We get it. When people hear “speaking engagement” they automatically think of jargon-filled slideshows and monotonous, khaki-wearing experts.
Luckily for you, this is Bitch we’re talking about.
Bitch speakers bring the best of Bitch Media (sarcasm, sass, and all) to campuses and community spaces all over the country, hosting talks and workshops on feminist activism, sexism in the media, and race and representation. So whether you’re a group of students that want to bring some Bitchy critique to your classroom, or a community organizer looking to start feminist-centered conversations locally, Bitch speakers can help you get started. From online feminism to pop music to reproductive rights, Bitch speakers deliver smart, engaging, and no-bullshit talks and workshops that promote activism and impel social change. (Just note that, because we are committed to intersectional feminism, Bitch speakers don’t appear on all-white panels.)
So… What do you want to talk about?
Andi Zeisler is a writer, editor, and cultural critic. She is the cofounder of Bitch Media, the author of Feminism and Pop Culture, We Were Feminists Once, and the coeditor of BitchFest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine. Her writing on feminism, popular culture, and media has appeared in Ms., Mother Jones, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Salon. She tweets @andizeisler.
• From Riot Grrrl to Marketplace Feminism: Selling—and Selling Out—Feminism
In the space of a few short years, feminism—an ideology debated, derided, and declared dead by mainstream media for decades—has suddenly become a hot media commodity. Celebrities love it; advertisers want it; fashion designers praise it. But what is this new feminism, and is it really about equality—or just commerce? This talk discusses the slow shift from the insurgent, collective power of Riot Grrrl to the new market-friendly feminism, and questions what we can learn from both.
• Don’t Just Change the Channel: Why Pop Culture Matters to Feminism, Activism, and Social Justice
A stock response to complaints about offensive and demeaning representation of women and others in popular media is often, “Well, just change the channel! You don’t have to watch that show/read that book/see that movie.” That line of thinking usually ignores the reality of how media and pop culture permeate every aspect of our lives. Pop culture has long been central to feminist activism, and this presentation looks at this phenomenon with an eye to both history and the present day, noting the ways in which representation—or the lack thereof—has been a key catalyst of feminist action. From the Miss America protest of 1968 to the Saturday Night Live pushback of today, we’ll look at how foregrounding a feminist perspective in media and pop culture makes that culture better, richer, and more representative of the world in which we live.
Book Andi Zeisler for a speaking engagement!
Evette Dionne is Bitch Media’s senior culture editor. She’s also a Black feminist culture writer and scholar whose been published in the New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, SELF Magazine, Teen Vogue, Bustle, Hello Beautiful, The Root, and more. Before joining Bitch Media, Evette worked as a founding senior editor at Revelist. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bennett College, and her master’s in media management and women, gender, and sexuality studies from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
• Too Fat for TV
This talk examines how media represents fat people, especially Black fat people. We delve into the history of fat people on TV, the tropes that have been associated with fat people, and how fat people have begun fighting against those representations through the fat acceptance movement.
• Why Body Positivity is Failing
Body positivity is popping up all over the place, from designer brand campaigns to Instagram, but how does body positivity interact with feminism? Where is it going? This talk argues that as body positivity has become mainstream, its meaning has become muddled. Instead of pushing to put more fat people, people of color, disabled people, trans people, and those whose bodies are maligned at the center, body positivity has centered thinner women. This talk focuses on how body positivity can find its meaning again.
Book Evette Dionne for a speaking engagement!
Lisa Factora-Borchers is the editorial director at Bitch Media. Her work is widely published and she is the editor of the anthology, Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence.
• How to Stay in Your Lane While Still Being Intersectional: Feminism, Race, Power, & Pop Culture
The U.S feminist movements has been described as waves even though the buzzword “intersectional” has to do with being at the converging point of multiple lanes. This talk takes on the ways we have learned about the “waves” of feminism and how that has brought us to the mandate of intersectionality. What have been the limitations of intersectionality? Where has it helped us? This talk looks at specific cases of feminism’s entrance into mainstream media and how the continued rise of marketplace feminism and white feminism illustrates we still have a long way to go before the waves can recede.
• Transforming the Silence in Sexual Violence
After working with nearly 50 survivors of sexual violence for the anthology, Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence, this talk focuses on the importance of understanding that “taking back the night” and “breaking the silence” are all ideologies that rest on the will of survivors instead of the community surrounding them. This talk highlights how radical listening is imperative to changing a climate, culture, family, community, and world in which the healing of sexual violence and prevention rests on the shoulders of the community, not the survivor.
Book Lisa Factora-Borchers for a speaking engagement!
Tamara Winfrey Harris
Bitch columnist Tamara Winfrey Harris is a writer who specializes in the ever-evolving space where current events, politics and pop culture intersect with race and gender. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, American Prospect, Ms., and Ebony. She is the author of The Sisters are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative for Black Women in America, about the empowering truth behind negative stereotypes of Black women. She tweets @whattamisaid.
• Serena: Superwomen as Every(black)woman
That stereotype still influences how America views black women is made clear by examining discussions surrounding black women in the public eye. This presentation uses media coverage of tennis superstar, Serena Williams, and other high-profile black women, to illustrate this fact.
• Black Women: Writing Our Stories (Workshop)
Great for intimate groups of black women. This workshop encourages women to use writing for self-expression and emotional healing. Participants will respond to writing prompts inspired by The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America, sharing personal stories and providing feedback to one another. Tamara will talk about writing as a form of black female self-care and offer hints on crafting a writing life.
Book Tamara Winfrey Harris for a speaking engagement!
Joshunda Sanders is an author and proud Bronx native. She was the recipient of a Hedgebrook Residency in 2017. Her work has appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, Teen Vogue, Salon, Publishers Weekly, Bitch Magazine, Gawker, The Week, The UTNE Reader, Kirkus Reviews, on NPR and in dozens of anthologies, newspapers, magazines, websites, textbooks and encyclopedias. She gave a TED talk in 2013, the same year she presented at South by Southwest Interactive. Her publications include: Single & Happy: The Party of Ones, How Racism and Sexism Killed Traditional Media: Why the Future of Journalism Depends on Women and People of Color, the novella, All City and a memoir, The Beautiful Darkness: A Handbook for Orphans. She is writing a sequel to All City & a collection of short stories & a work of historical fiction. She lives in New York City.
• The Personal is Political: Finding the Social-Change Narrative Within
We have all heard the saying and promise that one person can change the world. Tapping our innate personal power in order to begin a lifetime of social change work is the most significant part of this journey. But where do you begin? With your personal narrative, which influences and intersects with a part of the American political narrative.
• Fractured Freedom: Navigating Race, Identity, and Self-Promotion Online
Freedom is a lofty goal for many of us and an unattainable one for most. This is most evident when feminists across genders express, share and promote themselves online. While we are free to do so, navigating the challenges—including trolls, mansplaining and pushback—is part of what comes with that freedom.
Book Joshunda Sanders for a speaking engagement!
Soraya Membreno is Bitch Media’s director of community. She is the daughter of Nicaraguan immigrants and a pre-Lebron Miami native. She writes about issues of accessibility, representation, and culture-straddling/identity building in literature and academia. Her writing has appeared in Catapult, Post No Ills, and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind.
• Building a Feminist Community
We talk about community a lot here at Bitch, but how do you actually build one? This talk is part Bitch Media history, part how-to workshop for building a feminist community that is accessible, inclusive, and intergenerational. How can we build upon collective history to come together and make space for one another? And once we have, what do we do with it?
• These Are The Things No One Tells You: On Navigating PWI’s and What Comes After
This talk recounts the experience of attending a predominantly white institution as a first-generation immigrant. Full of all the things no college counselor will tell you, participants will be encouraged to enter into open dialogue about the details of assimilation, feelings of tokenization, fitting into a new environment while still maintaining ties to home, and how being fully yourself can be an act of radical resistance.
Book Soraya Membreno for a speaking engagement!
Kate Lesniak is the Publisher at Bitch Media. A product of Buffalo New York, Burlington Vermont, and about 1,000 feet of snow, Kate takes pride in turning the inclement into opportunity. Before Bitch, Kate worked as a digital organizer and fundraiser, most recently with Democracy for America as the Deputy Finance Director and with Corporate Accountability International as a special projects grantwriter. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Kate also served as team captain for the Women’s Ice Hockey team and scored the first-ever hattrick in the program’s Division I history.
• Facebook Doesn’t Care About You Like Your Members Do: Sustainable Revenue Models For A Social Landslide
Every other week, Facebook drops another bombshell that threatens to upend the way that publishers do business. From traditional heavy-hitters like the New York Times to digital-native mavericks like Buzzfeed—an entire industry is living on a Facebook prayer and pretending like it’s an actual plan. At Bitch, we’re taking a different approach: One that values depth before reach, community over audience, and commitment to our independence above all else. Engagement is all anyone can talk about, but why does it matter?
Book Kate Lesniak for a speaking engagement!