Since the 1990s, zines have played a crucial role in bringing awareness of feminism to young women. But with the publication of a new book devoted to Zine culture, one has to wonder, are zines obsolete?
In her review of Alison Piepmeier’s book Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism, The American Prospect’s Jessica Clark does some fan-girl reminiscing of her own. Like Piepmeier, Clark recalls her first encounter with feminism, which was facilitated in part by the proliferation of grrrl zines. While zines are closely related to the punk movement and its hardcore, tough-guy posturing, riot grrrls and DIY-feminists turned to the photocopied pages as a way of ripping apart pop culture and pasting it together again in collages and text that was at once both rebellious and celebratory. Piepmeier zeroes in on the physical process of creation as a way in which zines can be connected to earlier gendered forms of media: