In search of positive online influences
February 19, 2017 2:23 AM   Subscribe

I need to re-make myself, grow up, and take responsibility for my life. The fact that I zone out reading Reddit or tech blogs a lot is not helping. I want to replace this habit with better influences, communities, role models, ideally feminist-aligned.

Bloggers? Tubmlrs? Online communities? Authors? I'm open to anything. Reddit is not a good influence because it's full of sexism (a major issue for me) and it's also mostly distraction. Hacker News feeds my competitive and workaholic streaks. I want to cultivate adult behaviors of respect; taking responsibility for my life; emotional warmth; giving and helping others. Anything that will point me in a better direction would be helpful. I am particularly interested in feminist-aligned sources and women authors. Thanks.
posted by PercussivePaul to Human Relations (17 answers total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
P.S Examples of healthy relationships and healthy behavior in relationships would also be very helpful.
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:26 AM on February 19, 2017

Captain Awkward is an advice column style blog that focuses on healthy relationship behaviors.

Ask a Manager is also advice column style and focuses on work related issues .

Both of the above are written by women and have lively but respectful commentariats.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 4:18 AM on February 19, 2017 [11 favorites]

Just a clarifying question - do you only want online resources? Or any offline too?
posted by anya32 at 5:40 AM on February 19, 2017

I was thinking online, but if you have anything offline in mind I would be happy to hear it.
posted by PercussivePaul at 6:12 AM on February 19, 2017

I was very fortunate that my first encounter with feminist material was by reading bell hooks - I stumbled across Black Looks: Race and Representation and got it because it was about movies, basically. That proved an enticing starting point for her other work. She's written quite a lot about relationships and love and how race and racism and ethics and anti-oppression sort of intertwine. I have always found her thought-provoking yet accessible.

I have found that reading books in an online browser works for me when I'm in a distractable state - it makes "offline" into online in a way that is really helpful to me.
posted by Frowner at 6:35 AM on February 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seconding captain awkward and askamanager, adding shakesville (social justice), echidneofthesnakes (economics), and mimismartypants (life). All written by feminist women.
posted by meijusa at 6:38 AM on February 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

You just described metafilter.
posted by spitbull at 6:38 AM on February 19, 2017 [13 favorites]

For funsies with an educational and feminist bent, you might enjoy listening to the podcast Sawbones. It is "a marital tour of misguided medicine", starring an awesome female doctor and her sometimes bumbling husband, who happens to be Justin McElroy (you may know him from the like, six hundred other McElroy things out there.)

It starts out kind of odd but quickly becomes a really interesting medium length podcast full of historical facts, feminist perspectives on horrible things humans have done to each other, and some downright charming examples of a married couple being loving and accepting of each other's foibles with good humor. Lately it has kind of turned into the Dr. Sydnee Makes You Feel Strongly About Kindness And Education And Healthcare For All Show, but it hasn't lost any of its humor or weirdness and honestly I think it's a good thing. Justin is a great example of a guy who probably went through a good chunk of his early life unexamined but has become a thoughtful and well spoken feminist man who knows when to let women speak for themselves and when the things that make him unique would be useful to the goal at hand. Also it's just really funny a lot of the time and god knows we need that as much as possible.
posted by Mizu at 7:11 AM on February 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Attending a church helps me with some of your stated goals. No so much the sermons, but working together with other well-intentioned people to help our community. A church or similar organization, even something like a feminist book group, might be positive avenues for you.

Unitarians are very feminist and encourage treating others with respect and kindness. Other more traditional sects do as well.
posted by bunderful at 7:37 AM on February 19, 2017 [6 favorites]

You might like the podcast Totally Married -- a woman and her husband discuss their relationship. (Disclaimer, I've only listened to a few, but they were pretty good, especially if you don't mind uptalk.)
posted by slidell at 10:34 AM on February 19, 2017

I know it's Reddit, and I agree that a lot of it is toxic, but of course there are subs and subs. I can't say I've spent a *lot* of time on this one, but it's struck me as a not-terrible place for men to work out their tensions with cultural masculinity within a feminist framework.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:55 AM on February 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I asked about offline because my first thought was Tara Brach. She has a website but she also has an app and offline books etc. that have helped me find the space in my life to actually grow and change. (You could of course get e-versions or the audio book for more of an online experience).

I second bell hooks - accessible and again, online and offline content. Ask A Manager too.

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde was transformational for me.

I also like the Black Girl Dangerous blog.
posted by anya32 at 1:00 PM on February 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Maybe not the advice you are looking for, but I would say spend less time online and read more books. You may be able to find some of what you are looking for online, but I have found these type of topics and themes are usually better suited to books.
posted by clark at 5:28 AM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Dear Sugar archives are awesome, as is the podcast they do currently. Another podcast I like for similar reasons is Out in the Open.

You might also like this thread about tv shows and movies that demonstrate radical empathy. And one show I'd call out in particular is Friday Night Lights, which is a great, realistic portrait of what a good relationship looks like.
posted by veery at 11:13 AM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Agreed with the Dear Sugar archives and current podcast.

Fugitivus was an awesome blog. Unfortunately it's not updated anymore.

Talynn Kel is an amazing writer that I found out about through the Dear Sugar podcast. This piece about relationships kind of blew my mind.
posted by foxjacket at 11:24 AM on February 20, 2017

7 Cups of Tea has self-help guides on a wide variety of topics, including things like Exercise Motivation, Getting Unstuck, Finances, Managing Emotions, Sleeping Well, and Work Related Stress.

They also have forums on a huge variety of subjects, from Anxiety to Depression to Mindfulness to Schizophrenia to Motivation and Self Help.

But my personal favorite feature is the Growth Path, where you're challenged to do small tasks to improve your mood. Write down three things you're thankful for or two things you did well recently. Watch a short video - could be cute animals, could be a motivational speaker, you never know. Read 10 posts in your feed - posts made by you and people you follow.

When I take breaks from work, I'm either on MeFi or 7 Cups.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 4:53 PM on February 20, 2017

Episodes of the WBUR podcast Kind World are full of goodness.
posted by Caxton1476 at 7:49 PM on February 25, 2017

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