On feminist evolutions and online revolutions

It’s been a wild 9 years, y’all.

Yep, this marks my last official post as the managing editor of Feministing. It’s pretty bittersweet–as a co-founder, I’ve literally grown up alongside this project. But there are many reasons why I’m leaving happily: I think it’s time to pass on leadership to the other younger, brilliant minds in the crew, I have a new kick-ass feminist business to run (with our own Editor Emerita Courtney), and also simply feel like it’s time for me to move on to build new projects, and write in new places.

But this isn’t really goodbye; I’ll still be involved with Feministing, blogging occasionally and helping the site out in other not-so-public ways, like forming an advisory board of Editor Emeriti (or as we like to call ourselves, “The Original Recipe”). But as a goodbye-for-now, I thought I’d leave some thoughts–as some of the other editors have done when they’ve left–on the future of feminism, or more accurately, what I’d like to see in it.

Put plainly, I think we need to demand more from this movement. It’s no news that online innovation is opening us up to new ways of thinking, creating, and making impact. And in many ways, online feminists have been at the forefront of it; we’ve made some serious strides through online activism. But we need to demand more from ourselves, to think even bigger, be more inventive, and more pro-active.

We also need to demand more for ourselves. That includes demanding more time for ourselves, and care for our hearts. Being an activist changes your heart permanently, and that takes a special kind of nurturing, particularly when we’re facing so much and working so damn hard. So I think we need to care for ourselves (and each other) more adeptly. It’s as simple, and ridiculously important, as that.

But in order do any of this – to better care for ourselves so we can do better, more effective work – we need to value our own work, and demand more for our labor. And historically, valuing our work has been a huge challenge for feminist activists. It’s time we shift away from this way of thinking about how we create change. In the coming months, you’ll hear more about a project that I’ve joined Courtney to work on, with the help of dozens of other online activists, that is attempting to create solutions for what we believe is the largest challenge facing online feminist work today: that it’s completely unsustainable. It’s time to create a new dynamic, not just for the betterment of online feminism, but for the future of the movement(s). If this is one gift I can leave behind for Feministing–and so many others doing this work–I will be one happy lady. Stay tuned for more.

In the meantime, it feels really exciting to be the last official co-founder to leave Feministing, especially when there’s such an outstanding crew of people I’m leaving it to. And after the years of hard lessons, late night revelry, retreats, mishaps, fuckups, burnout, celebrations, trolls, and thousands of hours of free labor–it has all been completely worth it. I may have helped create the community that Feministing is today, but Feministing has helped create who I am. I am eternally grateful for that, and for the incredible human beings I’ve worked with over the years: my sister and co-founder Jessica, my partner-in-crime Samhita, Ann, Court, Miriam, Jos, Lori, Maya, Chloe, Anna, Zerlina and so many others.

But above all, I’m grateful to you folks: the readers, commenters, community bloggers, friends and supporters I’ve encountered along the way, thousands of whom I’ve never met. Thank you for reading, for engaging, and for challenging me every day.

For any folks who want to stay in touch, follow me on Twitter, or contact me via my personal site. But for now, much love, and so long!

Join the Conversation

  • http://feministing.com/members/alisonrose/ Alison

    Lovely post, and best of luck to you, Vanessa!

  • http://feministing.com/members/toongrrl/ toongrrl

    Good luck!