About Gender Focus

Jarrah HodgeEditor – Jarrah Hodge

Jarrah Hodge is a feminist writer and commentator and the founder and editor of gender-focus.com. She has also written for the Huffington Post, Bitch Magazine Blogs, The Mary Sue, and The Tyee. Jarrah studied Women’s Studies and Sociology at UBC. She is a fan of politics, musical theatre and Star Trek (she co-hosts and edits the podcast Women at Warp, speaks at conventions, and does in-depth analysis of Trek and feminism at her other blog, Trekkie Feminist). She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario.


Lyndsay KirkhamCo-Editor – Lyndsay Kirkham

Lyndsay Kirkham is a Canadian writer, feminist and college professor who is currently living in Central Europe. Unable to settle on one thing, Lyndsay has decided to become an expert plate spinner, and is trying to do all the things. When she isn’t researching her recent novel about Margery Kempe, reviewing zines for Broken Pencil or herding her troop of dancing cats she’s probably reading, watching Bletchley Circle reruns, or embroidering feminist pillow slips for her friends on Twitter. She’s been published around the world in both digital and print publications, including For Books Sake, The F Word, Rabble, Queen Mob’s Tea House, The Screech Owl and ParentDish.

Welcome to Gender Focus

Founded in 2009, Gender Focus looks at politics, pop culture, and current events from an anti-racist feminist perspective. GF aims to showcase news and opinion relating to issues of social inequality, stereotyping and representations of marginalized groups in society, and the intersections between gender and public policy. In 2014, Gender Focus was named the Best Politics Blog and Best Activism & Social Justice Blog in the juried Canadian Weblog Awards.

Editor’s Note/Disclosure

Making money is not my goal or the purpose of the blog. In any given year I spend around $150 on themes, hosting, domains, etc. I also usually spend my own money on tickets to events I review, plus books and magazine subscriptions for giveaways. I am committed to keeping Gender Focus ad-free and neither I nor any contributors have been paid for writing here.

But every once in a while a perk might come my way, so what’s my policy on that? If anyone gives me free tickets or products and asks me to review it or do a giveaway, I will never agree right off the bat without considering whether this is something I would in good conscience recommend to a friend, and whether it is relevant to the blog’s mandate and principles. If I do accept something for free in exchange for writing about it, I will disclose that in the post. If at all possible, such as in the case of a book or other physical item, I’ll try to give it to a reader in a giveaway after reviewing.

As to my personal standpoint and biases, I will try to declare them where I think it’s relevant and don’t think it’s obvious (i.e. I’m not going to state I’m a feminist every single post). I am a member of and a former candidate for the NDP, and I work for a trade union. My views expressed on the blog are not representative of my employer or my political party. And I will continue to be available by email at jarrahhodge[at]gmail.com or via blog comments for anyone who has questions or concerns about editorial policy or unstated biases.

Regular Contributors

To find out more about becoming a contributor, click here!

Comments Policy

Most of the time, we love comments. Gender Focus is supposed to be a safe space for wide-ranging discussion on issues around race, gender, (in)equality, disability, representations, politics, and pop culture. We don’t pre-screen comments but here are some basic guidelines we expect commenters to observe. Those violating the guidelines may have their comments removed at the discretion of the editors.

  1. Posting anonymously is fine, but not encouraged. If you don’t want to share your real name, consider taking the time to pick a pseudonym so you have an identity people can respond to.
  2. Please read the thread, including other comments to avoid repetition and misrepresenting the content of the article or other commenters’ feedback.
  3. Carefully consider what you post. While it’s often ok to mention offensive materials sensitively in order to discuss them, sexist, racist, ableist, transphobic, or homophobic content posted for the purpose of promoting them rather than critiquing or discussing will be removed. The editor may also remove homophobic, sexist, racist comments or otherwise offensive comments, especially if they involve a personal attack or clearly show the poster has not read the thread.
  4. Respectfully Disagree. To borrow from the Bitch Magazine Blogs comments policy: “If you’re critiquing someone’s tone (“Why are you so upset?”), the emotions behind their argument (“You obviously have issues.”), or resorting to adjectives like “delusional,” “ridiculous,” and “paranoid,” you probably need to rethink your comment.”
  5. Consider your perspective. It’s easy to react defensively when you read a post that might be critiquing something you or someone you know does in your life. First, remember it’s not personal. It’s extremely rare that we post a story that is attacking a person rather than a social structure. We’re critiquing media and people’s actions, not individual identities. Pay special attention if you come from a place of privilege – if a post addresses an oppression you have not yourself experienced, listen to others’ voices and try to see where they’re coming from before responding angrily. Recognize that the impact of their lived experience is probably more significant for them than your being uncomfortable with the subject.
  6. Be respectful. To sum up, please just try to be respectful. The best discussion happens when people can put aside potential gut reactions to be dismissive or defensive and instead listen and approach new subjects and experiences with an open mind.