Feminism in the digital age is akin to an inkblot from the Rorschach test. It looks different to everyone, and can be so many things all at once. Feminism can be using national publication power to talk about, embrace and encourage feminism, while actually using the word “feminism.” Feminism can be sharing realities and narratives that are too often thought to be wholly individual as opposed to indicative of larger worldwide problems, or delivering hard news without a bias or slant—aside from the radical notion that women are human beings—that matters to women and female-identifying individuals. Feminism, in the past decade, has leapt from scholarly texts and academia into the timelines, newsfeeds, and notifications of feminists, men’s rights activists (MRAs), and all those somewhere in the middle.
The power and prominence of feminism we see today would not be possible without committed publications, editors and writers going against the mainstream of this country, which puts very little in place to protect those who identify publicly as a feminist. Being a feminist in a digital age means you can be attacked without even leaving your bed, and that those with power probably won’t help you.
Feminism in a digital age means we’re all responsible for educating ourselves. Knowledge is more accessible, with feminism being just a Google search away. We need to support and validate those who sacrifice peace, tranquility and oftentimes their sense of or actual safety to keep feminism alive. There are publications out there not only keeping feminism alive, but also empowering it, making it so that feminist responses to news and media products are actually heard and considered. It’s worth noting that these publications often do this work without major financial support.
The lack of financial or institutional support can make these publications hard to find through casual Internet use. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up 20 of the best (active) feminist publications on the web. Some of these may sites you already read, but it’s important to show them (and some new ones) lots of love and support, because the work they do puts them in the way of a lot of angry and ignorant people.
Facebook Likes: 100K
Twitter Followers: 120K
About: “AfterEllen.com works the lesbian/bi pop culture beat, with a fun, feminist perspective on film, television, music, books, and sports. We even cover topics in lesbian/bi lifestyle, like sex, dating and coming out. We deliver new and exclusive celebrity interviews, film reviews, TV recaps, original video and more each day.
Founded in 2002, AfterEllen.com quickly became the largest and most comprehensive website dedicated to the representation of lesbian/bi women in popular culture. Since then, the site has continued to expand its reach beyond coverage of lesbian/bi pop culture and is now the go-to resource for a lesbian/bi perspective on all entertainment news.”
Facebook Likes: 55K
Twitter Followers: 39.9K
About: “Founded in March 2009 by Riese Bernard and Alexandra Vega and still run by a dedicated team of indentured masochists, Autostraddle is an intelligent, hilarious & provocative voice and a progressively feminist online community for a new generation of kickass lesbian, bisexual & otherwise inclined ladies (and their friends).”
Facebook Likes: 284K
Twitter Followers: 126K
About: “Bitch Media is a nonprofit, independent, feminist media organization dedicated to providing and encouraging an engaged, thoughtful feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture.
Bitch seeks to be a fresh, revitalizing voice in contemporary feminism, one that welcomes complex arguments and refuses to ignore the contradictory and often uncomfortable realities of life in an unequivocally gendered world. We have a diverse audience, which keeps the dialogue and the movement we’re a part of dynamic and strong.”
Facebook Likes: 79K
Twitter Followers: 34.6K
About: “Broadly is a website and digital video channel devoted to representing the multiplicity of women’s experiences. Through original reporting and documentary film, we provide a sustained focus on the issues that matter most to women. As one YouTube commenter succinctly put it: ‘So basicly [sic] vice but excluding anything of relevance that includes men.’”
Facebook Likes: 103K
Twitter Followers: 57K
About: “Founded in 1993, the BUST brand is the groundbreaking, original women’s lifestyle magazine and website that is unique in its ability to connect with bright, cutting-edge, influential young women. With an attitude that is fierce, funny, and proud to be female, BUST addresses a refreshing variety of young women’s interests, including celebrity interviews, music, fashion, art, crafting, sex, and news. Hip, humorous, and honest, BUST is a cheeky celebration of all things female and a trusted authority on up-and-coming trends among discerning, educated, and culturally aware women.”
Facebook Likes: 1.1M
Twitter Followers: 50.3K
About: “Bustle is for & by women who are moving forward as fast as you are. Bustle is a new force in media that delivers everything you want to know, see, and read – right now. Whether that ‘now’ is when you’re starting your work day, taking a study break, waiting for a flight, preparing a bottle for your kid, or doing something else entirely.”
Name: Everyday Feminism
Facebook Likes: 446K
Twitter Followers: 56.2K
About: “Since its launch in June 2012 by Sandra Kim, Everyday Feminism has quickly become one of the most popular feminist digital media sites in the world, with over 4.5 million monthly visitors from over 150 countries. In the last year, over 30 million unique users have visited our site and our articles have been read over 60 million times.
Our mission is to help people heal from and stand up to everyday violence, discrimination, and marginalization through applied intersectional feminism.
We aim to shift our culture to end the everyday violence, discrimination, and marginalization that people face due to their gender, sexual orientation, race, class, size, ability, and other social differences.”
Facebook Likes: 264K
Twitter Followers: 201K
About: “Feministing is an online community run by and for young feminists. For over a decade, we’ve been offering sharp, uncompromising feminist analysis of everything from pop culture to politics and inspiring young people to make real-world feminist change, online and off.
Our diverse collective of writers cover a broad range of intersectional feminist issues–from campus sexual violence to transgender rights to reproductive justice. We serve as a gateway to the feminist movement for young people, giving our readers ways to take concrete action, as well as connecting them with feminist organizations and grassroots activists. We elevate the work of emerging feminist thinkers by providing an open-platform Community where anyone–from teens to national non-profits–can make their voices heard.”
Facebook Likes: 5K
Twitter Followers: 15.1K
About: “We are a community of storytellers sharing personal experiences to inspire discussion and connection. We publish mostly personal stories, sometimes articles that lean more towards women’s issues at large. We also publish photo essays, poetry, illustrations, comics, videos, etc. Our content follows a monthly theme, which is chosen to be broad enough that anyone can find a way to relate their experiences. We accept submissions from female-identified people as well as non binary, agender and other gender nonconforming individuals.
Amber, Gabriela, Jeanette and Jacqueline were four Twitter friends living in New York City. When we finally decided to meet in real life for dinner, we got to talking about what a safe space for women on the Internet would look like. A few months, an overwhelming amount of support and a lot of hard work later, Femsplain was born.”
Sample Post: Happy Garbage Bag Day
Name: For Harriet
Facebook Likes: 364K
Twitter Followers: 50.2K
About: “For Harriet is an online community for women of African ancestry. We encourage women, through storytelling and journalism, to engage in candid, revelatory dialogue about the beauty and complexity of Black womanhood. We aspire to educate, inspire, and entertain.
For Harriet seeks to raise the level of discourse surrounding Black women. Founder and Editor, Kimberly Foster, launched the blog in June 2010 while still an undergraduate at Harvard University to provide a thoughtful, collaborative alternative to mainstream media representations of Black womanhood. Thus, For Harriet seeks to explore all parts of who we are and who we hope to be.”
Facebook Likes: 713K
Twitter Followers: 266K
About: “Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing.”
Facebook Likes: 1.8M
Twitter Followers: 934K
About: “the most awesome website in the world.”
Facebook Likes: 80K
Twitter Followers: 99.7K
About: “Rookie is an independently run online magazine and book series founded in 2011 by Editor-in-Chief Tavi Gevinson. We publish writing, photography, and other forms of artwork by and for teenagers (and their cohorts of any age!). Our contributors and readers are from all over the world…”
Sample Post: How to Bitchface
Name: The Establishment
Facebook Likes: 7K
Twitter Followers: 3K
About: “We’re a multimedia company run and funded by women that’s predicated on a simple, yet radical notion: the world is a better, more interesting place when everyone has a voice. When one small, homogenous group runs the media, we’re left with a very skewed notion of the human experience.
We’re here to provide space for writers and creators of all shapes, sizes, and creeds to work their magic.
Let’s build a new Establishment.”
Sample Post: The Dangers Of Institutionalized Victim Blaming
Name: The FRONT
Facebook Likes: 10K
Twitter Followers: 1K
About: “Media By Women, For The World.”
Sample Post: New Deep South: Episode 1 – Instababy
Name: The Hairpin
Facebook Likes: 49K
Twitter Followers: 34K
About: “The Hairpin is a general-interest site aimed at women. It was founded in 2010 by Edith Zimmerman, edited by Emma Carmichael from 2013-2014, and edited by Haley Mlotek from 2014-2015.
Sample Post: How to Survive a 10-Hour Flight Like a Lady
Name: The Mary Sue
Facebook Likes: 108K
Twitter Followers: 68.7K
About: “The Mary Sue sits at the nexus of pop culture and the uncharted universe. We love and live geek culture, comic book movies, genre television, space exploration, emerging technologies, the coolest video games, and the weirdest finds on the internet. We promote, watchdog, extoll, and celebrate diversity and women’s representation in all of these areas (and more!) and work to make geekdom safe and open for everyone.
We pride ourselves on being an inclusive, feminist community of people who not only love what they love but care about others who love it and have an intense passion for those who create it. Fan trends, social issues, geek fashion and art, innovative gadgets, and beyond: The Mary Sue is the heartbeat of geek culture.”
Name: The Toast
Facebook Likes: 42K
Twitter Followers: 38.5K
About: “The Toast (the snack or the clinked glass, as you prefer) is the byproduct of Nicole Cliffe and Mallory Ortberg. “A willing foe and sea room” is the byproduct of the British Royal Navy, and we cordially thank them for their spiritual contribution to this project.
The Toast is a daily blog that publishes features on everything from literary characters that never were to female pickpockets of Gold Rush-era San Francisco. The Toast is one of those mass-market science fiction paperbacks some used bookstores put out on the street in big press-board rolling carts, the kind with drawings of women in long white robes standing in front of a horizon with two or three moons on the cover.
The Toast is a long email chain about force-ranking the Mitford sisters. The Toast prefers free weights to circuit machines but also enjoys a good sit. The Toast doesn’t care how much you or Marilyn Monroe weigh. The Toast is happy, then dignified. The Toast is not haunted, but would welcome a visit from ghosts.”
Name: Women in the World
Facebook Likes: 395K
Twitter Followers: 218K
About: “Women in the World (@WomenintheWorld, #witw) got its start in 2009 as an offshoot of The Daily Beast, an IAC digital news site created by Tina Brown in 2008. Inspired by the heroic women leaders she met through the Vital Voices Global Partnership, Brown resolved to give a platform to global women on the front lines—activists, artists, CEOs, peacemakers, entrepreneurs, and firebrand dissidents who have saved or enriched lives and shattered glass ceilings in every sector. Women in the World invited them to convene and tell their compelling stories. Over the past six years, the Summit, executive-produced by Kyle Gibson, has become the premier showcase for women of impact—and for the men who champion them—by presenting vivid journalistic narratives, stirring videos, and provocative discussions.”
Facebook Likes: 91K
Twitter Followers: 40.6K
About: “xoJane.com is where women go to be their unabashed selves, and where their unabashed selves are applauded — regardless of age, size, ability, location, occupation, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic status, relationship status, sexual preferences or lifestyle choices. This is not the place to find out how to please your spouse, mom, kids or boss. This is the place to find and indulge in a confluence of voices — yours and so many others.
We are not snarky. We are inclusive and encouraging. Like Sassy and Jane before it, xoJane.com is written and created by an entirely devoted community of women (and some token males) who have strong ideas, identities and opinions, who are living what they are writing about. This is a nonjudgemental platform where honesty trumps all.”
(All Like and Follower counts were pulled on Monday, April 11, 2016.)