Contrary to popular belief, you can be a feminist and a housewife at the same time. I never thought I'd be in the position I'm in now, but I've found that a role I used to see as forced and oppressive is much better than the 12-14 hour days I used to work as I tried to climb the corporate ladder. I'm a lot more interested in being here for my husband than I am in driving in Atlanta traffic. Most of my friends agree. However, sometimes we just want something different to read. Something that doesn't talk down to us. Sometimes we just want a different perspective. To that end, here are some of the better “feminist 'zines” I've come across. For those who prefer paper, some of them have print versions as well.
This is the magazine that started it all. Created by Gloria Steinem and other feminists in 1972, Ms. delivers the kind of hard-hitting news that was missing from women's magazines up until then. I especially love the “No Comment” section (msmagazine.com), that lets readers submit ads that are just too offensive to discuss. Read about it on the “about” section; I can't do it justice.
I would have liked to have seen this “by-girls, for-girls” magazine when I was a kid. I like the description on the page: “about helping girls discover and honor their true selves, engage in meaningful pursuits and express their voices in ways that matter”. The interviews and stories about notable women are written in an “if she can do it, I can too” tone, which is something *everyone* can benefit from. I also love the “It's So Aggravating!” section that encourages girls to talk about things they think are unfair to women in the world. Just so it doesn't get too serious, there are advice columns and crafts too. Your daughters would love it!
This 'zine out of Canada is for young women and trans youth. I like how well-rounded it is; it has articles about politics and race on the blogs and in the print magazine, but it also talks about lighter topics like movies and food. That's not to say that those things don't have a feminist spin on them because they definitely do, but there's a very wide berth of opinions and communities being represented. Personally, I love the “adult me advises the teenage me” articles. I'm sure we could write some of our own.
Their tagline is “A feminist response to pop culture”, which fits the tone perfectly. One thing I find particularly interesting are the “Bitchtapes”-basically mix-tape suggestions to fit different moods. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who misses the days when a good mix tape was the most romantic gift someone could give you! They are very blunt without having to be mean, if that makes sense. Personally, I can't help but find “Outsmart the patriarchy!” banner ad funny. They have great podcasts and advice columns too.
This grass-roots 'zine was created in 2004 by a pair of sisters who wanted to give younger women more of a voice in the world. I will say one thing - they don't pull any punches. For instance, if you look really close at the “mudflap girl” in their logo, you'll see that she's flipping everyone off rather than preening for the men. Their in-your-face language might not sit well with everyone, but I think the quality of the writing and the research that goes into the articles surpasses any annoyance you might have. There's also a hot shirtless man on the home page right now, which is always welcome.
I love how detailed this magazine is. That's not to say that others aren't, but I like how it explains so many complex issues in language even a moron like me can understand. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, gender non-binary (I had no idea what this meant before today) - this magazine covers it all in a way that reminds me of the women's magazines I used to steal from my (progressive) aunt's bedroom as a kid. While I am not personally turned off by the edgy tone of some of the other magazines on this list, some people are and it's great to see the same issues presented in a way that won't do this. I also think the online courses are interesting, although they can be pretty expensive.
This sounds really weird, but one thing I like about this site (it's made up of links from other blogs, as well as some “hosted” articles) is that it has “feminist”-tagged articles but also talks about fashion and beauty. I say this because, like my article about misconceptions about feminism mentions, some people think that you can't be a feminist and get into shopping and makeup at the same time. Yes, it's true that women shouldn't be judged by our looks and how desirable we are to men, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't care about those things at all. Personally, I do things like get my hair done or buy pretty dresses for myself, not a man. I like that I can find links to breaking-news and Oscar-fashion articles in the same place. Your mileage may vary.
These are just a few of the intelligent and fun feminist 'zines out there; check them out and I guarantee your pocket or reading-list will be as full as mine. For more feminist online content, visit feminist.org. What about you? Can you recommend any feminist 'zines or websites? Can you think of any I've missed? Discuss!
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