Teaspoons Ahoy for Flyover Feminism

A new project to amplify feminist voices outside the major media centres. The name might sound US-centric, and it definitely is US-origin, but the scope of Flyover Feminism’s mission is worldwide.

Flyover Feminism is about supporting local politicians who are getting it right and shaming the good goddamn out of the ones that are putting in overtime getting it wrong. It is about how, exactly, activists without media clout or attention bring immediacy and passion to a fight that will largely be ignored no matter the outcome. We want to teach the next generation of geographically-marginalized activists how to organize, learn new ideas from new activists, and document the stories of people who have been doing activism for decades in obscurity. We want to want to record the past, and nurture the future.

We don’t want to simply start conversations; we want to proactively connect activists from all over the globe and unite them in their struggle to affect a better future.

Flyover Feminism was founded by Garland Grey (Tiger Beatdown etc), Jessica Luther (scATX) and Melissa McEwan (Shakesville) – and they are looking for contributors and editorial partners who don’t look like them and who don’t share their experiences to hoist their teaspoons alongside them.

Categories: gender & feminism, media, social justice

Tags: , , ,

12 replies

  1. Thanks for the tip, tigtog. You keep on bringing me home.

    I volunteered my services for the editorial staff.

    I had myself permanently banned from Rationalia a few days ago, and am not looking back.

    I feel free again.

    (sorry everyone, this is little personal for me, so thanks for reading)

  2. The mission statement opens with talking about ‘the national dialogue’ and ‘across the country,’ which makes the reassurances about the name and expanding the editorial team (they didn’t look to get more people on board before launching?) ring really false to me. I hope I’m wrong, I really do, and not just on the US-centric front.

    • Chally, I have no doubt that the prime impetus for starting Flyover Feminism right now is the upcoming US presidential elections. I also have no doubt that they want it to be ultimately more than that.

  3. Chally, I see from Twitter (I think?) that they launched way earlier than they intended, in order to try and submit a panel to the SXSW conference and to have something to show in their submission. That doesn’t look like the right decision to me, but I guess it depends on how much work they put into growing the editorial team and supporting their mission.

  4. Yeah. “Flyover” means nothing to me.
    I actually think there is nothing wrong with saying “hey, let’s focus on this particular local issue in this particular local place” (subject to caveats about privilege) – better than assuming that there is a real concurrence of issues OR OTHERWISE making the project far too broad.
    I will keep a weather eye on what happens – could be interesting – but while I think TT is no doubt correct that the people setting this up want it to be more than just about the presidential elections in the USA/the USA generally, giving it a name that is SO local is not a great way to indicate that.

  5. I agree with Chally and Jo. Even their attempts to be international are US-centric they use the phrase ‘the US and the world’.
    I think Fly-over feminism would be a better, more coherent, project if it did just focus on feminism from the US that wasn’t on the coast – rather than trying to lump in every reasons you might be alienated from feminism together. From Wellington, the differences between Chicago and New York really don’t seem that significant (like I’m sure for feminist activists in India the difference between Wellington and Chicago doesn’t seem that significant).

  6. I find it a bit odd that one of the editors, Garland Grey, has just announced he is going on hiatus for a few months.

  7. Tamara, I’m not privy to the backchannel story there, but I’m open to the possibility that whatever’s happening with Garland Grey’s hiatus might well be something that was entirely unpredicted a few days ago.

    • I didn’t mean it as a pile-one, it was just interesting. I found out when he posted it the other day on Tiger Beatdown.

  8. It’s only US centric as long as people choose to view it as such, and criticize instead of getting involved – sure it started in Texas, so what?
    An acquaintance of mine suggested this elsewhere, which I found to be very meaningful:

    I like the Aboriginal activism quote “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together” as a jumping off point for thinking about this topic

  9. It’s only US centric as long as people choose to view it as such, and criticize instead of getting involved – sure it started in Texas, so what?

    This seems a little unfair. The term “flyover” is US English for their non-coastal states. It hasn’t to my knowledge been adopted by a significant number of speakers of other Englishes. To give a naturally imperfect analogy: if a Down Under blog was named with or otherwise styled/branded with a very Australian desert-y theme, for example, and had solely Australian founders, then insisted that it intended to be inclusive of New Zealanders and other islanders, the feeling of disconnect wouldn’t be entirely on the non-Australians! Nor would the responsibility to fix the disconnect.
    Thus far, Flyover Feminism was founded by US residents, given a US-centric title, and all of the first week’s posts have been by US residents (it appears on a skim). Editorial decisions at this stage are huge for setting tone and thus it’s natural to read it as “a blog about progressive politics in non-coastal/power-center areas of the US.” Since this presently disagrees with their mission statement, it doesn’t seem unreasonable for people to wonder at this stage which of the editorial decisions (which indeed well be restricted by volunteers at this point, almost every group blog has this problem*) or the mission statement are going to change.
    * Equivalent situation: Geek Feminism, which I write heavily for and have some editorial responsibility for, has trouble recruiting non-computer programmers to write for us, while simultaneously claiming to be inclusive of them. I still think it’s fair to put this more on the blog and its (volunteer) staff than the non-computer programmers, while of course being one of the volunteer staff I also know that it’s not a planned conspiracy against non-coding geeks. It’s never the less something that we shouldn’t stop working on and can’t ask people not to criticise.

  10. Mai, in addition to Mary’s excellent comment, you might want to do some background reading about how some of us feel about USA-centricity. A starting point could be the following post by our very own Chally: http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/02/15/dear-usians-on-the-internet/
    In reference to the same post, see this comment with a book rec: http://zeroatthebone.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/if-i-might-direct-your-attention/#comment-2107
    And a demonstration of how a non-USA activist conversation might be framed (again by Chally): http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/06/24/on-referring-to-people-who-aren%E2%80%99t-white/

%d bloggers like this: