Welcome back to Byte Me, our feminist newsletter that makes everyone mad <3
We have some really sad, horrifically tragic news, maybe even the worst thing that’s happened in 2020…
This newsletter will be our last Byte Me. *SOB*
Cara and Gigi are both moving on to greener pastures. We’re abandoning our mama Anouk, and the Byte Me cause, like the treacherous woman-haters we are.
We’re completely devastated that Byte Me is coming to an end, because it’s something we genuinely love creating every month. We’ve heard from so many of you who tell us you love it — or hate it. Either way, thank you so much for reading!
But hey, this doesn’t have to be a full goodbye — you can follow Gigi, Cara, and Anouk on Twitter. We’d also URGE you to subscribe to Big Spam, our dailyish love/hate letter to technology.
Unfortunately, some men are involved with Big Spam, but we promise it’s still full of snark and feminism.
PLEASE SIGN UP!
Our gloriously gifted designer, Saïna, has one last beautiful illustration for us:
the bloody news
- “By talking plainly about her qualifications, [Kamala] Harris embodies progress. Will it work?” (The Atlantic)
- Here’s how Beyoncé tackled 2020. Spoiler: Better than us. Like everything else she does. (UK Vogue)
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote an op-ed about the brutal SARS police for The New York Times: “Nigeria Is murdering Its citizens.”
- Our patron saint, Dolly Parton, is saving the world by helping to fund the Moderna vaccine. We also loved her profile in The New Yorker: “The United States of Dolly Parton.” AND finally, if you haven’t listened to Dolly Parton’s America, drop everything you’re doing, panic, and click on this link.
- Cazzie David, Larry David’s daughter, has a new book out, called No One Asked For This. The Cut published an excerpt called “Too Full to Fuck”: “You can’t always make room for a dick. Especially if you’ve eaten dessert.”
- them: TERFs are mad at Tampax over their inclusive tweet about ‘people who bleed.’
- Masha Gessen for The New Yorker: “The abortion protests in Poland are starting to feel like a revolution.”
- When AI sees a man? “Official.” A woman? “Smile.” (WIRED)
- The New York Times: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez predicts what’s next for the left.
- For some good, ol’ fashion bitchyness, we enjoyed this Ivanka Trump tell-all written by one of her former best friends. (Vanity Fair)
- National Geographic: Prehistoric archaeological evidence suggests hunter-gatherer gender roles may have been bullshit. We dig it. (Get it?)
- If you have any sticky mini-humans in your life, here are 12 children’s books with trans and gender non-conforming characters.
- Rebecca Traister wrote about how young girls have become political symbols for The Cut: “America’s ‘Daughters’ Grow Up To Be Women It Can’t Handle.”
that’s what she said: what makes a good feminist role model?
For this month’s that’s what she said, we’re discussing what makes a good feminist role model. We’ve linked to our full discussion here, and included the TL;DR below:
Georgina: Soooo the USA has elected the first woman to ever be VP — Kamala Harris. She’s also the first woman of color to hold the position.
Her election spawned a lot of excitement — features and think pieces on how she’s breaking new ground for women. BUT some people are also coming out and saying she’s hardly breaking any new ground, cos other women leaders have already done it, and have been even better role models.
So what makes a good feminist role model? Maybe good to start first with: is Kamala Harris a good role model?
Georgina: Why? Is she just a good role model cos she’s the “first” in a lot of ways? Or has she done more to back it up?
Anouk: She’s concerned with being a role model to all minorities (racial minorities, LGBTI) not just women. She’s a self-made woman with an extensive law career.
Cara: She’s very outspoken about issues facing minorities and women, something that is rarely spoken about in a progressive way in politics. I felt very hopeful for the first time in foreevvvveeerrr seeing her be elected as the Vice President.
Georgina: I think what people were arguing was that just cos she’s the ‘first’ in some ways, does not automatically make her a great role model… I don’t agree with them, I do think she’s a feminist role model, but she’s not perfect right? Her legacy is v “tough on crime” — which many argue is anti-black. Can a good role model have bad bits?
Anouk: Hmm, so in order to be a good role model, you need to support more than just women? We agree it’s also about supporting all underrepresented groups?
You can check out the full conversation here.
Feel free to comment on the document with your thoughts, or send us an email!
the best and the worst
In this section, we ask women much smarter than us about the best and worst piece of professional advice they’ve ever received. This month’s is from Professor Sue Black OBE, a computer scientist and activist who is responsible for saving Bletchley Park:
The best? “The best is that I should network. I think ‘networking,’ or as I think of it now ‘making new friends’ has been a game-changer for me. I absolutely hated it to start with, but with practice and confidence, I now love it. It’s enabled me to do so many things. People say ‘It’s not what you know it’s who you know’ but in my experience its what you know and who you know. If you want to make something happen, know lots of people that you like and get on with, that you can ask for advice, etc. is amazing.”
The worst? “Something like ‘why are you bothering with all this women’s stuff?'”
tweets of the month
word(s) of the month: International Men’s Day
Yesterday was International Men’s Day. (Well really, today, because we’re writing this on Thursday the 19th).
Wait, what? You missed it??? Typical. I bet you celebrated International Women’s Day, didn’t you? You probably Instagrammed some inspirational quote by Kamala Harris or Dolly Parton, shoving the message of gender equality in everyone’s faces.
Too bad you didn’t pay men the same courtesy on their special day. But lucky for you, the Byte Me shrews are here to take you through the highlights:
Many men were very upset Google didn’t do a special doodle:
Some took a moment to speak up on the perils of manhood:
And some went with old-fashioned, straight-up misogyny:
Was it all this petty and bad? Of course not. Just like in life, most men supporting ‘International Men’s Day’ are totally decent.
Many of them took the chance to celebrate their male friends and family. Others specifically involved gay and misgendered men in their messages. Some used the hashtag to promote awareness for domestic violence against men, or the importance of mental health.
After 21 editions of Byte Me’s Word of the Month — varying from Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) to LinkedIncels — we’ve seen the worst of the male species. We’ve waded through countless misogynistic tweets, somewhat desensitized but never fully oblivious to the never-ending stream of hate these men are sending our way.
But let’s forget that for just a moment. Because it’s International Men’s Day. And because we love our male readers, who actually make up a whopping 37% of our readership.
Dear men, we appreciate you and your struggles. We want you to stay happy and healthy and be the best men you could be — this is partly what upending the patriarchy is all about! And yes, we believe you deserve your own doodle, too.
So here it is: a Google Doodle just for you! You can thank us (= Saina) later. <3
We’ll miss you! And we know you’ll miss us… Reply to this newsletter with your goodbyes, and don’t forget to subscribe to Big Spam.
<3 The TNW shrews
Cara ([email protected])
Anouk ([email protected])
& Georgina ([email protected])