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

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.