About

 

Hoochie began in 2007 as a collective feminist editorial project based at Boston University. It was founded by Celie Hart, Gili Malinksy, Maria Thurrell, Meg Falls, and Emily Calvin, who together published four ‘zine issues and maintained this blog.

The blog was revived briefly in 2010 by Sophie Buonomo and again in 2013 by Dana Barnes and Madeline Aruffo.

In 2016, the blog was revived by current editor Christian Rose, to accompany a new direction for Hoochie publication: that of an undergraduate anthology.

As of 2016, the current staff is excited to begin the project of publishing a reader of women’s studies for undergraduates at Boston University and around the world. The reader will provide a platform for publishing excellent undergraduate work in a peer-reviewed, professional format.

Why a reader? The media project was initially described as an anthology, but later evolved into a reader. We’ve changed the name in hopes of better describing what we want the publication to be: a personal, accessible tool for spreading women’s studies work, something that can be carried in a backpack or handbag. Our renewed Hoochie reader makes no pretensions of being an encompassing work; women’s studies is a diverse and evolving area of activity. Rather, the new Hoochie reader will be a collaboration between students to present this type of publication to the public.

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The Origins of Hoochie: A Little About Our Name
by Emily Calvin

“I went to work and the office girls/ were all burning their poetry./ It wasn’t good,/ but in the neighborhood,/ now they’re all just a/ Hoochie Woman.” Tori Amos’s song “Hoochie Woman” was featured on her 2005 album, The Beekeeper. While the song itself was not exactly about the reclamation of derogatory terms, in 2006, when I gathered a team of feminist writers and artists to create a feminist magazine at Boston University, that is exactly how we decided to use it. I think personally, the negative response I initially got from so many women when I originally proposed the name fueled my determination to name this magazine after that powerful Tori Amos song. And after much deliberation over the meaning and effect the name would hold, we all came to embrace and love the name.

Merriam-Webster defines “hoochie” as slang that means, “a sexually promiscuous woman,” and we all liked the idea of embracing female sexuality as a positive, as opposed to a negative slang. While this could not be categorized exactly as reappropriation, since “hoochie” seemed to have originated as a slang and nothing else, the name choice was less about the actual word and more about the concept behind it. Yes, we wanted to show that we were not afraid to celebrate female sexuality, but also, we were not afraid to be bold. A sexually promiscuous woman is an explorer—she explores her pleasure, she explores her body, she explores intimacy, and she explores what it means to be a woman in modern society. That was what we were trying to do with Hoochie Woman. That was why the original logo had a little girl with a telescope climbing on top of the words “Hoochie Woman.” She represented our need to explore—our need to climb on top of the mountain of social constructs and look closely at issues like gender and sexuality. The girl in the image was also wearing a dress and her panties were showing, making her a “hoochie” according to society’s standards. However, she was also a little girl who should not be sexualized or embarrassed of her undergarments, so instead, she explored her world without shame or reservation. Her back faced us because she had no concern for what we thought of her.

Personally, I aspired to be that hoochie woman, and we all wanted to create a community of women who were not afraid to be “hoochies,” however they chose to define it. We wanted to create a word that could mean anything, as long as it was positive. We wanted to give women a word with which to proudly define themselves, and we decided that word was “hoochie.” Almost every woman can identify with being called a “slut” or “hoochie” at some point in their lives, and we wanted to tap into that experience and show women that it was okay to be whatever they wanted to be, including a hoochie. We also wanted to create a space where women would be safe to talk about their experiences without shame because shame stunts growth and discovery, and we wanted to discover ourselves. I think, in a sense, we were all in search of our inner hoochies and needed a space where it was safe to embrace her. We tried to carve out that space through our words, our art, our images, our thoughts, our magazine. I can only hope it has done for others even half of what it did for me as a young, burgeoning feminist who needed a space to find her voice. I found it in Hoochie Woman, and if it shows even one more woman her strength and voice, then it has done its job.

6 thoughts on “About

  1. I absolutely love the magazine and find the submissions to be informative and thought-provoking. I’m a Woman Studies minor and believe in integrating a feminist perspective into everything I do! I was wondering, how can I get involved with the magazine?

    Jill

    • hey i know this is an entire year too late…but if you’re still interested in getting involved with this magazine…i would totally be willing to talk to you about it. i am one of the cofounders of the magazine, and it sort of fell by the wayside after we graduated, because most of the “staff” were graduated at the same time. however, it breaks my heart that it’s temporarily dead, so if you have any interest whatsoever in trying to revive this thing, i’ll totally put you in contact with other people who might want to work with you, and i’ll totally be willing to work with you every step of the way! if not, i also totally understand because it is quite a commitment, and i am responding a year after you commented…but if you’re still interested, i am!

  2. You guys I am SO proud of you all for keeping this alive! I have the chills just looking at everything you’ve done since I graduated! 🙂 I could not be happier to have been a part of this! (Love, Emily Calvin)

    • Hey, they’re just picking up the torch you and your team lit up when you started thing this. If you’re going to go on and on giving them props, you better take some time to claim a little credit, too! – Z

      • You are too kind 🙂 but I’ll gladly take some credit for this! Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this zine to grow to what it’s become and last as long as it has, but I am so proud of myself & my fellow founders for starting this! Thank YOU so much for keeping the site up and managing it for so long too! I am proud of myself, I am proud of you, and I am proud of all the beautiful creatures who continue to make this publication what it is today. We started the movement; y’all kept it alive, and I have so much love and respect for everyone involved. Keep up the excellent work!

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