And thank you for joining us for the launch of She Zine dot com.
I first became interested in feminist media at around 16yrs of age when I was first exposed to Venus Zine and Bust Magazine. Never before had I been exposed to news of that genre that was targeting young women. It opened me up to a whole new concept of what “women taking over the world” was all about and I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of what was up and coming.
The originals issues of Venus and Bust that I had found actually belonged to a former roommate of mine who, herself, was a feminist and fat positive activist in Vancouver, B.C. There couldn’t have been a better influence for me in these early days of my feminist awakening.
I had long been involved in protest and craftivism by that time in my life, but I hung around with a very female positive crowd, and so the need for feminism wasn’t immediately apparent to me in my early teens.
I had always identified as being a feminist by way of second-wave feminist icons like Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, but I had never known what it meant to really wear my feminism on my sleeve or live it in my day-to-day.
With my Vancouver roommate, we would poster kooky and creative fat/female positive messages around the city. She and her friends also illustrated custom lady-friendly drawings for their kids to colour during our afternoon brunches together.
This experience with my old roommate and her friends started me on a journey of zine making, lots of art and D.I.Y., blogs, and so much more. Discovering who I am, as a woman and as a person, has been a grand adventure that I am still at the beginning of.
My intent with She Zine is to bring the same caliber of alternative/feminist news as other great rags, like Bitch, Bust, and the former Venus Zine, with contributors from all over the world to hopefully bring a less US-centric view of the world.
I also want to take from the experiences of many LGTBQ+ second-wave feminists who were excluded from the movement, as well as modern day feminists who think that they have the right who gets to pick and choose the feminist label.
The Vancouver roommate, who I am so happy to have as part of my experience, was also very exclusionary because I was not a “fat girl” and to her it didn’t seem right or appropriate for me to be postering body/fat positive messaging.
We have to remember that we are all on the same team, labouring in own ways to discover ourselves and add to the conversation in the best way we know how.
This is my best effort (with a lot of help) and I hope that you enjoy it.