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Standing On Broad Shoulders: The Broadly Name Review

By Tamar Altfest

August 26, 2015

Broadly

Earlier this month, media leviathan VICE Media, Inc. launched Broadly—the first women’s interest site among its stable of digital channels—featuring daily editorials, digital videos, and immersive long-form documentaries. Broadly leverages VICE’s in-your-face style and tone, intelligent coverage of prickly territory, cheeky humor, and confident attitude. Branching out from a primarily dude-skewed audience, VICE now shares space with confrontationally named grrrl sites, such as Bitch. Apparently, an appellation to lure the female demographic requires some savvy creativity.

At first blush and absent of context, the name Broadly feels blah—simply meaning, “in general,” it’s like a dangling thought, a vague, homeless adverb. Though the wordmark features a period (“Broadly.”), it’s strictly “Broadly” elsewhere. Maybe the period is to declare that the content is somewhat broad since women’s interests are vast and, though targeting females, should be inclusive of and important to readers of any gender identity. Still, the name seems to offer little grist to draw someone in.

Taken in context, Broadly is reclaiming the archaic and sexist slang term “broad,” and may also be alluding to body shaming (calling women wide/fat/broad). It lives alongside competitor sites that leverage terms used to objectify and subjugate women, appropriating the words as a statement of empowerment. These feminist sites ooze innuendo with names like BUSTJEZEBEL, and Bitch. More mainstream female-geared sites still use evocative names, but they are less militant, e.g., Cosmopolitan and Vanity Fair. The name Broadly has the potential to draw both “good” and “bad” girls.

When paired with the tagline, it’s obvious that the name is being used ironically: Broadly. For women who know their placeBroadly is built on the very foundation that a woman’s place is any place, not necessarily in the kitchen or the house, but anywhere she damn well pleases. The site is on a mission to expose the disease of sexism that still plagues our culture, with hopes of ultimately finding the cure.

Broadly is a layered and intoxicating name — VICE‘s rebellious female extension, a seriously smart “bad” girl that can use double entendre with the best of ‘em, and it draws attention to causes that really matter. The new girl in town, Broadly is a serious player that cannot be underestimated. For those who don’t dismiss it at initial name exposure, Broadly is sure to spark a memorable conversation.

 

Grade:
A-
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