We’ve resisted the idea of having a mission statement for many years, but we’ve finally decided that we do need one.
Firstly, we never thought we would ever need a mission statement. It seemed rather self-aggrandizing for what has always been just a multi-author personal blog which prioritises women’s voices, where the bloggers express opinions on whatever is currently engaging their interest. We thought that our seat-of-the-pants attitude was obvious enough that we didn’t need to make it explicit that there was no mission other than being openly opinionated women. The freedom to be openly opinionated in a space of one’s own was an uplifting experience, and that was enough for us. We thought it would be mission enough for our readers too.
However, over the years since Feministe started in 2001, as our readership and commentariat has grown, there have been many assumptions made by newer readers that this large audience is what Feministe always wanted and planned and strove to achieve via a distinct or clearly articulated editorial/managerial policy. This could not be farther from the truth. What was initially simply a gratifying level of attention to our initial co-bloggers’ opinions in the first few years of the 21st century became a juggernaut with which the Feministe collective has had to scramble to keep pace, not just in terms of managing the many comments (and learning the art of moderating threads) and finding ways to cover the costs of keeping the server ticking over, but especially in terms of living up to the varied and often conflicting expectations which our readership has projected onto Feministe.
Secondly, there have been several calls over the years for us to make our mission clear, so some thoughts on what Feministe is, and what Feministe is not, follow below. The points describing what Feministe is are deliberately broad, because limiting ourselves to any one view or goal seems unacceptably confining. The points describing what Feministe is not are more specific, because some reader expectations are becoming a burden, and we are standing up for ourselves by asserting which parts of that burden are unacceptably heavy.
The mission statement consists of an overview statement and a number of subsequent specific statements describing corollaries/clarifications of the overview in terms of what we the Feministe collective want for ourselves as bloggers and what we aim to provide for you as readers:
Feministe is a blogging collective which prioritises women’s voices. This blog is where we share our opinions on anything and everything, as the mood takes us. Each of us speaks only for our individual selves unless otherwise specified.