We've been talking about why subscribing to Bitch is important for the past two weeks now, and many of you have responded by buying subscriptions for yourself and others, or joining our B-Hive of sustainers. Thank you! For those of you who haven't gotten around to it yet, today is the last day of our subscription campaign and we're asking for your support one last time.
I’ve always been a magazine and zine hoarder, and have a personal archive of, well, way too many. The first-ever issue of Spin (1985, with Madonna on the cover); the British music papers, like Melody Maker, that chronicled the rise of Riot Grrrl well before the United States took notice. Details magazine, when it was a missive from New York's arty, gay downtown scene rather than a regularly offensive chronicle of male "bad-boy" celebrities. Shelter magazines ranging from one-offs (Living Room) to cult favorites (I miss you and your die-cut covers, Nest!) to unprofitable corporate experiments (Budget Living). Smartypants magazines like Spy, without which there would be no Gawker or Vulture, and Might, without which there may have been no McSweeney’s or The Believer. And, of course, feminist zines and magazines galore. I’ve returned to all of these print publications over the years, for inspiration, for information, and sometimes simply because re-reading an old magazine over a bowl of cereal is, for me, one of life’s ineffable pleasures.
Simply put, I love magazines because of their permanence, and I’m not alone in that.
Traditional print markets are dwindling, but even as publications struggle, there is a growing appreciation for beautifully printed materials...stores are brimming with letterpress cards, silkscreened wares, and archival prints of artist works. Illustrators have to create a lot of this work themselves. They have to be entrepreneurs, designers, communicators, gallery artists, and product designers. It's always exciting to be able to use more of your brain in your work, and one of the benefits of this changing market is that some of the best artists are creating an inventive, fluid, and savvy business of illustration.
I want Bitch to remain a vital part of the market for artists...
Lots of people who come into our library ask to see the very first issue of Bitch magazine. For those who have had committed fifteen-year relationships with our print magazine, paging through that very first black and white zine is a walk through memory lane. Others, who have become quick friends with the magazine in recent years, are excited to hold that premier issue in their hands and consider how far the magazine has come. Some library visitors tell me about their first time picking up the magazine, others share stories about how the magazine held them over during difficult times spent in sexist environments. Dozens of people come into our library each week excited to talk about the magazine.
Today I’m calling on other male-identified Bitch supporters to do their part. Bitch, like feminism in general, is not and cannot just be for women.
Let’s face it—men are underrepresented in their support for the feminist movement. A lot of men believe that feminism is just for women, or at least that they don’t have a constructive role to play. I’m here to tell you that's a bunch of hooey, and to thank all the men out there who speak up about sexism's impacts.
I’m asking every guy reading this today to put your money where your mouth is. If you support keeping one of the strongest, wittiest and most consistent voices in feminist media in print now is the time to show it.
Across the world—on Facebook and Twitter, through our blogs and podcasts, in classrooms, and in our very own lending library—thousands of people engage with Bitch Media. Providing and encouraging a feminist response to pop culture is important work that we intend to carry on for years to come.
The very real danger, however, is that we might not be able to continue to provide a feminist response to pop culture with a printed magazine. So we're asking you today, and we'll continue to ask over the next week and a half: Do you want Bitch Media to continue publishing a quarterly magazine?
It's time to put your money where your Bitch is, online reader. If you want to Keep Bitch in Print, if you want to support the organization that brings you all the feminist response to pop culture that's fit to print—online and off—subscribe, renew, or become a sustainer now.