Frequently Asked Questions

Regular questions about The F-Word.

What is The F-Word?

The F-Word is an online magazine dedicated to talking about and sharing ideas on contemporary UK feminism.

This webzine exists to help encourage a new sense of community among UK feminists, and to show the doubters that feminism still exists here, today, now - and is as relevant to the lives of the younger generation as it was to those in the 60s and 70s. The webzine was founded by, and is mainly written by younger feminists, those of us born during or after the feminism of the 60s and 70s. Although no-one is barred from contributing on grounds of age, we are particularly keen to encourage and showcase the new voices of younger feminists, our peers. To this end, contributions from new writers and young women and girls are particularly welcomed and encouraged.

The F Word was created by Catherine Redfern in 2001. In 2007 Jess McCabe became the site's Editor.

The URL is: http://www.thefword.org.uk

What is contemporary UK feminism?

It is impossible to define: it can appear in many different people's lives in many different ways. The F-Word does not define what contemporary UK feminism is but instead allows a place for different people to share their different opinions and views. The contributors to the site may have opposing views on certain issues, and that's fine; it simply demonstrates that feminism is a diverse, living and healthy ideology which is confident enough to question itself. There is no "party line" in feminism, there is no "feminist rule-book." Feminism in the UK today is whatever we make it.

When was The F-Word launched?

The F-Word was launched in March 2001 and was created by Catherine Redfern.

What were your motivations for creating the website?

As with many websites, The F-Word came about because it's the sort of thing that I would like to read, but didnt seem to exist anywhere else, so the only thing I could do was create it myself.

During 2000-01 I had been reading lots of modern feminist books, buying the American feminist magazine Ms.; discovering the younger, funky grrl scene with publications like Bust and Bitch, and discovering interesting websites and ezines like www.feminista.com and www.io.com/~wwwave. I started to read about the third wave movement and became really interested in it.

As fantastic as these things were, I began to wonder whether any British versions existed. Where was the feminist comment, discussion and debate on modern culture in the UK? As I searched I became more and more bemused. If I typed 'British feminism' into internet search engines, apart from one or two academic pages, nothing much appeared. Eventually I did manage to find a couple of UK feminist magazines, but there was nothing which was really focussed at encouraging young women, there was nothing which really excited and interested me in the same way as the American stuff did (at this stage I had not been able to get copies of any UK grrrl/feminist zines as I didn't know where to get them from). I tried to find newsgroups, mailing lists, magazines, but nothing really seemed to be out there, and believe me, I really tried. Everything that had once existed, like 'Spare Rib', seemed to have gone defunct. I knew that feminists existed, but they seemed invisible, like they had gone underground or something, and you had to be "in the know" to find out what was going on.

I was keen to embrace a feminism that was relevant to my life and the life of my peers: modern British women in their teens, 20s, and 30s. I wanted to be involved in an exhange of views, ideas and opinions. So I decided to set up a website which would be a monthly webzine aimed at young UK feminists. I had no idea how many people would be interested, but I knew it was something which I would like to read and contribute to, so I thought it would be worth a go.

Why did the site change from "young UK feminism" to "contemporary Uk feminism"?

Please see this page for a detailed explanation.

Why is it called "The F-Word"?

I saw this on the cover of the magazine Bust: it was their "feminism" issue and Gloria Steinem was wearing a t-shirt with the phrase "The F Word" on it. I thought it was a brilliant name for the site as it encapsulated everything I wanted to say about the site: the fact that feminism is supposed to be a taboo for young British women, and the fact that the website was to feature writing by young feminists.

Who writes for The F-Word?

Please see the List of Contributors.

How can I contribute to The F-Word?

Please see the Contribute page for more guidance.

What is the updates mailing list and how can I join?

If you join the updates mailing list you will get a monthly email to inform you when the website has been updated, and very occasionally we might send out a special notice about the website. It is not a discussion list. We will never pass on your email address to anybody else.

If you would like to be added to our updates mailing list please click here.

What do you use to create The F-Word?

The F-Word uses PHP and Movable Type.

Can I link to you?

Sure! The URL is http://www.thefword.org.uk

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