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Rebellious Magazine for Women is holding our first-ever Summer Membership Drive Aug. 21-25, and we’d love for you to Join our Media Rebellion! Even if you’re not a joiner.

Here are our top 5 reasons to support Rebellious Magazine:

  1. We’re independent, and that’s a rare and magical thing in Chicago media these days. tronc, inc., the media corporation formerly known as Tribune Publishing, owns 10 daily newspapers across the country, including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Orlando Sentinel and the Baltimore Sun. In the Chicago area, the company also owns the Red Eye, Chicago magazine, Hoy magazine and a slew of weekly suburban papers. As of July of this year, the Chicago Sun-Times is owned by a group of private investors led by former Chicago alderman Edwin Eisendrath. The Sun-Times Media Group owns the Chicago Reader. Two companies – owned and controlled by white men – control all of that content.
  2. We’re woman-owned. And that woman is me, Karen Hawkins. Hi, nice to meet you. I’m a former reporter and editor for The Associated Press who founded Rebellious in 2012. I have more than 20 years of journalism, communications and marketing experience and two degrees in journalism, for those of you who wanna see receipts. More importantly, I’m a mouthy black lesbian feminist over 40. <–There are very few of us who own publications. There are very few of us left in newsrooms, period. Since I left the AP, the world’s largest news organization, there have been zero black reporters in the state of Illinois. Now, more than ever, we need more diverse voices in media, not fewer.
  3. We pay our peeps. For every piece we run. Some of the country’s largest media organizations can’t make that claim, and even those run by women still stiff writers and offer “exposure” instead of cold hard cash. Disclaimer: We used to be one of those media companies, and for our first 18 months, Rebellious was volunteer-run. I made the financially tough but morally imperative decision to stop that practice when we relaunched in 2016, and now we pay.
  4. Rebellious is free for you to read but not free for us to produce. Let that sink in for a second. Maybe re-read number 3. Because we pay our writers, every word you read in Rebellious has cost us money to bring to life. And because we don’t have paid subscriptions, we have relied on memberships, advertising, events, merchandise, sponsorships and some really creative bartering to cover our costs. It’s been important to me that our content be free for readers because I value being able to offer access to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. But…(see number 5).
  5. We need your help. Some of our costs are covered by current memberships, advertising and affiliateships, merch, events and sponsorships (MAMES, for those of you keeping track at home), but not all of them. In fact, only a fraction of them. I am, personally, footing nearly all of the bill for Rebellious as we rebuild the site into the media empire I know we will be. Because I believe in it. I believe in women’s voices. I believe that there are gazillions of women writers out there with amazing stories to tell who have been silenced for too long by editors and publications who didn’t understand them. And I believe in you, our readers. If you’re reading this, I hope you believe in all of that, too.

Bonus #1: Depending on your membership level, you get discounts on Rebellious Magazine events, a handy branded tote bag and the satisfaction of sticking it to the Big Media Man.

What kind of events? So glad you asked! Past Rebellious Magazine events have included:

  • Relaunch Party at Taboo Tabou
  • Anniversary Party at a fab Breather space
  • Red & Wild Feminist Prom at Catalyst Ranch
  • Rebelle Reading at Women & Children First Bookstore
  • Breast Health Happy Hour at City Winery
  • Monthly Feminist Freelancer Coworking & Cocktails at Coalition Impact

Bonus #2: Members score an invite to our Fill Your Tote Bag with Swag Member Reception on Friday, Aug. 25 at coworking sponsor Coalition Impact. Members can pick up their Rebellious Magazine branded tote bag and fill it with their choice of fabulous samples, generous coupons & assorted swag.

Rebellious Magazine Annual Membership levels:

Prefer to pay a small amount every month as a sustaining member? Visit our page on Patreon.


Karen Hawkins is the Founder and Rebelle in Chief of Rebellious Magazine. She is a recovering mainstream media reporter and editor who wants to thank her former boss for naming the online magazine she's...