As 2010 draws to a close, it's the time of year that nonprofits ask for donations. Bitch Media is no different; we need ongoing financial support. Usually, we would ask you to make a gift after telling you why you should support us. However, Bitch Media is lucky. We don't need to tell you why Bitch is important because we can let our supporters tell their own stories. This week, Andi Zeisler, Bitch Media co-founder and editorial/creative director, explains why she ♥s Bitch.
Asking me to talk about why I love Bitch is sort of like asking a pre–health kick Cookie Monster to explain why he loves cookies. As a cofounder and staff member since 1996, I feel like Bitch is so much a part of who I am that I might not be able to adequately (or, for that matter, objectively) answer the question. But I'll try.
I ♥ Bitch because I'm always learning from it.
I remember very clearly a moment in college, shortly before graduation, when I came home from an evening with friends where we'd talked about books and movies and feminist theory. (Lest this sound too high-minded, I also recall that we were drinking a mixture of beer and pink lemonade and daring each other to pee on some guy's lawn.) Lying in bed that night, I started to wonder if I'd ever have the opportunity to, well, think so much again, or be surrounded by so many cool, smart, opinionated people. Maybe I just didn't have high hopes for my postgraduate life, but I really worried that my education might end once I threw that polyester-covered mortarboard into the air.
Fifteen years later, this fear seems both incredibly sad and ridiculously unfounded—and what a relief that is. Thanks to the people who work and have worked on Bitch—the staff; the writing, editing, art, and blogging contributors; the smart and generous souls who give us publishing advice and direction; the board members who fundraise and network on our behalf; the amazing people we've been lucky enough to interview—I am aware every day of how much we can learn from one another, and how much different (and, many times, conflicting) perspectives work to make us sharper, more rigorous critical thinkers. And it thrills me that Bitch is a place where others find community in that pursuit of new and challenging perspectives.
Lying in bed these days, I feel humbled and lucky that I'm still surrounded by such cool, smart, opinionated people, and that it's my job not only to continue to think, but to learn.
Bitch is my full-time job, but I also support Bitch when I can with additional donations because there are so many projects that are still in the pipe-dream stages (a book imprint! a scholarship programs for interns!) that it's crucial for me not only to contribute to the work we're already doing, but help lay the financial bedrock for the future. I hope you'll join me in supporting Bitch, and sharing the stories of why you do.
Please share the love and post your own story about why you ♥ Bitch in the comments, and support what you love!