Meta: In which the internet is sharp on both sides

August 15, 2010 § 3 Comments

by MIRANDA

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of meeting Julie Zeilinger, founder and editor of The F-Bomb. We talked of the teenage girls; we drank of the caffeinated beverages. It was bliss, basically.

I was reminded again of how important human interaction is to my feminism. Because this business can be lonely! Thinking about sexual violence, for example, while immensely important and rewarding, is actually not the most relaxing activity. In a culture where acts of rape, assault, and harassment are still not taken seriously, talking about them can be isolating — especially on the internet. In our dark rooms with our hunched shoulders and our bright little boxes, we are plugged in but we are also deeply disconnected.

So here is where I explain the title of this post: The internet is a sword. Since I am feeling poetic, it is probably laden with rubies and polished within an inch of its life. And like most swords, it has two edges. One side? Is amazing. It lets me read the words of ridiculously smart people who I’ve never met, who live so far away. And it lets me write words back! And people read them! And validate my ramblings!

But the other side is darker. It leaves me tired and sad, alone with my bright box and no one to hug. The sense of power that allows me to write about a deeply upsetting experience is the same sense of power that allows a commenter to joke about raping me. It’s the same sense of power that creates nauseating “blogwars.” Full or partial anonymity can be delicious, but it can also be a poison.

I love me some Internet Feminism. But I don’t want my whole life to be online, and I don’t want to feel as though every waking moment must be devoted to Very Important Lady-Thinking. Because — this is a secret, but I am willing to share it with you — it is okay, really, to not think about feminism all the time.

Internet Feminism is a mighty sword, but it’s not the only weapon we’ve got. Sometimes coffee and conversation can be just as powerful.

Welcome, new contributors! (Part Two)

August 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

by MIRANDA

Part One.

I hope everyone has been enjoying the works of Chad, Elena, and Katie E. as much as I have these past weeks. It’s time to introduce the other three new contributors. Here’s the second wave…

Sarah:

Hello! My name is Sarah Rosengarten, I was born and raised in New York City, and will be a freshman at Oberlin College in the fall. My personal heroes are Rachel Maddow, Kathleen Hanna, and Daria Morgendorffer. I love to knit, run, watch Ingmar Bergman movies, and defend The Communist Manifesto to the misinformed masses. I’m thrilled to join Women’s Glib and can’t wait to unleash my feminazi fury to the internet.

Kitti:

Hello! My name is Kitti Asztalos.

I am a 17-year-old, Hungarian student. I study at a bilingual (English-Hungarian) high school, I will be a 12th grader next semester (I am not a senior yet, I still have a 13th year. Long story short: the education system is different). I have been studying English since the tender age of 5, I have also started studying French 3 years ago because my form mistress made my class (it took me 2 years and 3 trips to France to help me get over my hatred of the language). My hobbies are (but not limited to) biking (on almost a religious level), playing and writing music, providing unrequited commentary on movies for my friends and pretty much anyone, creating ensembles that remind me of a movie character and socializing.

I am very interested in popular culture (especially American and European), Generation Y and obviously feminism. However, in Hungary feminism is not very wide-spread, in fact, most girls of my age do not know anything about it, nor are they interested in it.

If my opinions freak you out a bit, I apologize in advance but that’s sort of my intention. I would like you, dearest readers to consider different cultural factors. That’s what I’m bringing. Plus a little bit of sexy back.

Adi:

Hi, all!

My name’s Adi, and I’ve been interested in feminist blogging for the past few years. I became a self-identified feminist (as opposed to subscribing to the tenets but not calling myself one) a few years ago, and the feminist blogosphere provided the resources for me to learn and contribute.

Outside of being a feminist, I’m a huge nerd, and I like to read — I just graduated from college, where I procrastinated on all of my actual work in China Studies by taking classes in deconstructive critical theory and creative writing. I’ve always straddled a weird divide between two fairly gender-imbalanced fields: Literature and politics, where women do most of the legwork but get few of the awards, and technology, where no matter how many women there are, we’re still seen as an elusive endangered species. I thoroughly enjoy both, but feminism has let me put a name to a lot of the problems I’ve seen in them, and convinced me to try to make them better.

I’m hoping to write about feminist/female authors, theory, and the intersection between gender politics and technology policy (Why, for example, is network neutrality a feminist issue? What about Apple’s factory policies?) I’m always looking for open dialogue with people, so please let me know if you have a different perspective on something I’ve said.

Hooray! You can learn more about these fine, smart young people on our Current Contributors page.

I Can Haz Short, Timely Messages From Women’s Glib?

July 21, 2010 § 2 Comments

by MIRANDA

Why, yes. Yes you can.

I have resisted creating a Twitter account, either for personal use or for Women’s Glib, for the sake of my mental health. But, readers, you are extremely lucky because Silvia eschews such resistance! She fearlessly plows ahead into the arena of tiny, cryptic updates full of symbols that I do not understand. (What is #??? And I don’t even want to talk about how many things I thought RT stood for that were not re-tweet.)

Never fear! Thanks to Silvia, we are now on the Twitter. Follow us here. And, if you haven’t already, you can like us on Facebook here.

Welcome, new contributors! (Part One)

July 18, 2010 § 2 Comments

by MIRANDA

Readers, after a few arguably annoying reminders and a surprising number of emails, the Women’s Glib team has chosen six wonderful new contributors: Chad, Elena, Katie E. (not to be confused with former contributor Katie S.), Sarah, Kitti, and Adi. They will be introduced in two waves: half will begin posting this week, and half will start the week of August 9.

I’ll let the first wave of new bloggers speak for themselves…

Chad:

Hi there! I was stumbling one day and stumbled upon Women’s Glib, and I was completely amazed with the work I saw. As an active college student and male feminist I really liked the direction it took, and kept following it. I then came across a post asking for more writers, as a blogger I thought, why not contribute to a feminist blog? I do many things in my spare time, mostly graphic design, web design, internet, and video games. I’m also active in the LGBT community in my area, as a genderqueer gay male. I’m excited and I hope you enjoy what I write. :)

Elena:

Hello!

My name is Elena, and I am one of the new writers for Women’s Glib! I’ve had some difficulty thinking about what to write for my introductory post: should I make it more personal? Write about a recent issue that gets on my nerves? Post a haiku?

I’ll mostly talk about myself, because I’m terrible at writing haikus.

Since I’ve been away for the weekend, for a wedding reception, I haven’t been able to keep up-to-the-minute tabs on everything going on with feminism/the feminist blogosphere/news and politics in general. In fact, a wedding reception is one of those times when people are encouraged not to talk about Unpopular Subjects such as sex, religion, politics, etc. In fact, not having to hear my cousins rant and rave about the newest Glenn Beck book (which they did during Thanksgiving) was a small miracle.

But at the same time, I have a fun habit of pointing out the uncomfortable things that people don’t like to talk about, including Sex, Politics, and Feminism. One of the things that I find so appealing about being an actor is when plays and films hone in on the difficult, uncomfortable subjects. People like to think that actresses are vain, preening, and willing to do anything to get a toothpaste commercial. But the truth is that most actors (especially women) could recite Chekov’s Cherry Orchard by heart, and are doing the casting for the toothpaste commercial because in our society, Chekov doesn’t pay rent as much as Crest does. Being an actor (or at least a performing arts major) makes me more of a feminist. Unless I “make it” (or can “find a man to take care of me”…shudder), I’ll have a difficult time carrying a pregnancy and/or taking care of a child. So ensuring that contraception and abortion are easily accessible, and as affordable as possible, is really important to me. As it stands, my birth control prescription costs just about as much as what my family spends on two weeks worth of groceries. This is just a little screwed up.

Art, pop culture, and media are the things that I have the best grasp on, so expect a lot of writing about the world of television and movies through the eyes of an art student. I’ve also had some interesting experiences (such as spending a year and a half at a women’s college) that I’ll be writing about as well.

And maybe a haiku if I really have writer’s block.

Katie E.:

Hey, Women’s Glib readers!

I’m Katie, and I am one of the three new contributors. This is my first experience with blogging, and I’m really looking forward to it. I am extraordinarily grateful to Miranda for allowing me to become a contributor.

I’m 16, I live in Virginia, and I’ll be a high school junior in the fall. I’ve identified as a feminist for almost four years, after I read this book. More on that in an upcoming blog post.

I read a lot, especially Young Adult books, and hope to eventually post some reviews of YA books from a feminist point of view. Contrary to the typical man-hating feminazi, I also enjoy baking and knitting.

I hope to cover a broad spectrum of issues in my posts here at Women’s Glib. In particular, I have interests in birth and pregnancy politics, size acceptance, and ageism, but I expect to write about anything and everything.

Since the writers at Women’s Glib are responsible for moderating our own comments, I’ll tell you now that I’m pretty lax about comment content, and I enjoy a good debate, but I will be following the Women’s Glib commenting policy, which means I will not tolerate hate speech, derailing, or personal attacks. Because of my age and my desire to write about issues that affect young people and children, ageism in particular is something I hope to not see in comments.

If you ever feel like I am ignoring a subject or showing my personal privilege, I encourage you to inform me of that thought the comments. I strongly believe we can’t fight kyriarchy unless we are willing to acknowledge our mistakes and learn.

Like I said before, I am so glad to be writing here, and I hope you will enjoy my posts!

I hope you’re as excited as I am to welcome these writers to the blog. You can learn more about them on our new Current Contributors page. Thanks to all the candidates who emailed me; my co-bloggers Phoebe and Silvia can confirm that choosing new writers was a difficult and thoughtful process. Check back soon to hear from the second wave of contributors!

LAST CALL: Write for Women’s Glib!

July 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

Friends: Women’s Glib is seeking new contributors. If you’re interested in becoming a part of this awesome blog right here, please email me soon! As I wrote earlier this week:

This blog is all about centering teenagers’ voices — voices which are so often silenced and ignored. This is a great opportunity for you to project your voice to a supportive and dynamic audience about issues that really matter. The ideal contributor is a high school student who is familiar with what we do here, preferably with enough free time to write at least one new post each week. (Savvy middle school students and/or college-age writers are also welcome!) Brilliant readers, consider this seriously! Don’t be shy! Please contact me at womensglib -AT- gmail -DOT- com. Provide a brief description of who you are, why you’re interested in joining the Women’s Glib team, and a few concrete ideas for topics you’d like to write about here.

The deadline to contact me about this prospect is Monday July 12. Thanks!

Write for Women’s Glib!

July 5, 2010 § 1 Comment

Note: I have moved this post to the top, to make sure everyone sees and reads it!

Are you a fan of feminism? Do you enjoy reading this blog? Are you young, smart, and somewhat decent with words? Then I have an exciting prospect for you: I’m seeking new contributors for Women’s Glib. This blog is all about centering teenagers’ voices — voices which are so often silenced and ignored. This is a great opportunity for you to project your voice to a supportive and dynamic audience about issues that really matter.

The ideal contributor is a high school student who is familiar with what we do here, preferably with enough free time to write at least one new post each week.

Brilliant readers, consider this seriously! Don’t be shy! Please contact me at womensglib -AT- gmail -DOT- com. Provide a brief description of who you are, why you’re interested in joining the Women’s Glib team, and a few concrete ideas for topics you’d like to write about here.

Hot Blog Alert

May 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Check out The Seventeen Magazine Project, a chronicle of one Pennsylvania teenager’s month-long quest to follow the gospel of Seventeen. The writer, Jamie Keiles, promises that:

  1. I will read the entire June/July issue of Seventeen magazine from cover to cover.
  2. Every day I will utilize at least one “beauty tip” (hair/makeup/skincare/whathaveyou) and one fashion tip.
  3. I will follow all diet and exercise tips provided in the issue to a T.
  4. I will participate in every activity recommended by the magazine (i.e. host a fright night, score your hottest summer hookup ever, be confident in a bikini, etc.)
  5. I will apply for every single “freebie” offered by the magazine, every day.
  6. I will consume all media recommended by the magazine at least once. (books/movies/music)
  7. I will hang all provided pictures/posters of “hot guys” in my living environment.

So fascinating! Follow her experience here. Relatedly: female high school seniors who blog about cultural issues, represent!

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