Ginger from Diary of a Freak Magnet joined the interview insanity. Thanks, Ginger!
A Blog Without a Bicycle: Do you identify as a “feminist”?
Ginger: Since the day I was born. My family is full of strong women, and strong men who love them; we believe you have to make your own way, take full responsibility for your life, help whomever you can, and don’t tell other people what’s good for them.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: How important, if at all, is being/not being a feminist to your identity?
Ginger: I would say that it is an integral part of my identity. I absolutely MUST be the person who directs the course of my own life, and I believe that every other human being is born with the right to do the same.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: Whether or not you identify as a feminist, what does “feminism” mean to you?
Ginger: Economic, social and political equality for both genders. Period.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: Do you or have you ever kept a blog or blogs?
Ginger: I’m the writer of “Diary of a Freak Magnet.”
A Blog Without a Bicycle: When you spend time online, do you read blogs?
Ginger: Yes – political, personal, news, entertainment, you name it!
A Blog Without a Bicycle: Are there any blogs you read regularly?
Ginger: Pandagon, Feministe, Feministing, Shakerville, PunkAss Blog, GoFugYourself, Abyss2Hope, Mad Sheila Musings, I Blame the Patriarchy, A View From a Broad, Heartless Bitches International, Angry Black Bitch, A Socialite’s Life, Bitch PhD, Defamer, Hello Dollface, The Happy Feminist…I guess I’m a bit of an addict!
A Blog Without a Bicycle: Tell me about your blog(s). How long have you been keeping a blog?
Ginger: Since January 2006.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: What made you want to start a blog? What was your inspiration?
Ginger:I've got a rep for attracting odd characters, particularly of the male variety. I've told so many funny/horrifying stories that friends and family members told me that I should start writing them down. I started the blog so for their amusement,and to stretch a different creative muscle (I'm a graphic artist by trade, but I love to write). When I went back and re-read what I'd written, I began to notice behavioral patterns that I could actually relate to feminist theory and research regarding gender politics. Even though I usually presented these encounters with humor, a good deal of the underlying interactions were serious. Unwanted attention from men, hostile male reactions to women's rejection (no matter how kind), sexual harassment at work, violation of women's personal space…these are all antifeminist behaviors.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: How would you describe your blog?
A Blog Without a Bicycle: Does your blog have a theme or does it focus on a particular issue?
Ginger: I mostly write about my bizarre interactions with men and other unusual, “boundary-challenged” people. Sometimes I veer into political territory – I do believe that the personal is political.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: How do you define a “blog”?
Ginger: An online diary that focuses on whatever interests its writer.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: What qualifies as a “feminist blog”?
Ginger: Any blog that is written by a self-identified feminist. The ones I read tend to address the disparities between women and men in the social, economic, and political spheres. They also address how certain behaviors are interpreted depending on which gender is demonstrating that behavior.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: Have you ever participated in a blog carnival? If so, tell me about that experience.
Ginger: I hosted the 28th Carnival of Feminists, and I had contributed a few posts to earlier carnivals.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: Why did you want to participate in a carnival?
Ginger: I had read a few, and enjoyed them, but rarely found any links which dealt with the humorous aspect of the absurdity of most anti-feminist behavior.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: How did you find out about the blog carnival you participated in?
Ginger: Probably through Feministe or Pandagon. Can’t remember.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: Now that you have participated in a carnival, what do you think about them?
Ginger: Participating and hosting are a thrill. You increase your blog traffic, get some great feedback on your posts, get to read some tremendously interesting material, and feel like you contributed something to a very large online community of people who are seriously voracious to increase their knowledge.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: What do you think is the best/worst aspect of blog carnivals?
Ginger: The amount of bullshit spam you get when you host! Sifting through entries is difficult enough without all the gay dating service ads and porno links. Also, you will attract the occasional troll, which can be annoying. The old “I bet U are a hairy-legs sasquatch CUNT” line gets old.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: Do you belong to or consider yourself a member of any online community? How do you define these communities?
Ginger: I don’t know if I “belong”, but I enjoy feminist discourse enough to both read and contribute.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: Do you think that activism can be carried out online? What are the possibilities of such activism?
Ginger: Look at what MoveOn.org did for the congressional elections. Large feminist blogs contributed also, by constantly writing about the hypocrisy, money grubbing and bias within the previous Congress (and showing their effects on common people). Progressive blogging and feminist blogging are keeping certain issues in the news, and in the public consciousness. It’s hard to marginalize people who can tear apart a biased news article minutes after it’s published online.
A Blog Without a Bicycle: Do you think that feminist activism is being conducted online? If so, can you think of any examples?
Ginger: Feminists make up a huge part of the blogosphere, and their intelligent commentary on gender relations builds bridges between generations in a way that hasn’t been seen before. It makes antifeminists nervous, which is evident in the backlash we’ve seen recently (most notably against Kathy Sierra and Jessica of Feministing).
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