Because I knew you, I’ve been changed for good

“I am going to write fire until it comes out of my ears, my eyes, my noseholes–everywhere. Until it’s every breath I breathe. I’m going to go out like a fucking meteor!” Audre Lorde 

I joined Feministing in February of 2005. At the time I was living in San Francisco, CA, and I was working as a substitute school teacher. I had little direction as to where my career was going, no “bigger plan” for myself or how I was going to weave in what I had been told I should cultivate – a passionate, righteous voice committed to gender justice.

When I started blogging, my writing was rough; it was angry and it was righteous. I have no formal training in public writing, but through the weekly rigor of writing blog posts for Feministing and working with the incredible people that make up this collective, I found my voice as a writer. And I got addicted to expressing myself through writing, to Feministing, and to you – Feministing fans, I wish I knew how to quit you.

This is my last post as the Executive Editor of Feministing, the space that gave me the foundation for who I am in the world today. As I reflect on the last eight years of my life, it is clear to me that my development as a leader is a testament to the power and necessity of online feminism.

The feminist blogosphere brought me a community of brilliant people that held me accountable and inspired me to be my best thinker. It brought me a plethora of amazing blogs to expand my thinking, to learn and to develop my ideas in relationship to ones I both agreed and disagreed with. Eventually, I wrote a book, I started giving lectures on feminism, and today I work with amazing organizations and causes, helping them use the internet to amplify their own stories to create change.

And it’s not just about me. How many young ladies have accepted the word “feminism” because cool people like Jessica or Ann wrote about it? How many people have fully understood the necessity to be a good ally because of Vanessa’s courageous writing? Or realized they were less alone because Zerlina shared her story? And how many more people understand the debilitating and disempowering role our deepest held beliefs about gender have on our society because Jos took to deconstructing them? Not to mention the impact Courtney, Maya, Lori, Perez, Chloe, Katie, Syreeta, Shark-fu, Rose, Janna, Eesha, Alexandra and Sesali have had laying down the serious analysis–with sass, humor, style, and wit. It’s actually unreal the kind of passion, leadership and talent on display all day, everyday at this amazing site we’ve built.

Feminist blogs have quietly churned out feminist leaders for the last decade. While some may be looking for the “Next Great Feminist Leader,” we realized early on that’s not the kind of leadership 21st Century feminism needs. Many of us are leaders in our fields, working online and off to bring stories, complexity, and new voices to our work. We’ve indirectly proven that leadership looks different in the age of mass participation and global movements. There is no one leader; there is instead the sum of all of us.

At Feministing, we’ve been long committed to a “leaderless movement” where we are all leaders. And our commitment to transformation and reinvention is why, these last few months while I’ve been less and less around, the site has been as awesome as ever. My incredible co-bloggers have kept the momentum going. And as most of the original editors have moved on, they will continue to keep this space the unique and important place it is for young feminists and their buddies everywhere.

As for me, I’m looking forward to a much-needed break from the day-to-day pressures of blogging and focus on my other job as a Senior Strategist at Purpose where I get to work on some of the most important issues of our day. I’ll keep writing too. For updates – follow me on twitter!

Feministing has been the most transformative experience of my life. Together we have impacted people, we have inspired them, we’ve pissed them the fuck off, we’ve worked our asses of, we’ve bonded, and through it all we continue to have a blast. We are living proof that feminism is alive–it’s thriving, it’s complicated, it’s disruptive, and it’s more necessary than ever.

Thanks for that. I’ll see you soon.

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