In the midst of the election chaos, I found Bitch Media’s website and had been following their new articles, commenting all over the place and getting real excited to have found another website full of articles about feminism.
And then one day I decided to subscribe to their free email list.
They sent me awesome recommendations for music, books, even pads (post to come on that!) and I gotta say — I was pretty much in love.
Around the election crunch time, I got an email about how print magazines and papers are dying out, and how Bitch was in particular danger since Trump could possibly be elected. Anything feminist would be dealing with some struggles.
So what did I do? I subscribed to their magazine, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture.
This was my afternoon today! So nice to finally take a break and read. I subscribed to @bitchmedia’s feminist magazine this past October and never got around to reading the fall issue. So much fun! Review on the blog coming next Friday 🎉 #bitchmagazine #genderequality #feministreads #popculture #magazine #reading #readinglist #saturdayvibes #weekendvibes #takingabreak
And you know what I did next? I let it sit on our coffee table for about a month and a half.
I cracked it open a few times and pretty much looked at the pictures, admired the awesome colouring page, but didn’t really peruse it much more.
Not gonna lie, I was a little intimidated.
I mean, I read about feminism every day. And Bitch’s articles are awesome — they’re critical, lengthy, and just generally thought-provoking.
But having the magazine in print made me feel for some reason even more intimidated… maybe it would be really theoretical or philosophical. Maybe it would be full of really serious stuff meant for people who already know a lot and I’d discover I’m a terrible feminist blogger because I have such a hard time with that. (In case you didn’t already know, the elitism within feminism drives me nuts.)
Then I decided to write a review. Yes — I decided to force myself to read it.
So, one day I took the magazine along with me on a short errand run with Grady and read the first few articles.
Turns out Bitch is doing exactly what I’m trying to do — make feminism accessible!
The magazine’s tone is much lighter than I expected, with music & book recommendations (including one about a magical school with a character of color — YAY Hogwarts is finally for me!) and articles about interesting topics like teen access to reproductive health care, (un)gendering kids’ clothes and toys, exclusion in the discussion about eating disorders, and more.
My favourite part is that every article references a lot of different resources, so I found myself Googling and learning even more about the stuff that caught my attention. In the article about teen access to reproductive health care, there’s information on how teens are learning sex ed from YouTube and so I ended up looking up a few channels I hadn’t heard of, recognizing ones I had. (It made me feel like a good feminist blogger for knowing them — ha!)
Besides all this epic learning, it feels like I made a small difference in the movement just by subscribing.
It may be true that blogs are the new mass media that feminism is making waves in (pun totally intended), print magazines were incredibly important in the initial spreading of feminist ideas in the 1800s and early 1900s, at least in the Western world. Newspapers were huge back then, and it was the main way people got their information.
The first feminist newspaper I could find was called La Voix des Femmes (The Voice of Women, in French) and was in print between 1848 and 1852. There were several more, but I can’t find names. (I’m getting this historical info from Wikipedia, because wow everything is in academic journals that I don’t have access to!) I also can’t find much on whether there were any magazines for women of colour… but I’m going to guess not.
Later on, more well-known feminist magazine The Revolution was founded by also well-known Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in an effort to fight for (white) women’s right to vote. Later on, Ms. magazine was founded by Gloria Steinem, and is actually still in print.
So newspapers and magazines have been important for feminists for a long time, though none that I know of catered to or even really mentioned women of colour, at least not until recent years. (Now, of course, there are TONS of feminist blogs and even websites specifically for women of colour because of the internet making everything explode. Yay!)
Bitch was founded in 1996, originally only publishing in print, and it has since started also publishing daily online articles, too.
Knowing how important print media has been to feminism, getting the magazine in the mail is so exciting.
I’m supporting a bigger platform than just my own blog. I feel like I’m directly supporting the movement and taking part in its history. I love being part of something bigger, knowing that in the midst of the frustration that is taking over America right now, something can be done.
I’m not affiliated with Bitch at all. (This isn’t a sponsored post, though it does contain affiliate links through Amazon.) But I really truly believe in what they’re doing. If you want to learn more about feminism, more than I could give you, you should totally subscribe!
You can also check out Bitch Media’s website here.
What’s your favourite magazine (or website)? Share in the comments below!
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