The feminist site was launched last year, raised more than $30,000 via Kickstarter (I was a backer) and has already published personal articles from more than 250 female contributors. Those stories cover topics like cancer, kids (or lack thereof), abortions/”voluntary interruptions” and accepting praise.
Next up, founder Amber Gordon (previously a creative strategist at Tumblr) told me she wants to build a broader platform for online discussion groups. Some of those conversations will focus on Femsplain content, but they’ll also cover other topics:
We feel that Femsplain‘s content is helping focus the conversation on the issues through discussing personal experiences vs. just having a bunch of noise talking into the social media void. By bringing context and a voice to the conversation, we feel that the contributed content can not only kickstart awareness but also steer the conversation into a productive way. With that said we will be encouraging content from outside of Femsplain for our community to discuss. Even though we focus on personal experiences we make sure we’re also discussing important current events and issues.
While she didn’t mention it directly, it’s easy to see Gordon’s aim of creating discussions around topics like “Mental health, Physical health and disabilities, the Trans, WOC, and LBTQ experiences” as a reaction, or at least a corrective, to the struggles that Reddit is having with racist, misogynist and otherwise hateful content.
Anyone will be able to sign up as a reader, allowing you to browse the discussions and “heart” individual posts, but you’ll need an authenticated member account to actually post. The discussion groups will be created by the Femsplain staff and moderated by “community leaders.” Naturally, Gordon said Femsplain will not tolerate any “hate speech or derogatory comments toward the author of the post or author commenters.”
Femsplain Beta is accepting sign-ups here, and users will be invited to join the discussions in waves.
In addition to the Kickstarter funding, Gordon has raised some money from angel investors, but she said the site’s biggest challenge is still “raising enough money to continue building the future of Femsplain.
“Running the Kickstarter wasn’t easy, but with it I felt like I was talking to the right audience, now it’s not as easy,” she added. “I definitely have had a lot of help in this area and I’m excited to keep moving forward.”