The Revolution won’t be Televised
… it will be online. The internet these days is full of amazing feminist resources that are just waiting to be read! But it can be really hard to find particular stuff when you need it – when you google “feminism” the first sites that come up are Wikipedia, another is for the Feminist Majority Foundation, and the next few sites are kind of random. One is even an anti-feminist site. Seeing as I spend half my life on the computer and internet with work, study, and for fun, I thought I would give the low-down on some of the feminist sites available which include news, information, activism ideas and links to other sites. These are essentially online portals to the feminist revolution…
Weekly feminist newsreader. Interviews with inspirational feminists. Links to hundreds of feminist websites. Probing commentary on the sexist, racist and homophobic nature of society. Thoughtful and intelligent discussion forums. *sigh* this is a feminist web-geeks heaven! Feministing’s mission statement says: “Young women are rarely given the opportunity to speak on their own behalf on issues that affect their lives and futures. Feministing provides a platform for us to comment, analyze and influence.” It is a news based blog by a group of young women in America, who point out the raging sexism in everyday life. Basically, I can’t get enough of this site, and recommend it to everyone, particularly if you need to be reminded why we still need strong feminists. It gives me new reasons every day!
Feminist Majority Foundation
This website is chock-a-block full of real feminist bits. That is, there’s a lot going on at feminist.org! The name was chosen after a Newsweek/Gallup poll indicated that 56% of American females self-identified as feminist – and they also believe the majority of men would support the goals of feminism too. FMF was formed in 1987, and describes itself as “a cutting edge organization dedicated to women’s equality, reproductive health, and non-violence.” FMF explains that its goal is to utilise “research and action to empower women economically, socially, and politically. Our organization believes that feminists – both women and men, girls and boys – are the majority, but this majority must be empowered.” The cool thing about this site is that you can sign up for feminist news updates, delivered straight to your email. The downside is that it is very American focussed, both the news and the site. That said there are some good links and some excellent activism ideas on this site. I particularly like their sister site, Feminist Campus (www.feministcampus.org) because it shows the organisation taking a lead role in spreading the feminist message to American tertiary campuses.
Girlistic say that they are “the ultimate online feminist resource”, which is a pretty big call considering the number of sites around that do similar things. Girlistic’s introduction states “Providing education and entertainment, pop and politics, culture and community, resources and shopping, Girlistic is the first place to visit for women-centered information.” Again, big call to make! What I like about Girlistic though is the combination of fun empowering stuff to do, like on their DIY page, their expansive links page (I mean expansive as in 133 links for “resources”, and 214 links to what they entitle “that’s life” which encompasses sexuality, sexual health, motherhood and blogs.) It also has a snazzy new online feminist zine, which explains itself as “a blend of refined intellect and raw entertainment. Think: Ms. and Bitch have a threesome with Bust and the result is a bouncing baby Girlistic.” Their online zine is coming out on the 1st December so I will certainly be looking out for that. They have a myspace page too, if you’re that way inclined. (www.myspace.com/girlistic)
The F Word
An online zine created by Melody Berger, a women’s studies major at Temple University in Philadelphia. As well has featuring some pretty amazing illustrations, there are interviews with some pretty cool feminists, like Bitch (formerly from the musical duo Bitch and Animal) and Gloria Steinem. Other articles featured on the e-zine confront issues such as gender identity, international feminisms, and feminist craft (yay!). There is also a really great links section to online resources about AIDS, Racism, being Body Positive, Crafts, Disablity, Environment, GLBT, Homelessness, and Vegetarian/Animal Rights. The site is quite user friendly with a focus on all forms of sexuality, creative arts/writing, and a call for interested women to contribute. The only down side is the site hasn’t been updated in a while.
Another feminist e-zine!!! Looks like Muse might have to get internet savvy to keep up. Wo! Magazine is an Australian site, which combines a downloadable PDF zine, a blog (online journal) and a “lad-busters” page, which is where people can send in photos or ideas for good old fashioned activism like stencils, adbusts, and other forms of subverting popular culture. The main focus of the site however is their full colour zine, which has really admirable aims: “It is an attempt, of sorts, at repositioning feminism in a society which is still obsessed with the ‘hairy bra-burner’ myth. We want to pick ourselves up from feminist ‘ground zero’, dust ourselves off and redefine the ‘f-word’. In other words, Wo! Magazine aims to challenge the myths perpetuated in the mass-media and elsewhere whilst providing timely, intelligent and amusing commentary on issues that affect us.” Wo! also comes from a pluralistic perspective, which is something that is coming across very strongly in many of the third wave, or current generation, of feminist websites. I have the feeling however that as Wo! is a quarterly e-zine, not much will change on their webpage for periods of time. Oh, and there is also a myspace page for Wo Magazine too. (www.myspace.com/wo_magazine)
Guerrilla Girls are awesome, and their site is worth checking out to get some ideas for activism if you’re interested in the way women are portrayed in the media, in art and in Hollywood. The GG’s aim to highlight and eradicate sexism, racism and homophobia from the art world and Hollywood, and take drastic measures to do so! The GG crew are all anonymous and wear guerrilla masks when they have public appearances. Their pseudonyms are based on famous female artists. Their site is well organised, and is bright and colourful. My favourite section is where you can view all the feminist activism they have done since the early 80s, in their stickers, posters, billboards and protests. There are also cool downloads like their posters or stickers, so you can spread the GG love.
Guerrilla Girls Broad Band
GG Broadband is an interesting site, but is quite hard to use. The site also doesn’t have much flow… basically it’s a lot of cool but unrelated feminist snippets. They have three main headings: war, the ‘f-word’ and culture. These all have various sub-headings, loosely related. There are some great graphics on this site, downloadable anti-Bush posters, a cute animation, and an interesting quiz about your feminist workplace personality. It’s a good site to spend an afternoon on, but there isn’t much meat there like some other sites.
Although I don’t identify as anarcha-feminist, I really enjoy this site and find it really useful and enlightening. Anarcha provides an alternative perspective on the whole to the more generalised or liberal feminist sites such as Feminist Majority Foundation. The site includes a really good image library, and there are some great anarchist and gender resources such as the “Sallydarity” page. Another purpose of this site is to be a place where anarcha-fems can publish their work, share ideas, and generally be heard. Yay!
So, happy surfing! If you have any feminist websites that you think are worth spreading the news about email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.