Online Women’s Mag Double X Launches

Way back in November, Slate chairman and editor-in-chief Jacob Weisberg told us about the three ladies that would be helming his newest spin-off venture, online women’s magazine Double X.

Today the co-editors, Emily Bazelon, Meghan O’Rourke and Hanna Rosin, managing editor Jessica Grose (previously from Gawker female-centric blog Jezebel) and publisher Peggy White, formerly Yahoo! Finance’s GM, finally unveiled Double X.

Double X has maintained the XX Factor blog, first launched on Slate in fall 2007. The success of the women’s blog — which was founded by the three editors-in-chief of Double X — spurred the development of the full-fledged online magazine and will be in the middle of the new site’s homepage.

The ambitious site will feature photos, videos and quotes “of the day,” in addition to sections about what women are thinking about right now: work and business (called “On-Ramp”) and children and family (“XXtra Small”). Double X will also host two blogs, Nick’s Dream House, which will talk about decorating on a budget, and the Oyster’s Garter, about biology and the ocean. And, it will include a women’s interest Google news feed and content from

“There’s no web site out there like Double X,” O’Rourke said in a press release about Double X’s launch. “We’ll be thoughtful without being earnest, funny without being snarky. We’ll offer a feminist viewpoint without restricting ourselves to any sort of party line. And it will be the kind of conversation men will want to eavesdrop on.”

Full release after the jump

The Slate Group Launches Women’s Magazine “Double X”

New Kind of Women’s Magazine Online Offers Provocative Viewpoints with a Hip Sensibility

NEW YORK — May 12, 2009 — The Slate Group, publisher of Slate, Slate V, The Root and The Big Money, today launched Double X (, a new kind of women’s online magazine, mostly by, for and about women. Departing from the tone of other publications for women, Double X will offer irreverent, sophisticated analysis of politics, culture, family, fashion and many other topics. The aim is to build a robust online conversation among the most engaged women writers and readers, and the men who want to know what they’re thinking.

“I grew up mostly baffled by women’s magazines,” says Emily Bazelon, one of the site’s three founding editors. “Double X is our attempt to create a savvy women’s magazine, the kind that we’ve long wanted to have to read, which will set the agenda for what women are thinking and talking about. And I’m so excited about being online, where we can engage with our audiences with a new immediacy.”

Abandoning the typical hierarchical structure of a magazine with one editor-in-chief, Double X will be led by three editors who co-founded the site: Emily Bazelon, Meghan O’Rourke and Hanna Rosin, who also write and edit for Slate. Peggy White, formerly General Manager of Yahoo! Finance, joins the site as Publisher.

“There’s no reason a so-called ‘woman’s magazine’ can’t be as smart and ambitious as any other magazine,” says Rosin. “Whether we’re writing about the show ‘Mad Men,’ wide belts, or Hillary Clinton, we will apply the same standards of intellectual rigor and cultural analysis.”

O’Rourke notes, “There’s no web site out there like Double X. We’ll be thoughtful without being earnest, funny without being snarky. We’ll offer a feminist viewpoint without restricting ourselves to any sort of party line. And it will be the kind of conversation men will want to eavesdrop on.”

Double X is a spin-off of the XX Factor women’s blog that launched on Slate in the fall of 2007. The blog quickly became one of the top 10 features on the site.

“The decision to launch Double X was an easy one. There are very few places on the web where you can find a civilized, intelligent conversation, and The XX Factor blog is one of the best,” said Jacob Weisberg, Editor-in-Chief of The Slate Group. “We don’t pretend that men and women talk about everything in the same way, and the XX Factor blog proved that there are women—and men too—who seek a woman’s perspective in Slate’s voice.” Double X will also aim to be a critical voice for figuring out what comes after the feminism movement, when so many questions are still being examined.

Among the highlights of Double X:

* News and Politics — The catalyst for Double X, the “XX Factor” blog, will also be the site’s main component, continuing to provide immediate reactions to developments in politics, sex and culture. Provocateur Linda Hirshman will offer her thoughts on politics, feminism and daily news in her column, “The Princess.” Pieces on the latest developments in abortion law or Supreme Court case on pay discrimination will be written by Dahlia Lithwick and Emily Bazelon. Hanna Rosin will write from Washington.
* Culture — Meghan O’Rourke, former Sleater-Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein, Slate’s Dana Stevens, and more will offer regular cultural coverage.
* Family and Parenting — Children’s book writer Erica Perl will critique coverage of movies, books, video games, and television shows for children in “XXtra Small.” She’ll answer questions parents really have: how scary is this movie or TV show? Does it have heart? Are the kids in it obnoxiously full of sass and attitude? Fatherhood will be explored in “Father Figure,” featuring writers including John Dickerson, Brendan Koerner and Mark Oppenheimer. Texas Monthly editor Mimi Swartz will write “Empty Nest,” a column about life after the children leave home. Finally, in a partnership with the Center for Work Life Policy for Research and Data, “The On-Ramp” will provide a list of companies that offer creative solutions for flexible work, and personal narratives about living through the recession.
* Life — “Ask, Tell” will include a wide variety of celebrity coverage, including contributions from famous women. Meghan O’Rourke will write a personal column about starting over after major changes in her life, aimed at thirty-something women. “Send It To the Lab” will be a recurring feature where writer Laura Moser evaluates of-the-moment consumer products and puts them to the test to determine whether they live up to their manufacturers’ claims. In the area of home design, home decor blogger Nick Olsen will write about accessible design. Fashion and food writers will take trends and dissect them from unique perspectives.
* Friendship — Novelist Lucinda Rosenfeld will write “Friend or Foe,” a column on friendship, which will be part advice in answering questions from readers and part sociological study of friendship in the modern world.

Double X will also feature a constantly updated Google news feed that highlights stories of interest to women — one of the first of its kind online.

All of these features are in addition to other regular essays on politics, law, money, food, fashion, books, health, sports and more, featuring Slate writers and a variety of contributors. Double X is also collaborating with to share and promote content.

“Emily, Hanna and Meghan have been able to transform smart conversations women have everyday into a unique, thought-provoking, interactive magazine. Their tremendous editorial vision will attract a significant, hip, influential, engaged audience,” said White.

Sprint has also signed on as a launch sponsor.

In its inaugural week, Double X is featuring essays from famous women responding to the question, “When you were a little girl, who did you want to be when you grew up?” Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dominique Dawes, Margaret Cho, Jane Pauley, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Amanda Peet, and Arianna Huffington are among the women providing touching, funny and surprising answers. The magazine will also host a symposium about feminism, with contributions from Katha Pollitt, Megan McArdle, Linda Hirshman, Sandra Tsing-Loh and Elaine Showalter.

To visit the site, go to