Six Feminist Web Projects You Should Know About
The Internet is a big place. Really big, and more often than not, a really useful place, too! It is a fantastic educational tool, a huge vehicle for the modern feminist movement, and home to a lot of great work done by women around the world. The web has given people of all kind a platform, and it has been taken advantage of and harnessed by women of with various backgrounds and goals to spread their message and showcase their talent, intelligence and creativity.
Here are five feminist projects, creative endeavors rather than news sites, that have taken root online, created by women with the intents of educating, spreading awareness, fostering empowerment, and more. They span various topics and appeal to different interests and demographics, but they each are doing exemplary work, and really should be checked out!
Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian is the brains and face behind Tropes vs. Women, a six part video series that examines problematic roles that female characters are reduced to in film and television. In her incredibly informative videos, Sarkeesian identifies, critiques, and explains various tropes (including the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, the Smurfette Principle, and Straw Feminist) that are omnipresent in Hollywood. The series is entertaining, clear, and educational.
Sarkeesian frequently uses pop culture references familiar to the general public, and does an excellent job analyzing complex issues and concepts and breaking them down into bite-size pieces. This allows her videos to be accessible to people with all levels of familiarity with feminism, while being smart and thought provoking at the same time.
Tropes vs. Women is an excellent resource (as are the many other videos on the Feminist Frequency YouTube channel), giving a feminist perspective on many tropes and stereotypes that all of society has been exposed to.
Anita Sarkeesian of Tropes Vs. Women
Of Another Fashion is a unique creature—a project that combines elements of fashion and history in order to create a collection of accounts and photographs of what women wore in the past. But what makes this stand out more than anything is its unique focus on women of color.
It’s no secret that women of color have largely been erased from the history books, and as Of Another Fashion makes clear, they’ve largely been ignored throughout the past in terms of fashion as well. Think about it–when was the last time you saw a black flapper in the 1920s or Japanese women rocking stylish updos at internment camps in the 1940s? Historian and creator Minh Ha T. Pham has created this project, combining documents she has found from her own research along with user submissions, to create a comprehensive look at fashion and women of color throughout history, and create an archive of sorts—likely to be the only one of its kind.
It is well known that women have had it rough in nerd culture and the video gaming community for a long while. Various bloggers and writers, including Feminspire’s own Jessica Bagnall, have written about the hostility toward women in these spaces. But Fat, Ugly, or Slutty has taken a new angle at chronicling the hate and misogyny that women face.
A project that runs on content submitted by readers, Fat Ugly, or Slutty shares the threats, harassment and lewd comments that female gamers are subjected to while playing games online (most of which seemingly accuse the user of being fat, ugly or slutty, hence the title). Submissions are in the form of screengrabs and photos of sexist messages that are sent by men (and probably boys too) that they wind up playing with or against.
Fat, Ugly, or Slutty includes all sorts of comments—from offensive and insulting words, to comical messages, to bone-chilling threats of rape or murder. It showcases the breadth of hate and bigotry that women in gaming face as a way to prove and convey this to the public or male gamers who are often in disbelief of the prevalence of this phenomenon, and also cultivates a sense of camaraderie and support among female gamers.
Female artists have often been glossed over, but Fuck Yeah Women Artists provides a platform to educate and spread the works of these talented women.
Art from all different mediums (painting, performance art, photography, and more) is posted, as well as both contemporary and historical women artists. Fuck Yeah Women Artists also has an “Artist of the Day” feature, where they delve into the works of one particular woman, posting their art throughout the day for their readers and followers to experience.
Fuck Yeah Women Artists is a real eye opener as to just how large the population of female artists is. But at the same time, it also illustrates how many wonderful works and artists have been brushed aside. This project provides a way to showcase the talents of these amazing women, and to spread their work and names.
“Willow” by Lena Wolff, recently featured on Fuck Yeah Women Artists
Project Unbreakable is, to say the least, remarkable. It’s brave, heartbreaking, and powerful all at once. It is a collection of photographs (some taken by creator Grace Brown, and some that were submitted by readers and followers from around the world) that feature survivors of sexual assault holding up a quote from their attacker.
The project (to quote their facebook) “aims to give a voice to sexual assault survivors” and showcases people of all kind, getting to share their story and strength with the world.
Looking through the blog really hits home. It just goes to remind you of how sickeningly universal sexual assault really is. There are all different kinds of people—men, women, genderqueer, old, young, people of various languages and backgrounds. Some have waited decades before sharing, or were silenced by people they thought they trusted. Every single one of them has a story to tell, and Project Unbreakable gives them a way to share.
Based in the United Kingdom, The Everyday Sexism Project is a catalogue of the misogyny present in the daily lives of women around the world. Completely submission-based, this project offers women a space to share their stories, emotions, and the microagressions they experience.
Anyone can submit (the option of anonymity is provided) via The Everyday Sexism Project website, where submissions are shown on a live feed, or through Twitter. All types of anecdotes or reflections can be sent in, and a wide range of topics is found on the site.
In particular, this project calls for contributions of what is labeled as “everyday sexism,” the more subtle, seemingly innocuous sexism seen daily (such as gendered insults, or being assigned to the “girly” tasks at work), sexism that is regularly unnoticed by those who are not affected by them.
It’s not often when women can call out these types of remarks and implications without being dismissed and labeled as some kind of fanatical, feminist, conspiracy theorist. But here, women are encouraged to share these little, but significant, moments. Creator Laura Bates says:
“[T]hese ‘tiny’ incidents don’t only build to a numbing, oppressive, overwhelming statement of how society views and values you as a woman. They are also a daily reminder of the inequality women around the world face and will continue to face on a daily basis, until we begin to tackle the large issues and the small. And that is why it’s such a big deal.”
The Everyday Sexism Project shows how pervasive misogyny is, no matter how seemingly mild or innocent it may be outsiders, and shows its impact and contribution to an uncomfortable environment.
The Everyday Sexism Project can also be found on Twitter.
What do you think of these online feminist projects? Do you know of any other projects worth noting? Share them with us in the comments!
Written by Peggah Elahi