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The Toast is a witty, independent, feminist literary website that has been beloved for its emotionally nurturing and intellectually stimulating comments section.
The site combines funny, light-hearted art history stories like monks inventing art with heartfelt essays about marriage and emotional abuse. Created by Mallory Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe, The Toast has been acclaimed for the strong sense of community it enables.
Clinton addressed this community and the website in a goodbye letter to readers, honoring the site.
“I know that today is the final day of The Toast, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what this space — and spaces like it — mean for women,” wrote Clinton.
She talked about how women have forged their own paths “against overwhelming odds and less-than-friendly welcomes” in nearly every industry.
“When I arrived in the Senate in 2001, I was one of just 13 women, and I remember how thankful I was for my female colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” said Clinton. “My friend Barbara Mikulski famously started a tradition of dinner parties for all the women of the Senate. Over a glass of wine — okay, maybe three — we’d give each other support, advice and highly relevant tips to navigate being in such an extreme minority.”
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said she’s always had “great admiration” for women who create spaces where women can “speak their minds freely.” She thanked founders Ortberg, Cliffe and managing editor Nikki Chung for creating this space for women and making their audience “laugh and think along the way.”
Clinton concluded, “If the space you’re in doesn’t have room for your voice, don’t be afraid to carve out a space of your own.”
Founder Ortberg said the team found out Clinton read The Toast about a month ago. Cliffe said when they were contacted about Clinton wanting to personally write a note for the site, they asked for it to be funny. Instead, she suggested it be heartfelt.
We found out Hillary Clinton reads the Toast maybe a month ago? I’m still not used to it. Anyhow, she wrote for us https://t.co/bRb7wpY556
— Mallory Ortberg (@mallelis) July 1, 2016
In May, Ortberg and Cliffe announced they were shutting the site down, both for monetary reasons and workload concerns. They said they considered other options but “most of them would have necessitated turning The Toast into something we didn’t like, or continuing to work ourselves into the ground forever.” They plan to keep the archived content available even after they stop publishing new articles.
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