Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad F Word?

Venus magazine, the Chicago based feminist music zine that started out as an overnight project, is getting a makeover. The Chicago Reader reports that Sarah Beardsley is taking over and revamping the content and style of the much loved mag. The biggest change? No more blatant feminism. Beardsley is quoted as saying:

“That’s such a word fraught with interpretation and meaning,” she said. “We don’t use that particular F word around here. It just doesn’t seem relevant.” She called feminism “an old-fashioned concept” and explained that “it doesn’t enter into our discussions about what we’re going to cover and what have you.” She said, “We’re much more into discovering trends, talent, whatever they are, and they can come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and forms.”


Venus was so great because it was all about women in music and art being DIY as fuck. While I agree with founder Amy Schroeder’s concern that there’s nothing wrong with getting bigger and growing up, I think feminism is still viable and relevant and important. But old fashioned? Until I get paid as much as the jerk with a dick in the next cubicle, I can walk home without looking behind me every few steps, and I’m not bombarded with images of naked or domesticated women everytime I turn on the television, there’s still work to be done. It’s nice to think that feminism has done everything it can do and everyone is equal and there’s no oppression or exploitation, but we all now we’re not even close to that point. Old fashioned is lemonade. Equality is not old fashioned.

While I’m not giving up on Venus, I’m also not looking forward to more celebrity coverage and less F bombs. I’ll check out the next issue but I’ll be doing so with a critical eye. Let’s hope Venus won’t become another Sassy turned into Jane, watered down girl power trying to sell stuff instead of build awesomeness.

0 thoughts on “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad F Word?

  • April 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    ugh agreed. One of the reasons i love Bust is because they are not afraid of the word FEMINIST! ooooooo it's so scary!!! ooooo

    boo to Venus for totally not understanding where their readers are coming from. but whatevskis, it's their funeral and they can cry if they want to.

  • April 1, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    oh so my equality is not relevant to Venus huh?

    I guess Venus isn't really relevant to me anymore!

  • April 7, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Ok I checked out the new issue at MADE in Phoenix. It's not as glossy as old issues and is definitely thinner. It has more of an art mag feel to it but more celebrity content. I was underwhelmed. And I didn't see the f word anywhere.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.