Most of the essays in this issue of Thirdspace skew to the academic side and could be difficult to parse if you haven’t already spent some time studying queer theory, colonialism, Marxism, racism, and a bunch of other isms. Created by the University of Victoria Student Society, a lot of the content presumes you’ve spent as much time considering the titular question as the essayists have, and I found that aspect of this zine disappointing. The editors note say they hope the project is educational, even to people who think feminism doesn’t matter, but I suspect the tone and density of some of the selections might be a deterrent for readers in that camp.
I did enjoy most of the interviews, including the one with hip-hoppers Hundy Thou, and especially their quote about how some men seem to expect congratulations for being allies in very basic ways or want to define what feminism is about: “Feminism matters but men, don’t be preachy about it. / Just live it.” I also really liked Jenny Wooding’s photo series “Feminists?” in which the photographer embodies various feminine stereotypes in a series of self-portraits. I’ve seen photo essays similar to this before, but I’m a fan of this particular approach to discussing identities. (Mary Green)