I was excited to hear that Spare Rib http://www.spare-rib.co.uk is going to be re-launched on the internet in May, along with a glossy bi-monthly starting from Autumn to compete with the likes of Elle and Marie Clare. It will be edited by journalist Charlotte Raven who announced a few days ago that Rosie Boycott is also on-board, co-founder of the original magazine.
In the Guardian today, Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about how good the internet is for feminism, giving a platform to people who may not otherwise be heard: sex workers, the disabled, transgender women. But, she says ‘we should never underestimate the power of the written word in hard copy.’ It is modern Spare Rib’s challenge to bring the diversity of the internet into print.
I tend to actively avoid magazine shelves, partly because I haven’t picked up a glossy woman’s mag in years (too much fashion and advertising), and partly because my children always pounce on the trashy kid’s mags, which are mostly full of stereotypes and cost a fortune. We get a subscription to New Statesman, which covers my political and some of my feminist and literary needs. But I like the idea of a kind of New Statesman for women (without the sexist title).
Personally, I’d like to see something that appeals to all age and race of women. I’d like a place where young adults can learn about their gender’s history and to try to understand why their society is the way it is and how it can be made better. The magazine needs to be a space for debate, a place where people can disagree and be heard. Not a place of hierarchy or dogma or snobbery. I hope it makes feminism a good word, one that celebrates all elements of what it is to be female, from clothes and sex, to looking and feeling good, to serious issues like labour, abortion and rape.