Bitch Media

Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: Bitch Media

ISSN: 1524-5314 (Print) and 2162-5352 (Online)1


Purpose, objective, or mission: From the website: “Bitch Media’s mission is to provide and encourage an engaged, thoughtful feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture.”2

“Bitch seeks to be a fresh, revitalizing voice in contemporary feminism, one that welcomes complex arguments and refuses to ignore the contradictory and often uncomfortable realities of life in an unequivocally gendered world.”3

“Bitch looks at the media and its products through a lens that takes into account the historical and cultural representation of gender in pop culture.”4

Target audience: Largely women, but meant for anyone who is interested in a modern feminist discussion on media and popular culture. According to the website, Bitch has a diverse audience and is “uniquely situated to draw in young readers who are at a critical moment in their lives—a moment when they are discovering feminism and activism, finding answers to who they are, and questioning the definitions of gender, sexuality, power and agency prescribed by the mainstream media.”5

Publisher: Bitch Media.6

Peer reviewed? No.7

Type: Lay publication, with emphasis on politically and socially minded individuals.8

Medium: Quarterly Magazine, Weekly Podcast, and Daily Online Content. 9

Content: “Bitch looks at the media and its products through a lens that takes into account the historical and cultural representation of gender in pop culture.” Media includes Movies, television, news magazines, fashion magazines, blogs, comics, advertising, music, computer games. 10

Frequency of publication: The print magazine is published quarterly, online content is published five days a week.11

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: From the website: “We are looking for discussion-provoking critical essays that are well researched with evidence to back up claims, timely statistics, and connections between one’s personal experience and larger social forces. Interviews with feminist culture-makers are welcome, as are book, film, and music reviews and nuanced analyses of particularly horrifying and/or inspiring examples of pop culture. First-person essays are great, but please read our print magazine and website to get a sense of how our contributors strike a happy balance between the personal “I” and the larger subject matter at hand.”12

Bitch accepts nonfiction pieces only, and does not accept fiction, poetry, “personal essays, experimental lyric essays, or anything that reads like a dissertation.”13 Each issue has a theme, but the themes are meant to serve as jumping-off points rather than rigid guidelines. Be sure to check the website for upcoming topics, but the editors encourage pitches for articles that would suit the magazine but don’t fit an upcoming theme.14

Potential contributors are encouraged to consider which section of the magazine would best fit their idea before submitting a pitch. Features are “2,200 to 3,000 words of meaty critiques, essays, and articles on pop culture from a feminist perspective.” These pieces should be filled with “personal insight and wit,” and may vary in format, such as interviews, reported pieces, critical essays, or even timelines, charts, and comics.15 Dispatches are “1,200 word missives from the front lines of real, imagined, or fictional worlds and places.” 16 “Culture is where Bitch brands its cultural authority through essays about books, music, and screen; profiles of individuals and those who are creating and defining cultural moments; and interviews with those working in publishing, Hollywood, podcasting, and other areas who are helping us imagine new possibilities for representation and inclusion.”17

“Payment varies but is generally $700-$1000 for features, $350 for dispatches, and between $250-$700 for culture stories. All of our writers are paid. Please send all materials through our submission manager. Submit to the section of the magazine that best fits your pitch.” 18

Submission and review process: Both finished work and query letters are accepted. If sending only a query, include clips and/or writing samples. Submissions, query letters, and pitches are accepted through their link to Submittable. Bitch accepts online pitches on a rolling basis. view open calls and submit your pitches through the website found within the writers-guidelines. “Due to the volume of pitches we receive, we are unable to respond to every pitch and will only respond to the pitches that we accept.” 19

Editorial tone: Serious, and seriously tongue-in-cheek. This is not a scholarly publication and sarcasm is rampant, but Bitch remains a very thoughtful and provocative media organization.

Style guide used: None specified.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

Library and information science is a field that is historically dominated by women, and perhaps due to that, it is a profession filled with preconceived notions and attitudes about women as librarians (think severe, hair-buns, glasses, and sensible shoes). Bitch is an excellent forum to discuss how we as librarians (both male and female) are seen in popular culture, what that image represents, and if that image affects how the populace sees us. It would be a good forum to discuss how gender, sexuality, and feminism play a role in our profession, as well as an outlet to discuss how other LIS issues are affected by or are affecting popular culture and the media. LIS authors with a background or interest in women’s studies or literature might be interested in writing feature articles, though an interdisciplinary perspective is key.

Bitch began as a zine, and has grown into an independent, nonprofit, feminist media organization.20 But that independent spirit, snarky attitude and distrust of the status quo have remained. The magazine endeavors to be a “tool kit” that engages readers in analysis that promotes activism and social change, and LIS authors with an interest in social justice, critiques of mainstream culture, and independent thinking would be at home here. Come with a strong opinion, say it well and say it with wit.21

This organization recognizes the value of libraries as places of critical inquiry, and supports a Bitch Community Lending Library that houses a diverse selection of 2,000 feminist materials to the community in the magazine’s home of Portland, Oregon. “Our library holds over 2,500 books, zines, magazines, and DVDs that explore feminism, media studies, pop culture, queer studies, race studies, sex and sexuality, body image and much more. The library also holds rare issues of ROCKRGRL and Sassy magazines which are available for browsing in our cozy reading room. The books in our catalog are available to search online.” 22


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: The print magazine has 80,000 readers, while the website receives nearly 5 million unique visitors each year.23

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: Bitch subscribers reside in 46 countries and all 50 states, with 78% of readers living in urban areas or college towns.24 This magazine focuses on popular culture and media images almost exclusively in the United States. Bitch will repeatedly refer to people, places, ads, and events that will only make sense to a person who has an idea of the major figures or subjects in American popular culture.

Reader characteristics: The majority of Bitch’s readers are between the ages of 25 and 34. They are well educated, tech savvy, and have Internet access. Bitch readers are also civic-minded and politically aware, with 85% having voted within the last year, and 51% having contacted their elected officials in the past year. They overwhelmingly identified as politically liberal, progressive, or radical.  They donate to causes and campaigns that are important to them. They read in their spare time, with 63% reading more than 10 hours a week. They are vocally and financially supportive of music, theater, and the arts. They are well-traveled: 48% traveled overseas in the past three years, and 92% traveled domestically in the last year. Bitch readers are conscientious consumers: 82% go out of their way to shop at independent retailers, 84% purchase environmentally friendly products and services, and 44% independently research a company’s mission or labor practices before buying its products.25

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Little to none. The odds are good that the reader has spent time in libraries of some kind (academic, school, and public), and shares values the library upholds, such as intellectual freedom and equal access to information.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

This organization’s readership is large, and while readers are largely unfamiliar with LIS topics, virtually any LIS subject relating to feminism (e.g., gender prejudices within LCSH subject headings) would be welcomed here. This audience wants something that is thought-provoking, well written, and entertaining. They want to discuss thematic figures of women, femininity and gender within pop culture and society as a whole.26

Readers are overwhelmingly well-educated, socially and politically progressive women who live in urban areas. Do not assume there will be a great deal of knowledge or even interest in many library issues or concerns, but there will be an interest in how librarianship as a profession and threats against freedom of information affect the position of women and minorities in American society. Persuasive and thoughtful writing is more important than citations, statistics, or user studies (though referring to any of these will help solidify the author’s argument). Remember that these readers don’t just read about a topic, they do something about it. This is an audience whose members just might write to their legislators about a library issue or volunteer at their local library, if those issues resonate with them. This is a great audience to reach, not only because it shares LIS values but because it has the potential to be an advocate for LIS issues.

Last updated: August 30, 2020


Show 26 footnotes

  1.  Bitch, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed March 23, 2018,
  2. “About Us.”,, accessed September 23, 2018,
  3. “About Us.”
  4. “About Us.”
  5. “About Us.”
  6. “About Us.”
  7. “Contributors’ Guidelines.”,, accessed September 7, 2016,
  8. “About Us.”
  9. “About Us.”
  10. “About Us.”
  11. “About Us.”
  12. “Contributors’ Guidelines.”
  13. “Contributors’ Guidelines.”
  14. “Contributors’ Guidelines.”
  15. “Contributors’ Guidelines”
  16. “Contributors’ Guidelines”
  17. “Contributors’ Guidelines.”
  18. “Contributor’s Guidelines.”
  19. “Contributors’ Guidelines.”
  20. “About Us”
  21. “About Us.”
  22. “Bitch Community Lending Library.”,, accessed September 7, 2016,
  23. “Get that Life: How I Co-founded Bitch Media.”,, accessed September 7, 2016,
  24. “Bitch Media Sponsorship Kit.”,, accessed September 7, 2016,
  25. “Bitch Media Sponsorship Kit.”
  26. “About Us.”
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