“Zines” (short for fanzines) are cheaply-made, mass-produced publications dedicated to a specific theme whether it be creative writing, feminism, social anxiety, music, animal rights, or anything else that comes to mind. They are typically made by an individual or a small group of people, in black and white, and photocopied/bound with staples.
Though they are small and cheap, they are packed with powerful messages, art and illustrations, and other goodies. Here are 6 filled with feminist topics (that I know you’ll love).
1. Tart Hearts
A zine made completely of illustrations and interviews with high school girls from a small town in central Texas. The interviews answer questions like: What makes a girl a "slut"? Is being one a bad thing? What should every boy know about girls? Are you scared of finding true love?
Some of the answers include: “I’m not afraid of finding true love. I’ve found it and lost it. Sh*t happens,” and “Boys should know that girls actually listen and take everything to heart. They just want someone to treat them right.”
2. She Zine
A 16-page zine filled with essays, art, poetry, and more that is aimed at encouraging women to feel like they’re not alone and that they should go after any adventure they want. It urges young women to understand that risks are worth taking, and that when you fall apart, you come back stronger. According to the author, Beth Morey, “SHE Zine is for those of us who want to live fully alive. Who want to show up as vibrantly + authentically as possible in their own lives.”
A series of zines that target different aspects of womanhood. In Hoax #10, there are several essays dealing with several different topics, such as perceptions of one’s mental illnesses and having a defiant mind, problematizing language, the concept of “nature,” and autonomy in bodily alterations by a biomedical engineer and trans woman, dancing as a catalyst for critical thought on the uses and movements of one’s body as a post-heterosexual black woman.
It also deal with discussing making peace with one’s physical mouth as a metaphor for learning to spit out cultural and social toxins and reclaim one’s voice, and struggling with identity, diaspora, loss of language, and the concept of being a “good Indian.”
4. Sad Weekends
The 22-page, quarter-sized zine focuses on internalized misogyny, the intricacies of mother-daughter relationships (and the transmission of patriarchal values within them, ie: body shaming and policing), and gender performativity.
Quarterly zine that aims to promote feminism, involvement in DIY music/art, and inspiring grassroots activism. According to the author, “Brown Queen was created to honor, celebrate and promote the artistic visions of Latinas. This 50 pg edition features empowering poetry, short stories, essays, artwork, photography and a performance piece from 24 diverse self-identified Latinas, Chicanas, Hispanics and Afro-Latinas.”
6. No Means Yes, Right?
This cut and paste edgy publication is an educational guide to street harassment. The story is told through personal essays, mixed media art, tools, and text for safety and self defense. According to Gracie Currier-Tait, the author, the zine stems “from rejection of the patriarchal bullshit women have to put up with, this zine is aimed to not only bring awareness, but to educate those are who are familiar with the issues.”
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