I was about a month into my job at Bitch and seeking meetings with many who are closest to B-Word's heart. I had the pleasure of meeting the individual who wrote this pitch about a year ago in a Seattle coffeeshop. Her words have blown us away and got us thinking about raising money and the values around procuring donations, sponsorship, planning events/fundraisers and grant funding and different ways to get folks engaged enough in our work to make a contribution. Please read on.....(and get ready for a monthly Bitch Pitch - if you have words to say on why supporting B-Word/Bitch is critical, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment today!)
And now.......from Caitlin Sullivan......
I first discovered Bitch while browsing a sex toy store. Five minutes later I was sitting in the midst of a swirl of shoppers and intriguing toys completely engrossed in reading and ignoring it all. Six years later I still feel the same way. I spend weeks reading Bitch, alternately laughing, ranting, and wondering what the hell? I'll read something over again to make sure I understand it (My Little Pony whaa?, Quiverful?). Recently someone made the mistake of asking me just what I love about the magazine and I found myself blurting, because:They make me uncomfortable.They make me cry.They make me angry (at injustice).They make me swoon at good language and all-around smartness.They're young and strong and energetic.They're respectful of what has come before.They are unequivocal about what must come now.They're into sex. And sexuality.They entertain and crack me up.They're infinitely curious.They disagree and coalesce.And above all: When they don't understand something they investigate it.
These people have the audacity to put out a magazine in a time of online shortcuts and to write pithy, gorgeous sentences when too many people are texting. They got into the online world reluctantly but consciously and have already created a strong presence in cyber-culture while continuing to put out a big ol' magazine you can hold in your hands. While blogging has its place, as is evidenced by a quick trip through the web you can see that anyone can do it, and do it badly. Not only has the proliferation of mundane blogging muffled the voices of truly good writers but truly good editors as well. Bitch has both. It takes time to develop an idea, and then more time to convey the idea successfully and creatively in writing. Since "everyone can write," people underestimate the hard work and talent that good writing entails. To then transfer that writing into a cohesive, interesting, and readable format involves ink and paper and print runs and double trucks and scheduling and distribution. It's hard work, and they know how to do it. For that reason I give them my money.
One more thing I realized as I was sorting through all the appeals for money that come my way: I ask myself, who else will give to this cause? Who else will support serious, incisive feminist culture and exploration? And I find myself knowing without a doubt that if a natural disaster struck the Bitch office, I don't think the United Way would coming running to help. No slam to them but a goose to me to remember my priorities.
For so many years of your wonderful work, I thank you, Bitch-people. To many more years, I pledge my support. --Caitlin Sullivan, Seattle, WA