22 Jan

By Erin Riordan and Kat Kelley

¡Hola! Aloha! Namaste (or “Nomisday” as the Inauguration jumbotron subtitles spelled it)! Salaam Alaikum!

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! And welcome.

This is the obligatory launch intro from the Feminists-At-Large co-coordinators, Erin Riordan and Kat Kelley.

So why are we feminists? And what is this whole blog about?

“I have always been a feminist, but did not realize I was a feminist until a couple of years ago. My experience attending Montessori school for 10 years left me with strong values of tolerance, respect, community, and a commitment to justice. My experience being a woman taught me that to achieve real justice, we need feminism.” -Erin

“I never stood a chance. Feminism courses through my veins. My mother, an activist and inspiration, doesn’t let anything get in her way, and certainly not restrictive gender norms. My father taught me I could be anything, and continues to support everything I do.” -Kat

We were overwhelmed with inspiration for this blog.

There was the good- FORCE’s Pink Loves Consent campaign, the female politicians flooding the senate bathroom, the release of the Half the Sky documentary, sassy bumper stickers and cleverly crafted infographics, and the fabulous feminists in our lives posting all over facebook and volunteering and interning throughout our campus and the Greater D.C. areas to support survivors of sexual and domestic violence, fight for economic or political equality, or teach young girls to dream big.

There was the bad- the rape apologists, Congress all up in our uteri, or the fact that 1 in 3 women globally will be raped or beaten in their lifetime.

And finally, there was the ugly- the realization of the need for feminism on our own campus. Our sexual assault statistics match national averages (approximately 1/4 and 1/33 college-aged women and men, respectively will experience sexual assault) . The student health insurance plan does not cover contraceptives (soon to change, inshallah!). The Georgetown cuddler is considered a laughing matter and sexual assault reports are reduced to “forcible fondling.”

And then there was the straw that broke it all. Which left us ranting at 3 am, desperate for a solution- to educate and enlighten the Georgetown community, to empower and provide a voice to those who have been told their privilege as a Georgetown student invalidates the oppression they face as women, people of color, homo/bi/pan/trans/etc. sexuals, or due to their socioeconomic status.

And to reclaim feminism. Feminism means the belief in gender equality, and the need to strive for it. Feminists can be either privileged or facing layers of intersecting oppression. They can be tough, scoffing at gender roles or pretty in pink. They can be pro-life or pro-choice, democrats or republicans or green party or independent or libertarian or apolitical. They can be Hillary Clinton or a housewife. They are as diverse as the human population. They are merely united by that sole belief

So this blog is for everyone- as long as you believe in gender equality and acknowledge that women are people. And in terms of readership, all we ask is that you are at least open to the belief that women are maybe equal and might be people, and are willing to give our authors a chance. This is meant to be a multi-opinioned community. And it is meant to make feminism accessible. With everyone coming at feminism from different backgrounds and beliefs, they will also be coming at feminism with different levels of understanding and familiarity. And we will intentionally publish articles for those who are less familiar with feminism, who are still trying to figure out why it is relevant.

We want this blog to reflect those diverse voices. We want this blog to include every issue that is part of feminism and every person that is part of feminism. We want to include the voice of people who don’t think they are a part of feminism. We want to talk about sexual assault, religion, women’s magazines, men’s magazines, words and the meaning of words, porn, LGBTQ issues, the gender binary, misogyny, politics, street harassment, gender based violence, economic injustice and more. We want to talk about everything, and we want everyone to be a part of this conversation.

We want to hear competing voices on issues. We want to see debates, and disagreements, and progress. We want a respect for a diversity of opinion. If you disagree with an issue or an article, or think we are ignoring a specific issue, write about it. Write an article, post a comment, email us, tweet us, or write on our Facebook wall. This blog is a place for everyone’s voice, and for everyone’s issue.

So write and read and comment and contribute. This is a space for learning, writing, talking, understanding, exploration, and progress. So how do we plan to do this?

  • We will accept and look for pieces from everyone. Excluding hate speech, we’ll publish anything.
  • We will assume the best intentions in all submissions. If however, aspects of a piece are offensive in some way (i.e. perpetuating rape myths) we will assume it was not intentional and will work with the author to address underlying language that may be problematic. Such language will not prevent us from publishing a piece, as we understand there is no “right way” to do feminism.
  • We will allow commenting on pieces, only moderating those who use hate speech, so as to create a safe, open space for dialogue.
  • We will strive to periodically publish pieces that address challenging concepts within feminism that people new to feminist dialogue may not be familiar with. Additionally, we provide and will expand our Resources, Definitions, and Dumb Questions sections. We realize that often people find feminism intimidating, as often those who identify as feminists do not always explicitly explain what they find offensive and why. Consequently, often those unfamiliar with specific issues have no safe outlet for asking questions, without fear of facing judgement or being labeled as a bigot or misogynist.

We hope you love this blog and this project as much as we do, and never hesitate to reach out or contribute.

All the love,
Erin and Kat

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