A site that has proved to be invaluable as I blog about the reproductive justice movement in Trump’s America is Feministing.com. Feministing describes itself as “an online community run by and for young feminists.” The blog offers feminist analyses of pop culture, social justice and politics, among other things.
I love Feministing mainly becomes it offers a diverse array of perspectives on important current events. The site employs columnists of different races, genders, sexual orientations and class backgrounds—which is especially helpful for issues that disproportionately affect those specific subgroups.
It also offers the “Daily Feminist Cheatsheet,” which is great if you’re looking for a place to quickly skim the day’s most important headlines and find convenient links to those stories on other accredited news sources. While I do like the “Daily Feminist Cheatsheet,” I wish the descriptions of the day’s stories had a bit more substantial information rather than just a sentence. It would be helpful if it was more similar to the daily newsletters that major news sites publish so that the reader is not required to read each individual article to get the full story (or at least the important facts in it).
Other than that, I am not a huge fan of the capitalized bolded headlines for the articles, but I understand the point that it’s trying to make. In a society where women’s voices are so systematically silenced, this blog seeks to scream women’s opinions in your face and make sure the feminist perspective is heard.
Promoting engaging conversations among its audience is perhaps what Feministing does best. The site has a “Community” tab that is open to submissions from anyone. However, the site is clear about its submission guidelines. “Anti-feminist posts will not be published, and we believe that racism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia and hate speech constitute anti-feminism and have no place on the site,” the “Community” section guidelines read.
In an attempt to cut down on harassment in the comments section (which feminist sites are especially vulnerable to), Feministing using Disquis—a worldwide blog comment hosting service that prompts users to first sign in with their Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disquis account. Although not a perfect system, this service aims to take away the anonymity that emboldens so many misogynist trolls to publish their hateful comments. The Feministing team is also clear that it reserves the right not to publish any posts or comments as it sees fit.
Feministing was founded in 2004 by sisters Jessica and Vanessa Valenti. The blog was inspired by Jessica Valenti, who worked at a women’s organization at the time, perceiving a lack of young women voices in the feminist movement. Jessica Valenti would later skyrocket to feminist fame in 2007, when she published her book “Full Frontal Feminism.” Most recently, she published a memoir in 2016 entitled “Sex Object,” which provides an honest and blunt portrayal of the not-so-good things that coming of age as a woman in America brings. Jessica Valenti is also a columnist at The Guardian US, which is another source I frequently turn to for blogging inspiration about relevant problems facing the reproductive justice movement.
After 10 years, the Valenti sisters have stepped down from running the day-to-day operations of Feminsting, leaving it to a trio of executive directors—Lori Adelman, Maya Dusenbery and Jos Truitt. The site is financially supported by the Center for Sex & Culture, a cultural center in San Francisco that aims to provide “non-judgmental, sex-positive sexuality education,” according to its mission statement on SanFrancisco.com.
According to SimilarWeb, Feministing.com receives about 240,000 visits per month. The average visit duration is not very long, at just 37 seconds, and users visit about 1.46 pages per visit. Just a little more than half of the website’s traffic is from the United States, and the traffic was higher in the couple months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, seeming to steadily decline since. Social media counts for an incredibly small amount of it’s traffic, at just around 6 percent, while direct searches takes the cake for highest source of traffic at 60.6 percent.
Regardless of its traffic, there is a reason why Feministing.com has been called “the largest online feminist community in the world.” It provides a platform for the sharp, intelligent, well-informed opinions that today’s young women in the feminist movement care about, while also supplying a communal outlet for engagement about those issues.