Meet the kickass woman behind Femsplain—the new, fem-powered online community
Amber Gordon is one smart lady. Described by Betabeat as a kind of viral web “ghostwriter,” she’s been responsible for turning Denny’s into the most popular brand on Tumblr and for inventing the “passive-aggressive sign bunny” meme. In short, the 24-year-old knows how to speak Internet better than most. That’s why we’re particularly excited that Gordon, who currently works as a creative strategist at Tumblr, is turning her attention to women-empowered content.
Gordon (known better to Twitter users as @missambear) was itching to create an online community of her own, and Femsplain was born. The site’s name is an empowered twist on “mansplain,” a portmanteau used to describe the act of a man explaining an idea or opinion to a woman in a manner most patronizing. As Gordon explained to Betabeat:
“When someone mansplains to you, it’s negative and you don’t want to hear it. Femsplaining isn’t about telling, it’s about discussing.”
The site debuted in late October but it’s really picked up steam in the last month, after a rousing launch party and an awesome tweet from one miss Lena Dunham. Gordon’s online community offers monthly themes for contributors to respond to (November was “Firsts,” December is “Secrets and Secrecy.”) Current top posts are bold and unapologetic. Pieces like “I WebMD My First Orgasm” and “My Biggest Secret, A Burden No More” (in which Gordon details how she recently came out of the closet to her family and friends) set the tone for a site that is committed to giving women a platform to be vulnerable and honest and tell their stories to a readership that is hungry for authenticity and originality. Other posts like “A Long List Of Ex-Lovers, One Taylor Swift Album At A Time” and “48 Hours Of First World Thoughts” promise that a healthy dose of humor will consistently be included in the mix.
The fledgling site is currently publishing three new pieces per day and, because they are currently flooded with pitches from would-be contributors, will most likely bump that up to 4 pieces per day. As of this writing, Femsplain is pulling in an impressive 40,000 views per month. Gordon has made it clear that, while page-views are great, quality content is the name of Femsplain’s game.
“Our goal is to highlight all the amazing diversity of women on the Internet who might not have another outlet to speak on,” reads the site’s mission statement.”Think of us as a casual Internet support group you don’t need to pay for and can visit whenever in the comfort of your home.”
Gordon’s openness is part of what makes her project so exciting and her voice so refreshing. In her first post on the site, she writes of her journey to founding Femsplain, and all the what-am-I-doing-with-my-life stops along the way—from dropping out of college and moving to California, to moving back home with her parents, and eventually settling in New York. “I’ve had many jobs and apartments in my last two years of living here, but finally can say I’m comfortable in my career and life choices,” she writes.
The site, which she started with the volunteer efforts of some close friends, is the latest leg of her badass journey.
She writes: “Good friends, countless cups of coffee and many many iMessages of encouragement have attributed to gathering the courage to make Femsplain exist.”
Welcome to the lady site club, Femsplain! We’re so glad you’re here, and are so excited to read you on the regular!
(Image via Femsplain)