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I ♥ Bitch For Creating a Community

As 2010 draws to a close, it's the time of year that nonprofits ask for donations. Bitch Media is no different; we need ongoing financial support. Usually, we would ask you to make a gift after telling you why you should support us. However, Bitch Media is lucky. We don't need to tell you why Bitch is important because we can let our supporters tell their own stories. This week, former intern extraordinaire Sara Stroo explains why she ♥s Bitch.

When I came across this secret on postsecret.com, I was reminded all over about the reasons I ♥ Bitch. Not only do I love every word of the magazine as a subscriber, but it's even richer for me since I know the behind-the-scenes story of this awesome organization too. I had the chance to intern in the Bitch Media office for 13 months in 2009 and 2010, and I saw firsthand, every day, how much thought, effort, creativity, and spunk goes into producing each issue, blog post, podcast, and community event. I know that each new sustainer and every dollar that comes in as a donation elicits cheers from the entire office. I know that the operations team, the development team, and the executive director all work together to ensure that the organization is always innovating, while staying true to its mission. These happy memories add an extra layer of love to everything I enjoy from Bitch, and they make the necessity of supporting the organization all the more pressing.

But let's go back to that postcard for a minute. How many of us have stood in line somewhere and idly absorbed the "Fat celebrities in swim suits!", "Five things your man wants that you don't do!", "Lose those last ten pounds and finally love yourself!" teasers that are plastered all over the periodicals at the checkstand? Or, for that matter, how many of us have watched commercials of boobs talking to each other or guys in love with lite beer, or detergent ads that show laundry as women's work and thought, "Doesn't anyone else think this is RIDICULOUS? Am I alone in the universe here?"

Well, that's another reason I love Bitch Media and the magazine: I no longer feel alone. Instead of making you a consumer of tips on self-destructive unhappiness and holding your body and soul up to false standards of Photoshopped perfection, Bitch asks you to absorb media with a critical eye and fight back with your words and ideas—it invites you to join in a dialogue which shows others that feminism is still very much alive, strong, and important. For me, that's the definition of a community service: creating a forum for dialogue and education that produces healthier, happier, more engaged citizens (of Poplandia, of course).

So, to whoever sent this secret in, and so many others who share the same sentiment, let me assure you: There is a community for you. It's one that urges you to use your brain as much as your body, to become a judicious consumer of both things and media, and to see your time as valuable. This is a community that redefines beauty, love, and sexuality in ways that reflect the values of real life—not airbrushed images and the stories and concerns of only straight, Caucasian twentysomethings. And the Bitch Media community is promoting these values with every blog post, every download, every issue that goes out in the mail and on newsstands—but it isn't free and it takes the support of the community to stay a healthy and strong source of inspiration. Bitch can't do it alone, and that's where we come in as supporters, sustainers, and subscribers.

It may seem discouraging at first, to realize that the same magazines who exploit self-doubt and try to convince us that an $800 sweater is the "must-have item this season" actually have huge print-runs, headquarters on both coasts, and staff members who each have their own offices. But let's see the positive instead: This is your chance to put your support behind the little gal, where every dollar will be cheered for.

So please, join me in supporting Bitch Media! Make sure that, for every person who agonizes over the nonsense on the cover of Cosmopolitan this month, there is a copy of Bitch on a newsstand somewhere close by to balance it all out with a truth that is exciting, engaging and, honestly, for you.

Please share the love and post your own story about why you ♥ Bitch in the comments, and support what you love—donate now!

Guess what? Subscriptions to Bitch—our award-winning, 80+ page print quarterly—are 20% off to help us reach our $25,000 funding goal by September 30. Pitch in to support feminist media: Subscribe today

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Comments

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Can I get a witness?

I totally agree! One of my fave things about Bitch is that it makes me feel like I'm not the only one getting mega-frustrated by mainstream women's magazines (and TV, and movies, and music, and on and on and on). Thanks so much for writing this! I hope everyone who reads it subscribes/donates!

Why I love Bitch Magazine

I have loved this magazine for many years. Early on it was the diverse articles about things I had no idea I wanted to read about until I was absorbed in the pages. I loved it because as so many other Bitch readers know, it makes me feel like I am not the only sane female left on the planet, wondering how my gender got reduced to diet tips and complex schemes to trick men.

But lately, I have a new reason for loving Bitch.
As I have gotten involved in the Fat Activist/Size Acceptance Movement, I have been joyfully surprised to find that Bitch Magazine is one of the only consistent places where our messages are not only accepted but defended.

I was on the FB page for Bitch the other day and someone had made comments that were degrading to fat people (whether she meant it that way or was just linking fat to a lack of health and willpower as most people do). She HAD made these comments, and then folks from Bitch magazine had removed them. When she commented again and asked what happened, the folks at Bitch said,

"...as a feminist media organization that promotes fat acceptance, we treat fat as a value-neutral adjective here. That means we don't allow fat-shaming or negative fat talk in our threads."

I can't tell you what that meant to me. I am so accustomed to fat-shaming speech that the idea of a safe place (especially on the internet) was something I had no idea I wanted or needed until it was offered to me.

Thank you, Bitch, for being such strong protectors of my right to exist without being shamed and accosted by hate. As a fat woman and a woman in recovery for an eating disorder, it's nice to know I can come to your pages and feel a sense of support and community.

Katie*

PS - I have also really been enjoying the "Size Matters" series by Tasha Fierce. She's great.

Well, you just inspired me to

Well, you just inspired me to subscribe to Bitch! I only recently found Bitch this website and I wish I had found it years ago! I look forward to the many years of reading I have ahead of me.

Thanks!

Me too!

Me too!

Why I Love Bitch! ...and why everyone I know knows.

This weekend when I attended the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, I was talking to one of my friends and bitch magazine magically came up in conversation (which it happens to do around me), and he said that he was pretty sure that the first thing I ever said to him was about how I was reading bitch magazine. I don't remember this, so I laughed and was surprised, but I think that just shows how important bitch magazine is to me. I agree with everything that has been said before, that bitch creates community and a safe, feminist space.

For me, bitch is intricately tied with my feminist identity. Courtney Martin's book, "Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters" woke me out of my Cosmo ignorance and pointed me, immediately, to bitch magazine. I was so incredibly happy to have found it! My first issue was Lost and Found, and I still remember the black starry cover. I felt like my intelligence was validated by the incredible amount of thoughtful, interesting text that filled the pages. I remember being so shocked by this difference of information and analysis versus glossy, self-shaming ads and fashion pages that I fell in magazine love immediately. 

Bitch treats us, its consumers, as the smart and critical people we are, and never runs away from difficult issues and conversations. I learn something every time I scan a blog or read through a new issue. (I also feel that, for me, Christmas gift-giving time comes four times a year.) It claims its feminism on the cover, and in an age of "do you really need to use that word?" I appreciate this whole-heartedly. My entire collection sat on my living room table for three out of four years of college, and even though I had to leave them at home when I moved to the northeast for grad school, I've started a new pile with the new Make Believe issue. 

When bitch had the financial crisis a year or so back, I remember thinking with horror what my life would be like without it and committing an ever so tiny amount of my monthly college income to the magazine, so that I wouldn't ever have to find out. In a world where many products seem tied up in a web of exploitation, bitch magazine also gives the conscious consumer in me room to breathe, because I know that it is a company and a mission that I can fully, and proudly, put my money behind.

This comment is way too long, but I'll end with drawing on something Sara Ahmed said in her inspiring talk yesterday on feminism, willfulness, and happiness: sometimes people say that feminism creates disagreeable women. If feminism, and in this case bitch magazine, helps to shape people as willfully in opposition to the general, patriarchal pop culture will, then I am happy to be a disagreeable, bitch-loving feminist.   

Creating community,, make it where you are...

Hi, i just moved from Vermont to New Mexico.

In order to find community , I went out and made some.

For 2 yrs. I ran a RED TENT TEMPLE in Burlington VT.

As soon as I got here I started one here, within 2 weeks..!!!

White Cork Tree Red Tent Temple, Corrales NM 87048

Just a few miles North of Albuquerque !

Women and girls now by the 1000s and 1000s are gathering
to honor ourselves on or near the New Moon all over the world.

Just freakin' amazing ! Good to be one in 1000s joining together in this Global Movement !

Thanks to ALisa Starkweather !

love Michaela Maestas- White Cork Tree Red Tent Temple

All these Tents post on Facebook... way to go Women !

peace , Micha and the Women of the Desert !

I love Bitch too!

I was wondering the other day about when I got into feminism & then into politics. I've always considered myself to be someone who (over?)analyses everything. I guess I always been a feminist but I did have a bit of a lapse in my twenties when I was having an identity crisis. I think reading Bitchfest on a coach journey to visit my Mother late last year was my "lightbulb" moment. before then I kinda accepted life wasn't fair but after then I was angry life isn't fair.

nina

I go to a small, close-minded

I go to a small, close-minded school in Maine and I love Bitch giving me excuses to bitch and sound intelligent at the same time to my peers who all read Seventeen and Cosmo, etc...Go Bitch.

As a straight, Caucasian, 20

As a straight, Caucasian, 20 something...I have to note that Cosmo is NOT promoting my values.

I love and read Bitch precisely because it helps me better define and describe the injustices I see and helps me see the injustices I might otherwise not consider.

Bitch: Daughter of HOT WIRE

HOT WIRE magazine (1984-1994) was, in its day, the only publication devoted to the national lesbian-feminist women's music and culture scene - festivals, films, writers, musicians, artists, radio shows, choruses, cartoonists. I still miss reading it, and I miss the years during which there were dozens of annual women's music festivals (and independent women's bookstores) all over the country.

Now, Bitch is the only publication that satisfies my need to read INTELLIGENT commentary on pop culture from a FEMINIST point of view. This is not a small thing in our current Tea Party world, as the United States marches steadily rightward and embraces shrill spectacle over thoughtful dialogue. Bitch is one of the few things that calls us to think about the world from the perspective of what's healthy and empowering specifically for *women.*

As an editor and writer myself, I have a deep appreciation for the quality of each article between Bitch's covers - the obvious research and careful editing that has gone into each and every piece is evident and impressive.

In this brave new-millennium blogosphere world, we drown in the tsunami of verbiage where everyone posts unfiltered, uninformed opinions peppered with unresearched, unverified "facts." Bitch is indeed a shining beacon of clear thought and cutting-edge cultural analysis. When you (Bitch staff) get tired and discouraged, hold on to the reality of how much impact what you are doing is having. THANK YOU!!!

I <3 Bitch

I <3 Bitch because it puts in print many of the things I think and feel, showing me that I'm not alone. It legitimatizes my feelings and thoughts, unlike so much of our media.
I <3 Bitch because it challenges me to open my eyes and open the eyes of others.
I <3 Bitch!!

because I am not alone..

I survived my formative years despite being thicker than average and socially awkward. My penchant for Simon and Garfunkel and Fleetwood Mac wasn't shared with too many people at a high school that chose "Wanna Be a Baller" by 'Lil Troy for my class' senior song. I never went to a football game and people thought my prom date was on E the entire night.

Point is... I spent a good chunk of my life thinking I would never fit in or be the female I "should" be. Until I walked into a small chain bookstore and was drawn to a magazine called Bitch. The feel, the look, the smell, and the title made me succumb to buying it without as much as a flip through it. But I knew. I was not alone.

I <3 Bitch for giving writers a paid chance and being cool

sure, the editors rejected my submission but it's here and wonderfully so and hopefully to stay and possibly thrive with the voice of a cutting edge technological feminist view point which happens to be a really cool magazine as well as an awesome website. i wish bitch all the best.

It Makes My Edumacation Worth It

I heart B*tch because it reminds me with every article why I went to college and got a liberal arts degree in thinking.