Dirty Words

Page 1

Spring 2017


Dirty Words Edited by Jessica Demarest



An ugly idea left unchallenged begins to turn the color of normal.

—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

From the Editor Hello! And on behalf of the 23 unique voices featured within these pages, welcome. The small booklet you’ve just picked up is called a zine, short for magazine. This particular zine was conceived as my senior capstone project for the Professional Writing Program at Champlain College. Since then, it has grown to include and touch more people than I ever anticipated. Grrrl zines—the particular category of zine Jessica Demarest

which Dirty Words falls under—were an offshoot of the 1990s subcultural feminist punk rock movement known as Riot Grrrl. These zines were independently published by people around the world to give women, girls, LGBTQIA individuals, and other minorities a place for their voices to be heard in the male-dominated media landscape. Although grrrl zines were traditionally handmade, Dirty Words was created using Adobe InDesign and professionally printed. But the intent behind this zine stems from the same roots as many of those original grrrl zines: to provide a space for underrepresented voices to speak out on the things that matter to them. In the early stages, I struggled to feel qualified for a project like this; I’m a feminist, but I didn’t think I was “cool” enough to be inspired by something like Riot Grrrl. After all, I’m far from punk rock. I didn’t think I was edgy enough. I wasn’t the right kind of feminist. Then I remembered: feminism is for everyone. It’s that thinking that drove most of my decisions throughout this process. When I initially came up with the idea for this zine, I imagined it being a publication for women, by women. I quickly realized that if this were to be a truly intersectional feminist endeavor, that definition would be a little too narrow. What I was trying to do was create a

space dedicated to voices that often go unheard in our society, and that needed to include not only women’s voices, but also gender diverse voices. Furthermore, it needed to include the voices of as many different individuals as possible in terms of race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, and religion. All of the stories and art you’ll see in this collection are here because they mean something to the person who created them. Because they say something about the female experience, however obvious or subtle that might be. Feminism isn’t about relegating the conversation to a narrow selection of topics and issues. It’s about understanding that every single one of us experiences the world differently, and that each of those experiences has equal value in the feminist movement. If anything, I hope that Dirty Words allows you to consider the world from a perspective that is not your own, even if only for a few minutes. I hope it reminds you—as it reminded me—that there is no right or wrong way to be a feminist. Most of all, I hope you enjoy reading these stories and experiencing this art as much as I did. It truly is exceptional. With love,


It Isn’t Funny Anymore • Kiera Hufford • 3 Untitled Drawing of a Girl • Molly Wood • 3 Assorted Poems • Lenny Farrell • 4 Kino • Nikki Pito • 5 An Unfondness • Abbie Stoner • 6 Femme • Montserrat (Luna) Guerra-Solano • 6 All Hail • Felisa Charles • 12 Lost Words • Angela DiLoreto • 13 “Sweet/Vicious” Makes Rape No Laughing Matter • Raven Yankee • 14 Female Power • Sarah Bellefeuille • 14 I am not what I have done, I am what I have overcome • Lisa Taras • 16 Save Her • Jessica Demarest • 17 America, Answer My Questions • Elnora Koonce • 20 Sangfroid • Laura Quick • 20 Montpelier Women’s March • Jessica Demarest • 22 Why I Marched • Raven Yankee • 23


Contents Assorted Photos • Laura Quick • 24 Feminist Tattoos: An Interview & Portraits • Jessica Demarest • 26 You Are Stronger Than What Ails You • Angela DiLoreto • 30 Sunday Morning • Charlotte Williams • 31 I’ll Keep an Ashtray by My Bed for You • Carolyn Cote • 32 Shadowed Perception • Molly Wood • 33 Nasty Woman’s Club • Alley Shubert • 34 Flora Female • Amanda Duane • 34 The Political is Personal • Sarah Wilkinson • 36 Planned Parenthood Ad Campaign • Jessica Taras-Setter • 37 Vagina • Sarah Bellefeuille • 38 For C— • Jana Pietrzyk • 40 3D Watercolor • Gabby Wales • 41 Dear Sisters • Jana Pietrzyk • 42 Different Cultures • Nikki Pito • 43 You Don’t Have to Be a Martyr • Caitlin Ludke • 44 Self Portrait • Nikki Pito • 44

It Isn’t Funny Anymore By Kiera Hufford It’s a funny thing sometimes, being a girl. As

the show. It isn’t funny how, in our society, a room

toddlers, we’re little and cute and our moms and

full of men can so easily dictate how our bodies

dads dress us in pink pants and pigtails. Most days,

operate and the choices we have. They sit in a room

all we have to worry about is whether the braid

and take actions that further absolve the male

Mom did will fall out or if we’ll get mud on our

population from responsibility and judgment.

clothes when we run on the playground. But it isn’t so funny when the boys start to pull

They think we need to be controlled—that way they don’t have to control themselves.

our hair and pick at what we wear. We don’t enjoy

I guess it’s funny that millions of women can

it—but “they just like us and don’t know how to

march for equality and rights to our bodies and a

show it.” So it’s okay if the hair-pulling hurts. It’s okay

good portion of society will laugh it off, saying we

if the teasing makes us cry.

have no reason to be upset. We have no reason to

And it isn’t so funny when we’re teenagers,

march because we’re so much further along than

trying to wear a tank-top on an 85° summer day

we used to be. But right now, it isn’t about where

to keep from overheating, and we get pulled out

we were or about being better off than we

of class or sent home because “we’ll distract the

used to be.

boys” and “hinder their education.” What about our

Just because things aren’t as bad as

education? But I guess it’s okay because those boys

they once were doesn’t mean we still

can learn how to become whatever they want, like

don’t have progress to make.

doctors or lawyers or politicians.

As little girls, we were molded,

And it definitely isn’t funny when we’re sexually

shaped to what society believed

assaulted and no one believes us because

we should be: prim, proper,

our attackers said we were lying. They’re star

soft-spoken, obedient. As

athletes and we’re quiet wallflowers, so everyone

women, when we try to take

thinks we’re just trying to ruin their reputations.

power, stand against the

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, a male

patriarchy, and take control

judge decides that even though a woman was

of ourselves and our

unconscious and raped behind a dumpster, it was

rights, we’re labeled:

her fault because she was drunk. Besides, her

whiny, disruptive,

attacker is a great swimmer—a tough sentence

embarrassing, nasty.

would ruin his future.

We’re told to calm

Then those boys who became politicians decide

down. Go home.

they have the right to control our bodies, and it isn’t

We’re told that

funny because our president is the one running

women have

“Funny” continued on page 4. Molly Wood is a Psychology and Studio Art double major studying at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. She aspires to be an art therapist and enjoys writing poetry, drawing, and enjoying nature. She contributed two drawings (pg. 3 and pg. 33) to this publicaton.


all the rights that men have, but that’s not true. Men aren’t doubted in court. Men aren’t told they can’t wear certain clothes because their outfits may distract women. Men aren’t targeted for the amount they drink and are celebrated for how much sex they have. Above all, men aren’t told

Nikki Pito

what they can and can’t do with their penises. Men

is a game

can knock women up and walk away—there aren’t


laws against that. But if a woman gets knocked up accidentally, it’s because she wasn’t being responsible. She should have been more careful. A girl’s life is dictated and controlled by men

artist studying at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. She enjoys

from the beginning, in the smallest of ways at

creating art in a variety of

first. But it grows—it has grown—and it isn’t funny

mediums, both digital and


traditional. Her artwork is an Kiera Hufford is from the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY. Like her hometown, she is small, but she loves to explore and finds strength

in writing, friendship, and cats.


Everyone’s Bigger Somehow By Lenny Farrell growing up people teach you to feel small— compound that with panic disorder and some days you’re shrinking into a tight crumb or a mote of dust or a speck of pollen, about to be carried away by bees. it’s not an analogy that works well, nothing does but hydroxyzine feels like the beating of bug wings and lying in bed with rubbing alcohol in the lacerations between your thighs feels like cross-pollination. don’t ever become the flower. don’t ever allow yourself to advertise. to be bright, even when ruined. this is survival in sickness and smallness. this is antipsychosis. this is getting back to nature. this is visibility under a microscope.

extension of her love for yoga, music, nature, architecture, and the human form. Nikki contributed four drawings (pg. 5 and pgs. 43-44) to this publication.

Poem For A Girl In By Lenny Farrell Summertime

see this new world painted

in trembling brushstrokes, birthed by nature’s great artist, summer.

Lenny Farrell is a writer and archivist from

see peach skin, glistening

the Pacific Northwest.

upper lips seeking fruit, overripe

Currently, she studies

we are two girls in august. see our green fingers; hands inexperience-soft, dangerous never knowing what is too much.

at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. She contributed three poems (pgs. 4-5)

see our bare legs, mottled with allergy

to this zine.

and always with poor aim colliding.

Nemain: Goddess Of The Havoc Of War i go out in the night often alone with talons bared imagining a hawk’s head behind my rib cage in place of a human heart gnashing its bone-hard beak and tearing the flesh of men who come too close

By Lenny Farrell


I saw her in the dark.

The part of me that was still drunk said vampire,

At first she was barely a flicker in the moonlight.

murderer, rapist. The part of me that was beginning

I would learn later that to see her at all meant that someday, I would see her entirely. I didn’t think anything of it—of her—at first.

to sober up said you’re still drunk, dumbass. I made it home only 1.5 hours after curfew and with only 1.5 weeks of grounding.

I was mostly drunk and I had most definitely missed curfew almost an hour ago. I was doing my

I forgot about her. Seeing things when I was

damnedest to keep a hold on my sanity and hoped

drunk wasn’t that out of the ordinary. The dusky

that the late November air nipping at my face would

figure hadn’t seemed like anything remarkable—

sober me up. My parents were fond of very few

though apparently I was. She didn’t forget me, and

things, but breaking the rules was at the top of their

the next time I saw her she made sure we both

unfond list.

knew that I did.

As I hurried down the sidewalk, hoping that

I wasn’t even breaking curfew this time, nor was

I was doing more ambling than stumbling, I saw

I drunk, but I was bent on getting home. It was after

something move across the street in the dark sliver

nine on a Saturday when the moon was a crescent

of space between streetlights. But when I faltered

in the sky and I’d just broken up with my boyfriend

and took a second glance, there was nothing there.

for calling my best friend a skank. Again. I wasn’t


An Unfondness By Abbie Stoner

crying anymore and I could feel my phone, tucked

I felt like I was being watched. Followed.

inside the pocket of my jeans, vibrating against my

I swallowed hard. I was pretty sure having

thigh. If it was my ex-boyfriend, I didn’t want to see

your phone out only worked if you were on a call

what he had to say. If it was my best friend, who I

with someone, not texting, and I had a strict policy

texted as I was leaving his house, I would see what

against calling anyone besides my parents—and

she had to say when I was out of the darkness.

maybe the cops. I dropped my hand back to my side

There was a moment when, the wind curling

and looked up, ready to—

into the space between my hair and my neck and

Someone ran across the sidewalk right in front

sending a chill down my back, my fingers strayed

of me, making me scream so loud it echoed off the

toward my pocket as I considered responding to

white vinyl siding of the house I was passing.

whoever it was. I’d heard that if you had your phone

“Oh my god.” I put my hand to my chest,

out it would stave off any potential attackers, and

feeling my pulse slamming behind it, and turned to

since my parents wouldn’t give me a car until I was

whomever I had nearly barreled into. “I’m sorry, I

off to college in two years, it was the best option

didn’t see y—”

I could think of to quiet my nerves. The hair on my neck hadn’t yet settled back down, despite the breeze having tucked itself back between the leaves.

I spun all around, my words caught in my throat. No one was there. I was not a runner by any means, but I was only a block away from my house and I ran all the way home. I knew I couldn’t outrun fear, but as I shut my front door behind me and relished in the warmth of the foyer light washing over me, I was convinced I could outrun the dark. As it turns out, you can’t outrun the dark and so I couldn’t outrun her. The next time she found me was that very next weekend and I was hopped up on adrenaline from facing off with my ex who had shown up uninvited to my best friend’s party. I wasn’t drunk, but I was buzzed and I hadn’t missed curfew yet because I was supposed to be at her house until the next day. Still, after my definitely-drunk ex crashed the party—accusing me and my best friend of being lesbians, accusing me of cheating on him with her, accusing my best friend of having a “poisonous pussy” and being a “slutty cunt”—I couldn’t very well just let him be escorted politely from the premises. We had already heard her parents rustling about upstairs and since I knew they’d come down anyway to find him, I punched him. I punched him right in the face and told him, “Never talk to me again, never even look at my best friend again, and never treat my sexuality like a weapon again. Besides, if you’re going to go with ‘poisonous pussy’ at least keep the alliteration going with, like, “Unfondness” continued on page 8.


‘contemptible cunt,’ you despicable douchebag!” That was, of course, when her parents came

Her hand dropped back to her side just as slowly as it had risen. Her body swayed gently from

busting down the basement stairs and kicked me

side to side as if she couldn’t stand to be completely

out of their house along with him. Cursing topped


their unfond list.

She shook her head just slightly. “That’s

I didn’t care though, because he topped my unfond list and I was indescribably happy for having stood up to him, even if it did mean I was walking home alone in the dark at 11 p.m. My blood was pumping fast with adrenaline and the effort of carrying around the heavy bottles of alcohol in my backpack kept me warm enough. I was so warm and so distracted by just how unfond of that boy I had become, that I didn’t notice her until she was right in front of me. “Holy crap.” I stumbled back a step but immediately became captivated. She stood in the space between the glow of the street lamps, no more than a foot of sidewalk where only the light of the stars touched. Not even the moon was out that night. She was every inch made of darkness. Her skin


seemed woven from the shadow of the moon and her hair was a storm cloud angrier than any I’d ever seen. The slip of a dress clinging to her body and pooling at her feet seemed more a shadow

impossible.” I wanted to shut my eyes and fall into the sound

than any type of cloth, and her deep-set eyes,

of her voice like falling into a childhood memory

shadowed beneath her brow bone, were wide and

when lying in bed, hoping it would make itself into a

curious as she gazed at me.

dream. Instead, I said, “Uhm, okay.” Maybe she was

“Sorry,” I managed to say, unable to take my eyes off her. “I didn’t see you.” “But you can.” Her voice was the whisper of

crazy. Maybe I was. She leaned her head to one side, her eyes drawing themselves over my entire body. We

cicadas from my windows in the summer. She

stood like that: her swaying and staring, wide-eyed,

reached her hand up in front of her in a slow

and me in front of her, motionless. But I was only

sweeping motion. “You can see me.”

motionless on the outside; the longer we stood

I furrowed my brow and glanced for a moment

like that, the more something restless began to stir

at her hand where it hovered in front of my face,

itself up inside of me. My bones felt like they were

her fingers moving as if weaving through the air or


casting a spell on me. “Of course I can see you.” Why wouldn’t I be able to?

When her eyes were trained on my feet, I noticed that her eyelids were glimmering, like stars

Montserrat (Luna) Guerra-Solano is an award-winning filmmaker, published photographer, and writer from Philadelphia, PA. Her work has been featured in gallery shows, as well as online publications such as The Interlochen Review. Themes she generally explores include human connection, roles in society, and vulnerability. Montserrat contributed her six-photo series, “Femme,” (pgs. 6-7) to this publication.

of her very own were embedded in the delicate skin

shone onto a shadow. In her absence, I felt too

there, creating a galaxy. That was impossible.

solid. Like the Tin Man in need of oiling, it took all of

In an instant, her eyes snapped up to my face

my effort to move my cold, stiff limbs.

and she spoke again: “How can you see me?” “Because I can see?” My bones felt like they were

I tried to forget about her like I had the first times I’d seen her, but her voice was in my head and her midnight face was etched inside my eyelids. I found myself taking nightly walks, paying extra attention to the spaces between street lights and around the corners of houses where the light didn’t quite reach. But it was 1.5 weeks before I saw her again. Of course she saw me first. I had all but given up

on fire, like they were moving so fast they created

on seeing her again after a week of nothing, but

friction between them.

I’d become quite fond of my nightly walks, so I

She leaned forward, seeming to fade ever so

still went on them. My parents didn’t know—I’m

slightly as she inched closer to the pool of light I

sure their teenage daughter wandering around

stood in. “But can you touch me?”

the neighborhood at all hours would make it onto

I furrowed my brow again, deeper this time,

their unfond list. So when the hair on my neck rose

and wondered what this girl was on. But when she

and didn’t fall back down and something chilled

began to lift her hand toward me and it became

the blood in my chest, I stopped dead and turned

translucent, I wondered if maybe I was drunk after

all around, looking for any signs of movement,


any attackers lurking in the dark. My phone My fingers had only twitched, spurred forward

was clutched tightly in one hand and I began to

by my humming bones, when she snapped her

surreptitiously twist my house key around in the

hand back in the quickest motion she’d made that

other so that it was sticking out from between my

whole time.

fingers like a claw.

“Never mind. I don’t want to know.” “Are you okay?” I took a small step forward and

When I had made a full three-sixty on the sidewalk, I nearly jumped out of my skin. There she

she stepped back with one foot, though something

was only a few feet in front of me, swaying in the

like a smile seemed to shine from her eyes.

darkness, carefully avoiding any beams of light.

“You’re a girl,” she said. “You shouldn’t be able to see me.” “I don’t—” The time it took me to blink was all the time it took for her to disappear, like a light

She blinked slowly, her eyes eclipsing the glimmer coming off of the lids, and raised her arms toward me, her fingers weaving through the night air.

“Unfondness” continued on page 10.


“What’s your name?” she asked. Wary, I glanced at her arms stretched lazily toward me before not answering. “Do you, uhm,


live around here?” Her eyebrows creased together and she drew her arms back until they were wrapped

around herself. “I asked you first. If you can see me, then I’d like to know you.” “Why wouldn’t I be able to see you?” Her grip on herself tightened. “I asked you first!” I took as quick of a survey of her as I could, noting her elfin appearance. “Sorry, but, it’s

the darkness, despite how well she blended into it

late, you know?” I tore my gaze away from her and

and despite the constellations on her eyelids.

checked for any other possible sources for the hair standing up on my neck. “I should really go.” Even though home was past her, I started to

I didn’t realize at first how her hand had faded into that of an apparition where it entered the beam of the streetlight in order to stop me. I couldn’t look

back away. I was intrigued by her, yes, and there

away from her face and the fearful determination

was a strange off-kilter beauty in her face that

that rested there.

matched the constant flowing movements of her

“Please,” she whispered, her lips as full as the

body; but I had been trained too well not to expect

waxing moon and nearly as motionless. “No one but

anything nice in the dark.

my sisters has seen me in years. But you do. You do

The speed at which her hand darted through the air, however, was unexpected. It moved so fast

see me—you have to save me.” Her grip on my wrist became taut, as if she was

I didn’t know she’d reached out for me until her

trying to pull me closer to her, but she wasn’t nearly

hand was already clasped around my wrist as gently

strong enough. Something like stardust was spilling

as if she was made of clouds, but as warm as the

from her eyes and I stepped closer to her, just a

morning sun. Suddenly she didn’t seem so suited to


“What do you mean

chest. I didn’t love this girl, but somehow I knew

that no one else can

that I would, if only to break her reliance on a boy

see you?” The warmth

deigning to gaze at her. That very notion was quite

disappeared from my wrist

an unfondness.

and she swayed backward instead of side to side. “No one can except the one who will save us. It’s always a boy. Always.” I crossed my arms over my chest, trying to warm

“Do you love yourself?” I asked, edging close enough that the billow of her skirts brushed my fingers. “Of course I do.” She held her hands up, fingers twirling, and looked at one and then the other. “I can already see me.” “Then that is why I can see you. Not because I

my wrist which felt so bare

will love you, but because you already do.” I held

now. “Why do boys have to

my hand out to her and she jerked backward just

save you?”

slightly, not enough to leave the sliver of darkness

“They can see us. So they love us. And then everyone can see us and we love them.”

she was standing in. “Step into the light.” “I can’t.” “You can. You’re not a shadow. You’re a light so bright that no one will look at you.” I stepped back

“You love everyone?”

into the light from the lamp towering over me, but

She shook her head, her body pausing in its

kept my hand outstretched to her. “My name is

swaying. “We love the boys who save us.” “Why?” She looked at me like she’d never thought to

Lilith.” She pressed her lips together and her entire body went still. Only when she put her hand in

ask. “They love us enough to see us—why wouldn’t

my mine did I exhale the tension from between

we love them?”

my ribs. As she stepped under the streetlight, she

I dropped my arms, no part of me feeling cold any more. I was fueled by something hot and angry, by the fear of being alone at night and of this girl


said, “I am Eve.” The light washed over her and I began to love her. I see her in the light.

loving a boy just because he can see her. “Because you can see yourself,” I said. “And you said your sisters can see you, too. Why do you need a boy to see you?” “So that we can be seen in the light!” She threw her hands in the air and then let them float slowly

Abbie Stoner, a professional bisexual, writes about girls, magic, and magical

down to her sides again. “So that we are not stuck

girls. Her work has been published

inside shadows. It’s so cold here. My sisters can see

in Crack the Spine and Slink Chunk

me, but what good is being seen by the shadows?” I didn’t love this girl. But I could see her, which she claimed only a boy who would love her could. I couldn’t find a single untruthful lilt in her voice or tilt of her head. I couldn’t help but believe her. “I don’t love you,” I told her. “But you deserve to be seen.” “Then find the boy who will love me.” It was the closest to anger I could imagine her voice getting and it pushed on the bones in front of my

Press and is forthcoming in Stonehenge II. When she’s not writing or talking about intersectional feminism, she can be found doing tarot readings and avoiding cilantro at all costs.

All Hail By Felisa Charles

she is a Queen that laughs in the face of death,

Felisa Charles

all hail

is a second year

her seductive style yields from a thousand years,

Computer and

all hail the beauty of her skin is the golden sun that shines through the day and makes light in the darkest nights,

Digital Forensics major at Champlain College. Though she holds a passion

her eyes mesmerized with lies

for writing, this is her first

the deceit of the diaspora in her lifeless time lapse

publication. When she’s not

caught in a loop of unforgiving pain

writing or learning something

all hail, though her life may be in peril

new technology-based, she is at

all hail, though she sins like the serpent’s protégé

one of her many jobs.

all hail, though her sun-kissed skin glitters like a walking gold mine all hail, though she is hated by those not of her kind, and of her kind


all hail, though she is taught to not embrace her true beauty all hail, though she strives to be accepted all hail, for the pain that owns her life binds her to the unbreakable chains of a slave she is the dream of her ancestors to indulge and embrace her beauty that she is taught to hate she is the dream of a slave that wished she had a voice, a slave that dreamt of the day that her fellow sisters would rise and respect their true selves, decline the lies and the hate, rise because you’re a Queen, all hail, because she still seeks light all hail, because she chooses civil disobedience all hail, for she is a Queen, perfectly imperfect she is.


Angela DiLoreto, who hails from Saratoga Springs, NY, is a Graphic Design student—but first and foremost she is an artist. With a background in traditional arts, her work has been exhibited in several semi-formal gallery shows. She currently draws inspiration from the tactile and atmospheric qualities of everyday life. Also she’s kinda tall. Angela contributed two pieces (pg. 13 and pg. 30) to this publication.


“Sweet/Vicious” Makes Rape No Laughing Matter By Raven Yankee !

Content mentions rape, sexual assault.

“I think I’ll try defying gravity,” sing Jules and

when she skips sorority house meetings and goes all-out on a study session when Jules falls behind in her classes. But Jules is keeping a huge secret from

Ophelia, driving around the city with the body of a

Kennedy; Nate uses Jules’s desire to maintain her

rapist they recently murdered. They are the leads in

friendship with Kennedy to keep her quiet about the

MTV’s new show Sweet/Vicious, a refreshing view on

assault. Jules’s silence means that Nate is around a

the serious topic of sexual assault. It highlights the

lot, reminding Jules of the trauma she suffered every

nuances of dealing with trauma and is timely after

single day.

the case of Emily Doe—the woman who spurred

Despite her unwillingness to speak out, Jules

California to close its sexual assault loophole after

doesn’t fall into the perfect victim trope. Instead, she

she won her case against Brock Turner this past

is a flawed character finding her own way to process


the aftermath of her ordeal. Jules learns martial

While singing may seem absurd in this situation,

arts, dresses in burglar garb, and hunts rapists on

“Defying Gravity” couldn’t be more fitting. Set on a

her college campus. She is clever with a dry sense

college campus, the show comes as a cathartic relief

of humor and a deep commitment to justice which

when rapists are getting off easy in our society.

sometimes gets in the way of her friendships.

Jules, the main character, has been assaulted

Meanwhile, Ophelia is a sarcastic, trust-fund

by her best friend’s boyfriend, Nate. Jules’s bestie,

baby and pot-smoking hacker who seems to care

Kennedy, always has Jules’s back; she covers for her

only about herself. But after learning of Jules’s

Sarah Bellefeuille is majoring in graphic design with a minor in marketing at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. When she is not working on homework or in class, she can probably be found napping somewhere. She contributed two paintings (pg.14 and pg. 38) to this zine.

Looking for more empowering feminist TV shows?

Add Jessica Jones to your Netflix list.

Try Amazon’s Good Girls Revolt. It’s only one season, but it’s a good one.

15 activities, Ophelia can’t help but get involved. She, too, believes that rapists are getting off easy and is looking for a purpose in life. Jules and Ophelia form an unlikely friendship

the show and to sexual assault survivors. Overall, it’s heartening to see TV’s renewed use of genre storytelling to tell tales of female empowerment that are complicated, surprising,

as the show makes use of the crime-fighting duo

and seriously deal with the emotional lives of their

trope. Though the two are untrusting of the cops

characters—without falling into traps of smugness

and one another, they begin to reveal more about

or making them seem unrealistic.

themselves to each other as the season progresses. But as in any successful TV program, things don’t always go according to plan for Jules and Ophelia. At one point they attack the wrong guy and have a dead body in their car that is then impounded by the police—which is a problem as

Raven Yankee is a writer and social justice advocate in Burlington, VT. They hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication and are

the police continue to search for the missing body.

planning to attend grad school for Library Science

Their vigilante secret is also discovered by Ophelia’s

and Cultural Studies. In their free time, they enjoy

friend, Harris, and they must convince him not to

drinking coffee, reading, and browsing the internet.

reveal their identities.

Raven contributed two pieces (pgs. 14-15 and pg.

The obstacles Jules and Ophelia face and mistakes they make only make them more real. Dealing with sexual assault isn’t easy and there’s no one way to do it or a straightforward path. To imply otherwise would be a huge disservice to viewers of

23) to this publication.


Lisa Taras is the owner of LT Photography, LLC in Naples, FL. Her specialty is lifestyle portrait photography, but what she enjoys most are the volunteer photoshoots she does for cancer patients. Her goal is to tell as many stories and reach as many hearts as possible. In her free time, Lisa loves to travel and spend time with her family. She contributed her photo series, “I am not what I have done, I am what I have overcome,� (pgs. 16-19) to this publication.

Save Her By Jessica Demarest

The first time I can remember really being

to covertly slip tampons from my locker to the

conscious of my breasts, I was 12 years old.

sleeve of my shirt, and listened, wide-eyed,

My mother handed me the American Girl body

as my friends whisper-traded secrets about

book, The Care & Keeping of You, and left me on

sex and bra-sizes after the lights went out at

my own.


I think the writers of this book were trying

Over the years, I watched my breasts grow

to be comforting in the easy, casual way they

and change—albeit not by much—and largely,

told me, and millions of other little girls, that

I forgot about them.

every pair of breasts was different. Some were

They weren’t overtly large, drawing the

big; some were small. Some hung down low

attention of lewd high school boys, nor was I

and some sat up high. Some girls had lumpy

particularly flat-chested. Of average size and

breasts, and some had nipples that seemed

shape, my breasts didn’t give me much to

to point out in different directions. Sometimes

think about.

one breast was larger than the other. Some

I wasn’t immune to the turmoil breasts

sat squished together, and others were

could cause; I’d seen the TV shows where

spaced far apart, a shallow valley spread wide

young girls comedically stuffed their bras full

down the sternum.

of tissues, and I’d heard the complaints of big-

“Don’t worry,” the book seemed to be

breasted women who couldn’t wear this top or

saying. “This is normal. Your breasts are

that, or whose backs ached from the front-

nothing to be concerned about, at least not

heavy weight they carried with them. But my


own breasts seemed to sit complacently on my

But I was concerned. What little girl wouldn’t be? I needed to know if my breasts

chest, like sidekicks on my journey through life. The oldest daughter in my family, I’ve

were of the saggy or squished variety—

always had the smallest breasts. My younger

whether they were considered large or small

sister and cousin easily surpassed me in

or weird and abnormal.

cup-size, even by the time they were entering

I sat my book on the soft, tan carpet and looked down at my breasts, examining them for wayward lumps and too-pointy nipples.

middle school. My sister, at least, seems to get this from our mother. Mom’s breasts had always fallen on the

Was my right breast larger than my left? I

larger side, and as a girl I wondered why she

couldn’t tell.

only ever seemed to buy the boring, white

As I got older, the body book collected dust on the top shelf of my closet. I learned

bras from the racks in the department store. I realize now that not all women have the luxury “Save Her” continued on page 18.


of making their breasts feel “pretty”—of adorning

raised me and protected me and loved me more

them with swaths of lace and brightly colored

fiercely than anyone else ever could.

patterns. There is no compromise between style

My own breasts, however, had to be perky

and support. If you need the latter, you’re relegated

and round—a symbol of my womanhood pinned

to three choices: a sturdy fabric in black, white, or

permanently to my chest. They had to lift upward


without the confines of a bra, defying gravity and

As a girl, I often rested my head against my

physics and a boatload of other scientific principles.

mother’s chest, curling into the comfort and safety

After all, that’s what the images I was surrounded by

of her. I think it’s safe to say that most children do

were telling me.

this; maybe it’s got something to do with instinct,

I’m not sure how this schism in my thinking

or maybe it’s just because of the breasts’ natural

came about, but I wonder now if it has something to

tendency to act as pillows. Either way, leaning up

do with our innate human tendency to be far harder

against my mother, I always felt safe.

on ourselves than we would be on anyone else.

Her breasts were never sexualized in my eyes—

Our friends? Oh, they’re beautiful. But ask one of us

not like the ones I so often saw on billboards and in

about our own body and prepare for a never-ending

magazine spreads touting frilly lingerie and selling

litany of faults.

some of the least sexual products imaginable, like hamburgers and snow tires. Instead, I saw Mom’s breasts for what they were: a part of her. A part of the woman who brought me into this world—who

We are at war with our bodies. What we often don’t expect though, is for our bodies to go to war with themselves. I was 17 when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Stage III. Aggressive. She went in for a routine mammogram and everything showed up


fine. Five months later she felt a lump. It came on quickly, took us all by surprise. The following year brought with it months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and countless doctors. While I sat in my senior English class, surgeons sliced through my mother’s skin, searching for the malicious tissue. They’d decided on a double mastectomy— the removal of both breasts. It was their best bet for catching all of the cancer. Like most women, Mom opted for a reconstructive surgery after the mastectomy. Doctors would take skin from other places on her body and rebuild the breasts. Reconstructive surgery isn’t about creating a

functioning new breast. No. It’s a superficial surgery, meant to mimic what’s been lost. According to the body book, every breast matters. Each one is unique—perfect in its very own way. It doesn’t tell you what to do when your breasts

insists on wearing bulky scarves to disguise the size difference. Her shirts must have a neckline high enough to cover her scars. When she looks in the mirror she sees flaws. Imperfections and things to criticize. My mother has taught me that womanhood is not something you wear. You can’t find it in the

turn against you, when your life becomes more

supple curves of your chest or in the softness of

important than the symbolic tissue worn on your

your skin.

chest. My mother’s reconstructive surgery didn’t work—not the way they thought. Her left breast


In her eyes, her femininity has been stripped away. In mine, it is stronger than ever.

looks largely like it did before the surgery. You wouldn’t know it’s made from skin taken from her tummy and back. The right breast though—the one where the cancer originated—didn’t take. The blood vessels clotted and my mother underwent 36 hours of surgery in just three days. Breast cancer awareness campaigns tell us to

Jessica Demarest is a professional writer and editor from Galway, NY—a small town home to more cows than people. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Black Fox Literary

“save the boobies.” But the doctors couldn’t save my

Magazine, EatingWell magazine, and the 3288

mother’s breasts; they chose to save her instead.

Review. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys practicing

Now my mother wears a prosthetic insert in the right side of her bra. The sizes don’t quite match up, leaving one side slightly larger than the other. The body book says this is normal, but Mom still

yoga, smashing the patriarchy, and eating peanut butter. She is the editor of this publication.

America, Answer My Questions By Elnora Koonce

Can you stand the rain that’s drenching our souls in our last hope for unity, Can you feel the pain of our ancestors and activists who died for equality, Can you deceive your brain into believing racism and white supremacy don’t remain, Can you protect us from those who are misguided and uneducated? Can you explain to me why I shouldn’t be devastated for not being accepted after all these years—


why billions of people were manipulated by one bully? Can you show our children how to properly defeat someone who takes pride in belittling one’s integrity, Can you become a leader, set an example, or will you wait until the damage is already too done to cancel? Can you please read the “Terms and Conditions” before pushing the button, Can you sincerely respect— that regardless of America’s decision— there are people hurt by the outcome of this election, Can you erase and bury the hate, Can you love and embrace my gender, race, and religion, Will you help me up when I fall, Or, like everyone else, laugh in my face? Can you accept my facts? All I want is to be successful and provide for my loved ones. Can you let go of your pride so the weight of the world can lift me up when I cry,


Elnora Koonce, a

Can you speak up for me if I die

Philadelphia native, is

and not sugarcoat why I was deprived,

a first-year Law student

Can you recognize the lies, because the more they’re told the more they blind your eyes, Can you wake up from your nightmare— the one where we’re taking over the world— It’s simply untrue. Is it so sickening that we’re as determined as you?

at Champlain College in Burlington, VT, and is destined to leave her mark. Inspired by her family, culture, and religion, Elnora has high hopes of creating change through empowering the next generation. A part of her vision is to design a clothing line called Only Visionaries Dream

Can you look into the eyes of your child

of Success (O.V.D.O.S) to inspire youth from

and tell them the reason why we can never be equal

all different walks of life by symbolizing

is because your pride and your fear prevent others’ success,

support and encouragement for achieving their dreams, goals, and aspirations

Can you stomach the fact that We the people are different genders, races, and religions,

regardless of their background.

Can you say it with me: Without the help of another, where I stand today, I wouldn’t be. Can you say no one deserves to be locked up or kicked out for wanting to be free—even illegally,


Can you speak in defense of our minorities who are of other genders, races, and religions, Can we stop the whole, “it’s not my business or my place” to say and address what’s actually right and wrong, Can you say, until this election that you took pride in the land of the brave, the home of the free, Can you tell me why justice and equality don’t apply to people that look like me? Can you say why that’s true Even though I wake up every morning and strive to provide—just like you, Can you tell me why we don’t deserve to be treated equally but you do, Can you answer any of these questions? Please let it sink in before simply saying, “I feel you!” On November 9, 2016 the heart of America stopped beating. You elected a man who, throughout his campaign

“America” continued on page 22.

bragged only about mistreating, Hard-working residents Clearly have the same blood in their veins that tells them to provide for their children by any means. We represent our parents when we leave our homes,

This is what democracy looks like!

And our president represents us when he deals with the world. Would we approve of how he’s been representing the United States of America? How would we feel if he ruined the family name, the legacy we’ve established? In this case, the surname is The U.S.A, the legacy is written in the Constitution. Are we satisfied that we supported him even though we knew it was wrong, Do we take responsibility for what we made a possibility— Ask yourself this question, the one for the years to come: Do we lack love and education?


Can we acknowledge that we do, or prove that we don’t?

My body, my choice! Her body, her choice!

Photos of the Women’s March in Montpelier, VT on January 21, 2017.

We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter!

Why I Marched By Raven Yankee

Participating in the Women’s March on

I marched to say that

A woman’s place is in the resistance.

Washington in D.C. is one of my proudest

this isn’t normal and I will

accomplishments. It was an overwhelming

not accept people having

experience that I’m extremely grateful that I got

their human rights taken away—that I don’t support

to be a part of. Seeing and feeling 499,000 other

a president that insults and belittles people and acts

people support me and the things I believe in

like a playground bully who whines when he doesn’t

helped me to not feel so alone.

get his way.

After the election, I was heartbroken and deeply

The march was powerful because people called

troubled by the direction the country was headed. I

out these things in their signs and chants. A few

remember waking up around five a.m. on November

slogans I appreciated are feautured across this

9th and crying when a friend told me the results. Everyone I knew

spread. When we arrived, we stood

was in mourning. Shortly after,

around for nearly four hours,

another friend resigned from her

watching people speak and making

job rather than entertain racist

friends with fellow protestors.

and sexist ideas. This wasn’t okay.

After learning that we wouldn’t be

I knew I wanted to march as soon

marching due to the massive

as I saw events for it on social

turnout, we made our own

media. I bought my ticket over

marching route.

Thanksgiving break and convinced people to go with me. I’m glad I did. I don’t feel alone anymore. There are three million

People poured out from all directions, marching along Constitution Avenue, the National Mall, and Pennsylvania Avenue.

people around the

I joined in and headed toward

world who stood up

the White House with my fellow

to the new administration and said,

marchers. People in office buildings came to the

“No, we won’t let you treat women

windows to cheer us on. Some marchers had set up

as second-class citizens—women’s

on part of the sidewalk and were playing songs of

rights are human rights.”

empowerment such as “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child.

Personally, I marched because

As I marched, I couldn’t help but be reminded of

sexism and rape culture still exist in

my privilege. I could stand and walk for long periods

our country and around the world,

of time. I’m white and am seen as a woman by most

because trans women of color are

people, so I appear non-threatening. There was very

killed at disproportionate numbers,

little police presence and I never felt like I might be

because my queer sisters just got

detained or tear-gassed.

the right to marry but not to fair

I’m glad I marched and stood up for what I

employment or housing, because I

believe in. I think it’s more important now than ever,

have a chronic illness and need the

especially when our president is attacking fellow

Affordable Care Act, and because

humans and spreading lies. This march was one for

more white women voted for Trump

the history books and I’m proud to be able to say

than Clinton.

that I was there and that I spoke out.


Laura Quick graduated from Pratt Institute of Art in New York City, NY, having fallen in love, equally, with design and photography. She spent the next decade working as a designer on Madison Avenue while pursuing street and travel photography on the side. Her photos have been published in numerous magazines and books over the years and have been shown in several galleries. Laura started traveling annually upon graduation from Pratt, and has been fortunate to spend more than 30 years capturing the world through her lens. The images in this zine are from two recent trips—a 2015 trip through South and Southeast Asia (pg. 20) and a 2016 trip through Central America (pgs. 2425). Ever thankful for the internet that allows her to work and travel simultaneously,


when she’s not on the road, Laura can be found photographing chickens, turkeys, and peafowl on her Teeny Tiny Dinosaur Farm in Los Angeles, CA.

“Wedding March”

“Getting Connected”

“Sisterhood Conversation”



“Mayan Headdress”

Their Feminist Tattoos Inspire Them to Keep Fighting By Jessica Demarest Like many of their peers, Sarah Wilkinson and Abbie Stoner awoke on the morning of November 9 th feeling defeated—disappointed with the previous day’s election results and scared for the future. But rather than allowing those feelings of dread to overcome them, the two friends opted for action. And it’s not necessarily the mobilization and protest action you might think—though they’re into that too. In this interview, Abbie and Sarah tell us how calling a tattoo shop became their way of resisting a rhetoric they didn’t believe in.


Can you tell me about your tattoos?

Abbie: We decided to get these tattoos after the recent election because the whole thing was very unsupportive of feminism in many ways. When I found out that Trump won—which is like a feminist nightmare—I was like let me just get a feminist tattoo because I’m mad and I like tattoos. I decided to get a lioness because the female lions not only do the childbearing, but also do the hunting for the pride. And they work together, so I felt that was representative of not only strong women but also of empowering women in a group to work together

it’s also representative of female empowerment and the idea that we’re often looked down on but we can fight back. My second feminist tattoo— the one I got after the election—is Georgia O’Keefe-inspired. She tried to create art that stood for female power and to her that meant representation of femininity through our body parts. A lot of her paintings include very subtle representations of vaginas and vulvas. What was it about getting feminist tattoos that was so important to you?

and support each other. It also says “Fight like a

S: A lot of the rhetoric in this past election,

GRRRL,” because fighting like a girl should be a

especially related to Hillary Clinton, was very

good thing. We can all fight like girls and be fucking

negative and there were a lot of double standards

badass and hunt for the pride and feed everyone

she had to deal with. And there was so much

and be awesome.

more heat on her for things, like her email scandal

Sarah: Okay, so I have two feminist tattoos. The one on my arm I got in Dublin, Ireland, and that one was drawn by my sister, so in some ways it kind of reflected women supporting other women. The message says “Don’t look down on me,” and it doubles as a quote from my favorite band, but

for example. But nobody was talking about the allegations that Trump sexually assaulted multiple women— A: Including a 13-year-old. S: Yeah, including a 13-year-old—a child. It just felt

very imbalanced. It felt wrong. And so when Trump got elected it felt personal. It felt like people had chosen violence against women and the oppression of women instead of supporting them. So this tattoo for me was a way to kind of push back against that and say, “No, women do matter and we’re not going to take this sexism sitting down.” A: I’m a feminist and something that’s really important to me is equality and empowering all people. This felt like a way to remind myself not to give up on that. I don’t know, I just had been wanting a tattoo and there was so much stuff coming out that was so anti-woman that this seemed like the perfect opportunity to take charge of my body and do something completely for me that nobody else had a say over. S: I like what you said there. About taking control of your body. It felt very out of control in the days after the election. Like everything was slipping away after all the “Tattoos” continued on page 28.


progress that we’ve made. These tattoos allowed

cover you?” And I thought about it for a minute and

us to take back control in a personal way. And

I was like, you know what, no, because I’m getting

when you regain control in that sense you can

a tattoo and I’m not ashamed of my body and I’m

help others find their footing too. And that’s how a

not ashamed of my butt. I don’t think it has to be

resistance forms.

this hypersexualized thing that we’re making it out

Is there any significance to where on your bodies you decided to put your tattoos? S: The one on my arm I wanted to put somewhere it would be visible not just to me but to other people as well. Because it was a message that I was really supportive of and proud of. I wanted people to know that I was an ally and supported the betterment of women. But in regards to my most recent tattoo, I don’t even know how I really decided on the butt but I was like, “You know, I’m gonna get a tattoo on my butt because our bodies are hypersexualized and I’m going to reclaim part of that for myself.” And


I’ve always been somebody that really likes butts. I just think they’re a nice part of our body and we

should appreciate and love what they do for us. When I decided to put the tattoo on my butt it was also kind of this idea that this entire year with the election cycle had been such a pain in my ass. Everything about it—the discouragement and the awful rhetoric and the feeling of division that just hung over us like a fog. So I was like I might as well get some more actual pain in my ass, but the result of which will be something I will be able to cherish forever. How did it feel to have to show so much skin in the tattoo shop to this female tattoo artist that you didn’t know? S: I would say it was really empowering. At one point the male tattoo artist came over and she asked, “Do you want me to

to be. I’m comfortable sharing that part of myself. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. And I encourage other women who feel comfortable to not shy away from situations like that. And to challenge yourself to redefine what your body means to you and what you can do with it.

This is your third tattoo for each of you—

with their body and I feel like my tattoos have been

what is it about body art that appeals to

a way to help me feel more comfortable in my skin.


I see myself and I’m not particularly thin. I’ve got

A: I just like art. And I don’t think that it should be limited to certain spaces. Obviously, I think you should have permission to use whatever space you’re using, but what better space to have complete permission to use than your own body? And if you like something and you want to express something on your body, then you should do it. S: I like getting tattoos because when I think back

lots of cellulite and curves and I’m not necessarily society’s idea of beauty, but I’ve kind of redefined what that beauty means for me and part of that was through my body art. And so when I see it I’m just inspired to love myself and accept myself the way that I am. Do you have anything else to say to readers? Anything you want women and

to young Sarah, it was something that I never

girls to know?

thought I would do. And I like breaking those

S: I would say to all of the young women, and older

boundaries that I had kind of created for myself,

women as well, who are out there, that when you

but also had been created for me. Like I don’t think

feel like you are not good enough, or that you are

tattoos—they’re definitely more accepted than

not doing enough or that you don’t matter, that all

they have been in previous years—but they’re still

of these messages are not genuine to you. They

something that you’re expected to cover up in the

have been created for you. These feelings are not

workplace. People can look down on you for it. So

the result of any failure of your own. It’s been a

I thought it would be a really interesting way and a

failure of society to value and love you.

really empowering way to kind of fight back against what’s expected of women.

A: The fight is never over. Even when you feel like there’s no hope left, there’s always hope

A: That’s true. I think also in a more personal sense, it is a scary experience getting a tattoo not only because it’s going to be on your body forever, but also because there is an element of pain to it. Especially last time, because it was the biggest one I’d gotten, when I got there I was panicking a little bit. But it’s kind of a way to face your fear and reempower yourself. When you look at your tattoos now, what do you see? A: I see it as a way to empower myself and to remind me to empower other women too. And even though it’s in a place that’s easily covered, I know if I saw it on somebody else it would be just one of those tiny daily reminders that I’m not in this alone. There’s somebody else out there supporting me. S: I always look at my tattoos anytime I get undressed. Because that’s when your body’s on display and I think all women go through insecurity

left and you can keep fighting.



Sunday Morning By Charlotte Williams

Sleepy eyes and sluggish feet

She sits back on arthritic knees,

struggle to stay awake at Sunday Mass.

nostalgic for her younger days.

Wooden pews and dusty hymnals

When mornings spent kneeling outside

house tired voices and sore backs.

were peaceful

Shoulders would much rather

not painful.

still be resting on sheets. And cheeks caressing pillows. She’s dreaming of baseball and apple pie.

The approaching deadline does nothing to end the block in her head. She’s locked in her study,

She rolls over to face the sun.

eyes behind the screen,

Warm rays shine down

fingers hovering above the keys.

and she closes her eyes again.

What she wants most

She wiggles her toes

is to shove her face through the screen,

and fingers and stretches her spine.

drown in her words,

Sundays are for sleeping in.

and spend Sunday anywhere but here.

The wind stings her eyes

Creeping tip toes

and she blinks rapidly to oil her corneas.

and airplane pajamas,

She pumps her arms, harder and harder,

scurry down the hall

as she drives her feet forward.

to the big room in the corner.

She’d rather be in her pajamas,

Feet jump high to climb the mountain,

eating a warm breakfast across the kitchen table.

hands engulfed in the sea of blankets and ticklish feet.

Elbow deep in worms and beetles,

She yearns for chocolate chip pancakes.

she tugs at the ground, willing it to give way.

Charlotte Williams is a fiction writer who studies at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. She works with a team of editors on the Champlain College Publishing Initiative’s literary magazine, Willard & Maple, and writes for the Publishing Initiative’s blog. When she isn’t watching feel-good TV shows or daydreaming about her cats, she works on polishing her craft and expanding her horizons beyond fiction.


I’ll Keep an Ashtray by My Bed for You In Memory of a Father By Carolyn Cote I’ll keep an ashtray by my bed for you because I know you would have smoked all night. Camels—not Newports or Marlboros—you were never quite as finicky as my father. Worn, warped

seemed like you had drank enough liquor to fill the room and drown us all. No one could keep their head above water long enough to speak. They said you died of a sudden aneurysm, but

glass and a lit cigarette, I’ll fill the tray up with my

we knew the alcohol had just hired a hitman for

memories of you and let them twirl toward the

the occasion. I wanted to bring you something

ceiling in fingertip tendrils.

you would like, but Keystone and ashtrays aren’t

I’ll always think of you when I think of ashes—

gifts you can give to a person whose body you

think of you in every filtered nicotine fix that

don’t recognize in a charcoal suit. When did you

someone lights and wonder if when they turn

buy a suit? Did you purchase it for your future


people into ashes they’re reborn as cheap gas

daughter’s wedding? Hers or mine? I would have

station cigarettes.

had you walk me down the aisle instead of my

I remember the day that we scraped soot

father if I had thought it would make a difference.

from your siding because the wind was blowing

Maybe you bought it for a graduation—surely not

west when the mill caught fire and your house went

mine because we hadn’t spoken since I traded in

from faded robin’s egg to chimney smoke. They

my parents’ fighting for a one-way ticket. Maybe I’ll

couldn’t run the trains for days because they had to

mail you a copy of my senior project and leave off a

park the fire engines on the freight tracks, and we

return address so the postmaster can’t send it back

sat in the hot June sun, grey water dripping from

in the mail. It’ll find its way where it needs to go—we

deep red rags wondering if you could go deaf from

all do eventually.

so many sirens day and night.

But if I had been around these past four years,

I spent weeks that summer dreaming that I

maybe I would have known you grew a beard. God,

lost my hearing—sounds snuffed out as quickly as

how did I not know you had grown a beard and that

a light switched off—no slammed garage doors at

your hair color was much more red than it looked in

five a.m. on a Tuesday, no cries behind a bathroom

the sun? Ashes to ashes and dust to packed earth.

door after the shower stops running. I wondered if I

You didn’t want a eulogy at your funeral, but if

would miss it if it was gone, even the bad stuff. The

you had lived just one more day, I would have told

first day we heard the train whistle blow again was

you this:

like monarchs coming home and we watched its

You were the first real love of my life. Not like a

metal migration across town in wonder. I was glad I

girl loves a boy but like a little girl loves her daddy

couldn’t pray away my hearing then. Ashes to ashes

when he holds her hand—not any daddy, and

and dust to train smoke.

surely not mine, but a real father, and you were

I thought about all the things I could have put in

the best we had regardless of what that says about

your casket, but the only thing that I wanted to bring

life or small towns or adjusting to adversity. It’s all

you were a couple of cans of Keystone Light, and it

nonsense anyway.

say the right thing but in the amount of times we sit and watch the train go by with the person we care about. It’s learning to swim in the deep end of an above ground pool that never gets above 55°. It’s writing your first letter that you’ll never send. Above all I would have told you how lucky I was to have known you. I would have told you that 17 people showed up for your funeral and everybody cried. I would have told you that you were one of the most loved men in the world by a group of kids who have seen three arrests and two overdoses and still need their dad to tell them what to do. Your son has a job now, you know, and I’m wondering if you’re proud of me for signing a lease on my own. Does God let you send smoke signals from heaven? Puff twice for yes. In the end, more than anything, more than an above all or an in conclusion, I just miss you. And I wish I knew then what I know now—that

Every day, every once in a while, maybe every

sometimes people in your life are hurting and they

couple of hours or months, I miss you. You

don’t know why and, hell, you don’t know why and

shouldn’t have left us so soon.

you’re not going to be able to fix them—no, not even you, little gap-toothed girl trying to save the world. They will continue to hurt and you will be glad you knew them. You just have to love them because we’re all a little broken. I wish I had taken the time, conquered the distance, to pick up a phone and call you these past

Carolyn Cote is a twentytwo-year-old writer, tweeter, and serial dater. She published her first poem

four years between continents and courses, but we

at 13 in a teen anthology and her work has

both know that a love like this can’t be diminished

appeared in Chivomengro. In her spare time,

by time or distance and that even if you were too

she travels to meet with other Abenaki women

drunk, too lost to remember that you had braided my hair at two in the afternoon while the biscuits baked in the oven, I would have sat with you in silence while the phone hummed in our ears. I would have told you and I would have told me that life isn’t measured in the amount of times we

and dreams of being a pow-wow dancer. She is currently working very slowly on a memoir of growing up tan in a sea of Irish Catholics.


Nasty Woman’s Club !

Content mentions rape, sexual assault.

By Alley Shubert

In the bathroom of our cheap hotel I sat on the

tequila and the guys all laughed and gave high fives

bottom of the tub to watch my blood swirl down

all around.

the drain as he chain-smoked a pack of Marlboro’s and laughed with the wind and I kicked at the water and clung to my skin wishing I could strip my bones clean.

I spat piss warm PBR on the graffiti floor and went back upstairs to hide in my coat and head for the door but one of the bros gripped his tiny hands around my throat and refused to let me exit

At 19 I blamed my bra straps, cleavage, and short

because a wandering drunk girl in the streets would

skirt for every unwanted touch and at 26 I still have

tip off the police

to think twice about what I wear and when I saw Donald Trump parade around survivors of sexual assault on stage to be used as a ploy in his pathetic political scheme, I shut the TV off. He reminded me of how I felt two years ago when

My friend, she is a Queen, and in full-force girl power she high-fived his back and he loosened his fingers and now I know why my dad whispers into the phone: Don’t forget to grab your Mace, and in the same breath Trump tells Billy Bush: Grab ‘em

my friends and I stood outside of a frat house in our winter jackets


shivering with sad smiles waiting to get in and we almost didn’t because we weren’t showing

enough bra straps, cleavage, and short skirts. Not enough skin. Inside we took our coats off to the smell of sticky, sweaty bodies stuck together like Laffy Taffy in a musty basement where the bros clinked their beer bottles together in perfect harmony while the girls chugged

Amanda Duane is an artist studying Creative Media at Champlain College in Burlington VT. When she isn’t trying to make art, she is probably binging another show on Netflix or crying over puppies on Instagram. She was inspired by a Beau Taplin quote (right) to create the drawing that appears in this zine (above).

by the pussy. You can do anything and instead of an

remember why women wear finger nail polish to

apology he says, It’s just locker room talk.

detect a date rape drug.

Locker room talk creates little boys like Brock Turner

When Trump tells women, “I go through the roof

who took an unconscious girl behind a dumpster

when I get home and dinner isn’t ready,” we must

and raped her over and over and he only served

resist and remember why women have protective

three months in jail because,

clothing designed to not rip off.

“It’s such a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of

Because we need to stop teaching women how to


not be raped and start teaching the Brock Turners

And I sat above my grandmother Rhoda to hear the leaves rustle below as she turned over in her grave to her own autobiography of 17-year-old her taken to a dingy bathroom to be raped by a blue-collared

of the world not to rape and whenever I see Trump, I see the man who made me want to shed my skin in the tub and let it dry on the coat rack. I am a woman.

married workingman and she bore his son nine

I am a feminist.

months later.

I am a human being first.

The only option back then was to not talk about

So if this is what it takes to be a bad feminist, a

“those kinds of things” and if this is what it means

naughty girl, unlady-like, or a nasty woman, then I

to Make America Great Again, I want out of those

will fight like hell. History will not repeat itself for my

alternative facts. They are as fake as the toupee

future daughters.

Trump brushes from his head but the reality is: Alley Shubert

History repeated in my family in a rundown

moved to Burlington,

bathroom from my grandmother to me and

VT, four years ago

statistically one out of six women and girls will

and has dedicated

become victims of sexual assault in their lifetime— their body a crime scene to be picked at with fine-

her time to activism, advocacy, and

tooth combs.

writing since. She has helped on a

When Trump refers to a woman as a “young

number of legislative issues including

and beautiful piece of ass,” we must resist and

paid maternity and paternity leave

remember why women have apps on their phones to track them. When Trump tells women, “It must be a pretty sight. You dropping to your knees,” we must resist and

as well as raising the minimum wage to a livable wage for all Vermonters. In the future, the feminist in Alley hopes to work in women’s empowerment with sexual assault

survivors, and to educate our future generation by putting an end to violence against women.

Listen to me, your body is not a temple. Temples can be desecrated. Your body is a forest—

thick canopies of maples and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting under the wood. You will grow back over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated.

— Beau Taplin


The Political is Personal By Sarah Wilkinson

After the first wave of feminism, which lasted

capitalism, decided that the best division of labor

from the 1830s to 1920, all American women had

would be for men to work outside the home, and

the right to vote under the 19th Amendment. They

for women to work inside it. Of course, working

could own property. They could attend college.

inside the home was never considered worthy of

They didn’t have to hand over their paychecks to

payment because it didn’t produce any capital.

their husbands. They could be doctors. They could

The invisible hands of women scrubbing pans

divorce their husbands.

and babies’ bottoms behind closed doors were at

Winning these freedoms wasn’t easy. Utah, for

least one version of the invisible hand that Smith

example, gave women the right to vote in 1870 but

theorized kept the whole economic system rolling,

took it away in 1887 under the Edmunds-Tucker Act,

even if he never formally recognized it.

which sought to eliminate polygamy, of all things.


Women in Utah regained their right to vote in 1895 after a sustained suffragette movement, and by 1920, all women in the U.S. could vote.

The mountain had been high, but together firstwavers succeeded in climbing it. Women were a step closer to equality. But they still had a long way to go. In 1920, it was legal for a man to rape his wife. It was legal for employers to fire women for being pregnant, or for getting married. Women couldn’t get a legal abortion. They couldn’t join the military or get an Ivy League degree. They couldn’t serve on a jury. They made 59 cents for every dollar that a man made. Most married young, had children young, and never entered the workforce. A woman’s place had been in the home since 1776, when Adam Smith, the founder of modern

Second-Wavers Forged Ahead Things began to shift leading up to and during World War II, when women steadily filled factory jobs that had been abandoned by men who went overseas to fight. When the war ended and the men came home, women were once again relegated to the sidelines, destined to remain housewives and mothers. Rumor had it that they weren’t capable of doing a man’s work—despite the fact that they had been doing it throughout the war. This forced return to domesticity was a driving force for the next wave of women’s rights activists. By 1960, the second wave of feminism had risen and the goals had changed. Debate opened up around issues of sexuality, reproductive rights, family dynamics, women in the workplace, “Political” continued on page 38.

Jessica Taras-Setter is a graphic designer located in Grand Rapids, MI, who graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design in December of 2015. Within the city she has worked in fields such as advertising, marketing, photography, photo editing, videography, and video editing. The Planned Parenthood advertisement included in this zine (right) is one of a series of three. The rest of the campaign can be found on her website at Behance.net/setterj. Of the design, Jessica says, “I respect the ability of people to find sanctuary in their church. However, you need to give me sanctuary over my own body.”


domestic violence, and other inequalities. First-

Women’s bodies and the issues pertaining to

wave feminism had succeeded in gaining women

them were successfully politicized as a result of

a handful of critical rights, but it didn’t successfully

second-wave feminism. It’s become increasingly

politicize women’s issues. Any problem that a

common for state and federal legislatures to openly

woman had was still considered a personal one

debate women’s rights as part of their agendas, and

that she alone was responsible for fixing, and

many liberal politicians include women’s rights as

second-wave feminism was determined to change

part of their platforms.

that misconception. In 1969, Carol Hanisch wrote a paper called, “The Personal is Political” which sought to make that very point: women’s issues at home and at work are political issues. They belonged in political debate

How Politicization Became Oppression While it’s true that the politicization of women’s issues has been critical in our move toward equality, this politicization

and women

has also become


another way


to oppress us.

The rights

Silence from

women gained

Congress about

through the

the struggles

efforts of second-

of women is

wave feminism

oppressive, but

were substantial.

so is legislation

Women were


designed to force

more fully

women to finance

integrated into

and host funerals

the workforce,

for their miscarried

even if they still

and aborted

found themselves responsible for the bulk of all domestic work and child care, an imbalance that persists today. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made employment discrimination on the basis of sex illegal. Domestic abuse shelters opened their doors across the country. Women could legally use birth control. Social activism groups had exploded onto the scene. Women could obtain an abortion with the help of doctors rather than wire coat hangers. Single women couldn’t be discriminated against by creditors. Marital rape was slowly becoming illegal in all states. Title IX gave women equal access to federally funded educational programs, creating new opportunities in high school and college athletics and opening the door for increased protections against sexual harassment and assault. Women could be jurors. They could be pilots in the Air Force. They couldn’t be fired for becoming pregnant.

fetuses, as was recently proposed in Texas. Bringing women to the forefront of political discussion has opened doors for us, but it has also put many of our rights in perpetual limbo. Any win is a cautious one because we never know when it might be taken away from us again, even if temporarily. When state and federal legislators—whom are still predominately white men—debate women’s issues, they are debating our bodies and their value. When equal pay legislation is on the docket, the question is always, “Is a woman as valuable as a man?” The answer has, as of yet, been no. When a bill on abortion restrictions is introduced into a state legislature, it’s not a question of what is best for women and their equal participation in society. It’s about upholding traditional Christian values. It’s about protecting the status quo of male domination. If it was about being pro-life, these same congressmen would be working tirelessly to

end homelessness, violence against black people,

have realized that our voices are stronger together,

and the war in the Middle East. It’s about control.

and that when there’s room for discrimination

A surefire way to keep women from achieving the

against one group, there’s room for discrimination

same success as men is to restrict their ability to

against all of us.

prevent unwanted pregnancies. When asked why he

Our movement has become more expansive

thought women wanted access to abortions in the

and inclusive, but we are still fighting the same

first place, Ohio State Representative Jim Buchy said,

battles we’ve been fighting for decades, and that’s

“It’s a question I’ve never even thought about.”

because we have been politicized as bodies rather

Legislators and people in other positions

than human beings. It’s easier to take rights away

of power seem to forget that women are more

when you’re taking them from an object. It’s much

than just bodies. Our culture suffers from the

harder to take those same rights away from a

misconception that women’s bodies are somehow

human being who feels and suffers.

separate from their minds, and the latter is very

Carol Hanisch was the first to coin the phrase

much silenced even as our breasts are plastered all

“personal is political”, which became a rallying cry

over subways and magazines to sell anything from

for second-wavers. Together, they succeeded in

cheeseburgers to perfume. This separation of body

politicizing women’s bodies by underlining that

and mind was recently seen in Brock Turner’s court

the challenges and exclusion that women faced

case, when the focus of the court’s conversation

had political consequences. Our work now is to

shifted to how prison would harm Turner, not how

make it known that the political is personal, that

his sexual assault emotionally harmed his victim.

what happens in House and Senate chambers

If the judge had seen the young woman as more

has personal consequences not just for bodies,

than just a body, perhaps Turner would have served

but for human beings who deserve compassion.

more than three months in prison.

Women will never reach a place of true equality

While the debate has been about our bodies,

until we and every other marginalized group

it hasn’t been about us—women who have always

are recognized as having an essential value, not

been and always will be more than just bodies.

as bodies, but as people. And that can’t happen,

Make no mistake: the men in Congress and in other

for one, until a woman’s life is considered more

positions of power understand that by limiting

valuable than that of her unborn fetus.

access to family planning services, they are creating

Third-wave feminists: we have work to do.

more space at the top for men. They understand that eliminating barriers to firearms while limiting access to birth control reflects who has power in our society and who doesn’t. They understand that by refusing legislation to close the wage gap, they are cushioning white male success. They understand that having no paid family leave, or

Sarah Wilkinson has been

having only paid maternity leave without the same

published in several magazines

option for fathers, holds women back from a more

including Atticus Review,

inclusive participation in the economy. Our Work Isn’t Over Our voices have become louder. We are now an intersectional movement, understanding that the oppression of women is not isolated from the oppression of people of color, or those within the LGBTQIA community, or people with disabilities. We

Amarillo Bay, Lime Hawk, Litro, and others. She’s currently working on a collection of stories exploring all the ways in which the political gets personal.


For C—

By Jana Pietrzyk


Content references disorderly eating, water intoxication, vulnerability.

I. Yesterday

Look at us vulnerable

someone I didn’t even know

at us depending

was angry at me

on something other

for apologizing.

than ourselves.

this society I’m in has trained me to close the gap,


II. Sister, Sister, listen to me:

to close the difference

The space around you is for you

by apologizing

to take up.

for the situation

the space around you is for you

or another person;

to fill up.

I have been trained

the space around you

by society

is nothing

to apologize

without you

for my existence

to take it up.

and for your wrong. I used to drink water by the pitcher until my stomach hurt,

So take it up. Do not apologize for the situation, or another person.

until my brain hurt,

Do not apologize for your existence,

until I was flooded.

or someone else’s wrong.

And could rinse the discomfort from my system with discomfort

Do not apologize for your lightening fire, or your love and kindness, your here-to-fight sobbing,

I used to not eat

your belly-over laughing

for hours

Close the gap

and hours I still cannot eat around confrontation

but, do not apologize for living.

I still cannot eat

Close the difference

when I don’t feel safe

but, do not apologize for the space around

I cannot eat because look at us look at us here.

you being nothing without you.


Gabby Wales is an emerging artist, primarily working with digital video and fiber art. She currently studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and combines her technical background in film with a love for fine arts. She works with textiles and metal to explore the duality of materials in relation to each other. Her sculptures, “3D Watercolor” (pg. 41) and “Body” (cover) appear in this zine.

Dear Sisters, (Can I Call You Sister?) Yes All Sisters By Jana Pietrzyk Whoever you may be I will love you. You think like the first black bird to rest its feet on the soft thawing earth. Your heart is as curious as honey drizzled from a spoon over jam and toast.


You are bright light, arching over the mountains, you are howling dogs chins lifted towards the moon, I see you like I see the ocean like I see the sky, like I see Vermont looming in the distance, I know you are here. And when we band together, like a pack of wolves, we are merciless. And when we band together like stars in the sky we are kindness. And when we band together like sisters of the earth, we are the seam between the mountains and the sea the desert and the city, the forest and the prairie, we are a quilt keeping warm on a winter’s night.

Jana Pietrzyk is a Gryffindor-Sorted, Ravenclaw-Chosen human being, who currently recommends bestsellers and classics at a bustling bookstore on the Connecticut shoreline. She is a Champlain College graduate, and is thoroughly in love with the moon. Two of her poems (pgs. 40-42) appear in this zine. This is her first publication.


Y-E-S. One syllable. Three letters. Yes. This simple word was learned early in life. We said “yes” if we wanted ice cream. We

By Caitlin Ludke

You Don’t Have to be a Martyr

As a people-pleaser, “yes” has become an overly familiar phrase. Saying “yes” to people makes me happy; I like being able to do things for others. However, I’m learning that saying “yes” should not

said “yes” if we wanted to go somewhere or do

mean giving up on your own happiness just to

something. But as we grew, “yes” became a complex

please—or rather, try to please—someone else. I

word with lots of baggage. It became a phrase that

want to be a woman who can say “no.”

women say all the time because we feel like we have to. We say “yes” to our bosses because we

“No” is a good word. I think we should all practice saying “no” in the

don’t want to disappoint them. We say “yes” to our

mirror so that when we have to say it, it doesn’t

significant others because we want to make them

sound so foreign. I’ve found that being able to tell


someone “no” does not mean you are weak. It does not mean you are incapable. What it does mean


is that you are making a choice for yourself. For young adults in particular, it is important to learn that putting your foot down is okay. It’s okay to walk away from something if it doesn’t make you happy. You don’t have to be a martyr. Life is too damn short for that.

Caitlin Ludke is a Psychology major with an interest in public relations studying at Champlain College. She has written blogs for A&S Beer and Champlain College Office of Undergraduate Admissions. In her spare time, she can be found scaling the walls at Petra Cliffs Climbing Center or playing with her fluffy cat.

She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

— Senator Mitch McConnell after silencing Senator Elizabeth Warren when she attempted to read a 1986 letter from Corretta Scott King which criticized the February 2017 attorney general nominee, Sen. Jeff Sessions. “She persisted,” became a rallying cry for women.

Cover image by Gabby Wales.


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