24pp/ b&w/ quarter size / 50p
This is the second issue of a new quarter sized perzine written by 19 year old Catherine Elms from Wales. The cover of issue one, put out earlier this year has the motto, ‘On love, music, feminism and creativity’, which is a fairly accurate description.
Issue 2 carries on precisely where issue 1’s pieces left off: performing in pubs, the reaction to Catherine no longer shaving her armpits and various attacks on consumerist ‘mainstream’ fashion trends. Like all perzines, it starts off with an update on Catherine’s life, mainly the conclusion of her first year at uni, there’s some poetry, a timeline charting her musical development and evolution as a musician which reads more as a timeline of her tastes and politics and the development of her personality than simply what instruments she’s learned or bands she’s been in. There is a lot in these zines about the realisation that as a woman she could do things that she’d previously been discouraged from doing, mainly by that idiot breed –the teenage boy. And the vast majority of the two zines so far are positive, pro-feminist calls to arms intended for people who’ve been in or are in similar situations.
However, there are a few instances where attacks on mainstream fashion trends, and the wider context of institutionalised sexism and misogyny through fashion descend into just plain attacks on her ‘friends’ stupidity, not just for being taken in by it but apparently for their tastes too. There is a hint of ‘I’m alternative, you’re mainstream, I’m better’, but it is only a hint. And more than that there’s a lot of ‘my views are too radical, I won’t say anything’, which surely solves nothing? If you can’t talk to your friends about such things then who can you talk to? Or perhaps that’s where the zine comes in.
It’s not all bad though, and the anger and passion that comes through at the constant barrage of misogynistic media and people is awesome and sometimes refreshing to hear someone just getting fucking angry rather than pseudo-intellectually justifying actions or blaming, ‘The system, man’, as is too often done. Personal pieces about her reaction to an article called, ‘What men really think’ is entirely that, and it’s heartening that the Hank she often writes about is flying the flag for non-dickhead men everywhere. Other pieces on her anger at being fucked over by friends again is more of a pure outlet than any sort of wider analysis. Sure it’s a tad self indulgent, but all good perzines are.