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.