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Introducing Muse Magazine: the Magazine for Wellington’s Young Feminists

Submitted by on January 30, 2011 – 12:00 pm One Comment

1.  Can you explain Muse Magazine for those of us who may not have heard of it before?

Muse Feminist Magazine is a free zine produced by a voluntary collective of women living in Wellington. Our mission is to provide a space for young women’s voices in order to create a forum for feminist discussion and encourage action.  We print around 1000 copies of each issue and distribute them around the country

2.  What’s the coolest thing about Muse?

Because it is free and is distributed all around schools, cafes and galleries – anyone (feminist or not) can pick it up and get a bit of feminism in their life.  Often we get people that didn’t previously identify as feminist writing in and saying ‘hey this article really made me think’, its an accessible way for people to engage with the issues.

3.  Why did Muse start?

A group of us met in 2005 at the National Women’s Convention in a workshop on Broadsheet and thought, why isn’t there still a feminist magazine in NZ, we still need one?  So we decided to make it happen.

4.  What’s Muse’s approach to feminism – given that there are so many branches of it?

We recognise there are as many feminisms as there are feminists, there is lots of variety even within our collective and we want our zine to reflect this.  We do adhere to 5 main values that can describe our basic feminist perspective – in brief these are – opposing all forms of discrimination, acknowledging Te Tiriti, pro-choice analysis, valuing women’s paid and unpaid work and respectful communication.  (For more info check out http://musemagazine.org.nz/)

5.  Who might enjoy Muse?

Hopefully men and women young and old!  We try to mix up each issues so that there are opinion pieces, in-depth analysis, something lighter, reviews, creative writing etc – we are certainly not an academic journal but we have a lot more substance than a women’s magazine.  Its are great place for people to learn about women’s issues and gender politics.

6.  Where do you dream of Muse Magazine heading in the future?

We love where we are actually!  A well read, community based and independent zine.  We would love to engage more women in writing for us or contributing in other ways, especially young women.  Funding is a challenge but we have wonderful individuals supporting us which allows us to remain independent.

7.  Can you tell us about the award Muse Mag recently received?

The New Horizons for Women Trust awarded us the SROW Elsie Locke Award for 2010.  The award commemorates the life and work of Elsie Locke.  We are using the award to fund the direct costs of printing and distributing issue 9 (The Power Issue – out now) and issue 10 (Ecofeminism and the Environment – out later this year).

8.  Who are you and how did you come to be involved with Muse?

I am Natalie Gousmett, one of the original Muses.  I met the other Muses at the National Women’s Conference in 2005 and offered to hold the first Muse meeting at my flat in Aro Valley, and it went from there.  Some of the original Muses are still on the collective (some having left while traveling and come back) and others have come on board along the way.

9.  Can you summarize three inspiring articles you published in Muse Mag recently, including who they’re by?

Here are 3 recent articles that inspire me with my favourite quotes from each

1. We ignore Whakapapa at our Peril by Sandra Dickson (Issue 8)

“I’m interested in how we end all of the inter-connected kinds of violence in Aotearoa. White people challenging racist and colonial violence; everyone standing up against trans* hatred and queer bashing, (and) men challenging other men’s violence. But not at the expense of giving up our rights to determine how our activism targeting male violence against women should look.”

2. A bad decision: why I was wrong five years ago by Holly Walker (Issue 9)

“But I’m not proud of printing that article, and I’m sorry I did.  I hope today’s crop of student journalists think hard about their roles in relation to offense, controversy and feminism.  Causing offense for the sake of of offense shouldn’t be understood as par for the course of student journalists.  If they possibly can, I’d encourage them to do that thinking now and not in five years’ time.”

3. Breastfeeding – what a bitch by FairyDub (Issue 9)

“Breastfeeding has been bloody hard and I can completely understand why women don’t persevere.  I want all women to feel supported in feeding their babies, whether that be with breast milk or formula.”

10.  Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about Muse?

We really want to thank all our readers, contributers (writers, designers, artists), donors and volunteers.  Your support is what makes this such a successful project.

We would love to encourage women to send in contributions – opinion pieces, creative writing and art.  Keep in touch with us on Facebook.


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One Comment »

  • K says:

    Hey there guys,

    I read a copy of your magazine in a waiting room. Nice work, keep it up! I hope to contribute myself one day soon.

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