In those days it was novel. Controversial. A publication created by and for women. Devoted to them, even. Bloomer and her team were the first. And they weren’t quiet about it. As one Lily editorial put it, “It is quite time that [women’s] rights should be discussed, and that woman herself should enter the contest.” And enter they did. In the pages of The Lily, they advocated to end slavery, and for a woman’s right to vote, own property and wear pants.
These days publications for women are not so novel. Which hopefully would please Bloomer and the other women of The Lily. They would, perhaps, be surprised by some of what qualifies as women’s interests.
Enter The Lily of 2017. A revival. A comeback. A publication for women, sure. But the curious ones. The ones who have something to say and who want to be heard.
Our mission is two-fold: Empower with news and information and promote inclusivity by exposing diverse voices.
The difficulty of this is not lost on us. We will seek contributions from those diverse in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and economic status. We will engage our generation. If we are to be heard, we need your voices.
In return for following along, you can expect coverage of national news, politics, gender equality, health, film, fashion and more. Expect to feel uncomfortable. To agree and then passionately disagree. Expect to read everything from the latest on the health-care battle to a profile on a professor-turned-style-icon.
Everything we publish will be purposeful and designed with a strong aesthetic, meant to respect your eyes and your feeds. We will talk with you in sentences and beautiful images, not memes.
From you, we expect your thoughts, your ideas and your questions. We invite you to comment, like, dislike, highlight and speak up. The Lily is ours.
Bloomer was not ill fitted to lead. It wasn’t simple circumstance that led her to become the publisher of the first women’s newspaper. Strength was not given to her but conjured up inside of her. It was her brain and her determination and her passion that made The Lily possible.
I need The Lily now because I wish meeting tables were filled with more women. I need The Lily because my 15-year-old cousin was told she couldn’t wear leggings to school because she would distract the boys. I need The Lily because waiters assume my male partner will take the check. And because sometimes I don’t get a handshake but the men do. I need The Lily because sometimes I don’t feel smart enough or loud enough.
We need The Lily because female genital mutilation and child marriage happen every day. Because countless girls lack access to education and health care. Because sexual assault is a threat every day on college campuses. We need The Lily because so many women struggle silently against domestic abuse.
We need The Lily because these stories must be told. Because there are so many smart, impressive, unapologetic women ready to be heard. There is nothing more exciting than the possibility of screaming their stories to the world.
Why do you need The Lily? We’re waiting to hear from you.
Editor in chief, The Lily
Amelia Bloomer excerpts from Life And Writings Of Amelia Bloomer.