This is my whole set of colour illustrated Scrapbook Herstory zines. Together, they take the reader on a journey through women’s writing – from the evolution of life on earth until the age of American imperialism. The series is global, and includes women’s voices from every continent – from Algeria to the Amazon, Chile to China, Iran to Indonesia, Nicaragua to New Zealand, Palau to the Philippines. Each quote is a signpost to important voices and further reading, which is also listed in the bibliography of each book. The series is meant to introduce the work of a range of feminists, as well as offer a potted herstory that – for busy women – can be browsed in bites, rather than read in long concentrated sessions.
To sum up each volume: the first book, my favourite, is a spiritual text purely by virtue of the content – it has a focus on the women-centred cultures that existed globally before the creation of patriarchy 5,000 years ago, and before European colonisation. Volume 2 describes how patriarchy was created through the development of various institutions, like the paternal household, the state, the military, and prostitution, and through the church gaining control over the institution of marriage in the Carolingian period.
Volume 3 takes the reader from the Dark Ages, the rise of the Catholic church and the Crusades and witchcraze, to the colonisation of the Americas, and advent of slavery. It covers peasant revolts and rebellions against slavery, and the development of liberalism, socialism, and first wave feminism – in small bites. Volume 4 begins with the invention of the discipline of sexology before WWI, and ends with the United States military invasion of Iraq in 2003. The book has a focus on American imperialism, and explains neoliberalism and some of the ways that women resist it globally.
I’ve made this series because it is exactly the resource I would have wanted before I began my own intensive reading – it is a resource I would have valued any time in my life right from adolescence. Younger girls can benefit from this series too – a friend of mine who is 8 years old is now making her own zines! But to mothers looking for ways to introduce girl children to feminist history – I would recommend getting familiar with these books yourself first to ensure that you are comfortable with sharing the content with your kids.