Friday, 26 March 2010

sad sad demise

I'm trying to remember the year it was - probably 2002 - I treated myself to an international subscription to Venus zine; I loved the female artists they covered, the fact they gave column inches and backing to bands and artists who really deserved the exposure and support, I loved the music ideas they introduced to my head, the good interviews and reviews that made me sit up and take notice, and much more - The general fact that it existed in the way it did was really inspiring to my feminist-self-publishing sensibilities. It really was a great magazine. After that year though, things went a bit downhill, it as a magazine meant less to me and said much less to me - I figured it was because it had served its purpose to my earlier self, or something. On reflection, it was more than that, bigger changes had taken place within the actual zine - in the substance of the zine. But for that year it was my favourite (maga)zine.

Cue this recent news:

'Feminism is “an old-fashioned concept” and “doesn’t seem relevant," according to Sarah Beardsley, the 47-year-old publisher of Venus magazine, which she recently purchased from the two real estate agents who had themselves purchased the magazine only a few years earlier from its founder, Amy Schroeder.
As reported by the Chicago Reader, Beardsley’s solution for saving the zine seems to leave any association with the dreaded F-word behind.
“She told me she's not a feminist and feminism is what hindered the magazine in the past,” one unnamed source told the Reader. Instead, Beardsley plans to focus her newly purchased mag on, in her words, “an extended community of people who want to be part of—movement's too strong a word, but cause—something people believe in, an aesthetic being built from the ground up.” Hmm. A community of people who want to be part of a cause that people believe in? Nah, feminism is nothing like that.
The magazine, which began life as a zine focused on women in music, had ceased publication last September, and has just released its first issue under Beardsley. Whether the new, feminism-free version of the troubled mag will succeed remains to be seen. And if it does, what would that say about feminism?'

(via: Bust (incidently, Bust is another magazine that seems to now subscribe to the 'cute sweaters and nice neckalces' [Thanks, Lex!] school of thought when it comes to feminist publishing... yeah, yeah, enough knitting and crochet already... how about having something to say for yourselves again)

Pissing on someones grave (Amy Schroeder's Venus) isn't cool, and neither is being so bafflingly confused about the nature of community, movements, and feminism.

As Sabrina Chapadjiev wrote to me today: 'What a way to demoralize something that actually meant a lot to people. But you know what this means, ladies. . .it means that they're turning it over to us. . .'

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