December 11, 2014

Zine: Girls Get Busy #23

Girls Get Busy #23 opens the proverbial "room of one's own" and lets us all in.

This most recent issue of Girls Get Busy may be my favorite yet. The experiences of the writers are vast and poignant, and visuals by the artists are dreamy and with purpose. Girls Get Busy #23 packs a punch, and on the figurative fist there are totally knuckle tattoos that read TUFF LADY. There is a lot happening here, and that's a good thing. There is invasion of expectation, memory, and fear. There is loss of love, youth, and home. There is a letting go of who we were then and an acceptance of who we are now. We hear from a wide range of women — in age, experience and race — which is the reason I adore this issue so much.

In her piece, "My Mother's Boutique" Fabiola Ching describes the emotional spin her mother takes when she leaves her home and boutique behind in Africa and orbits the emotions of moving to the States:

Our first year here, she would call and talk to the new store owner every week and ask how things were with the shop. Then she stopped doing that altogether. I think she let go but it felt more like giving up even though that's not exactly what it was. But that's the effect that this country has on a lot of us, you know? This country teaches you a lot of things. There's no room to dwell but you have to stay strong and hopefully. Cast a blind eye to things that aren't there anymore no matter how much you can still feel them behind your ears. Shed everything as you walk. Absolutely no room for baggage. 

It's easy for many of us to say that letting go of the past is healthy, but what about those who's pasts
are not here and are forced to leave their cultures and traditions behind? Sara Geiger describes her experience assimilating as a Latina in her piece "Rebeldes":

"pero like", on circus reruns en la cocina, "like pero like like pero like"
on repeat broken 60's records & Abuela's typewriter
repeatrepeatrepeat-eat-eat-eat en la cocina-
Do you remember when we threw out your mothers crappy
enchiladas to sneak in mcdonalds?
Is there a better analogy for assimilation that that?

The stories of those often unheard are what feminism needs to keep it's motor running, and these two stories are juxtaposed to many others. We hear from a new mother dealing with a changing body and life. We hear from youth facing Facebook crises, Google search results, and the confusion of family and growing up. Sarah Sütterlin, in her art piece, says it perfectly:


In those two lines, she concisely sums up Girls Get Busy as well as a central facet of feminism. We have a lot of women here with a lot of different experiences and backgrounds; we must make room to hear and see all of their stories.

Read the full issue of Girls Get Busy #23 here.

Written by Cynthia Schemmer