How did Feministing start?

Back in 2004, Jessica Valenti was working for a national women’s organization and felt like the mainstream feminist movement wasn’t really interested in hearing younger women’s voices. So after a prompting by her then-boss, she founded Feministing along with her sister, Vanessa Valenti, and two other women she worked with. The site quickly gained popularity for offering a bold, snarky voice for young feminists in the media. Over the years, the leadership of the site has changed, and the team of writers has grown. Samhita Mukhopadhyay became Executive Editor in 2010 and led the site for three years. Lori Adelman, Maya Dusenbery, and Jos Truitt took on the role of co-Executive Directors in 2013.

Are you getting rich off of this blog? How is Feministing funded?

Hardly. For ten years, Feministing was run as a labor of love. Contributors and editors all had other full-time jobs, and the revenue we got–mostly from advertising–went mainly toward covering the costs of running the site. Recognizing that we needed to become fully funded in order expand and strengthen our work and keep Feministing on the cutting edge, we’ve been attempting to build a sustainable, non-profit funding model. In 2013, readers supported our Kickstarter campaign to fund a site redesign and jumpstart our plans for long-term sustainability. Now we’re hustling to expand our funding sources–getting donations, applying for foundation grants, and building a base of committed members who will help fund our work for years. We’d love to get most of our funding from our readers–that’s who we’re doing this for, after all! So if you’d like to support us–whether by giving a couple bucks a month or a million–please do so here.

What is not allowed in the comments section and the Community site?

Our Community blog, comment threads, and related social networking sites exist to better connect young feminists online and off, further feminist dialogue, and encourage activism. Sexism, racism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and hate speech have no place here. While we can’t guarantee a completely safe space on Feministing, we can strive for an accountable one. And though we love differences of opinion, there’s a way to disagree respectfully and thoughtfully. We expect civility, generosity, and patience for your fellow readers and for this space. Please remember that we are all here to grow and learn from each other.

We use Disqus for our comments, and you’ll need to sign in with a Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account in order to comment. All comments are moderated before being approved, so don’t be surprised if yours doesn’t show up immediately. Comments or Community posts that include the following things will not be approved:

  • Racist, sexist, ageist, transphobic, sizeist, ableist, homophobic language or ideas
  • Victim-blaming
  • Fat-shaming
  • Personal attacks and insults (Even if most of your comment is constructive, if the last line is “So thanks for that, asshole,” we will probably not post it.)
  • Dismissal, silencing (e.g. “Ehh, I don’t think that matters too much.” or “This isn’t an issue.”)
  • Questioning the feminist validity of a topic or post (e.g. “Why do you care about this? You should really care about x, y, z because it’s more important.”)
  • Derailing (Don’t take the discussion off in a completely different and unproductive tangent from the original post.)

Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list. Ultimately, it is up to the Feministing team whether a comment or post gets published or not. If you see a comment that seems to violate our policy, please let us know by flagging it.

You erased my comment/banned me/won’t let me post on the Community site. Isn’t that censoring?

No. This is a feminist site whose purpose is to further feminist dialogue in a progressive manner. If you aren’t contributing to that end–if you’re derailing a thread, making personal attacks, or trolling–we will erase your comments and possibly ban you from the site. Our site, our rules.

How can I write for Feministing?

The best way to write for Feministing is to submit to our Community site. The Community gets a good deal of traffic itself, and we often “front page” Community posts to the main site. And if you’re regularly impressing us with your contributions to the Community site, we may even invite you to become a regular columnist–some of our current writers got their start that way. Make sure you’ve checked out the comments/Community policy above, and then create an account here! Typically, we do not accept unsolicited pitches.

What’s with the logo?

The Feministing logo is meant to be ironic. We wanted to take a traditionally sexist image–the mudflap girl–and subvert her. Hence, the middle finger. We like to think of her as saying “fuck you” to the sexist beauty standard she is supposed to represent. Over time, we’ve moved away from Ms. Mudflap as a definitive symbol of all that Feministing has become. We haven’t gotten rid of her–you’ll still find her lurking on the site and flicking off the patriarchy occasionally–but we recognize that there are a ton of cultural symbols to be reclaimed and reappropriated by feminists, and we didn’t want to feel limited to just this one.