above our heads
and your hungry fingers
on my neck
and your salty lips
tracing hot kisses down my back
of the frigid air
and the tingling rain
assaulting our faces
and the words
and the days
the heavens are quiet
but the ground holds me firm
i am present
but i wonder
if you still dream
of the sunlight on your skin
If you are free, you are not predictable and you are not controllable. To my mind, that is the keenly positive, politicizing significance of bisexual affirmation… to insist upon the equal validity of all the components of social/sexual complexity ~ June Jordan
Zines, zines, zines. Why are zines important? Making zines allows you to cheaply self-publish and get your ideas out there. Buying zines is about rejecting the corporatisation of mass-media, about telling click-bait feminism to fuck off and about embracing the liberating effects of anti-fashion. Here are some UK-based faves. Not all of them are so affordable, so starting a reading-group is a worthwhile consideration: splitting the cost between a group of like-minded people and meeting up (over tea … over vodka) to read some alt-media gems.
Glitter! Sex! The internet! They’ve got it all! Polyester is affordable and fun and also happens to have a fab, regularly updated, blog. http://www.polyesterzine.com/buy
It’s all hidden narratives and youth subcultures with this hard-as-nails feminist publication subverting the typical ‘women’s magazine’ thang. As my wonderful mum said: ‘It’s not exactly Woman & Home’. http://sistermagazine.bigcartel.com/products
A 2 kool for skool, annual anti-fashion publication poking fun at mainstream media. Its creators’ anarchic sense of humour shines through via fake fashion ads and slapstick editorial. An experience. http://www.charlottestreetnews.co.uk/magazine/mushpit-magazine/
So Young magazine
It’s a fully-illustrated music mag!! If you want to recapture the joy you once felt with every new issue of NME, then look no further. Absolutely class music journalism, eye-catching illustrations and a fab way to keep on top of the musical talent emerging in the UK and beyond. Who says indie music is dead?? http://soyoungmagazine.bigcartel.com/
Alternative, creepy and all about the occult. AMAZING. http://gutmagazine.bigcartel.com/product/gut-magazine-issue-2-the-magic-issue
Giving a big thumbs-down to the binaristic definition of ‘woman’ in order to provide insightful and provocative content within the glossy magazine format. Beautiful use of illustration and stunningly inventive visuals. Their ‘Sex’ issue is super-hard to get a hold of but soooo worth it if you can. http://www.ladybeardmagazine.co.uk/shop/
The insta babes and London fash-pack have found a new aesthetic in reworked noughties’ bling (and PVC, fishnets and faux-fur). The club kids worshipping noughties Britney and Paris aren’t being ‘ironic’ (this isn’t 2008), they’re tapping into the cultural phenomen of ‘post-feminism’. Post-feminism as a term is not so well documented, but it manifests itself in 2016 as a rejection of the feminist label in favour of self-empowerment via fabulosity.
And why would you not be tempted to reject feminism?? Feminism is, in so many ways, flawed. It emerged from a group of white, middle-class, heterosexual women who were not aiming for ‘liberation’ but were looking to access the higher degree of privilege afforded to their male peers.This racism, ableism, classism, homophobia and heterosexism carries into feminism today, which repeatedly lets down POC, LGBTQI+, the differently-abled and other minorities.
Rejecting feminism is not necessarily rejecting the fight for equality.
Case in point being womanism. This movement developed in the 80s against a backdrop of inadequate and unequal feminism and focusses on the intersecting effects of racism and sexism upon black women. Rooted in the writings of Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Clenora Hudson-Weems and Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi, it’s hard to define, it’s influential and it’s powerful.
And while post-feminism was once associated with lazy notions of girl-power and pink, it’s revival subverts these hegemonic ideas of femininity. Fuelled by Judith Butler’s ideas on gender performance as well as the entry of drag culture into the mainstream (thanks, Ru Paul) what has emerged is a hyped-up and hyper-sexed feminine androgyny, rejecting binaristic ideas of gender. Post-feminism allows discussions of equality to emerge which are not mired in the male/female dialectic or founded with ‘heterosexual’ as the default. Soaked in late-stage capitalism and hedonism but nourished by complex gender theory, post-feminism is so very now.