Photo: Robert E. Rutledge
Why FEMINIST GIANT Newsletter?
Feminism terrifies authoritarians and is an essential way to resist fascism.
Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected women - whether via increased rates of intimate partner terrorism, higher unemployment rates than men, increased responsibilities due to working and schooling from home, increased child care responsibilities due to virtual schooling for their children, and the fact that women comprise the bulk of healthcare frontline workers and care givers. We must pay attention to all those issues and others NOW or else as we emerge from this pandemic, women globally will suffer a massive setback in rights and opportunities, exacerbated by the rise in patriarchal authoritarianism and fascism around the world. To fight that setback to women’s rights, we must be aware and we must learn from feminists and their fights around the world.
And we must make this feminist knowledge available to everyone, wherever they live and regardless of how much money they can spend.
Every day on Twitter, I curate news of patriarchal fuckery and feminist resistance to it from around the world. I am moving that curation here, where twice a week - Wednesday and Friday, paid interns—younger feminists I am delighted to work with and to share my platform with—will collect global feminist news and weave it with brief commentary. And every week, you will get an original essay by me, on the feminist issues of the day, exclusive to this newsletter. I often publish two articles a week because there is much patriarchal fuckery to counter!
FEMINIST GIANT Newsletter will be the place where you can catch up with global feminism. And it will be free for everyone who signs up to be on my mailing list. Sign up using the Subscribe Now link below and choose “None” and you will get the newsletter for free. No ads. No profanity police. No financial paywall to the rage, inspiration, and revolution! If you have funds, please choose the paying option when you click the link below and choose the plan that bests suits you. It helps me to pay the interns and to keep FEMINIST GIANT free. Let’s share our funds and resources! That’s FEMINIST GIANT Newsletter in 5 paragraphs. For more: continue below!
Feminism is a daily and a global revolution. The curation and the commentary I will provide here will reflect and amplify that. It will be about feminist fighters and their news from around the world - the United States is not the centre of that world. And when I say women, I mean cis and trans women - zero tolerance for transphobia. And I include trans men, non-binary people as well as the gender non-conforming community as part of the feminist struggle against patriarchal fuckery.
I became a journalist in 1990 and since 2004, I have been a freelance writer. I have given myself the freedom for my writing and independence from institutional backing that I sought, but it has been hard and often frightening to not have a full time salary or health insurance and other perks of full-time employment. It is especially a challenge now when the pandemic has hit independent writers and creatives so hard.
I have worked fucking hard to establish myself as one of the most well-known feminist writers in the world today. Does that sound arrogant? I write about the “sin” of ambition and attention and five other “sins” in my second book The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls - read it! The pandemic pushed me to reassess how I wanted to work and how I wanted to make a living, and staying independent was the answer to both questions. I have another book you should check out too - my first one called Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution.
The pandemic and rise in global fascism and patriarchal authoritarianism push me toward this new and even more independent venture.
I have wanted to write a global feminist column for many years. I was a news reporter from 1990-2000 - as a correspondent for Reuters News Agency in Cairo and Jerusalem and then as a freelance reporter for the Guardian in Egypt - and in 2001 I made the switch from news reporting to opinion writing. During the aughts, I wrote dozens of opeds for the Washington Post as a freelancer. From 2002-2004, I was a managing editor at a feminist news site. I have contributed opeds to countless publications around the world and that writing has led to numerous appearances as a commentator on various media outlets.
From 2014 - 2018, I was a contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, where my column on Egypt and the Middle East appeared monthly. In 2018, I was a contributing opinion writer at both the New York Times and the Washington Post and I thought that I had what I wanted.
Sometimes it’s when you get what you thought you wanted that you realize that it is not after all what you want! I was fed up that the space they gave me to write was for opeds about Egypt/Middle East/Islamic issues.
I wanted to create a space to write about feminist and gender issues - in US-based publications, those spaces are usually given to white women - and I wanted to write about global feminist and gender issues - the United States is not the centre of the world.
So I am creating that space for myself!
Also - I like to say “fuck” a lot - in case you hadn’t noticed - and here I can say it when and how I want. The now former editor of the New York Times opinion page asked me to stop saying “fuck” and especially “flying fuck” on my Twitter account (even though I was a contributor to and not an employee of the NYT; note also that that same editor published an oped by a US senator in support of deploying the military to quash Black Lives Matter protestors. So - fuck civility!). I did not stop saying fuck. Instead, I launched a hashtag - #WhyISayFuck, wrote an oped about the importance of profanity as resistance to patriarchal fuckery, and included profanity as one of The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls - my second book.
Here, you will know that I am unfiltered.
Why a NEWSLETTER?
I want to own my own writing and to be independent of mainstream media.
The pandemic has made freelancing even more precarious than ever. I have spent years building a large Twitter global following. In recognition of my feminist rage and fight, many send me daily feminist developments and alert me to patriarchal fuckery in their respective parts of the world - much like a Bat signal except Batman has fascist tendencies and FEMINIST GIANT is an anarchist feminist. My tweets - and the many threads I have written over the years which can themselves be considered essays in thread form - have been free but I financially supported myself through my book writing and other long-term projects. By using a newsletter model, I can commit more of my time to the activity - and mission - which I love.
You can find me here on Twitter and here on Instagram. And if you are a patron or would like to be a patron by supporting my Patreon, you support my other forms of writing - books and art reviews and more.
Firstly, by subscribing you will support my feminist work and be a part of a community that cares about fighting patriarchal fuckery. Paid interns work on Global Roundups and I have also commissioned an artist to create the FEMINIST GIANT logo and in the future I want to hire more people to work with me. All those things need money.
Capitalism - see the Patriarchy as octopus video in my Welcome post - is one of the oppressions that underpin patriarchy. FEMINIST GIANT is available to everyone and I want to be able to make a living, while also working without institutional backing.
Ideally - those with funds would pay so that it’s available for free to those without funds.
FEMINIST GIANT Newsletter will always be free. For those who can pay, FEMINIST GIANT Newsletter $8/month or $80/year.
Let’s share funds! Let’s do some of that redistributing of wealth we talk about!
Please also share news about FEMINIST GIANT with your friends and on social media. A great way to help whether you can pay or not, is to share the newsletter, encourage others to sign up, and to retweet/post on social media.
Thank you for your support and as always:
Fuck the patriarchy!
Logo: Sheyam Ghieth.