Bitch Media seeks to be a fresh, revitalizing voice in contemporary feminism, one that welcomes complex, intersectional arguments and refuses to ignore the contradictory and often uncomfortable realities of life in an unequivocally gendered world. We are independent, we are feminist. We believe in pop culture as a valuable, dynamic site and we do not shy away from the rich and productive tensions that arise when analyzing and critiquing it through a feminist lens.
(1) We create and curate original, responsive, interrogative, and engaging content that prioritizes the complex and shifting understandings of feminisms as a personal tool and social movement for liberation, justice, identity, and growth.
(2) We celebrate content that best challenges, reflects, equips, and empowers diverse feminist communities who are in robust conversation with mainstream media and pop culture.
(3) We choose and shape editorial content to deliver boldness characterized by originality, depth of insight, savvy, wit, and the practice of claiming an elusive truth that is either avoided by or escapes mainstream media outlets.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Open: March 25, 2020 to August 24, 2020
Power is a concept most of us engage with constantly, though it isn’t always obvious—even to ourselves. Work environments are sites of power dynamics, for instance, between ourselves, our bosses, and our coworkers: Perhaps we ponder power as we attempt to negotiate promotions and raises (who has the leverage?); perhaps it features in weighing the risk of interoffice romances (who has the most to lose if the relationship leaks into workspace consciousness?); perhaps it impacts our ability to do our jobs remotely (who benefits most—and least—from establishing telework policies?). Some of us deal with the concept of power as it relates to feminism, oppression, and the matrix of domination, while even more of us must consider power within our interpersonal relationships (between partners, parents and children, and even children and teachers). How do our relationships impact our earning power, our mental health, and our physical safety?
These conversations and negotiations are inescapable, but engaging with them, rather than hiding from them, helps us orient ourselves in an ever changing world. Who is expected to take power, and who is expected to wait until it is given to them? What does it mean to be empowered and how can we account for power imbalances, even among the famous and wealthy? What does it look like to challenge power in a time when most of it is concentrated in an increasingly small number of people and institutions? How can we challenge power as news cycles become shorter, pandemics can change the very routines of our daily lives, and the world always seems much less sure than it did even yesterday?
We want to bring those conversations—about power itself, what it demands of us and from us, and how we hold it accountable—to the pages of this issue. So send us criticism, reporting, and analysis that goes beyond literal power struggles, frustrations with Trump’s daily shenanigans, and individual upsets about Congressional leaders. What would it take to live in a world where economic parity is a given? How does pop culture codify power, particularly through representation? What can questioning the portrayal of relationships as heterosexual, monogamous structures teach us about the importance of abolishing hierarchy? What would it be like to live in a world that centers the needs of trans and nonbinary people rather than relegating them to the backseat?
Power goes beyond the obvious, so pitch us out-of-the-box ideas that both speak to this theme and expand it.
KEY WORDS: politics, poverty, dominance, authority, control, money, representation, pay equity, legacy, injustice, economics, competition, law, leadership, imbalance, exploitation, influence, strength, virtue, inevitability, natural disaster, force, omnipotence, girl power, empowerment feminism, electric outages, coercion, submission, supernatural abilities, relationship anarchy
SECTIONS: Features, Culture, Front-of-Book
Dispatches (1200 words) are missives from the frontlines. We’re looking for underreported and fascinating stories from across the country, the globe, and the realms of fiction that introduce Bitch readers to stories and topics they might not have encountered before. A great dispatch could be from Argentina or Tennessee just as easily as San Junipero or Panem.
Features are deep dives into the intersection of feminism and culture. Everything is culture to Bitch, including pop culture, social-justice movements, and technology. Longform and essay writers examine, ruminate, and push boundaries. The writing is tight, top-notch, and original. We are looking for pieces that not only dive deep, but dive where no one else is looking.
Investigative Essay (2300 words): You smell a buried story and want to tell the world what’s going on. Complete with research, reporting, and clear, concise writing, this piece braids information and intrigue and takes the readers on a journey through something underreported, unknown, or in need of a spotlight.
Cultural Feature (2200): Nonfiction feminist critical essays are not about the “I” statements—a Bitch essay critiques a larger systematic or cultural problem by centering a marginal community and exploring the impact of that issue for a particular demographic. At its heart, it's a soaring cultural critique. This feature establishes your chops as a writer who is unafraid to go there. It’s an essay that demonstrates that you have cultivated your own distinct voice and your work unapologetically expresses an unforgettable message that centers your community, resistance, and establishes new ground with unchartered possibilities for how to live free.
This section is where Bitch brands and solidifies its cultural authority. From celebrating significant pieces of pop culture that are turning 20 to analyzing the Impact Of directors, producers, and screenwriters (600 words), Culture examines elements of our lives that show up in books, on screens, in music, and all over the internet.
Culture features three essays (800 words) that look at themes springing up in books, screen, and music, and explore the cultural context for that theme and why it’s significant. Are multiple TV shows depicting abortions? How is YA literature handling sexual assault? We want to know.
Culture wants to know the people behind-the-scenes who are making television and movie magic (1000 words). Who’s the next Ava DuVernay or Joi McMillon or Shonda Rhimes? These interviews highlight voices that are rarely tapped into.