This is a big ol collection of writings from zines written by and for girls and women in the 90s. In my teens and early 20s I was really, really into the punk scene and zines were big deal to me. I frickin' loved 'Cometbus', but other than that all I read were zines by other girls. The internet wasnt quite as ubiquitous back then and my family was too poor to have a computer anyway, so zines were the only place I could really read things that were actually relevent to me as a young feminist queermo. I mean, public school in tiny, super-conservative Wyoming town sure wasnt inspiring, yknow? But zines were raw and uncensored thoughts of other girls. And I loved them.
In fact, I read a few of the zines that were featured in this book! I still have the issue of ROCKRGRL with Sleater-Kinney on the cover thats pictured in the book.
The book is divided up into loose categories of writings, like family, politics, idols, and so on. But a lot of themes run through all the writings. Theres a lot of queer girl stuff in here (I dont know if thats because the editors are lesbians or if homogays were more motivated to make their own media since we sure as hell arent represented very well in the mainstream stuff). Race and class are also big thread running through a bunch of the stuff in here. Probably my favorite piece in the whole book is one young woman reflecting on the way growing up with a single mother on welfare impacted her sexuality and how it was perceived by outsiders. I also really liked the interview with Trinh T Minh-ha about the difference between making political films and making films politically. My area of specialization in grad school was in pop culture representation, so I read a lot of her work and it was fun to run into her in a different context, so to speak.
This book actually makes me feel kind of old. As I was reading through it, I just kept thinking that the vast majority of this stuff is the kind of thing youd see on blogs nowadays. I think its easier and faster to do this stuff online these days (hell, Tristan Taorminos blog is called Pucker Up, which is the name of the paper zine she was doing at the time she published this book!). I think the punk scene may be one of the last holdouts of zine culture, cuz Aaron Cometbus himself can tell you that even if youre living in a squat with 10 other people and no electricity, you can still steal office supplies during your graveyard shift at Kinkos and make a zine! But I wonder how much longer that will be the case. This book was only published in 1997 and it already felt like a peek into a bygone era.
Dang, I miss Riotgrrrl.
In the last decade, there has been an explosion in the production of zines. On the forefront of this cut-and-paste revolution have been those zines made specifically by and for young women. The words and images that have come to define many young women's lives have long bee overlooked and underappreciated. This book exists because these voices may refused to be silenced.
In the past decade there has been an explosion in the production of zines - online magazines. On the forefront have been zines made especially for young women.Tis book contains the words and images of women who have refused to be silenced.