Women Can Be…: a zine review

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Women Can Be is a brand new feminist zine, “exploring the things that women can be in a world filled with sexist expectations”. It features five female artists from three different countries (who joined together to form an Instagram art collective last year) and it looks mad gorgeous when it shows up on your doorstep.

Each artist in Women Can Be chooses a different phrase, for example, ‘Women can be tough’, and illustrates the term, explaining what it means to them. Some of the artists open up about their own personal struggles, touching on things like depression, while others explore topics such as bisexual erasure and toxic representations of female friendship in television and film. The zine works as both an exploration of gender roles and a showcase for new feminist artists – while the Internet is undoubtedly great, it definitely hits home how many awesome talented women there are out there when you have a beautiful zine created by them physically in your hands. 

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I really enjoyed delving into the world of each artist, and could’ve even had a little more of this. Art is something which can feel inaccessible to a lot of people, especially those who haven’t had the privilege of receiving a formal education on it or much exposure to it, and I think it’d be cool to read about why each artist chose to portray her phrase the way she did. That could be a good way to open up feminist artist for young women in particular.

Even without this, however, it’s a great little zine. It costs £10, which includes two full colour mini prints for your bedroom wall (or to give to a sister who needs cheering up that day). It was released on 19th February, so is available to purchase now, and you can get it from the following places online:

editor and cover designer Melly is selling via: 


artist Beau is selling via:


artist Jess is selling via:


Postage and packaging is defined by each individual seller. I’m not allowed to say who sent my version, but is came beautifully put together – this is clearly a labour of love, and by supporting Women Can Be you support the work of some clearly passionate, feminist women.

Regular updates about the zine, its artists and future issues can be found at @WomenCanBe. You can also contact the editor at mellyemclark@gmail.com.

–  Jade Slaughter is editor of The Jar Belles and has written for The F Word, Parallel and Litro magazines. Follow her on Twitter: @msjadeslaughter.