It’s finally here! It’s been eight months since I first dreamed up the idea for Feminartsy, while watching the classic ‘90s film 10 Things I Hate About You. There’s a scene in the film where Heath Ledger’s character goes to a feminist night club, Club Skunk, to woo Julia Styles by pretending to like the band Letters to Cleo.
At the time, I was editor-in-chief of Lip Magazine, a pretty amazing feminist website that I had been involved with since 2004. As much as I loved working on Lip, I was getting somewhat weary of the news cycle, and part of me wanted to focus on long-form writing, art and literature.
Watching 10 Things I Hate About You and looking at Club Skunk, I thought ‘what if there was an online feminist nightclub – somewhere where like-minded people could revel in art and music and writing of a feminist variety without having to engage with the politics of feminism all the time?’
I was originally going to call this site ‘Club Skunk’ in an ode to the film. But one night, in a stroke of inspiration, I remembered a term used to denigrate me by an asshole MRA one time – and so, Feminartsy was conceived.
This month launches the website with a suite of content I’m really proud of publishing, themed ‘Awakenings’. I chose this theme because launching Feminartsy was a bit of an awakening for me, a realisation of the direction I want to move in with editing and publishing. But also, because our various moments of change and awakening to new ideas or thoughts or philosophies can be seminal in shaping us, and I wanted to see what contributors would develop from the theme.
Ashley Thomson kicks things off with an introspective account of his various awakenings in a piece that made me question some of my own philosophies.
I chat to feminist extraordinaire Karen Pickering about her feminist awakening, and Cherchez La Femme, her feminist pub talk show. Melissa Wellham recounts her experiences of insomnia, and Chiara Grassia invites us into her word of fandom for the band Throwing Muses.
Farz Edraki offers an intriguing piece of short fiction, exploring identity, relationships and growing up, while Emily Stewart’s poetry is rough, raw and tender at once.
Excitingly, there are two art spreads on Feminartsy this month – Prue Stent brings us a collection of her arresting photography, exploring the female body and notions of sexuality and objectification. And Amanda Herzman’s quirky illustrations are what I wish I had on my bedroom walls as a teenager.
We’ll be hosting a special Canberra launch event of Feminartsy on June 20 at Smiths’ Alternative, with readings from Emily Stewart and Ashley Thomson, and music from the amazing Aphir and Fossil Rabbit.
We’ll also be raising money at the event for the inspiring charity, Hand Up Laos – stay tuned for a chat with Director Sasha Peakall on the site soon!
Finally, this website would not be launching without the support of some very kind individuals who donated to our Pozible crowdfunding campaign – a huge thanks to these amazing people:
Lex Epiphany Rosenberg
The Fabric Social
Lefa Singleton Norton
Lisa Jane Stelling
Madaléin Rose Tier
If you’d like to support Feminartsy, you can still donate to the Pozible campaign until June 19. I would also recommend looking into Hand Up Laos and donating directly to them for the wonderful work they do (in fact, I encourage you to do that instead of donating to Feminartsy!).
Happy reading – I hope you enjoy this month’s content, and drop me a line with feedback anytime!