Vanessa’s Team Pick:
As a human who spends the majority of her life on the internet, it’s important to me to know about a lot of really great websites. Obviously Autostraddle dot com is my number one favorite website forever and ever amen, but I also read a variety of other sites because if you don’t have a solid set of bookmarks to click through you’re gonna end up on a 10-hour Facebook stalking binge and at the end of it you’re gonna hate every single person on this earth including yourself. So! Because of all these facts, I get very excited when I find a new site that I deem Worthy Of My Time. That happened to me this week, and I’m so pleased about it I’m going to share the news with all of you internet addicts, too! Say hello to The Toast. It’s founded by two women, it’s only running features (4-5 a day), and it published the funniest thing I’ve ever read about pubic hair on the internet on its first day. It’s really yummy.
The Toast is founded by Nicole Cliffe and Mallory Ortberg, both of whom you may have heard of from their contributions to sites like Gawker, The Hairpin, The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, and The Awl. Seeing as all these aforementioned sites fall under the umbrella of places on the world wide web I consider Worthy Of My Time (well, most of the time), I was immediately enthusiastic about The Toast, and after a couple of days of clicking around I can promise my early enthusiasm was well-warranted.
Here’s how The Toast describes itself:
We strive to be intersectionally feminist. We are pro-choice. We are pro-queer. We are pro-trans. We strive to feature writing from women of all ethnic backgrounds, to be a place where women who are not all white and under thirty and straight and living in New York City are also writing about “Battlestar Galactica” and “Sherlock” and which BB creams work for them, and their friendships and the time they broke their arm playing field hockey. We want to write about books, and think about books, and read books together and then talk about them. We want to hear about your books. We want to read fanfiction about Cold Comfort Farm (Indiebound) and also Love & Basketball.
We want to have arguments: we don’t want to run things we find deeply offensive, but sometimes we will want to run things that 40-60% of our readers will strongly disagree with, because when you just write for people who already love you, you never really swing for the fences.
We want to have a variety of women’s voices on this site. Our general demographic is the good old 18-35, like most ladyblogs, but did you know that many women continue to exist past the age of 65, and sometimes even longer? It’s true.
The site is also interested in international voices, sex worker voices, and will occasionally be talking about kids and men along with a bunch of other stuff. So far I’ve really enjoyed the aforementioned post about pubic hair (The Comment Section for Every Article Ever Written About Intimate Grooming), an essay from fat acceptance pioneer and blogger Kate Harding that opens with some Ani DiFranco lyrics (That’s All She Wrote), and a list about writers and jealousy that reads embarrassingly and hilariously like the inner monologue of my own dark competitive sad writer soul (The Top Ten Writers Whose Success You’ll Resent This Year).
It’s always fun and encouraging to see smart women doing smart stuff online and in the world, and I think The Toast is gonna be a delicious addition to my ever-growing online reading collection. Tell me what you think about the site and let me know where else I should take my eyes and my brain on the internet in order to read good shit. Sharing is caring!