So long, and thanks for all the feminism

I first came upon Feministing in early 2008, four years after its founding. By then, it was already a go-to, must-read feminist blog, one of the first big ones of its kind – and, as a college junior, I was oblivious to its existence. I had identified as a feminist for several years, and wasn’t shy about it, and the “feminist stuff” section of my bookcase was slowly but surely crowding out the rest of my reading. Still, I had no idea that, online, there was a rich and vibrant feminist conversation, a large and rapidly growing feminist community – not just hours worth of things for me to read and think about, but months.

I owe the discovery to Feministing Editor Emeritus Courtney Martin, who visited my campus to speak about perfectionism, feminism, and eating disorders, the topic of her book Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters (haven’t read it yet? Do it now).

I had never met anyone I more wanted to be than Courtney E. Martin. She was so smart, so interesting, so interested. She moved through the world with the self-assurance of someone who cared deeply about what other people thought, but didn’t care much about what other people thought of her. I was tongue-tied and in awe of her. And because I was the president of the eating disorders awareness group that had arranged to bring her to campus, it was my job to escort her around and to give a short speech introducing her to the audience before her talk. And to do that, I needed to do my research. Which is how I found Feministing.

Within a few days, it was my homepage, and I was reading it – and numerous other feminist blogs like Feministe, Pam’s House Blend, and Jezebel – obsessively. I fell down the rabbit hole of the feminist internet, hard, and was delighted, if a little abashed, to discover that there was this whole world I hadn’t known about. A world full of smart, funny people and big, paradigm-shifting ideas. It was like finding Narnia, but without the heavy-handed religious allegories.

Reading Feministing inspired me to start a feminist blog on my campus. It was, surprisingly (but not that surprisingly), the university’s first ever feminist publication, digital or otherwise. After I had a little writing practice under my belt, and after I had breathlessly fangirled all over Jessica Valenti at a talk she gave at Barnard, I asked Feministing if they needed someone to write things for them – anything at all. I started writing the weekly newsletter, getting up hungover and regretful on Sunday mornings to comb the internet for the best and worst feminist news of the week.

Almost seven years later, I’ve been a Contributor, a Columnist, and an Editor. I’ve interviewed fascinating people and covered stories that made me laugh, and rage, and weep, and totally rethink my positions.

Most importantly, though, I have come to feel like part of a community, here at Feministing, in the larger feminist internet, and in feminism writ large. And I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with some of the smartest, toughest, funniest, and most inspiring people on the planet, people who have taught me, and been patient with me, called me out when I screwed up, and shown me how to do better. People whose names are and will probably always be on my “I’ll Read Anything You Write – Seriously, Even A Grocery List” list. There is no other word but “gift” to describe the experience of working alongside Jessica and Vanessa Valenti, and Miriam Zoila Pérez, and Ann Friedman, and Courtney Martin, and Samhita Mukhopadhyay, and Anna Sterling, and Lori Adelman, and Jos Truitt, and Maya Dusenbery, and Alex Brodsky, and Sesali Bowen, and Zerlina Maxwell, and Katie Halper, and Mychal Denzel Smith, and Syreeta McFadden, and Court Baxter, and Gwendolyn Beetham, and Pam Merritt, and Juliana Schwartz, and Suzanna Bobadilla, and oh my god you guys Katherine Fucking Cross. It has been one long feminist wet dream come true.

The crew at our 2010 retreat.

Last year, we celebrated our tenth birthday. I was fortunate enough to be present for six of the first ten, watching and learning as the team – and with it, our vision – grew and changed. I am tremendously proud of what we have built and continue to build here, and I am enormously grateful for the feminism we preach and practice here. I can only imagine, and cannot wait to find out, what Feministing will be at the end of its second decade. When I look at some of the new people who have recently joined us – Verónica Bayetti Flores, Dana Bolger, Katie Barnes, Reina Gattuso, and Mahroh Jahangiri, and Ava and Sam – I know we’re in good hands.

For me, though, it’s time to move on. In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be transitioning into a new role as Senior Front Page Editor at The Huffington Post, another opportunity that will allow me to work with talented and committed people on stories that matter.

What I’ll be taking with me is what I learned here, from my remarkable colleagues and from our loyal community. And that is that feminism is necessary. That it must be inclusive. That it must place the needs of the most vulnerable people front and centre. That it’s fun. That it’s sexy. That it’s hard. That it’s fucking profane at times. That it’s complicated and confronting. That it’s for everyone. That it needs everyone.

And I’ll be taking what I learned here about how to write and edit, and support your colleagues who write and edit. About how to cover a story right, in a way that takes gender and race and class and gender identity and ability into account. About how to have someone’s back in the face of trolls and doxxing. About how to disagree not just respectfully but productively with a team member and ally. About how to shut up and listen, and step back and let other people take the mic. About how to share opportunities that partly come your way because of who you are and not because of what you’re capable of.

Despite being a professional putter together of words, I struggle to find the right ones to explain what this experience has meant to me, how much it has allowed me to grow, and how thankful I am that it was granted to me.

Many years after I first typed “Feministing” into my browser, it is still my homepage. Because for years now, it’s been my home on the internet. I’m excited to move out and move on to new adventures, but this place will always be home. Feministing will always be my internet family – and family, like feminism, is forever.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

Read more about Chloe

Join the Conversation