If you’ve never heard of the 3rd wave feminist magazine Vag, don’t be alarmed: it doesn’t exist. The brainchild of Upright Citizen Brigade teachers Leila Cohan-Miccioand and Caitlin Tegart Vag Magazine is an upcoming web series that centers around the takeover of a women’s beauty magazine Gemma by a group of hardcore hipster feminists looking to create their own brand of Bitch or Bust. With a staggering lack of self-awareness, these young women are dedicated to the cause of being feminists…even if they don’t know what exactly that means.
Vag Magazine recently “premiered” at the UCB Theater in New York, and the first episodes will be online later this month, complete with blogs from the characters and “articles” from the magazine. One of the defining moments in the first episode is when Meghan, the hold-over from Gemma magazine, asks her new coworkers what “feminism” was to them, exactly.
“It’s about women doing whatever they want,” one sniffs.
“Feminism is about having fun!” chirps another.
But even as the show pokes fun of their uber-crunchy “femanazi” characters, Leila and Caitlin are adament that the show itself is feminist. “It was born out of this frustration we felt…of all these women’s blogs and magazines sitting around criticizing Ann Taylor and not actually doing anything. You’d have all these people bitching, and then 20 articles on how to make scarves, and nobody was actually doing anything,” says Leila, who went to Smith.
One example? Jezebel’s take-down on The Daily Show for their dearth of female writers. “I don’t think the person who wrote that was trying to be a comedy writer,” Leila laughs, “women in comedy had a much different reaction to that article, at least the ones we know. You read things like that, about the lack of women in comedy, and you have two choices: You can sit around and decide that it dooms you, or you can go out and do something. And this is us doing something.”
Caitlin added, “It’s driven me nuts lately, all this ‘Look at these women in comedy!’ It’s like, look at the last however many years of television history! This isn’t new. I Love Lucy is the most iconic sitcom of all time. When I was growing up, every big show was a female-centered show: Murphy Brown, Roseanne, Golden Girls, Designing Women. It’s just very strange to me how much ground we’ve ceded to claim that the public is finally recognizing women comedians.”
For a show that makes fun of their more pedantic counterparts, it’d be a mistake to think these lady comedians don’t take issues of feminism in comedy pretty damn seriously.
Watch Vag Magazine when it premieres on October 18th online at VagMagazine.tv.