Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Tasmia N on 08/3/2011

Magazine Crisis: Bitch Magazine

Bitch Magazine rocks!

Bitch Magazine rocks!

I don’t get intricately handwritten letters very often. So, I settle for the next best thing: a magazine addressed to yours truly every month! Awesome, right? I certainly thought it was and I was quite content with that arrangement until I noticed that, frankly, the mainstream magazines I was subscribing to were just big ol’ pots of mindlessness. In fact, I made a list proving this.

Mindless Things Frequently Featured in Mindless Magazines:

- How to get a freakin’ cute butt!
- REEL IN THE MAN OF YOUR DREAMS! (Ahem, not considering any women of your dreams, plus other problems)
- Airbrushing galore
- Consumerism on every page.

So, I cancelled my subscriptions to said mindless magazines and felt utterly gloomy at the prospect of what these magazines are trying to tell young women. I continued reading feminist blogs and books because they often helpfully mention magazines that are more thoughtful. And then, miraculously, in the magazine section of my favourite organic store (the only organic store I’ve stepped in or heard about) I found the holy grail: feminist magazines! I bought copies of Shameless, Bitch and Bust. I made a list of all of the non-mindless things that can be found in these magazines:

- Music reviews for the music junkie in all of us
- Good book recommendations
- Healthy ideas about sex (None of that “don’t be a ‘slut’, but don’t be prude either!” nonsense)
- World issues
- Tips on activism
- Features LGBTQ perspectives

A bit better, no? I am much, much, much better off with these witty magz.

However, since many feminist magazines are independent as opposed to being commercially owned, there is a very real possibility that without support they’ll go out of print. Such is the case for Bitch, which needs 1500 subscriptions by August 8th in order to stay in print. Read the magazine (or the blog online), see if you like it, and then subscribe (here) if you can!

P.S. If you, too, are looking for feminist magazines as I was, here are my official recommendations: Ms., Shameless, Bitch, Bust, and Marie Claire (although not totally feminist, it’s kind of liberal). Leave your recommendations in the comments!

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  • Emma E @ at 11:23 am, August 3rd, 2011

    Aaaaah! I’d love to help, but I’m not allowed to subscribe to anything with ‘Bitch’ in the title…*sighs sadly* And it’s one of the few actual good magazines for girls!!!

    And for another good feminist magazine, can I suggest Ms? It’s more political-oriented, but still really feminist and just generally awesome.

  • Emma E @ at 11:23 am, August 3rd, 2011

    Oh, never mind, you already had that one listed. *smiles* I guess I missed that…

  • Ashley @ at 11:36 am, August 3rd, 2011

    As an aspiring magazine writer myself, I admit to liking a lot of the “mindless” magazines as well as the not to mindless, but I don’t always find women’s magazines so bad. The content of a magazine is based on what women want to see in them. It’s great that you have found those feminist magazines with great content, but don’t put down a woman or a publication that enjoys reading about how to get a great guy.

  • Tasmia N @ at 4:41 pm, August 3rd, 2011

    Emma: Bitch will likely appreciate the moral support. :) And I nearly forgot to put Ms. magazine in there! Crazy, right?

    Ashely: Well, I’ve read a lot of the “How to get a man” articles myself, so I’m certainly not condemning or putting down anyone who does. However, while there might be decent “How to get a man articles”, this type of article is featured way too any times than necessary, also often giving silly and pretty unfeminist advice. Also, they never feature any “How to get a woman” articles. So I am putting the publications down, for a good reason. Yes, some magazines aren’t too bad, but they could definitely do better, and they should.

    And, that’s sweet that you want to be a magazine writer, so well wishes to you in the csreer magazine journalism. :)

  • Alexa @ at 6:39 pm, August 3rd, 2011

    A magazine with an amazing feminist perspective- but for girls 8-14- is New Moon Girls (no affiliation with the vampire saga; they’ve been around since the early ’90s.) The have an accompanying online community at newmoon.com . I’d recommend it to any girl in that age group, and to everyone else’s daughters/nieces/students/friends…

  • Renee @ at 7:32 am, August 5th, 2011

    @Tasmia N have you ever thought that they where just targeting their demographic b/c it’s ridiculous to stomp ur feet at them b/c theyre not catering to you (a femenist) obviously you where never theirs to be concerned about theirs is a demographic of possibly late 20s to late 30s who are hetero and like clothes celebrities and sex….thats just my two sense

  • Emma E @ at 7:42 am, August 5th, 2011

    @Renee: I think that’s her point…They should be writing articles that make girls into strong women, etc, etc, instead of teaching them how to be women who like clothes, celebrities and sex…:)

  • Vanessa M @ at 9:09 am, August 7th, 2011

    Too bad… They don’t sell feminist magazines where I live. We need more magazines that actually help young girls become proper females.

  • Tara @ at 6:48 pm, August 8th, 2011

    @Renee:
    were*
    because*
    your*
    they’re*
    feminist*
    were*
    that’s*
    cents*
    Also, a period or comma wouldn’t have been to bad, either.

  • Renee @ at 12:46 pm, August 9th, 2011

    @Emma E You assume that by buying the magazine that they’re giving up there rigt to vote or something you’re saying that by my reading 17 magazine that I’m not going to be a successful woman and I’m sorry but that’s bullshit and you can’t teach someone to like clothes celebrities and sex you either like it or you dont …to say that teenage girls are just so easily swayed is insuliting

  • Emma E @ at 3:03 pm, August 9th, 2011

    @Renee: I actually read and enjoy Seventeen magazine, and I don’t think that it’s going to make me any less successful, but I definitely think it could do a little more for women’s rights. That said, Seventeen is probably the best of them all, publishing honest articles about rape, pregnancy, and LGBTQ bullying. I don’t think they need to publish blatantly feminist articles, I just think they could write articles that are more along the lines of ‘you’re perfect the way you are’ instead of ‘you’re perfect the way you…BUT, if you lose ten pounds, you’d be even better!’

  • Bitchstraps @ at 3:54 pm, August 9th, 2011

    I think it’s ridiculous that people take issue with the word bitch. Bitch Magazine produces excellent articles. I work for a company called, “Bitchstraps” and we run into so many silly issues over our name. Why let one meaning of the word ruin all the fun of it. We did a video on it, http://tinyurl.com/3e2rfuz and you can hear our thoughts at bitchstraps.com/blog

  • Renee @ at 10:00 pm, August 10th, 2011

    @Tara your snark has been well received so thank you! Heavens forbid someone have imperfect grammar while commenting on a blog. I am so terribly sorry.
    @Emma I understand where you are coming from I just rather a magazine be the magazine it wants to be and not a magazine that just pacifies feminist…mainly b/c when companies do things to pacify the feminist it comes out really bad atleast imo (i hope that made a little since I was all over the place)

  • Emma E @ at 11:34 am, August 11th, 2011

    @Renee: I see your point. I wouldn’t want a magazine to try to be feminist and do it really badly. Truce?

  • Renee @ at 10:08 pm, August 12th, 2011

    @Emma Truce! :D

  • gabi @ at 4:59 pm, August 16th, 2011

    just subscribed to 2 of the magazines you mentioned. thanks for this post! =)

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