15 April 2011


Issue three of Slightly More Than Sound Bytes is a wonderful time capsule of Ottawa's cultural underground in the early millennium.  Jess was very active in the local feminist and activist scenes and she writes about organizing events like the Dyke March and Ladyfest.  I recommend this zine for any Ottawa activist who needs a little inspiration.  Jess's articles are a reminder of the power of community and of the possibilities of grassroots organizing in Ottawa.

This issue also includes discussions of gender in the lesbian subculture.  I found it really interesting how self-conscious Jess had to be in order to develop her own identity within the lesbian community.  It seems like she had to deal with two ever-oppressing forces: the patriarchal-male expectations of her sex and gender and the lesbian-female ones.  No wonder it's so hard to be a girl, let alone a lesbian!  As a gay guy, none of these issues press upon me.  I don't have to worry about choosing to wear make-up or to shave or whether my wearing a dress versus pants is making a political or sexual statement.  I just get up, throw on my cords, brush my teeth and go to work.  I always enjoy Jess's zines because they are so helpful in informing me about the issues around being a womon in today's society.  And, even better, she is full of moxy and has the best fight-for-your-rights attitude.

Another great feature of issue three of Slightly More Than Sound Bytes is the recommended reading list on queer herstory and gender that is in the back.  It is a great reference.