomphe. Ready to buckle down and get back to work.

  159. 159
    Anne C. Hanna

    Holy hell. I thought this manufactroversy was stupid when I was assuming these were $500 shoes, and then I saw ReneeHendricks quoting the price as $270 as if that was an unbelievably terrible thing. Seriously? A decent pair of durable, practical, comfortable hiking boots can cost more than that, and people are treating it as hugely extravagant that Greta spent that same amount on something that’s not only durable, practical, and comfortable but also stylish and professional? Even if it was their goddamn business what Greta spends her money on, which it isn’t, this would still be utterly ridiculous. Seeing as how her finances aren’t actually their goddamn business either, it’s just vile.

    It’s like they never grew out of junior high. All they do is pick targets and then distort every single thing about those targets, no matter how innocuous, into an excuse for a new wave of hooting and shrieking and chest-beating. And, y’know, I get that it’s satisfying (in a certain grotesque but nevertheless fascinating way) to hate someone, and to lovingly examine every thing that one discovers about them in order to find a way to use it to justify and inflame that hate. But I guess I kind of thought that the point of being a skeptic was to learn to rise above one’s immediate emotional responses and analyze situations rationally. Do they really think that what they’re doing makes the world a better place? Do they think they’re going to be able to proudly recount these exploits to their children? “Daddy, what did you do in the New Atheist movement?” “Well, honey, I spent hours obsessively stalking women I didn’t like online, and chronicling every terrible terrible thing they did, and ‘joking’ about how I’d like to kick them in the cunt.”

    I just don’t get it.

  160. 160
    Surly Amy

    I hope every dime I sent you went to Fluevogs. I love you and wish you every happiness you can find.

  161. 161
    Praedico

    Just adding my voice to the “I donated* and I don’t give a flying fuck what you spend your money on cos, you know, it’s your money” chorus.

    I eagerly await the next controversy; maybe a feminist lady will accidentally drop a recyclable item in the regular trash or something.

    *Actually, thinking back, I’m not sure I did donate… I think I just bought your book instead because I was short on cash at the time. Whatever, my point still stands. And I just donated $10, put it toward something frivolous :)

  162. 162
    evilDoug

    I would bet dollars to doughnuts (now there is an expression with meaning lost to inflation) that Greta bought some cat food with some of the money from her friends. And I would bet the haters would thoroughly approve, provided, of course, they thought it was for herself.

  163. 163
    UnbelieveSteve

    Hi Greta.
    How many months of mortgage payments did the donations cover? I donated a small amount when you asked for it.
    Cheers.

  164. 164
    edmundog

    I recall a Frasier episode where Frasier lent Roz some money during their period of unemployment, and became distressed when he saw that she appeared to be spending it on personal items. Niles and Martin both told him it was none of his business what she did with the money, and Frasier, as is the tendency of the series, obsessed and was roundly shamed at the end when he tried to bring it up. It never occurred to me there would be people who would side with him while watching that.

  165. 165
    poxyhowzes

    I know Renee Hendricks has been banned on this thread, but when the “non-first-world” beneficiaries of her more palatable ([not very] sorry!) charity get up from their hospital beds and need shoes to walk around in, where shall I contribute?

    pH

  166. 166
    Tenebras

    So yeah, I just got done arguing with a selfish, ignorant, greedy fuck on Facebook who was trotting out the “I’ve always had insurance, I don’t ask the gov’t to give me handouts!” in response to a post about UHC. And then I come here and read about these other selfish, ignorant, greedy fucks.

    Just… what… how… why? WHY? Why do so many people suck so much? How the fuck do you even begin to do something about them? What can you do about them?

    Just… FUCK.

    I’m going to go crawl into bed and hide now.

  167. 167
    Nemo

    @Anthony V. Toscano #93:

    The Eloi weren’t really the good guys. At least not in the book.

  168. 168
    Grimalkin

    As I finished the article and before I read the comments, I immediately thought “…there are going to be a TON of people giving more donations now.”

    If we donate enough, will you find someone to custom make you some Pink Jackboots? I mean, surely it’s possible, if they can make a jackboot and get pink leather…

    I think that would be the best way to piss off these asshats. And it’s a damned shame that pink jackboots don’t exist.

    Regardless, if I can I’m going to donate to the frivolity fund.

  169. 169
    opposablethumbs

    The pitters have sunk to (yet another) new low. Not one of them donated a penny (correct me if I’m wrong, but the responses then and now overwhelmingly indicate that those who did donate are not pitters – surprise surprise) but they want to crow and squawk over an imagined “gotcha” of this pathetic nature? An appreciative audience helps tide someone over a period when they are laid up, and these people fondly imagine that this gives them grounds to criticise how that person subsequently spends their own money and manages their own life? Just what do they think “give” means?

    I can’t quite decide whether the pitters are beyond despicable or beyond laughable. This one makes them both, I guess. (let me see … despicable, laughable and beyond wrong: yes, we have a trifecta)

  170. 170
    Emptyell

    Grimalkin,

    I know what you mean. I thought immediately of pitching in to get her a new outfit to go with the shoes or a maybe a handbag. Of course Greta being the outstanding human being that she is would probably decline the offer.

    Perhaps we could organize a fundraiser for http://www.dressforsuccess.org/ in her honor.

  171. 171
    Raging Bee

    It’s like they never grew out of junior high.

    That realization hits me in the face every single time I read any of the MRAs’ pointlessly hateful nonsense. It’s really all you need to know about them: for whatever reason, some people simply never grow past a certain phase in their early development, and all of their interacions with others are nothing more than the same immaturity glossed over with a bigger vocabulary. It’s often as sad and pitiable as it is burdensome and contemptible.

    I did the mean-asshole-mouth-breather thing in junior-high too, and enjoyed it while it lasted. But I soon found other, more fun things to do, that made me feel better afterword than just spewing hatred at other kids my age. Don’t these people WANT to move on and make progress toward newer and better things?

  172. 172
    Anne C. Hanna

    I did the mean-asshole-mouth-breather thing in junior-high too, and enjoyed it while it lasted. But I soon found other, more fun things to do, that made me feel better afterword than just spewing hatred at other kids my age.

    Raging Bee, that does give me hope, in a perverse way. I was a target for some of the mean-asshole-mouth-breathers at my own elementary school and junior high, and I always wondered what happened to those people when they grew up. The slymers had me half-convinced that they just stay that way and go on harassing people indefinitely, never realizing that they’re doing anything wrong, and that was a depressing thought. It’s nice to know that some people do actually get better. Thanks for being one of the ones who did.

  173. 173
    Stephen T

    And yet another one logging in to say no, I don’t want my money back. No, I don’t care what you spent it on and yes, I think you’d look awesome in pink jackboots so I’m sending some money for that as well. Most importantly, I’m so pleased you’re doing well. Take care.

  174. 174
    Raging Bee

    The slymers had me half-convinced that they just stay that way and go on harassing people indefinitely, never realizing that they’re doing anything wrong…

    It mostly depends on what sort of response their assholish behavior got. If someone somewhere (prefereably friends and/or role models) gives them the message that the joke isn’t funny anymore, or won’t get them the positive reinforcement they got before, then they change their act. But if no one ever takes a firm stand against them, and they keep on getting the response they want, then the behavior will be set in concrete, and when someone resists then later on, they’ll respond by getting extremely resentful at the rest of the Universe for not treating them the way they expect to be treated.

    In my case, I was lucky enough to have parents with a decent sense of propriety, and friends who, at the very least, gave me enough silent treatment to nudge me into changing my act. It kinda takes a village.

  175. 175
    ibelieveindog

    I’m glad you were able to use the money to help with your mortgage.

    I’m thrilled that you bought those gorgeous Fluevogs – vicarious thrill!

    The Operetta Guilias in wine are lovely, too!

  176. 176
    Emptyell

    I can’t believe they are making a fuss about $270 for a pair of good shoes. I’ve been buying Cole Haan for years which range from about $200 and up for nice mans dress shoes. I still have the first pair I bought about twenty years ago and they still look good with a suit. I also wear out at least one pair of $100 tennis shoes per year and I don’t play that much.

    Anyway, this bullshit inspired me to get my (virtual) butt over to: http://www.dressforsuccess.org/ to make a donation. I dedicated it to Greta of course. Not just because of all this brouhaha (though it’s more than enough reason) but because she was one of the first (along with Ophelia) to get me involved with the whole secular atheist thing (and rededicated to my long dormant feminism).

    I may also have to stop into the Fluevog store next time I’m in the city. Their men’s styles look pretty good too.

  177. 177
    doubtthat

    @146 Greta

    Speaking as a lawyer, lost wages are indistinguishable from other health care costs. If you were in a car wreck and unable to work, those damages would be included in any calculation along with X-Rays and doctor visits.

    Even if it’s just semantic, I get the distinction, and notice that I was one of the folks generating the confusion. My bad.

  178. 178
    bubba707

    Reading the overwhelmingly positive comments toward Greta here makes me think maybe that predicted asteroid strike should be averted as there does seem to be some worthwhile humans on the planet, something I was beginning to doubt.

  179. 179
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    First, I want to say, with an absolute and infinite amount of shame, that I did not donate.

    a) I didn’t find out until you had already closed off donations;

    b) PayPal and I don’t like each other. I can’t use my ONLY! card on anything that uses PayPal because I forgot I had an account. Back then, if you didn’t use your account in a year, they closed it. Having forgotten that PayPal even existed, I rediscovered it two years later, signed up, and got banned within a week. So now I’m basically not allowed to use PayPal, despite numerous protestations and explanations and everything (I spent a good 6 months trying to get it fixed, to no avail).

    And yes, it means I can’t even use my card as a guest. Not only did they block my email address, they also blocked my card. And I don’t have another one.

    So unless there’s an alternate method for donation that avoids PayPal completely, I’m screwed as far as donating goes.

    Now, I have bought both the book you wrote and the one you edited a few years ago on the sex industry.

    ———————————————————-
    Second, if I HAD donated, I would hope that my donation went directly to those shoes. I’ve never spent more than $40 on shoes (mostly because I don’t have the money), but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating wearable shoes. If those shoes are comfortable, and they last years, then it was a good, worthy purchase.

    ———————————————————-
    Third, I want to highlight something…

    sambarge at #153

    Renee – I hope your husband responds well to treatment. Even though I disagree with your position, I imagine this is a difficult time for your family. I hope you enjoy the same support that Greta did from family and friends. Good luck.

    That’s the difference between FtB and the pitters. The pitters, as far as I know, didn’t offer any condolences to Greta for what she was going through. They didn’t offer any amount of support.

    And yet here is a commenter at FTB, someone that Renee would undoubtedly hate, offering these well-wishes for her husband despite everything. And yes, I do think sambarge, here, is an excellent example of the kind of community FTB actually fosters. You’re all this good.

    ———————————————————-
    Fourth…

    Tenebras at #166

    So yeah, I just got done arguing with a selfish, ignorant, greedy fuck on Facebook who was trotting out the “I’ve always had insurance, I don’t ask the gov’t to give me handouts!” in response to a post about UHC. And then I come here and read about these other selfish, ignorant, greedy fucks.

    Just… what… how… why? WHY? Why do so many people suck so much? How the fuck do you even begin to do something about them? What can you do about them?

    Just… FUCK.

    I’m going to go crawl into bed and hide now.

    Yeah… pretty much. It’s beyond disturbing to me, to be honest. It’s hard to be an optimist when people are this. Fucking. Stupid.

    bubba707 @ #178

    Reading the overwhelmingly positive comments toward Greta here makes me think maybe that predicted asteroid strike should be averted as there does seem to be some worthwhile humans on the planet, something I was beginning to doubt.

    In my experience, the worthwhile humans seem to be in a serious minority… an oasis of wonderful humanity surrounded by a desert of shitheads who are out largely and completely for themselves, and fuck everyone else.

    In fact, I’d say there are such a small amount of worthwhile humans (largely represented here at FTB [excluding myself], though also including some celebrities and other good people and so on [Malala, for example]), that we could put all of you in a ship and send you off to survive while the rest of us… well… that asteroid strike and all…

    ———————————————————-
    And finally…

    Great, I am overjoyed to see that you’re feeling better. All I hope is that you continue to get better. And I hope that any royalties you get from me buying your books goes towards the Frivolous Fund. I want to see a picture of you wearing pink jackboots because EPIC!

  180. 180
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Aw man. Can I edit my comment? Please?

    And finally…

    Great, I am overjoyed to see that you’re feeling better. All I hope is that you continue to get better. And I hope that any royalties you get from me buying your books goes towards the Frivolous Fund. I want to see a picture of you wearing pink jackboots because EPIC!

    THAT SHOULD SAY GRETA! WHY DOES IT SAY GREAT?!?

    (I can’t type… I hate that I can’t type… :( )

  181. 181
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Aw man. Can I edit my comment? Please?

    No editing! Be grateful your great Greta misspelling doesn’t… grate.

  182. 182
    bubba707

    Heck Nate, don’t include me either. I’d rather just take a boat out alone and sit playing blues riffs and improvs til the world ends.

  183. 183
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    @ Unbelievesteve,
    If you want your $ back, just let her know. She’s offered to give it back. You do not, however, deserve a breakdown of her expenses. By your other posts, you just seems to be another shit stirring jerk.

  184. 184
    No Light

    Greta – I’m so happy you’re feeling better and kicking arse!

    To Mr “Wah you did a Skype talk, you can’t have been that ill” – get back in your cave. I know from experience that it would have robbed Greta of days worth of spoons. I have a question – Have you ever needed to cancel plans because you’d visited the toilet once or twice more than usual the previous day? Have you ever needed double the usual amount of morphine because you had to take an unexpected (but long) phone call?

    That’s the kind of exhaustion and pain she’s talking about. I hope you never get to experience that.

  185. 185
    Anne C. Hanna

    Raging Bee,

    It mostly depends on what sort of response their assholish behavior got. If someone somewhere (prefereably friends and/or role models) gives them the message that the joke isn’t funny anymore, or won’t get them the positive reinforcement they got before, then they change their act. But if no one ever takes a firm stand against them, and they keep on getting the response they want, then the behavior will be set in concrete, and when someone resists then later on, they’ll respond by getting extremely resentful at the rest of the Universe for not treating them the way they expect to be treated.

    …which, of course, is why the Slymepit makes it so very hard to redeem (or at least drive away) our current crop of assholes, I guess. They can go over there and nestle themselves into the warm loving glow of a bunch of other people who agree that harassment == heroic defense of atheism/skepticism. :/

  186. 186
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Hey bubba707…

    Can I join you? I can play blues riffs & improvise, too…

    Xanthë… better “great” than “grate”, I guess…

    Greta is great, and she certainly doesn’t grate.

  187. 187
    stevebowen

    Greta wasn’t aware of this “controversy” until today. I would just like to say I did donate a small amount which I consider totally inadequate recompense for the pleasure I get from your writing talent. Spend the money on sex, drugs and rock and roll for all I care, you earned it, it’s your money..

  188. 188
    Raging Bee

    …which, of course, is why the Slymepit makes it so very hard to redeem (or at least drive away) our current crop of assholes, I guess.

    Yeah, that’s another huge factor. When I was a boy we didn’t have any stinking Internet. We didn’t even have ARPANet. Back then you had to walk through three feet of snow to insult someone to his/her face. Then he/she could beat you up. Kinda put a damper on bad behavior. And we liked it that way…

  189. 189
    stevestee

    Note from GC: This comment has been deleted, as it was posted by a commenter who has been banned. The content was copied and pasted from another website: if anyone feels a compelling need to see it, they can do so here. FYI, it contains a large number of flat-out factual errors (as well as logical and ethical fallacies), but I have no reason to think the person writing it is acting in good faith, and therefore have no interest in engaging about it.

  190. 190
    No Light

    Ah you deleted the psychic’s comment. Funny how he could divine that info from comments posted. It’s a bit like how my dad can apparently tell which of his fellow road users were born out of wedlock.

    RB –

    Yeah, that’s another huge factor. When I was a boy we didn’t have any stinking Internet. We didn’t even have ARPANet. Back then you had to walk through three feet of snow to insult someone to his/her face. Then he/she could beat you up. Kinda put a damper on bad behavior. And we liked it that way…

    You’ve forgotten that it was uphill both ways, and that we were barefoot, as online shoe shops didn’t exist yet. Oh the hardship…

  191. 191
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Wait… there’s actually a blog about it, now?

    I really don’t get it. What the fuck is WRONG with these people?

    Seriously?

    Why are they so fucking obsessed that they had to stat a damn blog about it?

    Jumping Jesus on a Fucking Pogostick! These morons need lives… badly.

  192. 192
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Aw darn! I was gonna respond to it, too!

    I’m thinking of responding to the blog, but I want to post her first to avoid any inaccuracies…

    So this was going to be my response:

    I just want to point out a few things:

    1. The donation buttons that are *always* on Greta’s blog are NOT HERS! They are set up by the owners of Freethought Blogs. Greta has no control over those, thus she can’t disable them.

    2. This is Greta’s job. It’s how she makes her money. Those donation are her INCOME.

    3. She was expressly told to use that money however she saw fit.

    4. Between the royalties from her books and the fact that she’s had at LEAST one speaking gig since getting better BEFORE buying the shoes, how do you know that she used the donated funds to get the shoes? How do you know she didn’t use her royalty checks and the money from that speaking engagement?

    Again, I just want to make sure I’m not posting any inaccuracies, but I’m pretty sure these are accurate. The main on I’m not too sure about is point #1, about the donate/subscribe buttons. I’ve seen them on every blog here at FtB, so I’ve assumed that’s a site-wide thing to donate to FtB, not blog-specific donations…

  193. 193
    johnhulls

    I follow Youtubers Integralmath, Noelplum99 and Thunderf00t so I am no fan of yourself but even with my biased viewpoint I don’t see any story here. I think my comment on Integralmath’s recent shoes video expresses my opinion.

    “Personally I don’t see any story here. Are we saying that once some one has accepted money to assist with their living expenses during a time of difficulty that they can no longer spend their money without checking the opinion of those that did not donate in the first place?”

    I hope things are going well for you now.

  194. 194
    lee coye

    I’m with John. Obviously, what other people do with their money is their business. You requested donations as an individual, what you do with it is no one’s concern. If someone who donated has their knickers in a twist, don’t donate next time. I didn’t personally donate; I tend to send my money where it’s most needed, to the least privileged and most blighted.

    I don’t see a “controversy” here, but I do see humor. I mean, talk about reinforcing stereotypes: Woman does fundraiser, uses some of the money to buy expensive pair of shoes. Worth a chuckle, at least.

  195. 195
    athyco

    The unthinking, nuance-free, minimizing acceptance of the stereotype is the only thing that bring forth the chuckle, lee coye. Like little kids laughing when anyone says “poop.”

  196. 196
    lee coye

    The unthinking, nuance-free, minimizing acceptance of the stereotype is the only thing that bring forth the chuckle, lee coye. Like little kids laughing when anyone says “poop.”

    *brings

  197. 197
    gillyc

    I donated a bit… and I read the Fluevogs post, and went and looked at the Fluevogs site and thought ‘ooh pretty’ and ‘ouch they’re expensive’ and ‘why don’t they sell them in the UK’ and various things along those lines, but it never occurred to me to think ‘OMG Greta spent the money I sent her on LUXURY SHOES!!1!’. And even when I saw the title of this post I didn’t immediately realise what it was about.
    This has just reinforced my usual opinion: there’s a lot of weird people out there.

  198. 198
    Larry Clapp

    I don’t think I donated in October; this post makes me want to donate now. I like Greta(‘s writing) and wish her all the best.

  1. 199
    This is why we can’t have nice shoes » Butterflies and Wheels

    [...] And more of the same. Those are the “dissenters,” we are told. Yes. That’s the kind of thing John Stuart Mill had in mind. Update: Greta posted on the subject. [...]

  2. 200
    Shoes for Social Justice! » Greta Christina's Blog

    [...] if you were following the absurd manufactured shoe controversy, and you were feeling irritated or frustrated about it (or just baffled by how unbelievably dumb it [...]

  3. 201
    What they don’t get » Butterflies and Wheels

    [...] help make it clearer what women like me, like the other Skepchicks, like Stephanie Zvan, like Greta Christina, like Ophelia Benson, deal with on a daily [...]

  4. 202
    Lies Told By Anti-Feminists | Sally Strange

    [...] The only way this is going to change is if more women get involved in the movement. And for whatever fucked-up reason, I’m willing to do that. Despite the fuckheads and misogynists in the community, I’m still passionate about the benefits that skepticism, empiricism, and secular ethics can bring to the world. I’ve been developing my skills as a public communicator and community organizer and I think I have a lot to offer. Misogynists like the Devil’s Towel Boy act like they want to exclude me and people like me entirely from the movement. For a while I gave into the sense of intimidation and fatalism this inspired in me, but not anymore. And this is why you should donate a few bucks to the travel fund to get me to the American Atheist Convention in Austin, TX! Plus, it will really piss off the haters. If I raise more than necessary, I’ll donate the excess to more travel grants for people going to Women in Secularism–or maybe I’ll buy myself a new pair of shoes. [...]

  5. 203
    What to do if you receive online donations that exceed your needs | West Coast Atheist

    [...] far as I know, she never gave any of the money to charity. If fact, she writes in a blog response to the controversy that it’s mostly gone to groceries and [...]

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