By Karen Straughan
The Honey Badger Brigade is a team of men and women who are interested in promoting the interests of men and boys in a culture that has largely left them behind, and in opposing ideological feminism.
We are content creators. Artists, writers, animators, speakers and commentators. Most of us are volunteers who believe the mission of broadening public awareness of the issues that affect men and boys is worth donating our time, our effort, our talents and our dollars.
That said, we are not a charity. While we accept donations and patronage from like-minded people who believe in the importance of our mission, our mission is to create content that our patrons believe is worth their hard-earned dollars. None of us are lawyers. None of us are psychologists. None of us are in a position to build shelters, provide crisis services, lobby governments, testify before congress or write legislation.
We are here, ultimately, to spread a message to the public that such things are sorely needed and are not being done.
We are here, ultimately, to educate the public that our society’s view of gender relations is wrongheaded and destructive.
We are here, ultimately, to create a climate in which compassion for men and boys ceases to be, at best, an alien concept, and at worst, harmful to women and girls.
We are here, ultimately, to inform and to educate, to provoke thought and spur dialogue, to shove our foot in the doorway of the gender discourse and keep that door from slamming shut on groups like NCFM, CAFE, FACE, FIRE, SAVE, MHN, WAPF, J4MB and others who ARE in a position to take advantage of shifting cultural attitudes in order to get brick and mortar advocacy work done.
In the service of this mission, we write blog posts, share information resources, network, make videos, produce podcasts, engage in discussions on mainstream forums and give interviews to any media source that comes asking.
We are content creators, and we want our content to enjoy the broadest possible reach, so that the attitudes of the public change and the next time a paternity fraud or alimony reform bill is introduced, politicians will have no choice but to support it.
What we do takes a lot of time and effort, and none of us are independently wealthy. This is why HBB needs to operate as a business.
HBB was Alison’s brainchild, and she puts in more work than any other member of the team. More than this, she performs the work that none of us would be willing to do, even if we were being paid; stuffing envelopes, herding cats, ordering merchandise, taking minutes during meetings, and keeping track of everything.
Once HBB had proven to be a growing concern, rather than a flash in the pan, we had to consider how to move forward in such a way that Alison was not at critical risk. In the beginning, HBB was, essentially, Alison, in the exact same way Girlwriteswhat is Karen Straughan.
But as the platform and the team grew, and as the revenue we were generating increased, it became clear that HBB being legally synonymous with Alison Tieman could not last. These problems were easier to deal with when we were a tiny channel with only a few contributors, but as it grew, we had to consider other strategies.
If Alison wanted to compensate team members for their work, fund trips and events, or purchase necessary equipment for members of the team with HBB funds well, HBB would be paying income tax as if it were Alison’s individual, personal income. The larger that income got, the higher the tax bracket and the more money would go to Revenue Canada rather than to contributors.
More than this, as long as HBB and Alison Tieman were legally synonymous, any actionable statement made by any HBB team member on any podcast could make Alison, as an individual, vulnerable to a lawsuit. As an individual, rather than an enterprise, all of her assets, and the assets she holds with her husband, would be at risk.
After much consultation between Alison and the primary contributing members of the team, it was agreed that HBB would go the route of incorporation.
Incorporation protects Alison from undue legal and tax liability, while also protecting staff and contributors from the kind of exploitation and profiteering common with non-profits such as the SPLC and Feminist Frequency.
It involves less red tape and fees, while still promoting the generation of content through a legal mechanism to eventually pay our most consistent contributors for their work.
We want this endeavor to become financially self-sustaining because we want to keep doing the work we do. We are grateful beyond measure to anyone who has contributed their time and talent to this enterprise, whether that’s writing a blog post, hosting a weekly show or creating a piece of fan art.
It is our hope that one day, some or all of our contributors will be able to be paid for their contributions because our platform and our reach will have grown to the point where advocacy for men and boys is mainstream. Where it is no longer seen as strange or socially detrimental to stick up for our brothers, fathers, husbands and sons.
Until that day, we will continue to do what we do. Create content as we can, with the help of a host of talented and motivated people who are willing to, for the most part, donate their time and effort.
With the help of a host of patrons who, for the most part, share our vision and are willing to put a portion of their money toward it even if, or perhaps because, they can’t support us openly without endangering their livelihoods.
With the help of anyone who’s willing to contribute anything in any way toward the forwarding of our mission.
And our mission is to change the gender discourse so that the problems and issues of men and boys become visible to everyone. Our mission is to change the gender narrative so that compassion for men is no longer an alien concept.
Our mission is not to fund a domestic violence shelter for men. It is to help create a world in which such a shelter is no longer considered an oddity, let alone a crime against women. It is not to write a paternity fraud bill, but to help create a world in which the public can understand that the success of such a bill is just and morally right.
This is our mission.by