Saturday, August 2, 2003

About Deeply Problematic

About Deeply Problematic

Deeply Problematic is a feminist blog that seeks to examine and analyze the treatment of problematized bodies in society and the media. It is primarily written and edited by Rachel McCarthy James, known as RMJ. The writing here looks to examine the many ways in which privilege functions in the culture, law, media, advertising, web, feminism, and everyday life. It takes a special focus on language and framing; it also looks to cover under-reported news. Deeply Problematic looks at how oppressed folks - particularly but not limited to women, people of color, disabled persons, and trans persons - are deprived of full equality, and how we fight that oppression and assert our agency.

About RMJ

Hi! I'm RMJ, a recent college grad currently living in Virginia with a nice young man and two lovely kitties. I've been a feminist since I was eight and I went to a woman's college that only exaggerated that condition.

One of the reasons I began Deeply Problematic was to examine how I function with and exact privilege on other people. Though I'm a woman of size and I'm neuroatypical, I operate with just about every other privilege you can think of: whiteness, class, able-bodied, monogamous, partnered, youth, heterosexual, cisgender, size, and others I'm sure I'm missing. Privilege is insistent, and it changes the way I write and frequently results in me messing up. If you see something on here that doesn't sit right with you, please contact me or leave a comment calling me on it, and I'll do my best to fully own up. In the event of criticism, I may not immediately respond - it takes time to process and own up to privilege.

Because of the lack of other voices on this blog, this inevitably centers my blog on these privileges. While I strive to make this a safe space for all persons, the myopism of my point of view cannot guarantee that this will indeed be safe for all people.

Hiring RMJ

I am interested in guest blogging and freelancing elsewhere! If you are interested in hiring me to write for you or your organization, please write to rmccarthyjames (at) gmail (dot) com. I am looking for individual and regular assignments both. Interview requests can also be sent via e-mail.

RMJ Elsewhere

I've written for a number of other blogs, including Bitch Magazine, Feministe, Sociological Images, Overthinking It, and FWD/Forward.


To contact RMJ, write to rmccarthyjames (at) gmail (dot) com.

To contact Faye, write to wildefae (at) gmail (dot) com. Comment questions should be directed to Faye. Please be patient in waiting for a reply, particularly if the material is sensitive, as we are both busy ladies who try not to reply to things flippantly.

Guest Posting

Deeply Problematic is interested in getting a wide variety of points of view. If you see something that's not being adequately covered here, send me a pitch with samples of your writing. We're looking for one-off guest posts and regular contributors both.


My layout was designed by the wonderful Faye Daigler. It's intended to reflect my fiercest feelings of feminism, which center around my body and bodily autonomy. The background comes from diagrams off of inserts/instructions in menstrual and birth control around my house - the operating instruction for the construction of my body. Less positively, it reflects the inevitable centering of my blog around young and cis experiences.

Commenting policy

Here’s what I’m looking for in my space: thoughtful, reflective comments that take into consideration both the original post and the comments already left. Folks chiming in with their experience of the oppression at hand. Privilege checks. Critique – of me, of feminism, of whatever – that comes from a genuine desire to disrupt the cycle of privilege and abuse and change the world.

Moff’s Law applies, and don’t pull the free speech card. Free speech is wonderful, but I’m not obligated to provide you a platform for it. Blogs are free.

Please choose a moniker as a token of good faith.

Here are the guidelines:

1. This space is focused on feminism and social justice. Disagreeing is fine – one of the aims of Deeply Problematic is to look critically at feminism - but if you think privilege is awesome and the world doesn’t need any change, this is probably not the place for you.

2. Check your privilege, please. If you see an unfamiliar term, Google it. If you whine about how white/het/cis/able/rich folks are getting a bum deal, don’t expect to air it here. Be willing to admit wrongdoing, poor language, and privilege when chiming in about oppressions you don’t experience. Feminists, womanists, and other progressive folks are the solution. But sometimes, we’re the problem, too.

3. No violent language. Any references to punching, killing, smacking, etc are absolutely inappropriate. I don’t care if it’s Fred Phelps, violent language does not contribute to a healthy atmosphere. Possible exceptions include: references to violent acts mentioned in the post or relating past experiences.

4. DERAILING! Some derailing is okay, but I will not tolerate decentralizing the focus of the post from privileged folks. I’m also looking If the post is about an oppression you do not experience, think twice, no, think several times, before you post.

However! If you experience the oppression at hand and want to talk about an intersection with another oppression – say, if the post is about women of color and you want to write about your experiences as a lesbian WOC – please feel free to bring in your perspective.

5. Don’t bring your critique of blogs or bloggers not mentioned in the original post here, period. No blogwars, and avoid pile-ons.

6. No hate speech. Slurs are completely banned – no name-calling. Please do your best to avoid casual ableism – lame, idiot, retarded, dumb, etc. If some careless language is used in the context of a good faith argument, you might get through but you will also get called out.
That’s not asking too much, is it? (Note: it is, and it isn’t.)

Unfortunately, I do not feel comfortable guaranteeing a safe space. Faye and I do our very best, but we’re not subject to a LOT of the oppressions we write about. But we do do our very best.

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