Hello, Projectors! I'm honored Bil asked me to fill in for him today while he's on vacation.
I write regularly at Feministing.com, a blog and community for young feminists. We are the most-read feminist publication online or off, which is pretty exciting for a site that started in 2004 to fill a need for a space explicitly for young feminist voices. Our main page hosts content by a team of bloggers I'm proud to call my friends. They form the most genuine feminist community I know, offering each other support and encouragement with heavy doses of snark. And they also do amazing writing about a range of issues. The diversity of our voices and the very broad stroke with which we define what's covered as "feminist" are some of my favorite things about our blog.
We also host an active community of folks who write on our Community and Campus blogs, which give feminists online spaces to communicate and connect.
I joined the team at Feministing following up a dust up about trans issues on the site that we sometimes jokingly refer to as "transplosion." Interestingly, my relationship with Bilerico also began in connection with a controversy around trans issues on this site, when our two blogs collaborated on a panel on responding to blog controversies at Creating Change in 2010.
I bring up this history because it speaks to some of what I love the most about blogs and their potential for social change. No, not call-out culture - I think critique is often the easy default online, and we can often be harsh with people in a way that doesn't encourage growth. But I do think there's a value in raising issues in a productive way that pushes for change, and I think the internet is ideal for that.
I am writing on sites that I was introduced to because of controversies that are personal to me as a trans woman. Feministing now hosts tons of trans-related content, plenty of it not by me. In fact, I think we've become a go-to place for trans issues within the feminist blogosphere. Bilerico's hosted trans-related content for a while, but I think trans representation has only continued to improve since this site's own controversy. This speaks to the ability of blogs to be a space where change happens, and where it happens quickly. They're a great space to move the movement forward.
I blog because I'm excited about its potential for consciousness raising. In this setting I can return to a single topic and interrogate it from a new perspective in a number of posts. I think this makes blogs a great space for intersectional analysis and centering traditionally marginalized issues and voices. I can be in conversation with other thinkers and change makers, learn from their perspectives and improve my own analysis in the process.
Just recently Feministing was at the center of a conversation about who has abortions after myself and others at a reproductive justice conference brought up the point that people who are not women, including trans men and gender non-conforming folks, need access to the procedure. This conversation about a marginalized community and issue wouldn't be nearly so public and broadly impactful if it hadn't made its way to the blog.
Feministing has become a better blog because we've expanded the topics we cover, because the team has deepened our analysis and learned about new things. I imagine folks working here at The Bilerico Project would say the same thing.
I'm not just online for the conversation - the notion of "slacktivists" is pretty amusing to me when the feminist blogosphere has gotten two offensive ad campaigns pulled in just the last few weeks - one about , the other about, well, a talking vagina. Yeah, we get shit done.
Though I don't think blogs will ever replace face-to-face organizing, I believe it gives change makers a new set of tools to work with. I'm thrilled by the potential of blogs to change minds and bring new issues to people's attention. And I'm excited to jump into the conversation today at The Bilerico Project!