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International Women’s Day: Beyond straight, white feminism in print

Posted by Grace Wang on Thursday, March 8 2018

Magazines that weave their feminism with issues of race, class, religion, sexuality and more...

Feminism today means many different things to many different people, so for this International Women’s Day we’re reflecting that range with eight fantastic feminist magazines. Incorporating intersectionality and championing underrepresented women and non-binary voices in everything they do, these magazines are pointing to a more inclusive future of womanhood.


Got A Girl Crush


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“Read about women” is the simple tagline of Got A Girl Crush, and their sixth issue champions a wide range of identities. There’s a candid conversation with Cristy C. Road, who illustrated a deck of tarot cards inspired by the wisdom of queer and trans people of colour. Shydeia Caldwell is the founder of Black Girl Magik, a meet up turned publishing platform catered to the experiences of women of colour.

Elsewhere Emma Robbins speaks about her work as a Navajo/Jewish indigenous peoples activist, artist and educator. And Genevieve Gaignard makes art that addresses what it’s like to be a biracial woman today. Packed with great writing and playful illustrations, this is a delightful and informative read. gotagirlcrush.com


Azeema

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From the polished composition to the engaging writing, Azeema exudes the type of charm only seen in projects born out of a genuine reverence for their subject. More than just making a magazine exploring strength within Middle Eastern and North African women of colour, the editors inject their personal histories into each interview, photoshoot and feature.

In issue two, the ‘Huia (Identity)’ issue, we see a counter narrative to white, Western beauty standards, in the shape of 12 affirming portraits of women of colour. In their conversation with visual artist Yumna about exhibiting femininity and sexuality as a Yemeni/Egyptian artist, they’re interested in complicated subjects like the exoticisation of female Muslim and Arabic artists by mainstream media. The language is completely accessible and inclusive, making you feel warmly welcomed into their world. azeemamag.com


Daikon*

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Stepping more into the world of zines, Daikon* is a staple bound title made by Southeast/East Asian women and non-binary people living within a European context. It is a response to the lack of representation of Asian voices in mainstream political and feminist discourse, and works by giving a platform to the collective frustrations of their intersectional experiences. The nuance and complexity of the zine is vivid – in ‘I’m not an Asian girl, not yet a white woman’, the daughter of a Korean adoptee writes about looking Asian, but feeling solely Swedish in her national identity, while ‘Decentre Japan’ looks at the romanticisation of the country in European contexts. daikon.club

🌿Photography by @rohanadeliana in issue 2 of daikon* 🌿 Link in bio! ✨

A post shared by daikon* 🌿 (@daikon.zine) on


Romance Journal


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Not many people can say that they know their life’s purpose, and many of us search for this gratification or meaningfulness throughout our entire lives. That’s why Romance Journal is such a rewarding and galvanising read — each issue speaks to 10 thoughtful, powerful and creative women who have awakened to their life’s purpose. Exploring failure and struggle as essential to growth, the candid exchanges reveal complex, sensitive identities of people who have wrestled with and become emboldened by their purpose.

Published a year into the Trump presidency, their second issue pivots upon the theme of resistance to speak to a wide range of activists — several organisers of the Women’s March; a racial justice advocate who works through Instagram; and a trans “artivist” who sings about self-love and empowerment. Their large, A3 format is made for slow, contemplative reading. romance-journal.com


OOMK


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Made by a group of British Muslim women, OOMK zine explores faith, identity and activism. But their paperback-sized title is in no way defined by religion — the irreverent editorials, sharp social commentary and intimate interviews encompass a wide range of experiences by young women.

Their most recent ‘Food’ issue, for example, captures a difficult, delicate conversation with a friend who struggled through an eating disorder, examines the fetishisation of chicken shops that came with the gentrification of London neighbourhoods, and speaks to writer Ruby Tandoh about how cookbooks can carve out an inclusive space. Find more in our interview with the editors. oomk.net


LSTW

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Published in Montreal, Lez Spread The Word covers lesbian culture in Canada. But their first-person narratives and unique reporting platform experiences of the wider LGBTQ+ community, creating a thick volume of engaging, refreshing reading. Police attitudes to LGBTQ hate crime, navigating the healthcare system as a lesbian, and what it means to be gay and Arab, are all topics they have intelligently probed.

In their second issue they report on how religious groups are marching in solidarity with queer congregants, and speak to Jewish, Christian and Muslim queer religious leaders about shifting people’s way of thinking. lezspreadtheword.com


Gal-dem

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Made by a collective of over 70 women of colour, Gal-dem topped our International Women’s Day list last year. The print magazine features highlights from their prolific website, creating a dense volume of personal essays, photo series and interviews. Following the inaugural ‘gal-hood’ issue, their second instalment explores the notion of ‘home’, accessing that personal space where some of our strongest, most life-shaping experiences take root. Read it for moving, confronting, and life-affirming writing. gal-dem.com


Thiiird


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Created by “third culture children” — those who come from a multitude of backgrounds, for example Nigerian/British or Iranian/Brazilian — Thiiird explores diversity, intersectionality and cultural heritage in fashion and the arts. Through bold editorials and close-up interviews, it presents a range of experiences by women and queer and non-heteronormative individuals. Issue two embarks on an exploration of ‘Femme’, a word rooted in women’s empowerment, popularised by lesbian culture, which is now taking on a new meaning, as the queer and non-heteronormative community use it as a tool for self-identification. thiiirdmagazine.co.uk

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