Our 4th Blogiversary!
By Jarrah Hodge
Well, it’s official: Gender Focus is now four years old! The blogiversary post is now sort of a tradition, a chance to look back at highlights and lessons learned from the previous year. And of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the amazing volunteer contributors for helping out building a space for safe, diverse, entertaining, and fun feminist conversations!
We published morethan 300 posts just in the past year and it took me a while to go through them, but it also made me really proud of what we’ve accomplished and grateful for what others have helped to put in.
- July 20, 2012. BAMF-tasticness. Just after our last blogiversary, Comediva came out with their webseries BAMF Girls Club, based on the premise that all our toughest modern geeky heroines (Buffy, Lisbeth Salander, Hermione, Katniss, etc.) are living together in one house. I’ve shared a few of the episodes as Friday Feminist Funny Film posts and they’ve been a personal and audience favourite. New episodes are coming soon, too, so I’m pretty excited.
- September 14, 2012. I released the 2nd edition of the super-popular Twitter Guide for Feminists post, revised and updated.
- September 19, 2012. New contributor Tash Wolfe has her first post, on WAVAW’s Vancouver Fashion Week campaign against violence against women.
- October 9, 2012. Gender Focus welcomed new contributor Tracy Bealer, with her review of the show Revolution.
- October 2012. I had the amazing opportunity to meet – along with the rest of the City of Vancouver Women’s Advisory Committee – with the Nobel Women’s Intitiative’s “Breaking Ground” delegation on women, oil and climate change.
- December 10, 2012. New contributor Librarian Karen is first published here talking about the messages in Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)” music video.
- January 2013. Gender Focus wins first place in the Best Feminist Blog category in the Canadian Weblog Awards, for the second year in a row!
- January 16, 2013. Jonathan Alexandratos publishes his first Gender Focus post, about gender representations in action figures.
- January 24, 2013. Gender Focus launches the “My Reality” series. The brainchild of regular contributor Alicia Costa, the series encourages regular and guest contributors to share their stories: both those that are common but not necessarily widely discussed, and those that are highly unique. Since then, people have shared funny and serious stories on topics from tattoos to dating to experiencing rape and child abuse.
- March 8, 2013. I spoke and gave a presentation on intergenerational feminism at the Vancouver District Labour Council’s International Women’s Day dinner.
- May 2, 2013. New contributor Emily Yakashiro writes her first post, for the “My Reality” series, on intergenerational racism in academia.
- May 25, 2013. I wrote about and got actively involved (along with other contributors on their own time) with Women, Action, Media’s #FBrape campaign to end gender-based hate speech on Facebook.
- July 12, 2013. Gender Focus hits its 1,000th post!
- More Feminism F.A.Q.s. I released a few new episodes of my YouTube series Feminism F.A.Q.s, including this most-popular episode on the history of things women have been told they can’t do.
- Media Time! I did quite a bit of media commentating in the past year related to my work at Gender Focus, including a CBC interview on the death of Helen Gurley Brown, two CBC interviews on the death of Amanda Todd, a CTV News Channel interview on the David Petraeus scandal and another on Steubenville and rape culture, and a CKNW Bill Good Show interview on school dress codes banning leggings.
- I’m going to repeat a lesson from last year that I’m still working on, which is that it takes work to make a multi-author blog more diverse and inclusive. It’s work that absolutely needs to be done and I for sure need to be more pro-active making sure there’s safe space for marginalized voices as authors and commenters.
- Writing a story for Gender Focus can be a great way to help community organizations get the message out about their campaigns and events. I tried to be more pro-active in the past year contacting community groups and asking if there was anything I could help them promote or raise awareness of. The result were posts on U of A’s “No Homophobes” project, Battered Women’s Support Services campaign against youth dating violence, the push to raise awareness of the gender pay gap in Ontario, YWCA’s work to end women’s homelessness, and innovative apps from METRAC and EVA BC – to name just a sampling. That said, I need your help to connect with more groups. Let me know if you’re working with anyone on a feminist campaign or event in Canada and I’ll try my best to promote it via the blog and/or social media.