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A Letter from Cheryl Strayed: "It Takes Guts."

Dear Friends,

I wrote recently, on Twitter, that I was getting the word "feminist" tattooed on my ass. I was only joking, but I might as well have been serious. It's true that in all the most important things I am—mother, writer, hiker, wife, daughter, seeker—feminism is at the center. It's a descriptor so clear and permanent it seems to me it's inked on my ass whether it's literally there or not. I've been a feminist since before I knew what a feminist was. It's an indelible part of my identity and it informs everything I do.

When I first began reading Bitch I marveled at how simple it is, that mission of putting those words—"I am a feminist"—into action. Of writing as activism, of fusing theory and experience and activism into an urgent call that doesn't politely ask to be listened to, but demands it. In each issue, Bitch speaks in a voice that doesn't ask permission to be heard.

It takes guts to be a feminist. It takes nerve to remind people that our world is colored by gender and gender bias, by inequality and ugliness and violence. It is a difficult business, emphasizing that these things matter, that they are not special interests or fleeting causes, that we are informed and affected by them whether we realize it or not, that we carry them with us not because we choose to but because we have to. To read Bitch is to remember that we don't always choose our causes; some of them find us.

It takes guts, too, to care. To admit that you want the world to change, deeply and radically into one that values women and values feminism. I care, and I'm asking you today to join me in supporting Bitch Media as they work to be part of that transformation. If you agree that feminism is essential—even if the word itself isn't inscribed on your ass, or any place else on our body—then please, show your support by making this investment with me. Invest in women; invest in the kind of work that needs to be done day in and day out to make feminism real and current and interesting.

Invest in Bitch.

- Cheryl

Cheryl Strayed
Writer, Mother, Feminist

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