this ain’t livin’ » an open letter to Feministing
So hi there, Feministing!
Recently, there was a post about chivalry that included some ableist language. I know you’ve been contacted about it already, by bloggers with more personal, feminist and writing experience than me. This blog is just a baby in the blogosphere. I’m twenty and able bodied, so I don’t have much life experience. I can’t offer suggestions that haven’t already been brought to the table about how to right this.
What I’d like to write about is why you should fix this.
During my first year in college, I started really getting into feminism and feminist theory, because my college is awesome. Feministing was one of the first sites that I started reading and, while I’ve read a few others off and on since then, it remains one of the few I turn to daily for news and information. A lot of what’s been posted has brought to my attention ideas and issues that I never would considered otherwise; they simply never would have occurred to me. I’ve read and participated in some fascinating discussions that have expanded my horizons and helped me to better understand and articulate why I believe what I believe.
That’s awesome. Feministing has been one of the biggest influences on me as a feminist. I’m still new to the game and I’ve got a lot to learn, but I got my introduction to applied feminist theory reading your blog. I’m probably not the only one; you’re listed as the #1 feminist blog on TakePart.
That in mind, I’m asking you to listen to what Meloukhia and others have said. I’ve heard complaints about Feministing being classist, transphobic, ableist … all of these are feminist issues. Nobody is perfect, but when any of us are called out on our privilege, the thing to do is to listen to those who are bringing it to our attention and stop that particular behavior – even better, to start new, more healthy and accepting behaviors. Since Feministing has introduced me – and others, I’m sure – to feminism, I’ve doubtlessly been influenced by the patterns of thought – conscious or not – that permeate the site. (eta: What I’m trying to say is I am one of the young women who has been influenced by your “fun” version of feminism, and it bothers me that what I’ve learned/been taught is so problematic. Thanks Annaham for articulating what I was trying to say, before I even started trying to say it.)
What I’m saying is that as such an important feminist site, I hope Feministing will take responsibility for educating other feminists – new and experienced – in a way that really is equitable to all.