From anal sex to witch hunts to Rob Ford, here are our top posts in 2016

The Future is Female t-shirt by Otherwild. (Image: Alix Dobkin/Liza Cowan, 1975)
The Future is Female t-shirt by Otherwild. (Image: Alix Dobkin/Liza Cowan, 1975)

I must admit that our yearly round-up of top posts is my least favorite thing to put together. While it’s always great to revisit the incredible breadth of work featured on the site, it kills me to have to whittle it all down to fit into such a teensy little list. This year, we launched Hillary McBride’s excellent “Feminist Therapy” column, within which she’s answer dozens of letters and questions from readers who struggle with everything from mental health issues to sexuality to relationships with family members. We addressed “good guys,” Hillary Clinton, John Davies: corrupt pro-prostitution academic, Matt McGorry, the erasure of lesbian spaces, #wearetheleft, the fall of Brazil’s first female president, the unethical New York Times‘ “sex work” story, coerced sex disguised as a “quickie,” the lies told about prostitution in New Zealand, and so much more. Our traffic skyrocketed this year, going from almost two million unique visitors in 2015 to well over five million in 2016! Needless to say, everyone’s contributions to the site are incredibly important and impactful, as far as global feminist discourse goes. But the end of the year is for listicles, so I’ve highlighted some of our most popular posts published in 2016 below for your reading (or perhaps re-reading) pleasure:

1) Natasha Chart outlines a history of the witch hunts, drawing a distressing connection to today’s misogyny and silencing of women’s voices in her piece, “This is how they broke our grandmothers.” 

2) I had no idea that “polers” were so freakin’ intense until I wrote this post. But you learn something new every year, and in 2016 I learned that women who do “pole exercise” have managed to single-handedly solve rape culture by gyrating in stripper heels. You’re welcome, women and girls of the world!

3) The media continually reports male violence as a “crime of passion,” refusing to see misogyny as systemic, imagining that men abuse because they are so overcome with “emotion,” they can’t help but kill their partners and ex-partners. When 21-year-old Kelsey Annese broke up with her boyfriend, Colin Kingston, he went over to her house and stabbed her and a friend. Headlines like, “Did a broken heart lead Colin Kingston to kill two people?” need to stop. Men don’t kill women out of “love.”

4) MRAs were particularly displeased with my very rational suggestion that we impose a curfew on men. Too bad, so sad, MRAs! Women know how much safer their nights out would be if bros stayed home.

5) Unfortunately, most heterosexual women can relate to the trauma of discovering their partners’ use of misogynist porn as a masturbation tool. Rose Meltzer described her experience in a way that is relatable to so many of us — plus, she fought back, choosing radical feminism over dehumanizing treatment from men.

6) Jon Pressick thinks women need “tips” on how to accommodate the painful sex men want to inflict on you. I offer some better solutions, including Staying The Fuck Away From Men Who Try To Coerce You Into Anal Sex.

7) Next time someone tells you that legalization will make prostitution safer, point them to Manuela Shon’s comprehensive report on the disturbing reality in Germany. In this case, the truth is much grimmer than anything you could imagine.

8) If nothing else, 2016 showed us that America really, really hates women.

9) If you’re “non-binary,” what does that make the rest of us? Binary? Susan Cox argues that when women like Sam Escobar come out as “non-binary,” it throws the rest of us under the bus. (Fun fact: this post led Escobar to call me a “bitch” and threaten to sue Feminist Current. Lesson: if you come out as “non-binary,” you can spew your misogyny all over the internet and still call yourself a feminist! Convenient, right?)

10) Men are still frothing at the mouth over Susan Cox’s “11 reasons women shouldn’t get married.” How dare we point out that this historically patriarchal institution isn’t really for women after all! The love of a dog will do you better, women.

11) Conveniently for johns, female queer theorists have decided that what men really need is not accountability, but protection. In her piece, “The modern john got himself a queer nanny,” Swedish journalist Kajsa Ekis Ekman calls on pro-prostitution academics to let johns speak for themselves.

12) As a culture, we fail to understand that abuse is not always visible — it doesn’t always look like black eyes and broken limbs (though too-often it does…). We need to start taking red flags seriously — we can’t keep waiting until it’s too late.

13) Raquel Rosario Sanchez felt let down by her fellow progressive activists this year… And she isn’t just going to forgive and forget.

14) I refused to join the country in mourning Rob Ford this year. 

15) Celeste Barber’s hilarious “model” poses showed the extent to which women are expected to self-objectify at all times, even while eating and in the bath.

16) The post that broke the camel’s back in terms of my relationship with was one in which I argued that referring to women as “menstruators” was dehumanizing. After being censored by a male editor who accused me of using “transphobic language” (but couldn’t actually point to any such “language”), I quit. Sayonara, brocialists.

To more shit-disturbing in 2017, sisters!

cheers gif

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m so sorry, sister. Solidarity and courage xx

  • Charlotte Moon

    Thank you, Megan!! Here’s to disturbing the patriarchy all the more in 2017!! <3 <3

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you sister!! Solidarity!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks MandyJane!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Right on, sister!

  • Meghan Murphy


  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes! Big big big thanks to all the amazing commenters here! They really make the site what it is. I learn so much from everyone here and am so grateful for all the time and thought put into your arguments and comments (the jokes too!). Happy New Year, sister!

  • Natalie

    Thank you for your work Meghan. I just want to toss out something I have been thinking about recently which is the lack of women academics in Political Science fields. When I think about the fact that in the US male liberal academics are adhering to deductive models and theories designed to reinforce dominant structures it pisses me off. The liberal school of thought has this logical positivism per Political systems which makes true critical analysis fucking maddening. Conservative thought is dominated by religious dualism and metaphysical nonsense so that’s useless and maddening as well. Glad to have found your site and again thank you!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Natalie! And not only is PoliSci male dominated, they’ve pushed radical feminists out of academia in general, leaving room only for liberals and queer theorists. Academia is in many ways responsible for the gobbledygook spewed by privileged Tumblr bbs.

      • Rachel

        This is so true! I found this when doing my Psych degree – constantly pushing Evo Psych crap. Always felt wrong deep down, and liberal feminism never felt quite right to me – only now I’m older and wiser can I see how wrong the academic world was/ is. Unfortunately it’s so accepted though because “research”. Ugh. Research conducted usually entirely by men, or with male priveldge bias and without social influences being properly controlled for to really test anything.

  • radwonka

    Im so sorry,

    you are strong and inspiring.

    Males are trash and will always be.

    May these dudes get hit by a train.

  • radwonka

    Wow this reminded that men are scary. They truly have NOTHING in their head besides “ILL DIE IF I DONT HAVE PATRIARCHAL SEX!” (because strangely, youll never see them beg to *give* pleasure, it is always about their ego, their sadim, their dick and their paranoia. AAaahhh if only not having patriarchal sex could indeed kill them….)

  • radwonka

    The best thing on FC are the women who comment on it everyday! They are all smart, funny and strong. Very inspiring.

    Happy new year Cassandra, Jingfei, morag999, tiredfeminist, tangelo, will, Kris, Mariguana, Fierce Mild, Zuzanna Smith, Leo, melissa, Kendal Turtle, atheist, Yisheng, bleep3, fakefeminist, rachel, TheArtistFomerlyKnownAsYoya, Aylune B. Papyrus, and many others! xxx

    • Meghan Murphy

      Agree agree!! Thanks radwonka (and everyone)!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you for being here, Cassandra!! Happy New Year, sister x

  • Meghan Murphy

    Glad to have you here, sister!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks so much for your support over the years, marv. Happy New Year!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks for being here, sister! We appreciate you xx

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you will! That means a lot xx