Feminism is the struggle against the patriarchy, the dominance hierarchies that have defined global culture for all of recorded history. For this reason, it has traditionally been--and will probably long remain--the centerpiece of all civil liberties reform. To the extent that women's rights represent a victory over the old order, they demonstrate that we can move ahead, that we can move forward, and that brute force and tradition can give way to freedom and hope.
Feministing is usually the first blog I read when I get up in the morning. Witty, irreverent, and profane (literally; don't read if you're F-bomb averse), it covers women's rights in America better than any other site on the 'net. Few controversial issues escape the attention of the site's twentysomething, grad-school educated bloggers, and no target is too sancrosanct for their sometimes jarring mix of snark and scholarship. You have been warned. Now click on the link already.
Most of the blogs on this list focus on women's issues and feminism in the United States, but the truth is that there are 3.3 billion women and girls in the world who don't live in this country. SVAW, a project sponsored by Amnesty International
, connects us to global stories of women's lives and women's struggles that we don't hear enough about--such as human trafficking, honor killings, and the horrors of living in a country where being a woman means being somebody else's property.
The brainchild of doctoral student Kortney Ryan Ziegler, blac(k)ademic represents a perfect 21st-century, third-wave feminism. With no respect for the boundaries between feminism and antiracism, antiracism and antiheterosexism, et. al., blac(k)ademic is pure thought, pure expression--and some of the most mindblowing stuff you'll ever read. No matter how enlightened you think
you are, this blog will open your eyes all over again.
Billed as "thoughts of a 30-something, married, Unitarian, dog-loving attorney," the Happy Feminist is probably one of the gentler feminist bloggers out there--but all this really means is that you can't tell right away how iconoclastic she really is. Take HF's recent entry on the Debra Lafave
case. You start off nodding in agreement, you finish nodding in agreement, but somewhere in the middle she just changed your mind. And you never saw it coming.
Sponsored by Planned Parenthood's Save Roe campaign
, this is the most active and well-rounded pro-choice blog on the Internet. Visit for the daily news updates; stay for the provocative analysis and commentary, which presents a far more robust and intellectually formidable pro-choice position than you're likely to encounter anywhere on the op-ed page of your favorite newspaper.
This blog reminds me of Mary Wollstonecraft. A contemporary of Paine and Locke, she was one of the greatest political philosophers of the British Enlightenment but is remembered today as essentially a suffragist and nothing more. Why? Because she had the audacity to say important things as a woman
. Echidne is not a feminism blog. It is a philosophy blog written by a serious feminist who takes her feminism with her on her philosophical adventures--and never leaves it in her luggage.
There's a definite Alice in Wonderland
dimension to Alas. I don't know what gives it that dimension--maybe it's the odd title, the vaguely disconcerting cartoons, or the authors' offbeat sense of humor--but visiting this blog is like opening a window to a strange parallel universe, where the facts matter, where everyone makes sense (whether they want to or not), and where men are actually held accountable for their own sexism. The world needs more sensible nonsense like this.
Feministe is the Mayberry of feminist blogs. While many emphasize fierce debates and tough ideological questions, Feministe is a community--a friendly community with lots of cat blogging, shuffled iTunes playlists, and even a few antifeminist mascots. This is not to say that it's any less feminist, or any less relevant; just that it's less front line and more front porch. And in a field of civil liberties activism where the value of community-building is recognized, that's a powerful thing.
Male feminist bloggers want to be Hugo when they grow up. He has both an intuitive understanding of feminist values and an intuitive understanding of how to try to humbly live into those values as a heterosexual white man--dealing as much with the business of day-to-day life, and the day-to-day values and relationships that give it meaning, as he does with policy issues. And with rational humility, but without a hint of self-mortification, he makes it all look easy.
Lindsay Beyerstein is another example of the Wollstonecraft Effect--a philosopher who is a feminist rather than a narrowly-defined feminist philosopher. But Beyerstein's posts have a hard edge that seems rooted in a very potent secular humanism, an edge that screams out from the snarling photograph of herself on the front page of her site. In Tibetan Buddhism, there's a figure named Manjushri who carries a sword to cut through falsehoods. This is what Manjushri's blog might look like.