BITCH, Please: Bitch Subscription Giveaway
Keep Bitch in Print (Bitch.com)
For my twenty-sixth birthday, I gave myself a subscription to Bitch.
I gave myself a subscription to Bitch, because it seemed an appropriate way to celebrate my continued aliveness. This is, after all, the magazine that has actively helped teach me who I am (and how to be that person, comfortably). So this past February, I finally subscribed. I subscribed before I knew that Bitch makes only 7 cents for every issue bought off the sales rack — and after I’d been inconsistently buying it that way for years. I subscribed because I finally had a consistent income and an apartment, and although I didn’t have a coffee table per se, I knew which magazine I wanted lying on my Coffee Table Hypothetical. I knew which magazine I had read, and loved, since high school. And I knew I wanted to support it in a concrete way.
I read Bitch before I knew — or could explain — media literacy and why it’s important. I read Bitch before I was an undergrad minoring in culture studies and gender studies and sociology, (read: the many things Bitch taught me to care about.) I read Bitch before I understood that I was a feminist or felt comfortable claiming that term. I read Bitch in my college dorm room to drown out the most recent assault of epically heterosexist/ xenophobic/ theocratic horseshit I’d endured in my (sometimes fantastic, sometimes aneurysm-inducing) conservative university. I read Bitch, bonded with other people that read Bitch, blasted Sleater-Kinney, and somehow maintained the vestiges of my sanity through graduation.
It was in Bitch that I discovered Hanne Blank, and her book Virgin, and began thinking about what it meant to be a sex-positive virgin who doesn’t believe in virginity. It was in Bitch that I discovered KL Periera and — through her — asexuality — and felt for the first time,that the absence of desire could be revolutionary. It was in Bitch that I learned about Loree Erickson’s work on sex and disability, in Bitch that I learned about eco-safe and body-positive periods, in Bitch that I learned about fat acceptance. In Bitch.
Reading Bitch taught me to believe in imperfect media. It taught me that media that tries really freaking hard can spark conversations that are more interesting than any unilateral Truth. Reading Bitch, I encountered, for the first time, letters to the editor as good or better than published articles. I began to believe in dialogue.
I still read Bitch every quarter. I read to see thoughts like mine reflected and to rethink my thoughts. I read for feminist critiques that understand feminism as a complex combination of efforts — efforts which sometimes fail and which are always vital. I read for a source of smart feminist critiques and smart critiques of feminism. I read Bitch for feminism that is intersectional, that understands “the problem” not as patriarchy, but as kyriarchy, as the many-headed-hydra that is sexism/ ableism/ racism/ classism/ cissexism/ looksism/ sizeism/ the list goes on. I read Bitch to find new music and new art and new books but most importantly to find new ideas. I read it to feel less fucking alone after spending a day in a world that actively reifies systems of oppression, while arguing they no longer exist. I read it to continue my education now that I’m not in college (just as I once read it to educate myself, in spite of my schooling.) I read it to inspire my own writing and to remind myself what — and who — is possible. Reading this magazine reminds me how many other people think thoughts I want to hear, and how many other people out there want to hear thoughts like mine. It reminds me that I exist, that people like me exist, and that we are — collectively — a valuable fucking resource.
In my years of blogging here and elsewhere, I’ve only done a handful of giveaways — all sponsored by People What Donated Stuff. But today I am coughing up my own hard-earned and slightly crumpled cash, in honor of a cause I dearly support and desperately want to see saved: the print editions of Bitch. (And yes, it’s true that the magazine is now a small part of a much bigger project, that it’s the quarterly counterpart of a media source I can read, online for instance, daily. But it’s also true that the magazine is what’s available at a bookstore near you, provided there’s such a bookstore. At a library near you, provided your librarians are kickass. And given the number of public Internet providers that accidentally block the Bitch website in their attempts to weed out offensive shite, I feel the print edition is especially necessary to preserve.)
So I AM GIVING AWAY A BITCH SUBSCRIPTION. I am giving it away and IT COULD BE YOURS. And the getting of said subscription is not as hard as you might expect:
You simply need to write something by Friday, August 5th. A blog post, a Facebook note, a mass e-mail.* Something in which you explain that Bitch has 1 week to add 1500** supporters and ask those you know to support it in reaching that goal. Once you’ve done that, comment with a link, and I’ll put your name in the hat (read: the Excel spreadsheet) from which the winner will be randomly selected.
If you’re a current Bitch subscriber (or if you decide to subscribe right now, right this moment — because you realize this is a vital resource and you want to be part of the solution), I’ll pay to extend your subscription for an additional year or to purchase a gift subscription for the lucky person of your choice.
So again: you can write something (yes, vlogs count) begging people to know what we’ve got before it’s gone. Or you can subscribe now because you already know. And in doing either, you become eligible for a(nother) year’s subscription to this magazine, which I pray still exists in that time.
C’mon, Bitches. We can do this.
*If you send a mass e-mail, you can attach a screenshot of the sent e-mail (ctrl + printscreen to copy, paste into a file, then save and attach) to me at marybrave1[at]gmail[dot]com. This is also a good way (in that it verifies you’ve written something AND shared it with other people) to submit Facebook notes, etc, if your privacy setting won’t allow you to effectively link.
**Lest this number overwhelm you, please keep in mind that they’re already nearly halfway to said goal. Which means the goal is totally reachable. That is, it’s totally reachable presuming the generous support of viewers like you.. [/PBS moment]
UPDATE, 08/06/11: This contest is now closed. Many thanks to all who entered, and congratulations to Destiny on her new Bitch subscription! As of today, Bitch is less than 300 subscriptions away from their goal of 1500. Can you be one of those 300?