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.

PLEASURE (#81)

CALL FOR SUBMISSION

It might seem like the wrong time to do an issue on the theme of Pleasure: As we log on each day and are promptly hit with what seems like year’s worth of bad news, pleasure often feels like either a luxury we can’t afford (the word itself just sounds so...indulgent) or an ethically dicey pursuit best kept to ourselves. What does pleasure look like in a time of near-constant moral emergency? Where do we seek it? Who gets to define and own it? Why, even in times of political and social crisis, do we need to find room in our lives for it?

For issue 81, we want to explore pleasure as a necessary—if often subjective—component of feminism, of activism, of political autonomy, of identity. While “pleasure” as both noun and verb has an inescapably sexual frisson, this issue isn’t all about the booty: We want to see stories, reportage, analysis, and commentary that speak to pleasure in all its complexities and dimensions. Unfettered pleasure, guilty pleasure, esoteric pleasure, secret pleasure (psst: no one has to know it’s you)—these shape our histories, creating and re-creating the mediated world. And we want all of them. We want our writers to ask and answer complex questions about who gets access to pleasure, especially in this trying time.  

Here are a few prompts: 

Has the historical gendering of pleasure changed in a time of shifting gender strictures?


What makes pleasure political? 

How have marginalized communities historically enacted and accessed pleasure? 

Did slaves have orgasms? Hey, it’s a worthy question to ask.

What makes eating a pleasurable activity to engage in? 

Why are we still culturally invested in the concept of “guilty pleasures?” 


SECTIONS: Features, Culture, Front-of-Book

Features

Features are deep dives into the intersection of feminism and pop culture. Long-form 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 (2000–2500)   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.

Analytical Feature  (1500–1800)   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, your own Bitch sound, 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.

Culture

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 (500–800 words), Culture examines elements of our lives that show up in books, on screens, in music, and all over the internet.

Turning 20 (800–1000 words) is a feature that explores the cultural impact of one piece of pop culture that’s celebrating that golden anniversary. It can be a celebrity’s significant moment at the VMAs, a TV show that changed the landscape forever, or even a book that’s still as readable now as it was then.

Culture also features three analytical essays (650–700 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.

Lastly, Culture wants to know the people behind-the-scenes who are making television and movie magic (400–500 words). Who’s the next Ava Duvernay or Joi McMillon or Shonda Rhimes? These interviews highlight voices that are rarely tapped into.

Front-of-Book

Dispatches (900–1000 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 center location and 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 Westeros or West World.

Bitch Media's content demonstrates our commitment to building community, deepening feminist conscience (individual and collective), and challenging systematic and cultural oppression with three standards.

(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.

Bitch Media is pleased to offer the Bitch Media Fellowships for Writers, a series of three-month intensive writing fellowships whose goal is to develop, support, and amplify emerging, diverse voices in feminist, activist, and pop-culture media. The program is directed by Bitch cofounder Andi Zeisler. 

Fellows will work with Bitch Media during one of the following four quarters:

  • January 1 – March 30
  • April 1 – June 30
  • July 1 – September 30
  • October 1 – December 31

Fellows will work in one of four subject areas during the fellowship period:

  • Sexual politics
  • Pop-culture criticism
  • Technology
  • Global feminism 

During the 3-month fellowships, our fellows will:

  • Produce a minimum of six online articles for Bitch Media in the topic area of their fellowship. These pieces can take a variety of forms: reported, analytical, advocacy-focused, even infographic, and are least 600 words in length.
  • Produce at least one longform article to be published in the quarterly magazine Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture
  • Participate in biweekly discussions (by phone or Skype if fellows cannot meet in person) with the fellowship director and other members of the Bitch Media staff.
  • Receive mentorship and support in creating, shaping, and editing articles and blog posts.
  • Receive follow-up support with placing future articles and essays, and make great connections within the feminist-media community.
  • Receive a $2,000 stipend for the three-month fellowship.

Application Guidelines (to be submitted through Submittable):

  1. Read the FAQ's. But seriously, please be sure to read the FAQ’s before filling out the rest of this application.
  2. A cover letter of no more than 600 words that describes your interest in the fellowship area of your choice.

     • What are the topics you’re passionate about?

    • What are the facets and angles of this subject that you think are underreported and under-discussed elsewhere in the media?

    • What unique experiences and perspectives will you bring to the topic?

  3. A CV (no more than 2 pages) that includes a list of any previous publications, if applicable. (You can still apply to a Bitch Media Writing Fellowship even if you don’t have any clips or prior publications).
  4. Three (3) relevant writing samples
  5. Short answer questions to help Bitch get to know you

Who should apply?

This fellowship was created in order to cultivate and amplify new voices. If you are a writer who has minimal publication experience, we strongly encourage you to apply. If you are passionate about one of the above subject areas but do not have a history of writing or blogging about them, we strongly encourage you to apply. If you are a writer still figuring out what subjects obsess you, we strongly encourage you to apply. 

This is not a full-time position, but an independent fellowship designed for writers who want to develop confident, well-rounded voices and are particularly interested in feminist criticism and mission-driven journalism. Fellows may be based globally, and U.S. citizenship or residence is not required to be a fellow. Writers who have contributed to Bitch before will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Bitch Media is an independent 501(c)3 organization and an equal-opportunity employer. We seek a variety of perspectives and encourage applications from qualified writers of any age, race, color, gender, religion, ancestry, disability, marital status, and sexual orientation. We hope that our fellows will be able to find a community among their co-fellows and the staff of Bitch Media.

Have questions? Read our Fellowship FAQ sheet here.

Bitch Media is pleased to offer the Bitch Media Fellowships for Writers, a series of three-month intensive writing fellowships whose goal is to develop, support, and amplify emerging, diverse voices in feminist, activist, and pop-culture media. The program is directed by Bitch cofounder Andi Zeisler. 

Fellows will work with Bitch Media during one of the following four quarters:

  • January 1 – March 30
  • April 1 – June 30
  • July 1 – September 30
  • October 1 – December 31

Fellows will work in one of four subject areas during the fellowship period:

  • Sexual politics
  • Pop-culture criticism
  • Technology
  • Global feminism 

During the 3-month fellowships, our fellows will:

  • Produce a minimum of six online articles for Bitch Media in the topic area of their fellowship. These pieces can take a variety of forms: reported, analytical, advocacy-focused, even infographic, and are least 600 words in length.
  • Produce at least one longform article to be published in the quarterly magazine Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture
  • Participate in biweekly discussions (by phone or Skype if fellows cannot meet in person) with the fellowship director and other members of the Bitch Media staff.
  • Receive mentorship and support in creating, shaping, and editing articles and blog posts.
  • Receive follow-up support with placing future articles and essays, and make great connections within the feminist-media community.
  • Receive a $2,000 stipend for the three-month fellowship.

Application Guidelines (to be submitted through Submittable):

  1. Read the FAQ's. But seriously, please be sure to read the FAQ’s before filling out the rest of this application.
  2. A cover letter of no more than 600 words that describes your interest in the fellowship area of your choice.

     • What are the topics you’re passionate about?

    • What are the facets and angles of this subject that you think are underreported and under-discussed elsewhere in the media?

    • What unique experiences and perspectives will you bring to the topic?

  3. A CV (no more than 2 pages) that includes a list of any previous publications, if applicable. (You can still apply to a Bitch Media Writing Fellowship even if you don’t have any clips or prior publications).
  4. Three (3) relevant writing samples
  5. Short answer questions to help Bitch get to know you

Who should apply?

This fellowship was created in order to cultivate and amplify new voices. If you are a writer who has minimal publication experience, we strongly encourage you to apply. If you are passionate about one of the above subject areas but do not have a history of writing or blogging about them, we strongly encourage you to apply. If you are a writer still figuring out what subjects obsess you, we strongly encourage you to apply. 

This is not a full-time position, but an independent fellowship designed for writers who want to develop confident, well-rounded voices and are particularly interested in feminist criticism and mission-driven journalism. Fellows may be based globally, and U.S. citizenship or residence is not required to be a fellow. Writers who have contributed to Bitch before will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Bitch Media is an independent 501(c)3 organization and an equal-opportunity employer. We seek a variety of perspectives and encourage applications from qualified writers of any age, race, color, gender, religion, ancestry, disability, marital status, and sexual orientation. We hope that our fellows will be able to find a community among their co-fellows and the staff of Bitch Media.

Have questions? Read our Fellowship FAQ sheet here.

Bitch Media is pleased to offer the Bitch Media Fellowships for Writers, a series of three-month intensive writing fellowships whose goal is to develop, support, and amplify emerging, diverse voices in feminist, activist, and pop-culture media. The program is directed by Bitch cofounder Andi Zeisler. 

Fellows will work with Bitch Media during one of the following four quarters:

  • January 1 – March 30
  • April 1 – June 30
  • July 1 – September 30
  • October 1 – December 31

Fellows will work in one of four subject areas during the fellowship period:

  • Sexual politics
  • Pop-culture criticism
  • Technology
  • Global feminism 

During the 3-month fellowships, our fellows will:

  • Produce a minimum of six online articles for Bitch Media in the topic area of their fellowship. These pieces can take a variety of forms: reported, analytical, advocacy-focused, even infographic, and are least 600 words in length.
  • Produce at least one longform article to be published in the quarterly magazine Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture
  • Participate in biweekly discussions (by phone or Skype if fellows cannot meet in person) with the fellowship director and other members of the Bitch Media staff.
  • Receive mentorship and support in creating, shaping, and editing articles and blog posts.
  • Receive follow-up support with placing future articles and essays, and make great connections within the feminist-media community.
  • Receive a $2,000 stipend for the three-month fellowship.

Application Guidelines (to be submitted through Submittable):

  1. Read the FAQ's. But seriously, please be sure to read the FAQ’s before filling out the rest of this application.
  2. A cover letter of no more than 600 words that describes your interest in the fellowship area of your choice.

     • What are the topics you’re passionate about?

    • What are the facets and angles of this subject that you think are underreported and under-discussed elsewhere in the media?

    • What unique experiences and perspectives will you bring to the topic?

  3. A CV (no more than 2 pages) that includes a list of any previous publications, if applicable. (You can still apply to a Bitch Media Writing Fellowship even if you don’t have any clips or prior publications).
  4. Three (3) relevant writing samples
  5. Short answer questions to help Bitch get to know you

Who should apply?

This fellowship was created in order to cultivate and amplify new voices. If you are a writer who has minimal publication experience, we strongly encourage you to apply. If you are passionate about one of the above subject areas but do not have a history of writing or blogging about them, we strongly encourage you to apply. If you are a writer still figuring out what subjects obsess you, we strongly encourage you to apply. 

This is not a full-time position, but an independent fellowship designed for writers who want to develop confident, well-rounded voices and are particularly interested in feminist criticism and mission-driven journalism. Fellows may be based globally, and U.S. citizenship or residence is not required to be a fellow. Writers who have contributed to Bitch before will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Bitch Media is an independent 501(c)3 organization and an equal-opportunity employer. We seek a variety of perspectives and encourage applications from qualified writers of any age, race, color, gender, religion, ancestry, disability, marital status, and sexual orientation. We hope that our fellows will be able to find a community among their co-fellows and the staff of Bitch Media.

Have questions? Read our Fellowship FAQ sheet here.

Bitch Media is pleased to offer the Bitch Media Fellowships for Writers, a series of three-month intensive writing fellowships whose goal is to develop, support, and amplify emerging, diverse voices in feminist, activist, and pop-culture media. The program is directed by Bitch cofounder Andi Zeisler. 

Fellows will work with Bitch Media during one of the following four quarters:

  • January 1 – March 30
  • April 1 – June 30
  • July 1 – September 30
  • October 1 – December 31

Fellows will work in one of four subject areas during the fellowship period:

  • Sexual politics
  • Pop-culture criticism
  • Technology
  • Global feminism 

During the 3-month fellowships, our fellows will:

  • Produce a minimum of six online articles for Bitch Media in the topic area of their fellowship. These pieces can take a variety of forms: reported, analytical, advocacy-focused, even infographic, and are least 600 words in length.
  • Produce at least one longform article to be published in the quarterly magazine Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture
  • Participate in biweekly discussions (by phone or Skype if fellows cannot meet in person) with the fellowship director and other members of the Bitch Media staff.
  • Receive mentorship and support in creating, shaping, and editing articles and blog posts.
  • Receive follow-up support with placing future articles and essays, and make great connections within the feminist-media community.
  • Receive a $2,000 stipend for the three-month fellowship.

Application Guidelines (to be submitted through Submittable):

  1. Read the FAQ's. But seriously, please be sure to read the FAQ’s before filling out the rest of this application.
  2. A cover letter of no more than 600 words that describes your interest in the fellowship area of your choice.

     • What are the topics you’re passionate about?

    • What are the facets and angles of this subject that you think are underreported and under-discussed elsewhere in the media?

    • What unique experiences and perspectives will you bring to the topic?

  3. A CV (no more than 2 pages) that includes a list of any previous publications, if applicable. (You can still apply to a Bitch Media Writing Fellowship even if you don’t have any clips or prior publications).
  4. Three (3) relevant writing samples
  5. Short answer questions to help Bitch get to know you

Who should apply?

This fellowship was created in order to cultivate and amplify new voices. If you are a writer who has minimal publication experience, we strongly encourage you to apply. If you are passionate about one of the above subject areas but do not have a history of writing or blogging about them, we strongly encourage you to apply. If you are a writer still figuring out what subjects obsess you, we strongly encourage you to apply. 

This is not a full-time position, but an independent fellowship designed for writers who want to develop confident, well-rounded voices and are particularly interested in feminist criticism and mission-driven journalism. Fellows may be based globally, and U.S. citizenship or residence is not required to be a fellow. Writers who have contributed to Bitch before will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Bitch Media is an independent 501(c)3 organization and an equal-opportunity employer. We seek a variety of perspectives and encourage applications from qualified writers of any age, race, color, gender, religion, ancestry, disability, marital status, and sexual orientation. We hope that our fellows will be able to find a community among their co-fellows and the staff of Bitch Media.

Have questions? Read our Fellowship FAQ sheet here.

Bitch Media