Part of our 2017 yearbook.
Over the past 12 months, Anime Feminist has achieved a lot. 292 posts, a regular podcast, a patron-exclusive discussion forum, our first convention panel and party—and, of course, following through on our wish to pay every writer, editor and administrator who contributes to the success of the site.
To all our patrons: thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You make it possible for us to not just do our work, but to do it both ethically and to a high standard. (Over the next 12 days, I’ll be giving some insider information so you can see just how true that is.)
We had hoped to do the 12 Days of Anime challenge… but we don’t have enough money to pay for 12 extra posts.
We also don’t have enough money to pay for premiere reviews next season.
In all honesty, we haven’t even broken even yet. We’re operating in a deficit.
Reliable recurring income is what enables us to do what we do. My preference is still that anyone who wants to support us does so on small, sustainable payments through Patreon.
It’s why I’ve never offered any other options… until now.
For the first time we’re giving you a way to support AniFem through a one-off payment… by sponsoring premiere reviews.
We want to continue doing premiere reviews—but AniFem was built on the principle of paying people for their work. Previously, I’ve tried to fill in any gaps by doing the work myself for free. Not anymore. As of 2018, if I can’t pay people for a piece of work, we just won’t do it.
We know that premiere reviews are one of our most valuable services. So we’re trying a new way to plug that funding gap.
Let’s say there are 25 new anime eligible for reviews every season. At $20 per review, that’s an extra $2000 over 2018. 2000 extra dollars we need to raise.
Using the Paypal button below, you can sponsor a review at $20 each. Just 25 sponsors and we’ll be covered for the next season of anime. 50, and we’re set until summer. 100, and we’re covered for the year.
We’ll thank and credit each season’s sponsors in the premiere review round-up posts. If you’re happy to receive credit, include your name in the text field. If you’d prefer to stay anonymous, just leave it blank.
The team continued to work largely for free though… which meant I was doing a LOT of writing. I was reluctant to ask anyone to write for nothing, but also really, really bad at meeting self-set deadlines or keeping up with a consistent routine. You’ll notice there are no Links posts this month – that’s why.
(Pride, principles and pressure-prompted ostriching is a particularly winning combination of mine. Expect it to crop up again over the next 12 days.)
At this point, I was still doing all the premiere reviews. I remember despairing over this season like no other, as the anime I watched seemed to go from bad to worse… but I look back now and some of my favourite anime of the year showed up in January. (Has it really been a year since ACCA aired?)
I was also editing and formatting every post, uploading screenshots and adding alt text for every image. I don’t think I had any other users set up for WordPress yet, except Lauren for technical website support. Around this time I started realising what a bad idea that was, and began planning to spread the workload.
We changed AniFemTalk posts from a free-for-all to a specific discussion topic. It’s been so successful, I’d forgotten there was a time we didn’t do this! I was trying to use American English in these posts so it wouldn’t be so obvious how much I was writing solo… but there are definitely some British English typos out there. (Writing words like ‘color’ is still painful.)
Yuri!!! on ICE had just finished airing, and we included our first piece of the year on it… but not the last.
The defining incident of the month, however, was indisputably our first news article.
The post on My Anime List and Nazis came from the affected author approaching me personally. He was frustrated that such an important topic as “Nazis suck” had been so grossly distorted. We agreed. I approached Lauren immediately, thankful to have a trained journalist on the team, and she went through the due diligence you would expect from a responsible reporter.
Unbelievably, we received backlash for this. Imagine facing a choice between feminism and Nazis and deciding the cancer in your community is feminism.
In response, I wrote an editorial laying out for the first time the politics which underpin Anime Feminist. I was still a bit nervous using such overtly political language in public (I used the word ‘patriarchy’ and everything) but it felt pretty easy to take a public stand on the right side of “Nazis suck”.
The whole incident turned out to be the result of poor judgement rather than a malicious agenda, and the author and MAL team have since worked out a reasonable rework which took their concerns into account – but MAL itself hasn’t really changed its colours.
(If you still have a MAL account and would like to change that, my personal recommendation would be to check out Anime Planet. AP is run by a woman who would love to see users add feminist-relevant tags, lists and texts on her site – no fear of Nazi infiltration there. I can’t believe this is something I have to say about a site for recording and recommending cartoon viewing, but. That’s 2017 for you.)
12 months later, the MAL incident is still an example of how we can serve our community as a selective news outlet. We’ll handle sensitive stories with care, treat sources with respect and be a platform for news that other outlets are unwilling or unable to discuss.
One advantage to those overt politics that made me so nervous – and the F word in our name – is that there’s never a question of if we should cover stories like this or not, only how.
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