Miss Representation: What Can Queerty Do Better To Represent Our Female Readership?


Mainstream depictions largely make women out to be screeching harpies, digitally-enhanced fucktoys, and ball-busting businesswomen—a poor showing that hurts the self-image and political power of women around the world.

We just watched Jennifer Newsom’s documentary Miss Representation which explores the consequences of such representations and what we can do about them. So Queerty would now like to ask you: what we can do to better represent our female readership?

Consider this: Women make up fifty-one percent of the American population, but they only make up three percent of clout positions in mainstream media, seven percent of mainstream film directors, and sixteen percent of film protagonists.

Now consider this: when was the last time you saw a woman on the big or small screen that wasn’t reduced to her sexual body or ridiculed for her ambition?

Miss Representation links the poor depictions of women to a “symbolic annihilation” that contributes to increased rates of depression, rape, and misogynist violence; a problem compounded by the proliferation of cheap “reality” and entertainment reporting as well as broadcasters who yell “Censorship!” whenever they’re asked to stop promoting such images. Ultimately these images discourage women about their power, voices, potential in the political process.

The media can either continue the status quo or create social change and Queerty would like to be part of the solution!

We’re currently asking women to apply for our full-time blogging, editorial, and freelance positions and would like to know how we can help put more women and lesbians in our content.

Here’s a few questions to get the discussion started:

1) Where do you typically turn (besides Autostraddle, Jezebel and AfterEllen) for good reporting about women, female culture, and lesbian news?

2) Who are your favorite female and lesbian bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, etc.?

3) What could Queerty do better to consistently feature women and female-focused reporting on our pages? Can you suggest any contemporary topics that you would to see us cover?

SPEAK OUT! We’re really looking to make Queerty a place for everyone and your ideas are a very important step in a more female-positive direction.

NOTE: We will not tolerate hateful, anti-female comments here. Any such commenters will be deleted and banned.

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  • missanthrope

    “We’re currently asking women to apply for our full-time blogging, editorial, and freelance positions and would like to know how we can help put more women and lesbians in our content……NOTE: We will not tolerate hateful, anti-female comments here. Any such commenters will be deleted and banned.”

    THANK YOU! Under the old editorship, anti-woman and misogynistic comments were rife (and sometimes do appear, especially by the regular poster named Jason) and sometimes even goaded on by stories and headlines written by Queerty staff. Most stories about women or lesbians weren’t written with any fairness, they were mainly a vehicles for guys to write snarky and demeaning comments about women.

    The two biggest things you can do to solve this is not to allow misogynistic comments, to have more writers on the staff, not go for the bait of hyper-sexualing women. If you follow through on this, this site will improve a lot.

    And as a trans person, I’ve got to say that the new team has also cleaned up its act on trans issues too. Thank you.

  • tefinger

    Great article Daniel. I’m so happy that’ we’re making this effort.
    -Tanner (another contributor)

  • Erich

    Given that Lez Get Real and Gay Girl from Damascus bloggers turned out to be straight men, I’d double-check the authenticity of any applicants you receive.

  • Antonio De Lucci

    I think it is awesome that Queerty is finally addressing this issue. Not only in the realm of the comments sections, but within the content itself.

    I do think that you need a similar post that address the Trans misrepresentation as well. While Queerty has had a fairly good past of representing Trans issues, there is still much to be desired. Transgender people are VASTLY under represented and overly misrepresented.

    Kudos Queerty, for making a step for making this blog not all about white gay male hetero-normalization. As a self-identified queer male, I really do appreciate it. :)

  • Antonio De Lucci

    Also, I should hope there would be no stigma against trans identified women applying for this position!

  • Daniel Villarreal

    @Antonio De Lucci: Of course. We invite all lesbian, bisexual, and trans women to apply. We will make a similar call for trans improvements, but are open to hearing improvements on this issue as well.

  • JM

    If I could have my way with this site, I would make the news bulletins more NEWS oriented without the sarcastic remarks. Let the audience make those comments below.

    HOWEVER, I do think if Queerty were to have a fair genesis in keeping up with humor, it would employ an array of people to represent the community with a weekly column.

    Gender Queer
    Health Reporter


  • jeff4justice

    Well done Queerty. May I suggest reaching out to more variety too: transgender; youth; seniors, rural LGBT folk; people of faith variety; non-liberals and people out of the 2party system; straight supporters; racial variety; body type variety.

    Also I think Queerty would be elevated by including commentaries/op-eds.

    Next, indeed women are depicted poorly in the media but so is just about everyone else.

    Men are often depicted as dumb like the dad hetero on Modern Family and like the dad in this commercial: http://www.youtube.com/user/ToyotaUSA#p/c/DF280738CBB0C404/13/ERvgrCI6exw

    One could look at the clips in the trailer for Miss Representation and argue it depicts men as poorly as women.

    It’s all part of the corporate (and government) glorification of dumbing down people.

    Regarding the body image issues addressed in the clip, I think we gay men go through that too. See the commentary: OK As Is: Gay & Overweight http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-wSpbhsAfg

  • missanthrope


    I second this.

  • so,,,

    Boosting the signal: Pam’s House Blend is an awesome lesbian blog!




    However … I don’t really see any need for Queerty to be more female-inclusive, any more than Hustler needs to be more gay-inclusive. Queerty deals in boys and dish with a sprinkling of politics, and if women are interested in those things, great. But it’s not going end misogyny to dilute your brand.

  • Mulletkitty

    What a welcome move. There are plenty of lesbos like me who love Queerty for their spin on news, entertainment and, importantly, activism. So I would start with a more diverse editorial staff, one not prone to cover Davey Wavey’s every fart.

    Take cues from Jezebel on how to build a diverse range of writers (“content providers.”) I follow AfterEllen for lesbian entertainment news, but it’s fan-driven perspectives on pop culture are often too earnest and too wit-deprived. (Xena recap, anyone?)

    Put out a call for snarky and smart lesbians and transmen who follow politics or pop culture: truly this is not hard to find.

  • Meher Zaman

    Yeah, as a lesbian I’m definitely looking forward to this change. I’m glad that Queerty wants to cover news that serves the lesbian community.

    1) Where do you typically turn (besides Autostraddle, Jezebel and AfterEllen) for good reporting about women, female culture, and lesbian news?
    I like going to CherryGrrl.com and Curve magazine. Also, even though Rachel Maddow doesn’t report on lesbian news specifically, I like someone like her representing our community. I also like, http://effingdykes.blogspot.com

    3) What could Queerty do better to consistently feature women and female-focused reporting on our pages?
    I think that Queerty could become more diverse and cover a wide variety of stories. Instead of just covering Davey Wavey and poking fun at news stories, I think we can need to focus on real news more seriously. We can leave the humor for things that need to be genuinely funny. Since Queerty always loves posting pictures of gay men, it would only be fair to do so for lesbian women.

  • Meher Zaman

    I also feel like Queerty can do a better job covering political issues. Sure, as much as I love reading about politicians like Pawlenty getting pink, why can’t you guys cover issues like gay marriage in New York more.

  • jason

    I think we need to get away from the “lesbians are hot” notion propagated by sleazy straight guys. For a number of years now, this notion has been left unchallenged. While it may be nice to be considered “hot”, the reason for the “lesbians are hot” notion is not based on a genuine acceptance. Rather, it’s based on the idea that straight guys have the right to possess and define the concept of lesbianism according to their terms. We need to get away from this.

    As a result, we’ve had a proliferation of fake lesbians and fake bisexual women, especially in the entertainment industry, whose only real aim is to make money by pandering to the sleazy straight guy fantasy for girl-girl action. Madonna, Britney, Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Rihanna…all these women are the products of the sleazy straight guy fantasy, and have little or no connection to the experiences of genuine lesbians and genuine bisexual women.

    We’ve also seen, in recent days, the lesbian impostor. Lez Get Real, the Syrian “gay girl”…these are all examples of how sleazy straight guys attempt to possess and define the concept of lesbianism. It’s beyond belief that these impostors were allowed to run riot for so long without being challenged. In fact, they were embraced by Gay Inc.

    Gay Inc has egg on its face and ought to be condemned for enabling the fakes.

  • Jeffree

    @jason: “Thank you” for your concrete suggestions on how to make Queerty a more inclusive place for lesbian, bisexual & trans-identified women communities.

    Your daily comments about the people who you call “females” have been the worst examples of mysogyny I’ve ever read, and make me ashamed to be a cis-gender male.

  • jason


    I am very pro-woman. But I don’t like fakes nor do I like fake notions.

  • chrissie riot

    I disagree, inclusion is rarely a bad thing and it isn’t going to dilute anything.

    To answer the questions:

    1) Where do you typically turn (besides Autostraddle, Jezebel and AfterEllen) for good reporting about women, female culture, and lesbian news?

    I used to read Jezebel religiously but the tone of the site lately (the past few months) has becoming increasingly snark. There’s a shocking amount of antiwoman commentary that’s being allowed not only in the comments but also by the editorial staff in the articles themselves and it’s made me increasingly uncomfortable. I now only read Jezebel for the TweetBeat. Otherwise it’s AS, AE, Bitch, Bust, Curve, the fbomb (though the content tends to be a little young for me), feministe and feministing, Ms and TheHairpin.

    (I read a lot of blogs obvs and it just occurred to me that they’re in accidental alphabetical order.)

    2) Who are your favorite female and lesbian bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, etc.?

    Again I have a huge list but for the purposes of the post I’ll narrow to a top three

    Krista – EffingDykes
    Bevin – QueerFatFemme
    Tasha Fierce – Sex and the Fat Girl/Red Vinyl Shoes

    Roxanne and Virginia – 2Homos
    Denise and Donna – The Lesbian Lounge
    Kristin and Molly – Stuff Mom Never Told You (not at all queer, but feminist focused)

    3) What could Queerty do better to consistently feature women and female-focused reporting on our pages? Can you suggest any contemporary topics that you would to see us cover?

    I don’t know that there would need to be a different approach taken. Queerty has a wonderful insight into the gay world it should just be more inclusive. Like, look at the popular tags:
    Lesbian isn’t even on the list. Neither is Trans*
    If the aim is to be more inclusive then, you know, include others

  • Daniel Villarreal

    @chrissie riot @jason @Meher Zaman and @missanthrope

    Wow! Thanks for the great feedback and insights! So wonderful to have such committed intelligent readers.

    Know this! We value ALL our commenters—especially the ones we disagree with! But we want good quality comments, not just flamers and trolls. So, we’re revamping our commenting system so that engaged, challenging responses get gold stars and shit. And trolls get black coal in their stockings; y’know… because they suck.

    Anyway, we appreciate everyone here. Your suggestions help make Queerty everything that it can and should be.

  • Sweetbrandigirl2004

    @so,,,: ha ha ha ha your kidding right ? PHB is a transgender whore house full of back biting cross dressing, transgender wannabes They band anyone who doesn’t fall in line and agree with their meme.

    I think they need more exposure for Transsexuals on Queery separate from any transgender categories.

  • jason

    I don’t see what transexualism has to do with gay rights. Transexuals are running away from being gay. They don’t want to be thought of as gay. They are far more comfortable with fitting into traditional heteronormative gender roles than are some heterosexual women.

  • M


    I completely agree about Jezzie. Even before they started getting rather anti-woman, I was already concerned by how much it catered to straight women. I must prefer Feministing which treats non-hetero/non-cisgendered women as more than just a token minority.

  • cj


    Plenty of transsexual transition and become gay, having been straight before. They’re completely unrelated. And plenty of transsexuals also defy normal gender roles.

  • missanthrope


    Jason: Are you transsexual or transgender?

  • martie

    I’d love to see more bisexual-friendly content. It can be difficult to feel like you don’t fit into either the straight world or the gay world. No one wants to let you in.

  • Daniel Villarreal

    @martie: Thanks for the comment. We totally agree! Do you know of any bisexual sites, bloggers, or bi content (music, video, art) that really speaks to you?

    That’s an open question for everyone… where are good examples of good bi media?

  • dual?moon

    @jason: This kind of stuff is pretty disappointing. Aside from the obvious sad lack of knowledge on the subject, I know a damn lot of trans* people who are “technically gay,” bi, or pan/omnisexual. We want the same thing anyone else does: acceptance for “non-traditional” gender roles, including the ability for a transwoman to marry a man (which is pretty difficult).

  • Shannon1981

    Well I am a female bodied human who likes other female bodied humans who happens to be genderqueer. I also love to blog, and run two of my own.

    I sent an email, but haven’t heard back. Hopefully I will, but I know its a crap shoot. I am an active activist, and I could not only contribute as a female bodied human(woman) but as a gender variant person as well.

    Totes trying to sell myself to you, Daniel. SHAMELESSLY. HINT HINT

  • Felicity

    Would be awesome to see more content aimed towards women. I only just found this site today and browsing on the front page made me feel extremely uncomfortable. There were perhaps three stories for women, and so many naked men I felt that I’d be shunned to voice my opinion. But then I saw this little ray of light and decided to speak up! Thanks for this!

  • sydk

    1) I go to Bitch Media for most of my female culture reading, and it is actually what lead me to start reading Queerty.

    2) I’m a big fan of Jen Mccreight at Blag Hag. Her blog deals with a lot of science and atheism issues (so I understand if it’s a little off the mark of what you’re looking for), but she does talk a lot about how atheism needs to be more inclusive of women, and people of color, which I think is kind of interesting. She also does blog about women’s issues from time to time as well.

  • martie

    I wish I knew of any really good sites… I mostly read queerty, afterellen, and autostraddle because I’m in a relationship with a female and therefore most of the writing applies to me, but sometimes I still feel really alienated. Story of my life, it seems. I’ve started my own blog but it isn’t anything to brag about yet.

  • molly

    @Daniel Villarreal: That’s a good question. I’m bi, and most of the sites/blogs I visit are aimed towards gay men, gay women, or both (Queerty included). Bisexuality seems to be an “oh by the way” mention. Sooo…suggestions would be nice.

  • Nick

    Honestly, I think you need two things: you need more women featured in your news; second, you need to be vigilant about–and ban–the misogynist commenters. I thought that least of all would gay men be susceptible to sexist prejudice. (Wow, I found out how full of shit that was.) There needs to be a stricter comments policy here. (If you want to talk free speech, we can have that debate. Bring it on.) Gay and bisexual cismen need to be educated on the intersections of gender and sexuality; in particular, if you don’t defeat sexism (especially your own), you’ll never defeat heterosexism.

  • Nick

    Oh, and while we’re at it, please ban anybody who says “I hope he gets raped in prison.” Anger at injustice is understandable (and there is a lot of news featuring injustice, whether it’s queer-bashing, people who are now getting charged with causing suicides, etc), but it’s never acceptable to wish rape on people. The only people who are able to talk so casually about it have never survived it.

  • Wil Kuhlmann

    What rights, state and federal are women lacking ? So we are going to help them with their feelings, really ?

  • Wil Kuhlmann

    Women have 100% state and federal rights, there is nothing else to acheive as far as civil rights,so this is what ? I just do not get it.

Comments are closed.