Womxn Produce Their First Zine


Womxn Student Organization

First Womxn Zine produced by club members this spring

A Penn State Harrisburg club handed out their own student-produced zine this semester, drawing attention to their cause. 

WOMXN is an intersectional feminist club that seeks to uplift the voices of womxn and feminism on campus. As stated in the organization’s constitution, the organization “will focus on and learn about womxn’s experiences, and all aspects of womxnhood” as well as “seek to educate those who are not womxn for the purpose of increasing awareness and understanding of womxn’s history, struggles, and liberation.” The name “WOMXN” comes from a nonstandard spelling of “women” used by some feminists in order to avoid the word ending in “men.”

The organization was founded in Fall 2019 by current president Alyssa McLaughlin and her partner who has since become Penn State alum. “We created it simply because we felt there was a lack of womxn’s spaces and information regarding feminism on our campus, as well as our geographic community,” Alyssa explains. The group feels that “providing a safe, welcoming and supportive environment for womxn is crucial to creating an equal and inclusive community on campus.” Additionally, “the club exists not to exclude men or other genders, but to elevate the voices of womxn” as written in the WOMXN constitution. 

Since their start in 2019, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the club has managed to accomplish a lot and establish themselves on campus. “We held an open mic night on campus to elevate voices of students who are marginalized on campus, we brought over 15 Penn State Harrisburg students to participate in the 2020 Women’s March in Washington D.C. and have volunteered as patient escorts on multiple occasions with Planned Parenthood,” Alyssa stated, “Grass roots and ground level activism is the cornerstone of what we strive to accomplish with our student organization.”

One impact COVID-19 did have on the organization was it restricted the amount club members could volunteer or access ways to educate the community. These limitations are what inspired the group to pursue creating a magazine. Alyssa explained, “Since COVID-19 has put a damper on our ability to go out and volunteer in the capacity that we would like, we figured we would return to second-wave feminist roots and utilize the tactic of consciousness raising through educational literature. Thus, the student produced zine ‘What Is Intersectional Feminism?’ was born.” 

During the fall semester, club members spent meetings creating ideas and content for the zine before the executive board made selections and curated a final, physical copy to be mass produced. The zines were passed out on Friday, March 25th by club members. “We wanted people to understand our purpose as an intersectional feminist student organization,” Alyssa said, “but how could they be interested if they weren’t sure what intersectional feminism means?”

WOMXN meets Fridays at 12:00pm in Olmsted E252. Interested students are encouraged to come to a meeting or reach out to President and Co-founder Alyssa McLaughlin at [email protected] for more information.