Why I Stay

I get a bunch of comments from people who tell me this ugly event or that bit of harassment is the last straw for them. They’re done with organized atheism or skepticism. Sometimes people tell me that if they had to put up with what I put up with, they’d quit. Sometimes people ask me how I stick around.

This is how.

At 11:27 a.m. CST today, Karen Stollznow tweeted that she’d set up an Indiegogo campaign for money to hire a lawyer to fight Ben Radford’s defamation suit against her relating to her accusation of sexual harassment against him. The goal was $30,000, with two weeks given to reach that goal. At 5:19 p.m. CST, that goal was passed. More than 500 people contributed in less than six hours.

When I tell people there is will to fix the problems in these communities, this is the kind of thing I’m talking about. Those 500+ people (myself included with a small donation) weren’t willing to sit back and let this be settled based solely on who could afford to take things to court. So the moment they could do something about that, they did. That’s the kind of thing that keeps me around.

By the way, don’t let reaching the initial goal for hiring an attorney stop you from donating. If Radford is still willing to take this to court, Karen’s attorney fees are going to be much higher than $30,000. Go ahead and donate. The “worst case” scenario in terms of what happens with your money is that Radford drops the suit, and it goes to sexual assault victim advocacy instead.

For the record, you people are awesome.

Why I Stay

9 thoughts on “Why I Stay

  1. 1

    For me, Karen is the awesome one in this. Everyone should thank her for continuing to stand up to harassment. She didn’t have to do this. At times, I feel like there’s little to nothing I (as one of those privileged white males) can do to make a difference in the crap women receive in this movement. Today, Karen made it easy to help.

  2. 2

    Part of me wants Radford to go ahead and get his ass handed to him, sending a message to harassers that they won’t necessarily get away with their shit – but that means Karen having to go through it as well, which I don’t think I’d wish on anyone. So yeah, dropped case and the money going to a good cause seems like the best option at this point.

    Here’s hoping.

  3. 3

    I’m one of those who’s given up on organized atheism and skepticism. Today I made a donation to Dr. Stollznow’s legal fund. I also sent an email to CFI telling them that if they had done something about Ben Radford besides a slap on the wrist then I would have matched my donation to Karen with a donation to CFI. But since all Ron Lindsay did was give Radford a time out and complain to SciAm about Karen’s blog post, it’ll be a long time before CFI sees any of my money.

  4. 4

    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker:

    …but that means Karen having to go through it as well

    Besides money, that’s the other major bias in the libel system. It takes up time that could be spent doing something more enjoyable. That gives advantage to bitter empty people, with nothing better to do, and a disadvantage to normal people, who just want to live their lives.

  5. 6

    I have been looking for a time to donate for something like this since the first posts about it. This was almost a relief. And it didn’t hurt that I was already in a grouchy mood today due to a bad night’s sleep. I’ll probably throw more at the fund when my wife’s next paycheck gets direct deposited in a few days.

    Watching the comments with the running totals come into my email (from my thread subscription at PZ Myers’) has lifted my spirits with respect to humanity, though I am still a touch grouchy.

  6. 7

    I have a recollection that Radford has written that he initiated the action with other people’s money, either borrowed or gifted. If my memory is accurate, I hope it was borrowed. With significant interest

  7. 9

    We may still be in for a further funding bump. Stollznow wrote the intro to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, and hits all the right notes to win over the science crowd or even the mainstream.

    If this makes Buzzfeed, or starts trending on Reddit, $30,000 is pocket change.

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