Five radical women in Got a Girl Crush magazine

by Grace Wang in December 2017
Women

Earlier this year we rounded up some of our favourite feminist magazines, but this is a list we’re always adding to. Published in Brooklyn, New York, our latest discovery is Got A Girl Crush, a magazine for anyone to “read about women”. Profiling radical women of all ages, races, backgrounds and locations, it wants to piece together the broken narrative in dominant media.

Though issues of the small format magazine don’t have specific themes, this sixth one was inevitably political (the current president’s name is actually blacked out every time it is mentioned.) From activists to artists, editor Meg Wachter and creative director Amanda Stosz gives us their definitive guide to the issue.


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1. Emma Robbins

​”We’re not going to sit down. This is our renaissance. This is​ ​our time to make our voices heard. Media, you’re not going​ ​to come in? We’re going to send people pictures and post​ ​where we can.​ ​We’re going to start fighting back.​”​

Emma is a Navajo/Jewish indigenous peoples activist, artist, educator. She works with digdeep.org (which defends water access as a human right), was at the Standing Rock protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline, and is involved with Native Nations Rise. Her art is inspired by growing up on a “rez” as well as other indigenous cultures around the world (like in Argentina, Yemen, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai). Since her interview in the magazine, we’ve had Emma take over our social media to raise awareness to the discrimination, violence, and poverty that Native Americans have been subjected to and still face to this day. Most recently she took over our Instagram on Thanksgiving day to reflect what this seemingly peaceful holiday about gratitude really means to Native peoples (spoiler alert: it’s been whitewashed).

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2. Cristy C. Road

“Queers love magic. The problem​ ​in white queer communities is with​ ​appropriation — wanting to practice​ ​a system of magic that has nothing to​ ​do with their ancestry.”

Cristy​ ​is a Cuban-American artist, writer, and musician. Through visual art, storytelling, and punk rock music, she has thrived to testify the beauty of the imperfect since she began creating art in her hometown of Miami, F​lorida​. She grew up as a self-taught figure drawing artist with a penchant for all things that questioned society​. ​We were particularly blown away by her drawing for the Justice tarot card from the forthcoming Next World Tarot deck she has been working on for the last five years — 78 cards for an entire tarot deck featuring queer and POC bodies.

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3. Maya Elisabeth

“I view cannabis as a healing herb, as a superfood. A superfood is something that has extra nutritional value. Something where you can use every part.”

Chances are if you live in one of the states blessed​ ​to have compassionate cannabis legislation,​ ​you’ve heard of Maya Elisabeth, the ​creator of medical cannabis products​ ​and edibles. Those in more restrictive states will,​ ​at the very least, know her partner in Whoopi​ ​& Maya, the inimitable actress and comedian,​ ​Whoopi Goldberg. Their line of medical cannabis​ ​products, which they created to address the lack​ ​of natural pain relief available to menstruating​ ​people — it’s a pretty big market, considering​ ​40-70% of women of reproductive age in the​ ​U.S. report having cramps.

Maya is a legit businesswoman who’s won multiple awards over the last decade (as in seven High Times Cannabis Cup Awards). She as savvy about the blossoming canna-industry, and in touch with the spiritual side of using natural remedies to treat what ails you.

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4. Genevieve Gaignard

“I think biracial narratives are underrepresented because they exist in​ ​a space of in-between. It’s comfortable to put people in categories,​ ​and when they don’t fit easily in boxes people get nervous.”

Influenced by the soulful sounds of Billy Stewart, the kitschy aesthetic of John Waters and the provocative artifice of drag culture, Genevieve uses low-brow pop sensibilities to craft dynamic visual narratives. Genevieve is a multi-disciplinary artist who primarily addresses what it’s like to be a biracial woman in America and people’s insistence of knowing “what” you are, through photography (à la Cindy Sherman-style portraits of embodying other characters of women) and installation. In her interview she talks about how you can’t wait on society and old white man media to create space and represent you, and that you need to be fearless and create it yourself.

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5. Shydeia Caldwell

“An inclusive environment is about saying, “Come as you are because you are enough right now. Share your truth because your voice matters. Give the gift of support by allowing others to show up. In essence, take up all of the space you need to stand in your fullness.”

I envy younger women today, like Shydeia Caldwell, who have the benefit of access to the internet and social media as a means of creating community and connection that I didn’t have in school in the early aughts. It’s inspiring to see technology used for good and making space for women of color instead of further disconnecting from each other by being buried behind screens and avatars. Shydeia started Black Girl Magik in 2015 as a meet-up for women of colour residing in New York City. Since then, BGM events have expanded throughout the United States, seeking to unite and empower WOC and create a contemporary black sisterhood. We can’t wait to see where this community goes in the future as it grows with its creator.

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