Why I’ve decided to write for Huffington Post CanadaPosted: June 29, 2011
Shortly after my bike letter went everywhere, I received an email from an editor at Huffington Post Canada asking me to contribute to their blog.
Now, I’ve spent a lot of energy criticizing the no-pay model for digital content. I believe it’s terribly exclusive. I also believe that it contributes to the devaluation of online writing and therefore discourages good writing. I am fairly certain that at some point I have said that writers should never write for free, with the exception of labours of love and non-profit organizations.
I wrote for Shameless for free, which is a magazine that I’m fairly certain barely covers its operating costs. I considered that a labour of love and and it was worth it. But I came up against various obstacles in that space and realized that I wanted to reach an audience that wasn’t already feminist. It all seemed so redundant, like I wasn’t reaching the girls who know things are messed up but lack the theoretical language for it, or the people who haven’t considered all facets of anti-oppression work. Then I read this quote:
Advice for young feminists? Do something else besides feminism. I’m serious. The feminist blogosphere is oversaturated in my opinion. Please, find something else you love and take feminist theory there. It gets lonely over here in tech and video games – I have a great crew of other feminists but we are a little island in a vast sea. We need more feminist minded business bloggers, feminist theory wielding finance bloggers. Labor organizers with a feminist lens blogging. Can you imagine what Deadspin (the sports blog) would look like with a feminist on staff? Restructure writes about science, tech and feminism – join her! Publish a blog doing literary criticism with a feminist lens! Take on the NYT! Talk about class issues and feminism. Whatever it is, apply your feminism in a different space.
—LaToya Peterson (source)
So after a few weeks of mulling the offer over, I decided to take it, despite the fact that HuffPo alone is making money off of my work. If I am going to write for free, I would like it to be so that I can reach a broader audience and apply a feminist lens where there isn’t one already. And if I’m going to continue to critique media depictions and structure, I may as well do a little something to (perhaps) change it.
Maybe one day I’ll get paid for it. Just maybe.