The F Word, the student-run literary magazine, is a place for members of FUSE, or Feminists United for Sexual Equality, and the general public to express their thoughts and ideas on a variety of topics, with a focus on feminist issues. It features poetry, essays, and everything in between.
The Point News interviewed Jenna Gregory, a junior Art History major and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Religious Studies double minor and member of the Feminist United for Sexual Equality (FUSE) at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM). Her main role within FUSE is zine editor, where she designs, edits and produces the feminist zine.
Her other duties include normal executive board jobs, such as planning topics for meetings and organizing events on campus. Jenna quickly elaborated that a zine and a feminist zine are basically synonymous, stating, “Zines have a long history of being underground, self-published, political publications that are deep-seeded in feminist history. FUSE is just continuing the trend of publishing things that others may not want to publish. It’s the real voice of the people. A voice for feminists to talk about injustice in the world.”
The zine has been in publication since 2015, but it was only published online up until Gregory took over in spring of 2017, moving from digital to print. It comes out twice a year, once a semester, usually around the final exam period. There is no theme for the upcoming issue; however, Jenna did hint at the idea of the next issue being a collaborative piece where multiple colleges and universities will contribute their feminist works to the mix.
When asked if she could preview the sorts of submissions that she has seen thus far, Gregory instantly pointed to a poem submission where the author detailed their coming out experience and their first relationship with a woman. She also commented on the bravery of students who submitted photography of female bodies. She summed up by saying, “I love all of it, is the answer, just being able to see how different it is every single time.”
The title of the zine, The F Word: A Lit Fuse is a play on the well-known F-word, according to Jenna. She also spoke about the blatant anti-establishment nature of the zine, elaborating by stating that “the publication says what needs to be said, and you have to just deal with it, even if the college doesn’t love it.”
Throughout the interview, Gregory spoke of the need for feminism and by extension feminist publications. To her, by having a club where people can get together and talk about feminist issues and political issues, we are able to confront problems impacting our campus as well as the community at large, across the nation.
Gregory described the FUSE zine as an “underground manifesto of the St. Mary’s people,” praising its ability to capture and preserve a record of the issues our campus and the world were facing at a certain time. She also mentioned that the zine would also record how the campus administration and community respond in the face of injustice and inequality, to see if they preserved the status quo or worked toward a more progressive, safer campus.
She ended by re-emphasizing the need for feminism and feminist publications and also asked for anyone with feminist content to submit to the zine. This includes art, photography, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, opinion and academic pieces. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions were technically due by Nov. 10, 2017; however, she says she can be convinced to accept late submissions. She also noted that submissions can remain anonymous if the person asks this to be done.
The F Word: A Lit Fuse will be distributed around finals week, and you can pick up your copy at the Campus Center, the Library, Margaret Brent Hall or Montgomery Hall Fine Arts Center.