Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I think I'm gonna start making zines.

It's pretty sad when I'd rather buy Bust's "Men We Love" issue than the latest from Girlfriends. I went to the bookstore to do my monthly magazine run and came up with nothing. I did end up buying the Bust issue, mainly because Mary-Louise Parker did one of the interviews, and I've been in love with her since I was fourteen (mothers, don't let your daughters watch and/or read Fried Green Tomatoes!).
Girlfriends calls itself "the word on lesbian lifestyle", to which I respond with a resounding WHAT-THE-FUCK-EVER. This month's issue features insightful articles on which Fortune 500 company I should work for (cause I so have a chance to work for Lucent Technologies); how to come out once at said lesbian-friendly office space; the wonders of places I've never been to and won't likely visit any time soon, such as MichFest and the Yukon; which over-priced wine I should drink; reviews of movies I'll never get to see, TV I don't watch anyway, Hollywood rumors I don't care about, and books I'm not interested in reading. Then they put it all behind a frankly insulting cover--am I supposed to find anorexic models on a bender attractive? Because historically, I tend to go for girls who weigh twice as much as that topless office chick.
I guess I'm accusing them of targeting wealthy assimilating white 30-something dykes who live in San Francisco; which is ironic, as this month's letters-to-the-editor has a rant from a 50-ish woman accusing them of pandering to horny 17 year-old lesbians. I wish.
Bust has its flaws--it's a little too lipstick for my tastes, and at the end of the day, it's written by and for straight girls--but at least it's not as fluffy as Girlfriends. When Andrea Dworkin died I couldn't believe a lesbian magazine published such a flippant and sneering obit--repeating the old "she said all straight sex was rape! What a prudish freak!" myth. Maybe it was Curve that published it; I don't know, they're pretty indistinguisable (I am not even going to get into the Gwen Stefani cover that Curve published).
So, why do I keep reading magazines that have all the political conciousness of a sorority girl? Because they're the only ones out there. I know there are other queer rags--I've heard Fierce is pretty good--but they don't sell them here. And I can't afford a subscription, I can barely afford to buy Bitch and Bust every few months. And sometimes they're decent; last month's Girlfriends featured butch fashion, and how often do you see a butch girl in a tie on a cover? I ate it up. Besides, beggars can't be choosers. But I keep fantasizing about a magazine with a feminist conciousness like Bitch and Bust, that's written for queer women like Curve and Girlfriends, and--this is the pie-in-the-sky bit--speaks to my experience as a financially strapped midwestern dyke who did all her coming out in a rural red state. Or at least acknowledges my existence. Because I'm glad that New York and California have a queer culture and resources that I can only dream of. Good for them. Doesn't do me a whole lot of fucking good, it just makes me feel even more isolated than usual. Thank goddess for the internet, that's all I can say. I wish that whole "all feminists are lesbians" stereotype were true; it would increase the number of actual dykes I actually know from 1 to 3.
I did a little net searching and found there are at least two queer magazines in France: Tetu, which seems to be their version of The Advocate, written by men, with men on the cover, and maybe a sidebar on for lesbians inside somewhere; and a dyke mag called La Dixieme Muse. Whether I'll actually be able to find them at tabacs remains to be seen.
Clearly, I'm going to have to become a media mogul and start my own goddamn magazine.

4 Comments:

At 1:29 AM, Blogger TP said...

It is so ridiculously bad the state of magazines provided in the world today.

I read Bust (import), because it's a hell of a lot better than most of the crap I can get in the UK. The Ecologist is also ok, but I think it's aimed at Dinks with loads of cash and 'good intentions' of being a suited and booted eco warrior or somthing.

At least it contains interesting information about stuff, like how all visitors to Disney World have to have their fingers scanned before they can go in. ANd not just patronising crap about what I should like and how I should dress.

Do your own thing - make a zine. I saw a great one in Copenhagen when I visited, featuring 'this months drag kings'. I think it was called something like mowhawk beaver...?

 
At 1:34 AM, Blogger TP said...

Shit, that link is ridiculous. I just read the first couple of lines to see if Dink was defined. Sorry to have brought something so insanely bad to your attention!

 
At 6:12 AM, Blogger Hush said...

The coverage of Andrea Dworkin's death generally was pretty poor considering the impact she had on feminism. I think the coverage you mentioned was in Curve.....

 
At 6:36 AM, Blogger Andygrrl said...

traveling punk--"Mohawk beaver" is such a great name for a drag king zine. Guess I'll have to make a stop in Copenhagen when I'm in Europe! I don't know what I'm gonna do in France with out my Ms., Bitch, and Bust. I haven't been able to find if there's anything similar in France; which is a shame, since France gave us de Beauvoir and Wittig and Cixous!

Hush--Ms. had a pretty good article on it, but yeah, it was pretty much ignored or used as another chance to ridicule her. She gets singled out for it in a way that other controversial feminists really don't, imho; she's like a whipping boy or something. It's really disgusting.

 

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