On the expectation of free labor to diversify your spaces

[Copy/Pasted from an early AM twitter vent this morning 12/21/16]

I’m in a mood, and I’m irritated. I want to talk about value of work, specifically diversity work & people’s expectation of free labor. So I’m lucky, and in a good position where sometimes people come out the gate with what are your rates & fees? This does not always happen though, don’t get excited. Like I said I’m in a good position.

However…there’s the pervasive idea that we should provide our expertise, our skills and knowledge for little or no pay. How about no? A lot of places want to be seen as progressive, diverse and doing the right thing but they don’t want to invest time & resources. Or they think it’s as simple as invite a few brown folks and a queer person, give them top billing one year & we’ve done it! Uh no.

web-analytics-my-1-if-you-built-it-they-will-come

See, we can see right through that bullshit. Especially when your convention committee doesn’t change, your policies don’t change. You can’t put the current hyper visible POC in your field up as your diversity! And expect us to flock to your event. Again, we see you.

Here’s my main gripe though. Reaching out to people to get help but not offering compensation at the same time.

It’s always “Let’s have a coffee, let me buy you lunch and pick your brain…”

This isn’t about greed either. This is about valuing someone enough to “pick their brain” but not enough to pay them.This is doubly true when you expect someone to help with event they may attend but won’t offer some kind of comps or payment.  Helping the community is great, but it doesn’t negate the value of that persons time.

Even asking someone to take the time to chat with you, have an email exchange or Skype call should be considered work.I think it comes down to people not seeing it as “real” work. Also, acting as if someone asking for compensation is wrong? Or insinuating they don’t actually care because they wanna eat?

Nah, we all got bills and if you want my time & expertise? FU Pay Me. Nobody expects teachers to work for free, or other laborers so why us? Because a lot of the work is emotional labor. To unfuck the ways that events and orgs have failed on representation is a lot hard work y’all. So stop asking for free labor under the guise of doing better. Improvement takes effort, time and money. Investment not hollow promises.

When you ask someone on how to do better, ask what their preferred compensation method is. Fucking pay people for their time.

fuckyoupaymeartprintfromgeekcalligraphycom

 Fuck You Pay Me available from Geek Calligraphy, purchase one for your workspace!

Last thing, think real hard on how you react to black Womens, lgbtqia & other folks asking to be paid vs whites.Look at all the extra shit people want from us to prove we’re worth the time, effort & money to support. Look at how angry people get when we dare to say our time & knowledge is valuable. Y’all have seen it, people bring accused of running scams, that we should help for $0.

However, white folks come up with the weirdest shit for a kickstarter or crowd funding that overfunds but we can’t make the minimum.So if I’m bitter? It’s with damn good reason. Tired of being told the work is valuable, needed but when we ask for help? Support is nil. TL;DR, stop asking people for free work. Value our skills enough to offer payment when asking for said work. Exposure kills, it’s not money, not valid currency anywhere.

It’s not the first time I’ve talked about this. It probably won’t be the last either. As long as people continue to undervalue, or assume no value for the hard work that is required to achieve better representation, more diversity and make it stick; we’ll keep having this damn go round and around until people get it.

Other writings I’ve done on this topic & related issues: 

You Wanna Diversify huh? That’s Nice, Pay Us

On paying black women for the work we do and the ways people accuse us of cashing in

Thoughts on diversity, conventions & cost

Emotional Labor, OT edition for POC, LGBTIQIA & others — Fandom edition

On the value of black women’s work

So yesterday I couldn’t sleep and twitterpated all over about the Safetypin box and the reactions to it. Notably that some dude bro who didn’t know anything about the creators (Leslie Mac and Marissa Johnson)

I collated those over on Medium for anyone who wants to peep  that first. On paying black women for the work we do and the ways people accuse us of cashing in

Today, I had more twitterations on the idea that Safetypinbox HAD to be a 501 c 3 charity or people felt uncomfortable with where the money was going. IE These two black women can’t be trusted. Those thoughts and some more to follow because I am fed the entire fuck up with how people want the benefits without realizing the human cost behind it. What follows are my tweets c/p from 12/6/2016.

I keep seeing people throw out that *should* be a 501(c)(3) charity. Because that gives *them* comfort somehow. Let’s talk.

One, if this was charity work then fine. It’s a service however. Says so right on the website.

spb-not-a-charity

Go read it over, then come back.

Two, do any of these people talking about how easy it is to become a 501(c)(3) know anything about the process? At all? Guessing that’s a no. If you have to file the 1023 form, (30 pages long btw)have the $400 or $850 filing fee & get it done quickly? 180 day window for decision.If you qualify for 1023 EZ filing? Still $275 & 180 day decision window. So it’s not easy to start a charity. But that’s not the issue here.

The real issue is two black women have done the same thing white activists are lauded for & y’all mad.

They are putting a dollar value on the free emotional labor that people expect of black women all day, every day. I should just start posting the requests to pick my brain, get a cup of coffee to get a read on something I get re: games diversity. Y’all expect black women especially to do this heavy lifting for the good of the community, for free cause it’s better for all.

Fuck that

It’s unsurprising to see who has some shit to say in the face of black women going fuck you, pay me for my time & knowledge. Like people who go follow black women, expect to be educated & have their ignorance lifted but won’t drop a tip or support their Patreons. Out here treating us like Hazel, like we’re supposed to hold your fucking hand & let you sip from the Chalice of Wokeness for free!

Nah, we all gotta live. Stop devaluing our labor, our knowledge & expecting a handout to rise beyond your ignorance. Google is free y’all. So stop acting like we’re asking for too much when we say pay up for that time you asked us for. We value our work, our expertise. Since you asked for our help? You must value it too. So put your money where your mouth is or be quiet.

I salute you y’all for getting that money

That said, I had the usual rando’s and well, actually’s roll through my TL. Once I was properly up and about, I had a few thoughts on the people who follow me on various sites, say they learn from me etc. Yet, people don’t value work all the same. Even had someone who inferred I was saying pay me to tweet.

I got nothing to say about that except that added 2+2 and got yarn. If anyone following me thinks that’s where I was going, then leave now. Ain’t nobody said pay me to tweet. For those curious I said the following:

So I’m up and I been thinking. Remember when I asked people why they follow me? Realize what the majority of answers were? To recap: Because they learn something, because they get a POV unlike their own. I.E they get value from my tweets.

Or the articles I write and share here, or the collated, nicely bundled and edited twitterpations I put out on Medium. Still with me? I have over 6700 followers (for now, watch I drop some after this tweet). Some are bots that will drop off & don’t count. Let’s be generous and say 1500 are not real accounts that haven’t dropped off. That leaves over 5500 people reading what I have to say daily.

If half those folks dropped a donation or even supported my Patreon at $1 each? I’d be A-OK. But I guess there’s a line for some. Ok. Same for other black women on here & other platforms. People listen but they ghost out when we pass the hat or ask to be compensated. [this is where some people got stuck and probably thought I was saying pay me to tweet. Which I wasn’t but whatever]

I’m mad but I’m also tired, tired of the expectation of free labor from some. Not everyone does this but it happens too often.

Here’s the thing, no one is obligated to do a damn thing. Ain’t nobody gotta follow me, or donate or support me on Patreon. Point was it would be great if the same people who say they learn from what I say, who say they enjoy my work and consider the other things I do off twitter to be important would throw some coins my way.

It’s been almost a year since I lost my day job, just 9 days away from that anniversary so I’m probably noticing this more keenly than usual. But I’m real tired of black women’s work not being valued. For POC/LGBTQIA/Disabled/Neurodivergent folks to have the burden of free emotional labor dropped on them but when they ask for compensation? Then they’re greedy, not helpful, scamming… it goes on and on.

Just tired and full of thoughts that needed to get out. Consider what you are asking when you ask us for that coffee chat, a quick lunch or a few minutes of our time. The cost is usually higher than what you think.

 

 

I’m fed up

I thought about writing out my thoughts on all the killings and shootings of our people instead of a long thread of tweets. However, I’m not doing that for two reasons.

One) it’s like the second I talk about one person’s murder by cops, another occurs in hours if not days and it’s exhausting emotionally, physically to wake up to the same news, same situation, same cycle of victim blaming of the newly murdered and sympathy for the killer in blue.

Two) When I share my thoughts, my pain without fail someone takes it as some academic lesson, some object lesson on racism instead of hearing out their friends pain about another black life taken. They share it as a lesson to other white friends who don’t get it. My pain is not a soundbite, it’s not a handy lesson to pass around to show how woke you are.

It also happens without fail someone will whitesplain back what I’ve said or try to play devil’s advocate when I speak from my heart. That usually happens more on twitter than here but it’s irritating and hurtful that people who follow me would rather turn someone’s very real hurt into an academic circle jerk on whether the things I’ve said are valid because they don’t see it in their lives.

I’ve got filters upon filters on Facebook, and a private, locked twitter. That’s where I’ll be having a lot of these conversations or venting going forward because my pain over more black murders isn’t there for people who don’t get it and thank me for sharing on breath, yet continue to be clueless and hurtful in the next.

Disruption in my usual streaming schedule this weekend!

Apologies for the short notice y’all but no stream today for two reasons. One  is reason is I have house guests through Monday morning. The other is because the XB1 Twitch app is a total PoS and is throwing an error when I try to stream from it. Twitch’s answer is to delete the app and date, reinstall, reauthorize and hard reset the XB1. That’s not really an acceptable answer, especially when your app randomly stops working. If they don’t fix this problem, I may restart the Sera romance on the PS4 or PC.

There will be a stream on Tuesday morning, starting at 11am CST, likely of Unravel so I can hopefully get Yarny out of the acidic pit of hell he’s currently stuck in. I’ll do an extra stream of Solstice game by MoaCube on Friday March 11th, then that will be it for streaming until I’m back and rested from GDC.

Hope everyone is well and having a good day out there!

I’m on @lessthanorequal #72

I had the honor of visiting with Aleen Sims of Less Than or Equal once more!

#72: Tanya DePass

December 22nd, 2015 · 50 minutes

Tanya and Aleen talk about what’s involved in putting together panels for a diverse conference, how feminism should be for everyone, and podcasting.

Guest Starring: Tanya DePass

Listen on Relay.fm/LTOE or Download the MP3

Links and Show Notes

Tanya on Twitter
Tanya DePass on Patreon
I Need Diverse Games on Patreon
Fresh out of Tokens
Less Than or Equal #33: Tanya DePass
GaymerX: Everyone Games
Dear White People, You Suck At Diversity | TechCrunch
Accidental Tech Podcast
#I Need Diverse Games
GDC
Gen Con

I visited with @JusticePoints again for @bioware month!

Ep. #120 – “Good Looking Inquisitors”

We chat with about Bioware games!

JP Max Trevelyan

Our hundred-and-twentieth episode features Tzufit and Apple Cider talking to Bioware fan and #INeedDiverseGames creator Tanya DePass. We go over what tickles Tanya’s fancy about Dragon Age and Mass Effect, as well as why the inquisitor’s story is so important.

What We’re Playing:

Links:

If you see any news that you want us to cover, let us know via e-mail or Twitter.

Rate, comment and subscribe to us on iTunes and now Stitcher Radio! Support our podcast on Patreon! You can also buy our shirts at Spreadshirt!

Music used in our episode is “Carefree” by Kevin McLeod, courtesy of Incompetech.com.

 

Features I would do a hell of a lot for on @Twitter, what are yours?

Sometimes twitter interactions make me incredibly tired. I get pulled into or @’d into convos I wasn’t following, or part of and someone thought I *might* have something to say about whatever the topic is. Spoiler: 99.9% of the time I don’t have anything to say, or I don’t care. If I cared, I’d actually participate in the conversation of my own gumption and free will.

One thing I’ve noticed is people dog whistling others into conversations, or retweets about THING, where THING = any topic the person pulling others into the chain feels strongly about, wants some kind of response, etc. Maybe this is something people do all the time but it’s a recent development for me.

I loathe it, I usually ignore it, mute the offending person and move on. But lately it’s happening more and more. Even where a person I have blocked has managed to tag me into a chain convo about something. I don’t even know what they started in on, but now I’m getting out of sequence tweets for some conversation I did not consent to being in. I also thought once you blocked someone, they couldn’t @ you. :/ but I digress, I’m tired and annoyed.

So this is my wishlist of twitter features I’d love, love, love to have

  • Once you mute someone they can’t @ you
  • Once you block/mute someone, they can’t @ you and replies where others @ you and a blocked/muted person is in the reply chain; then you can’t be tagged in with an @
  • If you are not mutual followers, you cannot @ someone
  • Asynchronous unfollow mechanism where if I unfollow you, it forces you to unfollow me.
  • Blocking means you can’t find that person/they can’t find you and it’s like on Facebook where neither person can find the other once the block is on
  •  If you are not mutuals with everyone in a group retweet then you can’t be @’d by anyone in the chain
  • Ability to edit tweets for fucks sake
  • Getting rid of the While You Were Away feature. If I missed those tweets 6 -10 hours ago? I don’t care now.
  • Set a limit to how many retweets a follower can do in a day. Tumblr has a similar feature thanks to New X-Kit

Thought of more:

  • Ability to hide your follower/following count
  • Ability to create groups of friends where you can filter content w/o having to choose between locked/public with no happy medium
  • Have allow follow toggle
  • Features only given to “Verified” users available to everyone
  • Give the background image back when viewing Home and your TL
  • Increase follow cap beyond 2,0001 or make the cap more transparent

What features would you want friends?