115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Online Feminist Publications as Social Enterprises

Monika Fischer, University of Missouri

The issue of selling feminism has been a common discourse among academics and the general public. If feminist online publications will be adopting social enterprise initiatives in order to create revenue, the question of commodification is an important one to ask.

Proposal: 

I propose to discuss online feminist publications as social enterprises that diversify revenue streams through corporate social responsibility. Adopting a social enterprise model could be beneficial to the publications for multiple reasons: not only would they be able to continue promoting gender equality, and lift women or other people up through their initiatives, but they would also be able to bring in more profits and establish even greater trust and credibility among their readers.  Online publications like Jezebel, Refinery29, HelloGiggles, and Bustle are considered feminist because of the values they have as publications, and the content they produce. These values include: gender equality, inclusiveness, women empowerment and body positivity.

The issue of selling feminism has been a common discourse among academics and the general public. If feminist online publications will be adopting social enterprise initiatives in order to create revenue, the question of commodification is an important one to ask. In a capitalist society, the tension between earning money and supporting a movement can be hard to navigate. The question I am asking is how can these publications “sell feminism” as a new way of bringing profits without losing the focus to support and bring higher awareness to the movement?