We had the good fortune of connecting with Alissa Medina and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alissa, how do you think about risk?
When I first talking about social justice issues online, I was hit with a lot of criticism. It inspired my 60-page thesis for NYU on Reddit as a masculinist technology and a breeding ground for men’s rights activists. Since then, so many scholars have tapped into misogyny online. Taking that risk inspired a broader discussion which I helped contribute to. I love it when a risk pays off and you’re able to bring justice to a situation.
And quite frankly, It’s a risk any time you post about social justice issues online. Fembot is an online magazine on feminism and social justice issues. The objective of this site is to bring awareness to issues millennials are caring about — and ultimately, talking about. And that takes a lot of courage to be behind.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What you are most proud of or excited about.
I am most proud about the community that has surrounded Fembot and how receptive people are to it now that the Trump presidency is over. We launched a newsletter edition which has been fun to write and curate. I get to open my inbox and receive messages from like-minded intersectional feminists and social justice advocates and be able to chat with them and connect virtually now in a world that makes it impossible to do so because of COVID-19. I get to nerd out on it and challenge the patriarchy in an intellectual way and stretch my boundaries and limits.
How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
It was not easy and it still isn’t easy. I have to have a full-time job to support myself and run Fembot as a way to voluntarily be creative and connect with others. Fembot isn’t about a monetary exchange just yet and may never be. But the way my writing and the writing of others’ brings together a community is what makes it so powerful. I love to put effort into it.
What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
There are quite a few lessons I’ve learned along the way and I am still learning. When you’re growing a social media persona and an online persona, it’s important to continue to challenge yourself every day. Get out of your comfort zone. That’s the only way you’ll be able to challenge the dominant culture that’s white, heteronormative, and heteropatriarchal.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you’re a friend visiting me from LA, my top picks are: In n Out for a quick after-flight snack, hit up the boulevard on Venice and watch some skateboarding and rollerblading, and then we’ll go body surfing at the beach! Afterwards we’ll dine in at my favorite Armenian restaurant in Glendale called Raffi’s to pay homage to my culture.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I dedicate my shout out to all the people who are struggling mentally right now because of COVID-19.