Thursday, April 5, 2012

the fuel for the fire

I'm wrapping up this month of feminist blogging, my friends, and I want to begin by saying thank you. I've never had so many readers*, so much feedback, or so much encouragement as I've received over the past month. I'm really honored, and also really excited to hear that so many people are interested in talking more about feminism. Hooray! Researching new feminist work, connecting on and offline, receiving submissions from friends – this has been such an inspiring and invigorating month for me. Thank you all for reading and participating and sharing.

My final offering is one of my favorite feminist things in the world, and definitely my favorite publication; in fact, it's just one of my favorite things in the world: bitch magazine is what keeps me going. In this weird and sometimes depressing world of patriarchy and apathy, bitch is an endlessly delightful source of insight, critique, and irreverence. In addition to the magazine, they produce a podcast, host various blogs, and sell some cool gear. They cover so many things, and they do it so well. I've been a subscriber for probably about a decade now – wow, I just realized that – and they're one of the only causes I donate money to every month. They're a nonprofit and I'm happy to give them my money because I need them in my life.

bitch is having a subscription drive right now. Here's my pitch, folks: Of course, I really encourage you all to suscribe. And in honor of all the loyal reading that's been going on this month, I will sponsor a subscription for the first person who writes me.** And just to clarify: By "sponsor," I mean I will buy you a one-year subscription. For reals. I'll be excited to! (I'd totally love to buy one for each of you, but I can't afford it, ok? So first come, first serve.) 

*According to my analytics, the average number of monthly viewers on this blog hovers comfortably around 200. For March, it skyrocketed to 450. Wow. Thank you.
**Sorry internationals: U.S. residents only. Otherwise I also have to deal with shipping fees. Sorry.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

smokin' in the boys room

Just the name – Good Ol' Girls – made me laugh. It's pretty straight forward:
"Progressive women on the rise like you are busy: You are a professional, an activist, a friend, a lover and maybe a mother. How do you get connected without your calendar self-destructing in protest? 
You join Good Ol’ Girls — where you can meet women you would never meet just by joining a professional association or volunteering. Good Ol’ Girls is where savvy, progressive women, across sectors and backgrounds, open doors professionally and socially for each other. 
With member-driven educational and social opportunities and a vibrant listserv, Good Ol’ Girls is how women get in the know."
Amen, sister. And as long as we're talking about women supporting each other, let's throw in a plug for WIN-WIN. (Yes, that's the Women INvesting in Women INitiative. Cute names today, I know.) Again, they do exactly what you'd expect them to do, with a name like that. A project of the Calvert Foundation, they "evaluate prospective borrowers for their suitability for an investment based on a number of criteria, including their financial performance and operating history. Calvert Foundation has developed flexible criteria targeting prospective borrowers that engage in women’s economic development. WIN-WIN portfolio organizations and projects will offer products and services that primarily serve and/or empower women; will invest in women-owned or women-led businesses; and will support women entrepreneurs and female-headed households." Don't worry, fellas: They'll take your money, too.

What kinds of projects do they fund? According to the site, "[e]xamples include organizations that provide health care and child care to low-income women; women-run non-profit businesses that have a mission to serve other women; loan funds that invest in women’s entrepreneurship and small businesses; and women-oriented cooperatives."

Pretty cool stuff!

Monday, April 2, 2012

float like a butterfly

Many of you may already be familiar with the website Feministing.* I offer it to you all as a site of feminist aggregation. Woohoo! Check it out any time, especially as the month of feminist blogging is soon to draw to a close. But I'd especially like to direct your attention to Feministing's comments policy, which I only wish could be extended more widely across the internet. And life, actually, while we're at it:

"There is enough hate and oppression out there in the real world – we don’t need any extra of it here! While we can’t guarantee a completely safe space on Feministing, we can strive for an accountable space. And though we love differences of opinion, there’s a way to disagree respectfully and thoughtfully. We expect civility, respect, and patience for your fellow readers and for this space – please remember that we are all here to grow and learn from each other.
What isn’t tolerated (and if you’re unsure, err on the side of caution):
- Blaming the victim
- Fat-shaming
- Racist, sexist, ageist, transphobic, sizeist, ableist, homophobic commentary
- Plain malice (i.e. comments that don’t further the dialogue, but instead just harshly imply to writer that they need to educate themselves or that they are stupid) and personal attacks. Even if most of your comment is constructive, if the last line is “so thanks for that, asshole” we will probably not post it.
- Dismissal, silencing (i.e. anything along lines of “Ehh, i don’t think that matters too much” or “This isn’t an issue”)
- Questioning the feminist validity of a topic or post (i.e. Why do you care about this? You should really care about x, y, z because its more important)
- Derailing: Anything way off topic or leads the discussion in a completely different and unproductive from the original post"
A good intro to civil discourse. If only that was also an internet value... 

*When read aloud, it sounds like both "feminist sting" and "feminist-ing," both cool. Fun!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

do you trust me?

I just found out about this, but I already really like it: Men Who Trust Women. As my non-U.S.-based readers may or may not already be aware, there's been a lot of shameful, sexist, back-peddling talk and action lately around women's reproduction freedom. This website was formed to start to address that, or more specifically, to help broaden the conversation: 
"There aren’t a lot of women’s voices in this conversation, and that needs to change. But there also aren’t a lot of pro-choice men speaking out. We aren’t hearing from enough men who trust women. That needs to change, too. Luckily, there are a lot of pro-choice men in America. These men believe that women are capable of making their own choices about what happens to their own bodies. These men believe that no man, whether he’s a politician, a priest, or a partner, knows what’s best for a woman better than she does. These men are appalled at the way that the national conversation about women’s healthcare has been dominated by anti-choice men. Men who trust women are a group that is ever-growing, but largely invisible. It’s time to end that invisibility."
Chloe Angyal is the creator of the website, and I find it very interesting (and cool) that a woman and self-identified feminist is creating a space to encourage male feminist allies to talk about why they trust women. And I'm intrigued that she's building this campaign around the issue of "trust." At this point, you may be wondering (and fairly so): Why provide a space for men to talk, rather than one to encourage women to do so? To this, Angyal responds "Men Who Trust Women is a tumblr where men who believe that bodily autonomy is every woman’s right can share their stories. It’s not about speaking instead of women, or on behalf of women, but alongside them and in support of them."

I confess, I didn't get quite the feedback I was hoping for when I posted about men and feminism in mid-March (although props to Dom for a thoughtful and articulate response!). But this is for real. This is for everybody. I need you. Here's my call to action, people: If you're a man, and you're reading this, and you trust women, submit a story. If you're a woman and you're reading this, share it with at least one man you care about and encourage him to submit. And then just spend some time reading the site. There are some gorgeous, heartfelt, articulate posts on their.
Add to Technorati Favorites