"What is this, Why did you make it"

I made this website as my final project for CSI-144: Contested Bodies at Hampshire College. This course was mostly an introduction to Feminist Science Studies, and it was incredibly educational.

A lot of the papers we read were incredibly dense and difficult. However, I did get a lot out of reading them both academically and personally. When it comes to conceptualizing how I relate to my own body and identity, my life has significantly improved. I really came to fully understand intersectionality more deeply than I ever had before. I also got a lot better at defending myself against transmisogynist fatphobic creeps, and felt more in control of my body and how I define it.

I think that this kind of stuff is really what makes a college education at a place like Hampshire worth it, but it can be so difficult to access for people who really need it. Especially because academic institutions are really not built to allow people with disabilities and/or full-time jobs to be able to thrive and keep up with their classes. When I'm talking with someone about why gender is always racialized, I can't just tell them to read Markowitz because without affiliation with a university that article is locked behind a paywall.

I've noticed that a lot of people these days don't get their social justice education from classes, but from online article. My friends from the Cognitive Sciences department will refuse to ever read the likes of bell hooks or Judith Butler, but if Cracked.com writes a listicle using ideas from those authors and cites them, it's my friends from Cognitive Science who are first to share the article and talk about how they now see the world in a new light. In fact, about two fifths of all articles on Cracked.com aren't even primarily comedy articles. Most of them deal with complex social issues or personal struggles with a few odd dick jokes thrown in every so often to break the tension.

Likewise, if I'm trying to give someone leads on learning about social justice issues, I never find myself recommending academic articles. Rather, they often come from Feministing, Everydayfeminism, Cracked, sometimes even Buzzfeed. The casual writing style, broken up by images and often sorted in digestible lists, makes the information really easy to process. Most people I know seem to learn as much from listicles (list articles) and Wikipedia binging as they do from their classes.

Because I got so much out of this class, I wanted to try and share it with more people. While I don't necessarily think my little mock-website will become widely popular across the web (especially since I don't have the time or knowledge to keep it updated regularly), I did really want to see if I could translate some of these complex subjects into digestible accessible articles like the kinds that would be shared from Cracked or Feministing. I also hosted articles that I've used on the website itself so that people without university affiliation can access them. I'm sure that if my site did get popular that I would soon receive a Cease And Desist, but for now I'm providing casual for those who want casual and the real meaty scholarship for those that want that too. Markowitz and Herzig definitely put their own ideas in better words than I could, but they were writing for a different audience.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy Feminiscience!


Feminiscience takes concepts and information from Feminist Science Studies and makes them accessible and digestible, so you can learn about ways that you can take back and define your own body. Feminiscience is about feeling empowered to argue on behalf of your body. You know your body, you are your body. The shroud of academia sometimes convinces us that others can tell us we are wrong about ourselves. Feminist Sciences say that we actually can and should engage with scientific literature and Feminiscience is an entryway.

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Feminiscience by Shel Raphen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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