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How to write a feminism article

Writing a feminism article can be an enjoyable and liberating experience. If you would like to do it but are not sure what steps to take, you need to read this article. In it, you will learn:

 

Depending on whether you have been commissioned to write an article or not will decide upon whether you have free range to choose your own topic. If you haven’t been commissioned, then you need to pick your topic carefully. It really is no use just thinking to yourself, “I love the Suffragettes so I will write 5,000 words about that.” The reason for this is that to have publishing success, you need to form a strategy.

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  • Begin with thinking where you would like to see your future article published. For instance, if you want to see it in an academic journal then you need to research which academic journals accept feminist articles. For instance, Sage Publishing accepts this form of submission. You need to read as many of their feminist articles as possible to see if that is the type of feminism piece that you would like to write. If you feel engaged with their site, then you need to read their submission details. They also have a video presentation to help you get published. This is in two parts and even tells you how they like you to present your manuscript.
  • Look on as many sites as possible to see if they suit your style of writing. Try to find two or three that you could write one article to send to all of them. Not at the same time but if you fail with the first, you can then try another and then another one. You need to find out what your word count needs to be; it is no use writing 12,000 words if they only accept 2,000. Look out for any topics that seem to be well covered so that you don’t do yet another one. You could write a very useful piece on black feminism but if they have just published one, they may not want to look at other aspects of feminism. Also, check if there seems to be general theme attached to the journal. It’s no use offering something that is totally outside of their remit.
  • One way to do this is to use ‘Think Check Submit’. This takes you through a series of checklists to see which journal your article fits. However, you need to have already written your piece to use this service.

Again, before you write a word, you really need to do your research. You can write the best feminism article going but you may not get it published for several reasons.

Do they accept freelance submissions or not? It is no use sending your article to a newspaper or magazine that does all its own writing in house. Look for the staff lists in the beginning of the publications or at the end. You can generally work out who does what. If they state that they accept unsolicited submissions that means they accept freelance articles.

Word count. Space is the most valuable item within a newspaper or magazine. Advertisement space is where they make their money and the articles etc. have to fit in around those. If you want to write for a certain newspaper or magazine, you need to read at least three issues to work out their format. You will notice articles the same size in the same place each issue. If you read a magazine that has feminist pieces or political pieces in one part of the magazine, you need to count how many words it covers and that is how long your piece should be.

Pitching. Many editors prefer you to pitch a piece to them before you write it. This means that you don’t waste time writing the whole article and no-one wants it. Your pitch would include the word count, the point of the article in a sentence and an outline that truly sells your piece.

Once you have an idea of where you want to place your article and how long it should be, you then need to decide upon the topic. This all depends on what you are studying and also what interests you.

  • Literature. Feminism has long been a large and varied subject for those studying Literature. Gothic texts are always popular and never seem to go out of fashion, therefore, you might consider whether female writers such as Emily Bronte and Mary Shelley use the death of the female to send out a different interpretation on the death of the female as opposed to the same image written by a male writer such as Bram Stoker. In other words, is the death of the female a form of control by male writers in the fact that they warn,” this is what happens to women that don’t conform to patriarchal standards?” Whereas, female writers use the death of the female as a form of release from patriarchal restrictions.
  • History. Feminists have long argued that this subject is really about what men have done – his story. You may wish to write an article “The constraints that prevented her story from being as well documented as traditional male history are wrapped up in patriarchal power politics.”
  • Politics. The Conservative party have had two female Prime Ministers. Many feminists argue that neither of them have helped the female cause. An interesting topic would be to argue “What qualities does a female Prime Minister need as opposed to a male Prime Minister and how could it help the feminist movement?”
  • Psychology. This is always a good choice when writing a feminist article because psychology can be used to explore why certain women act in different ways to other women. It is often the varied mindsets that turns female against female. The topics within this subject are endless. For instance, “Is the female form worshipped or degraded? Why does this divide women on social media and harm the feminist cause?”
  • Sociology. Sometimes sociology and psychology merge as in the following topic. “How can we prevent a female that has been brought up to believe she is second class because of her gender be prevented from doing the same to her daughters? Teaching women that they have equality is more important today than ever.”

Once you have decided on your topic and got your word count, you need to do your background research. For instance, if you decided to write a feminist article that was asked “Do women’s magazines patronize women?” Your research could take three forms:

  • Read journals, articles and books that cover the subject. Remember to make detailed notes. Doing lots of background reading is useful but be careful that you keep to what is relevant to your article. Do make sure that you cite any sources that you use and write a full bibliography.
  • Buy lots of women’s magazines and research them. Make notes on the advertisements. For instance, why do they have twenty two year old models advertising eye cream in a magazine aimed at the over fifties?
  • Conduct your own qualitative research. Create a questionnaire that finds out about the way women feel about women’s magazines. Try to get a cross section of the female public and ensure that your questions are not leading.

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