With the support of my editing partner, I have been handed full reins on this issue. This quarter’s digital magazine was earmarked as our Women’s issue long before our debut and I have been mulling its possibilities for months. An exciting task, but this is a grand understatement. It often feels like I can never do it justice, as it will most likely feel like a snapshot in time when I look back. But I do want to be proud of it. I want you to be proud of it.
Let me preface by saying, in my world, and therefore in the world of Torpedo Journal, the term “woman” includes cisgender, non-binary, and trans women. I also believe in intersectional feminism, and although there are alternate spellings of “woman” as a means to dismantle the patriarchal roots of the word, for inclusivity’s sake, the traditional spelling of “woman” will be used in this issue. As award-winning professor, scholar, filmmaker, and theorist Susan Stryker once stated in an article for TIME’s 100 Women of the Year, “’woman’ remains a useful shorthand for the entanglement of femininity and social status regardless of biology—not as an identity, but as the name for an imagined community that honors the female, enacts the feminine and exceeds the limitations of a sexist society.”
I can say with utmost certainty that the biggest love stories of my life revolve around my relationships with women. I grew up in a family filled with women, both biological and chosen, and the bonds we formed shape who I am in this world. They have taught me how to be, how to exist. There is an innate understanding of each other when we’re faced with the same hurdles in society. There is no feeling quite like the one you have when you root for the women in your life to succeed and have them do the same for you. I’ve always said there’s enough room for every woman on this stage. And yet, despite all the commonalities we share, women remain mysterious enough, much like foreign countries, where repeated visits reveal more and more layers to be discovered. We acknowledge our commonalities, but there remains so many more nuances to unravel. I can’t think of a better community to belong to.
Being a woman is a complex experience. The backbone of Torpedo Journal is storytelling for social change and in my research for this issue, I’ve realized that there are so many stories to tell–your stories that deserve their time in the sun. This is important because in sharing these experiences, we see each other. There are so many issues to focus on, I fear we’ll never be able to get through them all. The pay gap. Sexism, racism, and economic inequality. Reproductive health and rights. Caregiving. Motherhood. LGBTQ rights. Violence and misogyny. Underrepresentation in leadership. Period poverty and stigma. Mental health. Still, there is much to celebrate, much to acknowledge, and nevertheless so much more to overcome, with much more work to do. I hope we can make a small dent in the stratosphere with this issue so women can feel heard and understood.
Here at Torpedo Journal, we will always strive to feature women and their evolving stories in our pages. But in this issue, every single contributor, from editor to graphic designer to artist to photographer to writer is a woman. I wanted to capture the feminine energy and creativity that runs the world. I wanted to pay homage to the community that keeps the world turning, that upholds society, that spins gold from scraps. Women, this issue is for you. I am so proud to be in your company.
To the riot grrrls everywhere,