q&a: tigress magazine for girls
Lip chats with Isobel Taylor-Rodgers, manager of Tigress Magazine for Girls, about what to expect from the mag, why teen girls need feminism and why we should get down to Abbotsford Convent this Friday.
Who is Tigress Mag for and what’s within its pages?
Tigress is a teen mag for young feminists, we’re focused on creating diverse content that explores the complexity and nuance of all teen women, not just cis teens. We’re pro all inclusive feminism and really committed to developing a dynamic magazine full of content by our readers that is truly representative of who young feminists are. We’ve got articles on coping with depression, discovering your sexuality, chats with awesome feminist business owners, craft DIY, an advice forum, there’s also practical stuff like how to fix a bike tyre, or how to be alone.
Why is it important for teen girls to have safe spaces online?
As we’ve seen really recently with Clementine Ford’s ban from Facebook for outing online abusers, the Internet isn’t always a safe place for women, as well as members of LBGTIQA communities, not to mention the onslaught of racial prejudice that many people face daily online. Often we find, as with Clementine Ford, or the cases of revenge porn in Adelaide, women are not only frequent victims of online abuse, they’re also blamed for its occurrence. Teens can be especially affected by this kind of online aggression and are increasingly experiencing life through the lens of global, online media. We need pockets of the Internet that can promise those visiting will be protected, advocated for and embraced. Hopefully these places will blossom, encouraging more online environments to advocate for the safety of all these groups and show teens that bigoted aggression is not an accepted norm, as many currently believe it to be.
What is the most pressing issue for young girls today?
There are so many, but I definitely consider victim blaming to be one of the most pressing because it cuts through a lot of the major issues facing young women. Women are told not to go out at night, are shamed for wearing revealing clothing, abused online for becoming victims of revenge porn or for defending themselves. While the usually male perpetrators of abuse or crime are frequently empathised with, even defended.
This mentality traps women in cycles of guilt, self-doubt and self-blame which increases the likelihood that if they themselves become victims of a crime or bullying, regardless of its nature, they’re less likely to speak out. Even before an event occurs, the system has failed them. It’s told them, you will not be listened to, you will be blamed, you will be publically humiliated, you will not be believed. Victim blaming tells young women that they are deserving of these unacceptable actions and are alone in their defence of themselves. This needs to change, the transference of guilt away from the victim is a founding step towards the rehabilitation of the attitudes that create and fuel these types of aggression.
What would you say to any young aspiring writers or artists who want to get their work out there?
Work hard, don’t worry if you submit something and it doesn’t get published/exhibited, keep trying. Find workshop competitions or events, like those recently held at the Emerging Writers Festival in Melbourne recently, find a group of people who share your passion and collaborate. I’m an artist and I found the greatest thing that helped me get over my fear of sharing my work was sharing it, maybe start a writers club and read your work to one another, be open to criticism, this is what makes you better. You can also email your work to us at email@example.com, we’re always looking for amazing creative teens who want to share their wonderful work with the world.
What would your advice be to young girls who are only now discovering their feminism?
I think getting out there, going to feminist events and finding your Girl Gang is the best way to start discovering your feminism, it’s a multifaceted movement with many internal divisions so I would encourage people to explore. Events like Cherchez La Femme, Girls on Film Festival, F For Feminism are great places to start. Magazines like Lip, Aphra, Ladies of Leisure, there are so many, all have excellent followers and their Facebook pages are great places to start having chats about the things you care about with people who care too, not to mention the mags are fantastic.
Read Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist, it’s incredible.
What is the main thing you wish young woman would stop telling themselves? What would you tell them instead?
A lot of the time, when I tell young women how much I love their work, they’ll tend to get embarrassed or leap straight into putting themselves down. I’ll frequently hear “no I hate my writing” or “I don’t think it’s very good”/”so and so’s is so much better”.
I would tell them to UPGRADE, say “yeah it’s great! I’m so proud of it” or if you can’t manage that even just saying thanks rather than reducing your worth. A lot of people are concerned about being considered arrogant but I think for a lot of women, arrogance begins where self-deprecation ends, there’s no ground for self love. Arrogance only exists if you believe that your greatness makes you better than somebody else. Acknowledging your greatness is just plain right.
How can our readers get more involved with Tigress?
You can come along to our awesome event this coming Friday at the Oratory, Abbotsford Convent, there will be music, art, craft and cake, it’s a great place to meet other feminists and just have a great hang.
If you’re keen to do more, we’re a collaborative project so we’re always looking for new content, you can submit your work to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come along and support Tigress Magazine for Girls this Friday at the Abbotsford Convent. You can find more information here!