It’s no secret that the Honey Badger Brigade (HBB), essentially a ladies’ offshoot of A Voice for Men, has enjoyed more financial success than their parent organization as managed by Paul Elam. Their product, according to the HBB Patreon, is “Radio and Art”, produced by “the voices of several women who don’t blame men.” And evidently, this is worth something, even though you can find tons of videos and broadcasts of antifeminist women ‘not blam[ing] men’ on YouTube for free.
Between the nearly 40,000 dollars raised this spring for a very spurious legal case, the $646 per “radio show” from their Patreon, plus income from their personal Patreon accounts, the HBB has smoked AVFM in terms of cash donations. They release 23-26 podcasts per month, and request donors “set their monthly max accordingly!” If you multiply the number of shows by the funding they get, it seems the HBB stands to make up to $14,000 per month on the main Patreon; not including each HB’s personal Patreon accounts, or special fundraisers to send the HBs to conventions/ sue conventions they are ejected from.
From there, the money goes into a black box, from which the only result is more Honey Badger podcasts. Unlike most successful crowdfunding efforts, HBB doesn’t make an effort to break down what exactly their costs are. The account is unclear to whom the funds are actually disbursed, or whether anyone is drawing their salary from HBB Radio’s kitty.
Now, I have said the HBB earns “up to” 14k in a month. This is because although the HBB produces a whopping 23-26 podcasts per month, donors have the choice of how many broadcasts they want to pay for. Theoretically, donors could choose to support just a few broadcasts, regardless of how many podcasts the Badgers crank out. Since I’m not privy to their details, I can’t say for certain how many HBB donors are good for the full month, and how many are cheapskates, inflating Patreon’s numbers more than the HBB’s take-home pay. But judging by the HBB’s donor reward scheme, and how many people qualify for these backer rewards, most Patrons support the HBB to at least 25% of the sticker price.
Many of the HBB’s Patron rewards promise contact with the Badgers in some way; but to qualify for these rewards you need to commit to at least 6 shows per month. For example, 7.50$ per show (with a 6-show minimum commitment) earns access to a post-broadcast hangout with lesser Badgers; 15$ per show (x6) earns access to a more exclusive post-broadcast hangout, with the promise that “Karen sightings are very common during these aftershows!” At 25$ per show (x6) fans get a Christmas care package from the Badgers. Pay $50 per show (x6) and you’ll get a present from the Badgers on Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s day. The Honey Badger Milestone Goals are similarly weird and intimate, with promises that “Outtakes of Alison [Tieman] trying to get Karen [Straughan] reading erotica in the voice of Gilbert Gottfrey” or “Karen gets to give Alison a back rub”, along with promises to release increasingly more hours of Honey Badger Radio.
Since each reward stipulates a minimum commitment of six shows per month, these prices are a little deceptive. For instance, if you wanted the chance to talk to Karen Straughan in a post-broadcast hangout (the $15-per-show reward), it would end up costing you a minimum of $90/month for the privilege. And according to the HBB Patreon, six fans have qualified for this reward – which works out to at least $540 a month from those six fans alone. There is at least one guy paying at least $300 per month to the HBB for the Halloween/Christmas/Valentine’s Day present deal, even though it seems like for a minimum of $300 per month, that fan could probably buy themselves a slap-up gift.
In fact, if you tabulate all the fans who have qualified for special rewards (as I have) you’ll notice that the HBB must be pulling in at least $3,000 per month before Patreon takes their cut; assuming every donor who qualified for a reward only covered the minimum 6 podcasts. Judging by how many people qualified for rewards, it seems that most of the 171 fans who donate to the HBB are willing to commit themselves to funding at least six shows (if not more than that) per month.
At the low end, the HBB earns 3,000 per month. But potentially, up to 14k. The fundamental hypocrisy of anti-feminists raising a ton of money on Patreon so they can shit on other women with successful crowdfunding projects isn’t lost on me, especially when your paying fanbase is mostly lonely guys willing to pay $90 per month just to get a chance to talk to Karen Straughan on Skype. More than hypocritical, it’s a little exploitative – and this is from an organization that says they’re “dedicated to bringing awareness to an alternative, science based model of gender dynamics that’s inclusive of both men’s vulnerabilities and women’s agency.”
So which is it, Badgers? Are you trying to help men, or simply empty their pockets while telling them what they want to hear?