By looking at BUST and Bitch as the Third Wave Feminist rhetoric classified by Brenda M. Helmbrecht and Meredith A. Love to be an 'improper' form of feminist rhetoric in comparison to the traditional one, I am arguing there is a new form of rhetoric even more extreme in 'improper,' which I am terming Rogue Feminism, that is exemplified in babe's online articles that I have visually mapped below.
In Brenda M. Helmbrecht and Meredith A. Love's article, "The BUSTin’ and Bitchin’ Ethe of Third-Wave Zines," they point to several categories in Bitch and BUST that demonstrate how the two magazines bring forth the Third Wave Feminist rhetoric that has stemmed from traditional feminist rhetoric.
Helmbrecht and Love discuss how the two magazines bring forth alternative voices to the traditional feminist rhetoric: “Like others before us, our work on third-wave feminist rhetoric is intended to integrate alternative voices into rhetorical study with the goal of transgressing the conventional rhetorical tradition and opening up new spaces that make meaning and create knowledge. The zines Bitch and BUST offer such voices. In these alternative discourses, we witness the third wave’s desire to forge a feminist movement that both absorbs and reconfigures the progress of its feminist ‘foremothers’” (151).
The recognition of “feminist foremothers” is a key component to the argument Helmbrecht and Love make for teaching magazines like Bitch and BUST to students of rhetoric. When looking at this Third Wave feminist rhetoric, there is a distinct and direct nod to the past of feminists before them. The ways in which they write their articles stem from the traditional academic research paper, as well. This is important to the argument for Third Wave feminist rhetoric to be acknowledged by those who study the field.
Helmbrect and Love classify what these two magazines focus on in the following categories, which they argue for being important to look at for contemporary feminist rhetoric: women and their bodies, individual experience, socially active, women's fashion, domesticity, engaging readers, featuring role model women, 'talking back' to media, and 'improper' rhetoric.
Women and their bodies are discussions these two magazines have on women and masturbation, sex, and protection.
Individual experiences are from one woman's perspective, rather than focusing on the issues related women as a group.
Socially active articles engage in issues of women's rights globally. Helmbrecht and Love noted that both magazines could do better to have a more socially active presence that acknowledges the struggles of women in other countries.
Women's fashion addresses body types, but tend to focus the mainstream consumerism, while Bitch even tends to promote not shopping at all as a critique on the media for harming women's self images.
BUST also tends to focus on domesticity, discussing ways to be crafty or doing DIY projects. Helmbrecht and Love even go as far as to call the magazine for the "more girly, fun-loving feminist of the third wave" (165).
For Bitch, readership is crucial and they engage with their readers in the magazine by having topics that are aware of how 'in the know' their readers are, and even have a section of their magazine dedicated for readers to respond.
Both Bitch and BUST also feature women who are making strides for the feminist movement, which can be viewed as role models for other women to look up to or point to for others. However, Helmbreht and Love address how BUST magazine focuses on women on its covers like other magazines made for women, which Bitch focuses more on the art created by women (160).
Bitch magazine also prides itself in 'talking back' to the media by discussing the issues that matter and critiquing the media at large. BUST, also does this to perhaps a lesser degree.
However, both are deemed to have 'improper' rhetoric by Helmbrecht and Love who argue that while the magazines do approach their articles from the familiar academic paper style and research, the language used in both set the tone of anger and outrage in some instances that do not follow along the traditional feminist rhetoric of formal academic writing.
How Rogue Feminism takes on the extreme through its rhetoric featured on babe's online articles.
babe is an online only magazine and does not have the same history as Bitch and BUST, but this may be what is beneficial to the feminist news source.
The articles on the website do address the same kinds of categories in which Helmbrecht and Love discuss, but babe takes on an extreme and nonacademic approach to these categories that appeal to a younger audience. This audience that babe is writing to is not acknowledging the feminists before them, and so there is not a message of looking back at what women have done to gain the rights they have now.
There may be no nod to the past on babe's website, or little direct language to feminist ideology, but the messages that babe promotes are fundamentally feminist. They are taking on topics in a manner that others may find inappropriate, but they are for the benefit of young women today who did not grow up in a society with messages of fighting for rights and equality.
When looking at the same categories, babe does speak on them in a way that would appeal more to young women today in a more "aggressive" and "improper" manner: