Zines are a type of crude and unpolished self publication that is passed around hand to hand as copies were often limited. The process of creating zines frequently includes cutting and pasting, Xeroxing, and drawings. The overall look is that of something similar to a collage of words and pictures. These days, some zines are even created on the internet and can be accessed by anyone. Riot grrrl was an underground punk movement that is sometimes referred to as the third wave of feminism. The riot grrrl bands addressed many political and personal issues and often promoted female empowerment. It was under the riot grrrl movement that zines began to proliferate. These homemade zines enveloped a number of feminist topics and included personal experience with these conflicts. Zines were an outlet for girls to express themselves freely and, in turn, be able to connect with other girls over this spectrum of political and personal issues. Along this vein, zines reminded me of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s artwork. Through his artwork he was able to spread his message and get people thinking so as to take that first step towards change. Zines also got people thinking as they expressed ideas and opinions of girls and, in essence, was the first step towards change. To me, rap is the modern day equivalent of zines. Today, female rappers, like Nicki Minaj, are using their music to share their thoughts. The idea is the same though the medium may be different. As I had never heard of zines, I became very interested in them and decided to create my own for my final.
The name of my zine is The Writer’s Muse. I named it so because I like to think of myself as an aspiring writer and also because I filled my zine with things that inspire me. In my zine I include lyrics from Beyonce’s song “Who Run The World?” alongside a drawing of the earth with a girl on top. I liked this particular song of hers as I’m attracted to this whole idea she aggressively tries to portray of a female dominated world. There is also a section in my zine labeled “Rants and Raves” where I list the things I love or that I’m irritated by. I also include a letter addressed to the “Women of Pakistan” in which I vent out my frustration over the limits placed on women over there and encourage them to strive for what they want without fear of being maligned in malicious gossip and reproach. “Pants” is a section where I’ve included images of pants and a question that I am addressing to my mother. My mother is very old fashioned and so always forbids me to wear pants when visiting family friends as traditional clothing are worn and not “American clothes”. By wearing pants to such events, I am essentially drawing unnecessary attention to my body and the scrutiny of women who are liable to deem me immoral. Pants, for me, is a symbol of freedom of expression and simply being able to dress the way I wish to regardless of being judged by others. My right to wear pants is the one thing I will continue to fight for. “Why Jane Eyre Inspires Me” is where I list the reasons why this fictional character has become such a positive inspiration for me. Last but not least, I include a poem I wrote, “Frozen Rose Ballad”.
Josh Takano Chambers-Letson. “Contracting Justice: The Viral Strategy of Felix Gonzalez-Torres.” Criticism 51.4 (2010): 559-87. Print.
Neal, Mark Anthony., and Murray Forman. “Empowering Self, Making Choices, Creating Spaces: Black Female Identity via Rap Music Performance,” That’s the Joint!: The Hip-hop Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 2004. Print.
Rosenberg, Jessica, and Gitana Garofalo. “Riot Grrrl: Revolutions from within.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 23.3 (1998): 809. Print.