The Vagenda is a blog launched by Rhiannon and Holly in February 2012 after we got fed up of reading the same old Cosmopolitan sex tips and diet advice and wanted to do something to try and prevent another generation of young women from growing up anxious, scared and insecure because of the trash that they are reading. We'd now like to transform it into a fully-fledged website, and we need your help. The money that we raise will fund a complete redesign and see us through the first quarter, and will also allow us to show our gratitude to all the lovely people who help us out.
A vagenda is a woman with an agenda, or specifically a vagina with an agenda. Today’s media is full of them. Unfortunately, more often than not, these vagendas are not your friend - particularly in the context of women’s fashion and lifestyle magazines, which, quite frankly, have come to constitute one of the most underhanded instances of woman-on-woman crime. Fact is: Vogue has a vagenda, Cosmo has a vagenda, and even American teen mag Seventeen has a vagenda - and the vibe in there is not friendly... The fact is that women’s magazines nowadays constitute a minefield of body fascism. When you flick through one ("read" is probably too strong a word for the image-and-Tweetspeak-heavy content on offer), you’re always dodging another insecurity explosion. Whether it’s Rihanna’s 25-minute underwear workout (yes, it’s a real thing) or snake venom infused lip-gloss, the underlying message throughout is that you are your body, and your body isn’t good enough
Since we launched, the Vagenda has had over 11 million hits and has been featured in a vast array of newspapers and magazines. Our readers, especially teenage girls and their mums, consistently tell us that we have made a real difference to their lives as well as giving them a laugh. However, we have never monetised the site or given ourselves a salary for it, and we refuse to do advertising (despite it potentially being lucrative) because it would totally compromise our message. I mean, they'd just take key words from our content and before you knew it the place would be festooned with 'Get your dream bikini body' and 'the new miracle fat-buster discovered by stay at home mom'. No.
There are only two of us working on The Vagenda at the mo and we'd like to kickstart a project to transform it from a blog into a fully functional website. We already have a huge pool of awesome contributors from around the world and we'd really, really love to be able to pay them or shower them with gifts, even if it's just a little, for their amazing work.
What we would use the two grand on:
- Paying a web designer to develop a proper website with its own domain. At the moment our layout is clunky and users express annoyance at its efficiency. We'd like a shit hot design and a proper website, but at the moment we can't afford to pay someone to do it.
- See us through the first quarter. We'd be able to pay people, buy office supplies, and fulfill a long-held dream of doing stickers
- Commissioning more content and getting help with doing that (at the moment we only post about one article a day)
- Paying an intern or two. We get requests to offer internships and work experience every week, but we'd never take someone on without paying them. We'd love to be able to throw someone at least a hundred quid while we're working on the relaunch to take the Twitter off our hands (we can make our own tea). Especially as THIS REPORT on online feminism talks about how bloggers have a tendency to burn out. Twitter can be way intense, and we'd really, really like NOT to burn out.
- Doing more school assemblies, university talks, and workshops. We often do this voluntarily and it can get expensive, but it's one of the most rewarding activities. So far we've given our talk on 'What is wrong with women's magazines' to hundreds of young men and women but we'd love to do more, because it's really good fun talking to fifteen year olds about this stuff.
What we definitely wouldn't spend the two grand on:
- Cigarettes, alcohol, or legal and non-legal hallucinogens
- Online dating membership
Obviously the dream would be to be able to rent an office and employ people long term, but even a small donation will allow us to delegate some of the work and continue doing what we do. And if you're too skint to contribute, don't worry- just by reading you are helping to sustain something that the two of us never in a million years even thought would be a big success.
If Spare Rib can raise £20,000 then we can raise £2000, right?
Thanks for reading, bros and ladybros xx
Risks and challenges
The only risk that we can envisage is that the new website ends up looking crap. If this happens, we'll pay someone else to design it again, but obviously we're going to carefully vet any web designers who approach us to ensure that doesn't happen.
The other risk is that, somehow, in the next six months, the human race achieve absolute gender equality and the Vagenda becomes superfluous. I think in this case we'd have to grudgingly accept that it's a good thing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)