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, Bitch supporter/subscriber/active community member TheBadassMuppet explains why she ♥s Bitch.
When my first-year college professor recommended Bitch magazine in 2004, I was skeptical. While the colloquial definition of "bitch" can be vague, it was a word which had been used to deflate me a number of times, by everyone from conservative family members to online creeps whose comments I had left unanswered. Still, the magazine attracted me. After all, I considered myself a feminist – the word reminded me of Dorothy Allison, characters played by Julia Stiles, and my ten-year-old indignation at a tennis instructor assuming I couldn't play—but I hadn't known feminist forums still existed, let alone an ongoing feminist publication.
Does it ever.
Bitch covers topics I care about and discusses them at a level I am rarely lucky enough to encounter in my day-to-day life. I appreciate the eloquent essays that appear in the print issues, exposing trends and their implications. As a writer and avid bibliophile, I especially enjoy analysis of the cultures surrounding books, from defiantly confessional authors (1) to Twi-hards (2). Similarly, when it comes to cinema, Bitch moves beyond simple film reviews into plot patterns and their possible agendas. While I noticed an uptick in baby-related movies in 2007, for instance, I was grateful for the piece that explored the telling ways in which several portrayed pregnancy (3). Perhaps best of all, I have yet to see another publication so adept at clarifying ubiquitous media cues, like the implied sexuality of coffee (4). Though there are forums
for some of my individual interests, I find it invaluable to have a magazine that I can count on to pay attention to gender topics and impressive women overlooked by the mainstream.
With the sometimes more casual missives at bitchmedia.org, I have somewhere to turn for an immediate conversation when I'm thrilled or upset by a TV episode or a new ad campaign. I love regularly connecting with people who don't respond to my anger with "It's just a satire," "She should take it as a compliment," or the dreaded "Why are you so PC?" On the other side of the coin, the bloggers and visitors are folks with whom I can share my joy when another public figure comes out in support of LGBTQIA rights, a sitcom character expresses outrage over the pay gap, or a pop star declares the joy of female orgasm. Often, with everything from books I hate to political acts I applaud, my partners in bitchdom will present a counterargument from a fresh perspective, reminding me how diverse contemporary feminism can be, despite some refreshingly similar core beliefs.
If you value Bitch Media as I do, please consider joining me as a donor to ensure more of what we love. After all, Bitch is even more than a "noun, verb, magazine, feminist media organization:" It's a dynamic community to which I am proud and delighted to belong.
Please share the love and post your own story about why you ♥ Bitch in the comments, and support what you love—donate now!
1. "T.M.I.," Art/See
2. "Bite Me! (Or Don't)," Noir
3. "On Film," Singular + Plural
4. "Brewed Awakening," Wired