February 26, 2015

Femsplain: Feminism Full-Time . . . now with full funding


photo-originalOn Tuesday, a full week ahead of their deadline, the feminist publishing platform Femsplain reached its $25,000 funding goal on Kickstarter. It’s a “fem-powered blog” in the vein of Rookie and the Hairpin that wants to build a creative space for anyone who identifies as female.

Senior editor Gabriela Barkho told the Observer that “What you might call a ‘typical’ Femsplain piece—tasteful explainers on anal sex, meditations on death, a guide to breaking up with your friends—is confessional, funny and sometimes self-deprecating, dressed up visually in the colorful, icon-studded paper collage style of Femsplain’s two visual editors.” The headlines are “more literary than clicky.”

Up until January, the site’s twenty-five-year-old founder, Amber Gordon, was a creative strategist at Tumblr by day (she made Denny’s, of all things, the platform’s most successful brand) and a feminist-blog-building-coder by night.  The blog grew out of an idea for a small project among a group of Twitter friends (maybe you and your friends have a similar project? It was basically an essay exchange called “Sad Drunk Girls”), and now that they’ve started taking submissions, “it’s a community for conversation online among women” that’s growing rapidly.

Last month, Amber quit her job at Tumblr to run the site full time, and she won’t be touching a penny of the Kickstarter money—that’s going to contributors, who’ll each be paid $100 a pop: “If they’re taking the time out of their workday to open up and be honest and provide us with content, of course they deserve to be compensated,” Amber said in an interview.

She cites Tavi Gevinson (“Total inspo.”) and Mallory Ortberg as role models, but sees Femsplain as more community oriented than her feminist blogspace forbearers.

Shine on, Shine Theory.


Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.