Thursday, March 25, 2010

The F-Word

Such an interesting piece about the new direction of Venus which used to be a feminist zine covering "women in music, art, film, fashion, and DIY culture." It has now been sold to a new owner who wants to get rid of that feminism-tag which smells of bra-burning, Birkenstocks and 1970s hirsute women with schoolmarm personalities:

I asked Beardsley about Venus and its commitment to feminism. "That's such a word fraught with interpretation and meaning," she said. "We don't use that particular F word around here. It just doesn't seem relevant." She called feminism "an old-fashioned concept" and explained that "it doesn't enter into our discussions about what we're going to cover and what have you." She said, "We're much more into discovering trends, talent, whatever they are, and they can come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and forms."

And I bet my goddess helmet with the emerald-studded snake decorations that the "trends, talent, whatever they are" come in the exact percentages matching the population percentages of all those "shapes, sizes, genders and forms." We now live in post-patriarchy and therefore fifty-plus percentage of the reported talent will be attached to a female "shape, size, gender or form."

But in that case why have a zine aimed at women in the first place?

There was no winter 2010 issue of Venus, but the spring issue, Beardsley's first, was given away at South by Southwest and it'll be on the stands March 30. It carries a note from the new owner telling readers, "You prove that smart, creative women are a force to be reckoned with."

If feminism is no longer relevant, surely the general magazines of the field cover women quite adequately?

I find this fascinating, because a) it will allow me to get going with that cannibalism book supposed to be my big project in the F-word utopia, and because b) the general definition Beardsley gives us about her plans does sound a bit like some new definitions of feminism. And I no longer need to write this blog! (High-fives herself.)