Christine Fox does not consider herself a social justice advocate. Using the handle @steenfox, the 37-year-old uses Twitter for fun, she says, amassing thousands of followers while simply shooting the shit with her friends. On March 12, Fox’s timeline took a decidedly different turn.
My own belief is that Twitter and other social media allow feminism to grow in crucial ways. These platforms do away with the gatekeepers of media, creating a platform where people whose voices are often left out of the discussion can be heard loud and clear. That discourse forces those of us whose voices have always been accepted have to ask ourselves hard questions that we never would have considered before. The truly toxic era for feminism was one in which only middle-class, white voices were heard—which may be the time Goldberg is referring to when she writes wistfully of the "insouciant, freewheeling place" that Twitter used to be.
As we near this blog series on feminism and comedy, I think it's time I started getting honest with all of you. Uncomfortably honest. And here's the uncomfortable truth about me: I can't stop looking at Pinterest.
Beasts of the Southern Wild is the only film I've seen of this year's Best Picture Nominees. As someone who was once a little black girl who loved fantasy, I had to see it.
When Quvenzhané Wallis started filming her starring role as Hushpuppy, she was only five years old, just a year older than my daughter is now. About 15 minutes into the movie, I commented to my husband that Hushpuppy reminded me so much of our daughter. Like Hushpuppy, our girl has a fabulous head of curls and a penchant for running around without pants (we keep that indoors, don't worry). And like Hushpuppy and Quvenzhané herself, she's independent, determined, and brimming with energy and confidence.
So it broke my heart when I saw The Onion's "joke" calling Quvenzhané Wallis one of the most hateful words you can call a girl or a woman in the English language. On top of being sad and appalled for Wallis and her family, I also couldn't help but think of my daughter and the inevitable day that she will hear that word directed at her for the first time.
Baltimore feminist group FORCE took the world by surprise last December when they launched a line of fake Victoria's Secret, dropping underwear emblazoned with phrases like "Consent is Sexy" and "Ask First" at Victoria's Secrets around the US and promoting the fake Pink Loves Consent line on the internet. The spoof came off brilliantly, using a well-coordinated "feminist Facebook army" to hijack Victoria Secret's social media and broadcast the a discussion of consent to millions of mainstream shoppers. Last week, I talked with FORCE organizers Rebecca Nagle and Hannah Brancato about what they learned from the Pink Loves Consent campaign, how Facebook and Twitter have censored their spoof, and the details on their next action, a Valentine's Day protest that will install a temporary monument to rape survivors in Washington DC.
BITCH: What choices did you make while planning Pink Loves Consent that made it so wildly successful?
HANNAH BRANCATO: The big decision was that we couldn't sell the underwear. This is a spoof, we're using Victoria's Secret's trademark, so we couldn't legally sell anything. There was all of this intense energy around the project when it first launched but the only thing people could think of doing was buying the underwear.
REBECCA NAGLE: The first thing they asked was, 'Where can I buy this?" And I think it was powerful to come back and say, "You can't buy it, it's an idea." Instead of sending people to a checkout cart, we're sending people to resources, to saying, "Here's a zine you can make."
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's sexism is old news at this point, but hey, it's election season and he has to stay in the news, right? Romney doubled down on the misogyny last Thursday by hiring Richard Grenell as his national security and foreign policy adviser. Grenell, formerly of the Bush administration, kicked off his first week on the job by deleting a bunch of sexist shit from his Twitter account.
For your tweeting information we've got some brand-new, reader-contributed Twitter Lists for everyone to follow! What's a Twitter List, you ask? Well, it's a list that you can "follow" to see short, timely, feminist updates from Twitterers around the world. You don't even need to sign up for Twitter to see our lists, so no there's no peer pressure to sign up (but you should really, really think about it).
We're going to have to give a special thanks to all of the #BitchTwitList Tweeters. There's no way we could have covered all the great Twitters out there, and we're still accepting submissions. Take a big ol' peek at the lists if you've got the time–we've got one for writers, one for organizations, one for publications and one for Bitchcontributors.
Now remember, these aren't exhaustive, so if you feel like someone should be included, let us know! We only want to keep expanding: a musician list, a comics list, a feminist superhero we really wish was real list–help us make them! Tell us what you think in the comments or by going on Twitter and using the #bitchtwitlist hashtag, and read away.
The Short: Leave us comments with your favorite feminist/Bitch related Twitter accounts!
The Long: We're putting together feminist Twitter reccomendations for our readers. There's no way our high-tech-feminist-radar-supercomputer could find all of the good Twitters, so we need your help! We want writers, blogs, media producers, personalities (Feminist Hulk, anyone?) or anyone that you think might be of interest to our other readers. We'll feed all of your submissions back into the supercomputer, along with some submissions of our own, press "enhance" and then we'll have our very own (very rough) reader-collaborative guide to Twitter!