I’ve stopped reading novels by men. This seems like a very brash thing to do, but it’s come from years. I’ve become very uncomfortable with the way that men write about women, particularly in novels. It seems skeevy and voyeuristic, like they have no idea what the lives of women are actually like and are projecting a weird fantasy. It creeps me out. And unfortunately, this means that for the most part I have stopped reading novels. Yeah, I make room for the occasional ~classic novel~ and I’ve been seeking out books by non – cis/white/straight men. But there is really a huge difference in my experience reading a novel by a man v. by a woman.
Meanwhile, I spend a lot of time watching Youtube. More time than I’d like to admit. And the vast vast majority of Youtubers that I watch are women, often queer women. (Actually, the only men I follow are Tyler Oakley and CGPGrey). The tone is very different from the male novelists I’ve turned away from. Part of that is due to the medium, but a huge part of it is the experiences and perspective of the creators and how I can relate to them.
In honor of International Women’s Day, I’ve seen some bloggers and vloggers promote some small content creators who are women. I wish I had the online influence to make a big difference in the size of someone’s audience, but even without that amount of power I want to talk about some of my favorite women online creators.
Sidetrack Series is a scripted video series about a group of queer women (mostly of color) who live in New York. It feels fresh and exciting and I love the characters. For the first season, each episode focuses on one character or couple of characters and then all comes together towards the end. They only have 1000 subscribers but I want everyone I know to watch this series.
Hannah Witton is a British Youtuber whose content is focused around sex-education. She also does occasional vlogs and has a series called Drunk Advice. She also did a video today recognizing small female Youtubers that inspired this post.
Ashley Mardell is a queer Youtuber from Minnesota who vlogs and does comedy videos. More recently, her content has focused around LGBTQ issues and doing education work. Also she and her girlfriend are adorable – go watch her video about how they got engaged.
Alayna Fender is another queer Youtuber from Canada who does vlogs and comedy videos. Her videos are sometimes about LGBTQ issues, often approached from a comedic angle. This girl is a hardcore vlogger and posts on her second channel frequently.
Rosianna Halse Rojas creates some of the most thoughtful content that I have ever seen on the Internet. She recently did a series of vlog-style videos called Space Camp where after work she just spoke to the camera about a topic that she had been thinking about that day and was passionate about. Her videos seem to be from an older part of Youtube that I was too young to ever really experience and I’m very grateful to be experiencing this style of thoughtful conversation through her.
Morgan Paige Loves had a Vine go viral, which is how I found her. Her videos are sporadic but always thoughtful and she seems to be in a place of transition and questioning, which is why I like them so much. Her Tumblr is great, too.
Shugs and Fats is a scripted sketch series I just discovered today from Hannah Witton and I’m already in love. It’s like Broad City but about two British Muslim women in New York (though I think it’s filmed in the UK). The characters are really funny and over the top. They also have way fewer followers than they deserve.
Just Between Us is a bigger Youtube comedy duo, Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn. They post videos twice a week, one sketch and one video where they answer a viewer’s question (but is still also scripted). Gaby Dunn wrote an important piece about Youtube and financial stability that I also highly recommend.
Ella Dawson went to the same college as I did and now works at TED. She blogs about herpes, feminism, pop culture, and The Bachelor.
Sharleen Joynt is a blogger and opera singer who was on The Bachelor and does amazing recaps and analyses of the show. I’ve learned so much from her about how the show is edited and what happens behind the scenes (and once she liked my tweet!).
Ann Friedman is a writer who also sends out a weekly newsletter. She’s brought me to the most interesting articles and essays on the widest variety of articles. Subscribe to her newsletter even if you only read a couple of the articles.
So that’s 11 of my favorite women creators on the Internet! I hope these recommendations inspired you to follow at least a couple of them and to remember to value women’s voices and work, especially when they’re not placed at the forefront.