Tufts' new satirical publication, El Tit, released its first issue earlier this semester. Caroline Ambros / The Tufts Daily

New satirical zine, El Tit, comes to the Hill

If you haven’t picked up a copy of El Tit, Tufts’ newest publication, self-described as “Tufts’ only oldest, co-ed, non-a cappella, unrecognized satirical publication,” then you’re in luck: After making its debut earlier this semester, according to its Facebook page, El Tit will publish another edition next month.

Although it may not be recognized yet as an on-campus publication, El Tit is making its mark on feminist dialogue at Tufts and, according to its writers and editors, will continue to do so — whether or not it receives funding from TCU.

Articles in the first issue of the zine range from “Why I Do Save the Janitors at Tufts” to “Tips for Dicks” to “Man Buns Wage New War on Women” and are all either one or two paragraphs in length. While some are printed in a Times New Roman/Ariel-esque typeface, others are actually handwritten; the drawings, which often parody advertisements in other women’s publications, are all original.

Though El Tit’s first issue came out this semester, the project has been a long time coming. Things first started heating up when the zine’s editors first met, the first step toward the publication’s founding.

“We all met in different ways,” says Veronica Little, a senior, founding member and the current editor of El Tit. Other editors include senior Laura Friedman and sophomores Lydia Collins and Sophie Passacantando. Yet their initial introductions became the first step toward the publication’s founding.

“Lydia and I met at a frat party,” says Little. “We were both just not having a good time and became friends.”

Little was Passacantado’s RA in Lewis Hall last year.

“We would create little notebooks and charts of funny experiences that happened to and around us at Tufts,” Passacantando said. “Then we decided that we wanted to make a magazine with these notebooks.”

Most of the editors either have worked for or currently work for other on-campus publications, such as the Tufts Daily or the Public Journal, but many didn’t feel completely satisfied that their voices were getting heard.

“Sophie would submit her articles to the Reductress, but we thought that if we have all of this material, we should start our own publication,” said Little.

The plan did not come to fruition until this year, long after Little and Passacantando started to brainstorm, when they tried to get recognized as an organization by TCU.

“Because we were just starting off, we didn’t really have any materials to send in and ended up submitting weird drawings,” said Passacantando.

Ultimately, they weren’t successful in procuring organization status.

“We did the bureaucratic gymnastics, but we still weren’t recognized,” senior Laura Friedman, another current editor, said. “How can you get recognized as a club if you don’t have any funding?”

Little said that the editors didn’t create the zine with a specific message in mind.

“I think an important aspect of starting El Tit is not that we were trying to make a political statement, it’s more just us wanting to produce something interesting and it just happened to be that we are all feminists,” says Little.

According to the zine’s Facebook page, the name ‘”El Tit” spells the word “title” backwards. Passacantando came up with the name after she sent a Snapchat to Little about it. All those involved in the early stages of the publication knew that the name was by far the best fit.

“I really think it’s the most perfect title in the world,” adds Friedman. “I get so much joy thinking about it.”

Little said that everyone who was listed in the beginning of the first issue contributed in some way.

“Although we initially imagined it as a larger operation, we specified the scope and rightfully so,” says Little. “The group debated how best to deal with submissions — whether it should be a collective effort and have open submissions or whether it should be focused more on a few individuals as contributors; what [we] ended up with is a combination of both.”

Submissions are based on a Google doc that is sent out to everyone on the e-list, which is comprised of people that came to the general interest meeting held at the beginning of the fall semester. 

“There has been an ongoing conversation among the four of us about how much of El Tit is about opening up and trying to give other people an opportunity or a platform to have some sort of voice,” says Friedman. “There are so many funny and interesting women and other people at this school who we care about hearing; at the same time, though, we have a very specific vision and we have had an ongoing conversation about mediating giving opportunities versus keeping with why we are doing this.”

Notably, none of the first edition’s articles list their author’s namesCollins said that the publication is more like a group project than a newspaper in which specific people are assigned a particular spot.

“The voice of the zine is one that has been collectively agreed upon — every article is something that we all by and all take responsibility for,” said Collins.

The submissions are often in reaction to articles from HerCampus, the El Tit editors agreed, adding that they felt that the headlines and the articles written in HerCampus were not really speaking to all women’s experiences.

“Instead of articles about makeup in the winter, we wanted to focus on headlines that said, ‘You’re a person with cool thoughts — engage with this interesting idea,’” said Little.

One contributor ended up writing a section called “El Tech” with the headline “A Shy Girl’s Guide to Printing,” riffing off of an article written in HerCampus titled, “A Shy Girl’s Guide to Networking.”

“It’s problematic in light of [HerCampus] claiming to represent women’s experience at Tufts,” says Friedman. “We talked about this in our letter to the editor. We didn’t feel that our voices were recognized.”

In fact, disappointment in HerCampus was one of the editors’ main motivations for creating El Tit, especially after talking with friends who also expressed their frustrations with the way that women were portrayed in the media, at Tufts and other universities like it. But HerCampus’s influence doesn’t define El Tit, according to the leadership.

“Is it explicitly connected to HerCampus? No. Are we looking to call them out? Yes,” says Little.”

El Tit has a Facebook page whose cover photo features pictures women eating salad alone and laughing.

“We kind of hijacked a Tumblr,” says Little. “There are many stock photos of these women eating salad alone and having the best times of their lives. It’s silly, but it’s also accessible for our readers.”

Emily Quigley, a senior and a contributor for El Tit, has taken on the role of designing the website for the zine.

“I think the website should reflect the magazine itself. It will be super simple and maybe not even that appealing,”says Quigley. “It’s supposed to be rough — after all, El Tit is a zine. It will probably have a kind of ’90s feel to it as well,”

With its first issue a success, El Tit is gearing up for its next issue in March. The contributors plan to use the Google doc again for submissions and continue with the same format as last time.

Little said the staff has talked about expanding, but that for now it will continue production at its current size.

“We probably won’t expand because more pages cost more money, but also a smaller publication forces us to strain out nonsense, fluff or filler and is best for our readers,” said Little. “It forces us to produce the best content.”

2 Responses

Leave a Reply
  1. GirlFromMiami
    Mar 03, 2015 - 05:01 PM

    CALLING ALL CAMPUS CUTIES sell 1 of ur patagonias on ebay & donate money 2 them or ur body

  2. Grossed out
    Mar 05, 2015 - 12:39 AM

    I thought El-Tit was disgustingly anti-feminist and offensive. Please try harder.

Related News

Copyrıght 2017 THE TUFTS DAILY. All RIGHTS RESERVED.