Intersectionality [in-ter-sek-shuhnal-i-tee]: a term (based on prior social theory) coined in 1989 by feminist theorist Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw which ‘suggests that—and seeks to examine how—various biological, social and cultural categories such as gender, race, class, ability, sexual orientation, species, and other axes of identity interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels, contributing to systematic injustice and social inequality’.
Or, as Ava Vidal puts it, intersectionality is a term which points to the fact that:
Certain groups of women have multi-layered facets in life that they have to deal with. There is no one-size-fits-all type of feminism.
Here at GEEKED, we have attempted to embed an intersectional perspective on GEEK feminism from day one. The content of our zines (five out so far) has always been chosen with the aim to provide a platform for artists and writers who, for whatever reasons, have not found (or prefer not to find) a space in the ‘mainstream’. That doesn’t meant that we haven’t given some space to mainstream (white) feminism… or that we haven’t made mistakes in our attempts at expressing our feminism. But ultimately, intersectionality is something we take seriously and it is a theory which we try to put into practice in every issue we produce, in every blog we post.
Having said that, this last year has brought on a flood of troubling debates within feminism as to the necessity of intersectionality. The implication that feminism, and GEEK feminism, should be ‘united’, monolithic, and bound by homogenous concerns seems to us a total contradiction of what this social movement proclaims to be about. And thus, rather than simply joining this debate (because honestly, we see nothing to argue about here), we’ve decided just to put our money where our mouths are!
Welcome to the Call for Submissions for GEEKED #6, The Intersectionality Issue! This issue will seek to demonstrate the already diverse, multi-vocal, plural and complex state of GEEK feminisms. Moreover, we aim to explore the ways in which non-white, non-cisgendered, differently abled, non-‘mainstream’ feminist GEEKery is relevant and compelling for ALL of us, whether we exist at these intersections or not. For us, GEEK feminisms create a stunning spiderweb of art, culture and gender and we’re going to bring that to you in our next issue.
Wanna help? Wicked! Here’s what we need:
A Word from the Y: Are you a trans*man or a Queer man? Are you a self-confessed GEEK? We want to hear from you! Tell us what ‘he’ means to you and what your experiences of GEEK culture and fandom are like! We’re looking for a maximum of 1,000 words and we want your own unique perspective so feel free to send us a modified pitch.
Fashion Up and Comer: We’re looking for an up and coming fashion designer, clothes maker, or fashion guru whose work defies ‘normative’ fashion boundaries. Do you design items for all body types regardless of gender, sex, or sexual orientation? Do your creations challenge mainstream, western definitions of what ‘Fashion’ is? Awesome, we want to hear from you! We’re looking for up to 800 words about you and what you do and we need images of your designs and/or finished products.
London Fashion Feature: We need a fashion writer who can highlight a London-based (or even UK-based) company who produces clothing in ways which challenge and push back at commercialised fashion. Maybe you know of a maker or company who produce ethical clothing, or whose designs are meant to beautify and celebrate all body types? Great! Send us a pitch with a basic outline of your approach, details of the maker, and confirmation of your willingness to contact them for permission to print images of their clothes.
Film: The films of the last year have been one of the primary sources of discussion for feminists concerned with intersectionality. We’re looking for a piece which investigates and problematizes representation of the intersections of race, class and sexuality. The piece should be about 1,000 max. This pitch is open to interpretation (do you want to offer a critique of Hollywood films? Or are you more interested in offering a list of alternatives?) so in your pitch, give us a brief run-down of your plan.
Graphic Novels: Are you an illustrator who creates their own comics? WE WANT YOU! We want to feature comics which explore issues of intersectionality and/or which offer nuanced representations of non-white, non-western, non-cisgendered, or differently-abled characters. We’re looking for comics of up to 4 pages but we’re flexible so send us a pitch with your plans for submission, and if possible, examples of, or links to, some of your previous works.
Food: What did food mean to your family growing up? For so many celebrities now a-days, food represents another avenue for establishing their presence in the public eye. But for many people, food (and its preparation, consumption, etc) was not a ‘hobby’ and meant a variety of things which had little or nothing to do with image. Was food a source of spiritual nourishment for your family? Was the preparation of food in your family gendered? Was food a source of concern? We’re looking for up to three written submissions (800 words max.) exploring what food meant to you and your family.
Illustrators: We need artists and illustrators to create work for the pieces outlined above, as well as a number of other editorials which will feature in the zine. We don’t care what medium you use and we’re interested in YOUR interpretation of the topic. Send us an email outlining your interest with examples of, or a link to your work, and if possible, which piece you would like to illustrate. We’re also happy to provide you with a list of the other pieces included so give us a shout.
All feminist GEEKS are welcome to submit, but we are particularly interested in the writing and art of trans* or Queer GEEKS, Women of Colour, and differently-abled GEEKS. Check out our FAQs and then send us your pitch: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope that at whatever intersection of the GEEK feminism web you’re living, you’ll consider contributing to Issue 6. This quarter, more than ever before, we’re committed to bombarding the mainstream with a fantastically raucous plurality of feminist GEEK voices… LET’S TURN IT UP!!!