“Read This First” used to be the title of this page, and perhaps it still should be. There’s a reason that this blog has a dedicated information page as the front page instead of just the latest posts. If you don’t read this page, and then the recommended guide pages that follow, and afterwards have difficulty finding the FAQ that you seek, then you only have yourself to blame.

This blog is a place where Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Feminism are Answered.

Your approach to these FAQs will probably depend on how you arrived here: either

  • a search engine result, or
  • someone recommended this as a feminist resource, or
  • you were sent here in response to your asking of one of these FAQs, either in a feminist forum or elsewhere.

You may be a newbie to feminist theory, or looking to refresh your memory on some basics, or looking for links to provide to other people. Your intent may be to challenge feminism or to advocate feminism. Whichever way, welcome!

This site is targeted particularly towards answers to those typically disruptive questions that recur on feminist blogs[1], so although it is intended as a general feminist information resource, the emphasis on a blog-like structure might not best suit those generally unfamiliar with blogs, and you might prefer one of the introductory feminist theory sites listed in our Resources section.

Discussions on feminist forums are often disrupted, frequently but not always deliberately, by commentors who post often-seen questions/assertions which end up turning the discussion into arguing about their question/assertion instead of the original issue that was being discussed. This blog aims to provide factual information, for both feminists and those questioning feminism, about those typically disruptive questions/assertions.

This blog is not the final word on feminism, far from it. The idea is that there will be short(ish) explanations and then links to other material which discusses the issues in more depth. If you want to understand an issue, follow the links.

The first reason FF101 exists is to help ensure that discussions between feminists don’t get continually derailed by challenges from newbies and/or antagonists to explain and justify our terminology and conclusions to them, right now! Substantive challenges can be valuable, but constantly having to explain basic theory over and over, when an interesting discussion was underway, gets really frustrating. There’s a time and a place for discussing the basics, and disrupting a discussion on other feminist topics is not that time and place.

But, this blog is one of those places for discussing basic feminist theory, and this is a place for asking questions about it, as long as you abide by the Comments Policy. The knowledgable can send the as-yet-uninformed here, where there’s plenty of introductory information to be found (remember to follow the links!). The sincerely curious can satisfy their quest for knowledge, and the ideologically antagonistic can at least learn which of their beliefs about feminism are well-founded and which are mere myths.

Because some disruptive commentors on feminist blogs are deliberately vexatious, some FAQs and op-eds are specifically directed at those kinds of particularly vexatious questions and are somewhat sarcastic in tone. If you do not engage in vexatious disruption, then such sarcasm is not directed at you, so please don’t bother being offended about it. Just ignore it and move on to the material that is directed at genuine seekers after knowledge instead.

The best way to approach the FAQs depends on whether you are someone asking feminists a basic question, or whether you are a feminist being asked basic questions.

  1. Sent here by feminists? Read this.
  2. Already a feminist? Read this.

The second reason this blog exists is to act as a sort of anthology of top feminist blogging on introductory feminist issues. Each FAQ contains a short summary from us, but the real reading is in the links to longer essays on various blogs and occasional other forums. (Did we mention you need to follow the links?)

That’s why there’s no blogroll here: there’s plenty of great feminist and feminist-friendly blogs linked to from the FAQs (and lots more to be found if you look around the Blog-Carnivals on the Links page). There’s also two modules in the footer which offer recommended reading from aggregators: not all of these articles will be at the 101 level, not all of them will be explicitly feminist, but the first module’s links will be all from politically progressive writers (with an occasional tech/science link), and the second module’s links will be all from women writers.

If you have a suggestion for a needed FAQ, or a great 101-level feminist link to be added to the collection here, please add it in the comments to the Open Suggestion Thread, but please read the Comments Policy first. If you have a general criticism of the blog’s organisation/policies, please go to the Criticisms page (you are still expected to abide by the Comments Policy there).

  1. You weren’t asking a question in a feminist forum, so you weren’t disrupting anything, but someone sent you here anyway? If you’re not a disruptive commentor, then that reason doesn’t apply to you. The person probably felt that you were looking for a general information resource on feminism for another reason. [back]

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