make/shift: feminisms in motion (Issue 7)
make/shift is a satisfying thing. Describing itself as "feminisms in motion," it is a much-needed breath of fresh air for both our minds and our movement. Deep, political roots give way to a body of thought-provoking content and are topped with flexible branches of ideas, encouraging discourse and change. The magazine itself has full-color front and back covers. The entire inside is in black and white. It's heavy on text, and I like it that way. The layout is easy to read; no "continued on page seven" nonsense here. Pictures are scant, but clear and artful. There are advertisements, and as expected for a feminist magazine, they're not of the demeaning garden-variety like the ones we see in other magazines.
make/shift boasts quality content; empowering, thought-provoking, and provocative. I saw boatloads of grassroots activism and resources, along with essays, interviews, news stories, poetry, and reviews. The advice column is answered by Nomy Lamm, which is pretty sweet. Reading this magazine brought up a lot of thoughts and feelings I haven't experienced in years. I felt both educated and encouraged, as if they were saying, "You're capable of making a difference. Then, tell us about what you did!"
Most magazines make me feel like I need to change my body and my life in order to be happier and more accepted. Instead of stress and insecurity, I welcomed the empowerment. "Why Misogynists Make Great Informants" definitely struck a chord in me. It made me recall my earliest days of activism, the people I met and the situations I encountered. I was disappointed to experience sexism and homophobia in activist groups. After fervently waiting for so long to move away and meet "my own kind," such experiences made me feel as if nothing on Earth was definitive.
Nomy Lamm's advice to an assault survivor's question both educated and moved me. I was very happy to see a column about self-publishing poetry, and plan to send my writing to a few of the DIY publishers listed. (Cross your fingers for me, yes?) In a nutshell, every article made me see things a little differently or taught me something new. All magazines should aspire to have high-quality content like make/shift.