Feministing is not in the United States

I feel the need to point out something obvious to me that seems to allude many Feministing readers, particularly those who live in a certain geographic region. And that is that Feministing is not in the U.S. It is on the internet. The internet is accessed and enjoyed by people living all over the world. Feministing.com has a global “fan base” if you will. It is an international community. 

However, the members of our community who live in the U.S. frequently forget this. The comments sections are filled with assumptions about topics and posters (particularly in the Community part of the site) that are US-biased. What finally gave me the push to stand up and shout “Yoo Hoo” were the comments to the recent post by a transgender woman who lost her job. The American commentators automatically assumed she lives in the United States and supplied U.S. centered advice. Since I live in Sweden, myself, I am completely baffled as to how often this sort of thing happens.

I once wrote a post about a friend of mine in Georgia who was arrested in a raid on an lgbt organization. One of the first comments was that I should have clarified that I meant Georgia the country and not some state in the U.S. Why, exactly am I supposed to know that there is a state in the U.S. called Georgia? Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to ask US residents to know the name of a country then to ask the entire rest of the world to learn the names of all those states? Most of the people I know don’t even know how many states are in the U.S. 

Maybe I missed the “Feministing.com is only for USians” memo or something? But I think ignorance is the more likely culprit. People in the U.S. who read and contribute to Feministing are simply not aware that it is an international community. People all over the world can read and write in English and access media in English instead of other languages because it is a common language. When Swedes and Germans and Portuguese get together we communicate in English even if there are no native English speakers around, otherwise we’d all have to learn at least a dozen languages. But there are also other native English speaking people in countries other then the U.S. you know, like, um, Canada just to name one…

Sure, I could hang out only on Swedish feminist blogs, but then I would be missing out on everything going on elsewhere and opinions and ideas being expressed by feminists outside of Sweden (and outside of Sweden does not just equal inside the United States). Many of the American feminists don’t seem too perturbed by their incorrect assumption that the feminists in this community all live in the same country. 

Can we have a discussion about this topic? I’d be curious to hear everyone’s opinions about this. Do you live in the US? Do you assume that all commentators and bloggers do too? Why? What about the other non-USians? Have you noticed this too? 

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

Join the Conversation