[2015 EDIT: This group was disbanded]
Blair and Jess were inspired by the documentary The Punk Singer to create a feminist zine in Brisbane. The facebook event went up on December 3, so it was pretty short notice and yet it has gotten a lot more interest than they were expecting. There are currently over 50 members in the facebook group.
Today 18 people showed up to talk while eating vegan finger food. We talked about why we are interested, the direction that the zine and the group are heading and shared different perspectives on the problems that we see in Brisbane.
One of these people showed up after being harassed and stalked by a man for two days and feeling unsafe when he followed them on public transport. If that doesn't show why this zine is important I don't know what does. I almost cried when they showed up because I was just so sad that someone was made to feel so unsafe and scared in Brisbane. All of us need to work together to make Brisbane as safe as possible for everyone.
Blair made a point to say that this zine and the group will be inclusive of all types of feminism and of all types of people. There are things that will not be tolerated however, such as racism, ableism, transphobia, body shaming and all those other nasty attitudes. It is expected that everyone will treat one another with respect and kindness.
Why I am involved
I was personally excited about this zine because I have dealt with a lot of bad times due to things like sexism, misogyny, rape culture and patriarchal attitudes. I will be talking more about my personal experience in the upcoming zine. A lot of these are things that I see being reinforced by the media and by some of the people I know. I think that an independent zine is a fantastic way of challenging these attitudes and giving a voice to the people who are not being heard or listened to or talked over.
The zine itself
At the meeting today it was decided that the zine would be published every two months (maybe more often in the future). The first zine will cover such things as “what is feminism?” “why is feminism needed in Brisbane?” “what are some things we'd like to see change in Brisbane?” “why am I a feminist?” and “why am I involved in this zine?”. Each zine will have a theme, with about ¾ of that zine dedicated to the theme, allowing room for submissions that don't fit into it but are still needed. Each submission can be anonymous if people want.
So far there are some ideas that are still being discussed in the group, such as the themes for future issues, the name of it (there's a tentative lean towards “Feminist Fury”), how many copies to make, if we should put a price on the physical copies, a launch party, fundraising, places to disperse it/sell it and more. There will be a memorial page or two in the zine for Eunji Ban who was murdered recently.
If you're interested in submitting to the zine, please go to the facebook group to learn more about the submission guidelines. If you want to make an anonymous submission you are more than welcome to, by contacting Blair or Jess through the officlal tumblr (there isn't one yet but there will be soon - I'll add the link).
A great inspirational day
I had a brilliant day. I felt like I was understood and appreciated in this circle of people. I felt like I was safe and I felt inspired to make change happen. I really recommend that if feminism appeals to you, you come along to the next meeting or at least join the facebook group. Everyone was lovely and the atmosphere was relaxed and yet also energetic and filled with possibilities.
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