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Why I’m rallying to save Bitch magazine, and hope you’ll help, too

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

September 16th, 2008

This is, I believe, the first time in the history of WIMN’s Voices that I’m posting an appeal on behalf of another non-profit. But this is a rare exception because of the long history of collaborative work, and the shared missions and visions of Women In Media & News and Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture magazine.

As WIMN’s Voices blogger and Bitch magazine co-founder Andi Zeisler just posted here, Bitch magazine — the smartest, sharpest, most insightful, most cutting edge and independent feminist publication anywhere — is in real trouble. They need to raise $40K by Oct. 15 to publish their next issue, or else they’ll have to fold.

I’ve written for Bitch for years — they’re often the only magazine left with the courage and willingness to publish work critical of the interconnected problems of sexism and racism in entertainment and news media tied to advertiser influence over media content. A few examples:

“Triumph of the Shill,” a two-part series I did for them a few years back about advertising and product placement’s influence over film and TV content, and the impact on gender representations:
– “Product Placement Runs Amok in Movies About Product Placement Run Amok
and
“Reality TV Lets Marketers Write the Script”

– “How To Write a Protest Letter

– “Dove’s Real Beauty Backlash

– “The WB v. Your Uterus

– “Breast In Show

…and TONS of other pieces (probably a couple dozen over the years) that have only appeared in the print mag but aren’t online.

As Andi notes, they also publish other WIMN’s Voices bloggers, like Keely Savoie and Anne Elizabeth Moore, and countless other insightful women whose voices wouldn’t be published elsewhere.

In the last year+, the progressive community has lost Punk Planet, Clamor, StayFree!, Lip and several other indy mags, and they’re all missed… but none would leave as large a hole in the analytical, political and literary landscapes as a media climate without Bitch mag.

Here’s where I get really transparent, to explain how important this magazine is to me: As a media activist and the executive director of a non-profit so underfunded that I don’t get paid for my full-time work, I’m low-income enough that it’s usually not possible for me to donate to other non-profits. But today I made an exception and I did stretch to make a donation to Bitch, and I’m encouraging all my friends, journalism colleagues, activist folks, people I’ve passed on the street… everyone… to donate what they can to save this magazine. See Andi’s post for ways to support the mag, and a link to their donation page.

Please forward to your networks, post to your blog, and spread the word that Bitch needs our help. You know you’d miss it if it were gone…

[And, if you or anyone in your circle feel especially motivated, *after* supporting Bitch, I’d be remiss if, in this post about the need to support progressive feminist media efforts, I didn’t also add that the grassroots non-profit media analysis, education and advocacy organization that organizes this blog, Women In Media & News, is also always in need of individuals’ support to keep our programs afloat, as we are mostly not grant funded. However, today the number one priority has to be to solve Bitch magazine’s shortfall.]

I’m passing this on to everyone I know. I hope you’ll join me in effort to save a vital independent magazine.

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