In Our Shoes: a student-produced intersectional feminist blog

Sophomore Olive Osten had been thinking about starting a platform for young people to share their thoughts on feminist issues for a while.

She discussed the idea of a blog with a few ARHS students who were equally excited at the prospect, and then created a Facebook page for brainstorming. After some stressful experiments with coding and website creation, Osten is happy to announce that her blog is live on social media and getting lots of traffic.

When people visit inourshoesfeminism.weebly.com, they will find a simple webpage that allows the featured writing and art to be the focal point.

Readers can check out a playlist featuring music by female artists such as Erykah Badu and Amy Winehouse, an article dealing with double standards, book and movie reviews, and much more.

The contributors are mostly but not exclusively ARHS students or alumni. The blog aims for an intersectional approach, intermingling gender issues with race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more.

Most of all, Osten wanted a safe space for women (though she is open to all genders contributing) to share their thoughts about topics relevant to them.

In Our Shoes already features a wide array of topics, despite only being active for two months. Osten has plans for recurring categories such as Woman of the Month and a monthly book or movie review, where she or other contributors will feature an inspiring woman or a novel or film. Articles are currently being posted twice weekly.

Junior Emma Schneider was very excited when she heard about the blog. “I realized I had a lot to say,” she said. Feminism is a natural predilection for Schneider, who has always been outspoken.

While she’s eager to share her own thoughts on the blog (she’s already written a piece about female shame and a review of Roxane Gay’s book of essays Bad Feminist), she’s also intrigued to hear from the other contributors. “I know there are many women in our community with stories to share. I wanna hear those stories,” she said.

Nia Whitmal, a junior, was equally enthusiastic about the blog’s creation, especially as an intersectional space. “[Intersectionality] makes feminism useful. Because what’s the point of it if it only accounts for certain people?” she asked.

Whitmal wrote a film review of the French film “Girlhood” for the blog, analyzing its portrayal of black female teens.

The blog is not only for people inside the liberal Amherst community, but for everyone who may be interested in discussion and learning.

“I think that it’s always good to have another opinion and another insight and if someone who reads it who does not identify as a feminist says ”Hey, I wanna read this anyway, and something we say reaches them, then that would be enough,” said Schneider.

Whitmal agreed. “I think because the blog advertises itself as an intersectional blog, it would be really cool if it reached out to people that don’t realize that feminism is for everybody,” she said.

As for the future of the blog, Osten has “articles backed up until March” from various contributors.

Wide viewership is a goal, so the blog continues to create discussion and represent a range of viewpoints. Osten has high hopes and is excited to see where In Our Shoes is heading, and how it will impact the community.

“I’m looking forward to more school outreach because it’s really important to me that my peers are educated about feminist issues and actively talking about them,” said Osten.

Students who want to subscribe to In Our Shoes for email updates and news can do so by going to inourshoesfeminism.weebly.com and clicking on the Subscribe link.