Great Feminist Writing on the Internet
By Suzanne Reisman on August 14, 2008
BlogHer Original Post
In what can only be kismet, I noticed an article about women and the web, "Woman to Woman" in today's New York Times business section as I was eating my breakfast sausage this morning. The article is about the wild popularity of sites with female audiences and the desperation of advertisers to get a piece of the action. I could not help but cackle when I saw how the Times described these sites:
Sites aimed primarily at women, from “mommy blogs” to makeup and fashion sites, grew 35 percent last year — faster than every other category on the Web except politics, according to comScore, an Internet traffic measurement company. Women’s sites had 84 million visitors in July, 27 percent more than the same month last year, comScore said.
Certainly none of the women who blog about feminism (and absolutely not women who write about gender!) could be responsible for any of this traffic. As the article reports:
Shine from Yahoo initially vowed to cover current events and avoid the typical fare of sex and diet tips. But the most popular stories on a recent day were about racy photos of the teenage star Miley Cyrus and whether women were attracted to men with beards. “We tried pure news, and sometimes it doesn’t work,” said Brandon Holley, Shine’s editor in chief.
Ms. Holley was most recently editor in chief of Jane, the Condé Nast women’s magazine that closed in July 2007. Jane struggled with the same problem — how to offer an irreverent, feminist take on women’s topics — and ultimately failed to attract advertisers.
Hmmm... so is it that articles not about makeup, home decor, and gossip fail to attract readers (not that I don't read those types of articles, too - I do love me some juicy gossip), or do they fail to attract advertisers who don't know how to deal with women who step outside of stereotypical behavior? Me thinks the real problem is the latter. Which is why it is ironic that the Times article appeared today, as my plan had been to highlight what I thought was some of the best feminist writing I've recently seen on the web. We may not attract advertisers, but we have strong voices, offer important thoughts and opinions, and tell great stories.
It was also ironic that I read Feminism 101 by Conversemama at Ordinary Art right after ingesting BlogHer CE Rita Aren's fantastic post on blog jealousy. "Feminism 101" is so well-written and thought-provoking, it gave me goosebumps. At the end, I literally stopped breathing for a second. I could not find a place to leave a comment for Conversemama, so I emailed her and told her I wished that I could write something like that. We emailed back and forth a bit about writing, and I thought that writing about feminist writing would be a great topic.
So here I am, writing about great feminist writing, something unworthy of advertising interest (Like feminists shop for themselves or their families? Please, we are just a bunch of poorly dressed, make-up less, man-hating women out to destroy society by not having children!), but full of admiration for others. (Thanks again, Conversemama, for such a great story and for the inspiration!) The other great posts I recently read about feminism are Hey Good Lookin' by O.I. at women's writes movement, How About a Life Makeover? by Black Women, Blow the Trumpet, and Choice by Sarahlynn at Yeah, but Houdini didn't have these hips.
None of these women who write on "women's issues" (i.e. - topics that are of interest to women) have advertisers outside of the BlogHer ad network, which may or may not be OK with them. But they certainly deserve readers, as do thousands of other fabulous women who tackle feminist ideas. What's your favorite feminist post?
Suzanne was rejected from ad networks and blog syndicators due to her blog name, Campaign for Unshaved Snatch (CUSS) & Other Rants. She is currently collecting stories about menstruation (a topic of interest primarily to women) for a potential anthology at Congratulations, You're a Woman Now!. However, her first book, Off the Beaten (Subway) Track: New York City's Best Unusual Attractions has something for everyone who has an interest in New York City.
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