The Mercy Issue by Simone Jones


Issue one is the Mercy Issue, in this issue we’re going to discuss forgiving ourselves and finding freedom in the process. It’s the issue in which we speak out against all the ways we are punished and vilified for existing as femme people of color. We are accepting truthful, thoughtful and poetic expression from the community in the form of written work (essays, poetry articles, interviews, short stories, etc,) photography and illustration on the subject of forgiveness and healing.

    Deciding to forgive or not forgive another is easy; we are taught early on in life that the possibility for forgiveness of people who have wronged us is entirely our decision. Authority and power are instilled in us from young, we are taught to use our values and patience to chose whether we can show compassion when we’ve been hurt. Sometimes it’s necessary that we don’t, sometimes it’s vital that we make it known that certain actions are unforgivable. There are specific wrongs that can never be made right. They are acts of violence, cruelty and dehumanizing abuse that are socially and spiritually corrupt. I’m sure your mind can take you to examples of these acts so I’ll avoid listing them in detail.

    Our moral compass allows us to decide what denotes the good and the bad, the forgivable and the unforgivable. Somehow judgement is skewed when it comes to giving ourselves a second chance. Why is it hard to believe that we are less capable of forgiving ourselves than forgiving others? Ideally, we would be the most compassionate and forgiving when it comes to self. But as femme people, we have been exposed to expectations of existing as a perfect being since childhood, abusive behavior in our communities and in the media is expected in some form or another. We take on the mistreatment, prejudice and racism we face as black and brown women and carry the burden on our backs. It eventually becomes part of our identity, almost as if the repression is some sort of confirmation of womanhood.

    I’m inspired and grateful to see the many, many women in our neighborhoods, in online communities and out in the world refusing to accept the misogyny as part of the feminine existence. The rise of femmes calling out the bigotry and inequality has made room to show ourselves mercy. For the premiere issue of Protest Magazine, we’d like to discuss the radical act of healing and forgiveness. Below are some key words and subjects the general public has used to villainize women and in turn caused us women to punish ourselves:

Women needing public assistance, Assault survivors, Unplanned pregnancy, women’s reproductive health, Mental illness, physical illness, sex-working women, Women involved in the justice system, addiction

Protest. by Simone Jones

Protest Magazine. An independent print and digital publication focusing on the feminine point of view.  We believe self-expression and autonomy are crucial forms of protest. We believe in developing solidarity between marginalized people of varying cultures. We believe in the art of curating your own life. We believe in your art. We know the honesty in your art is revolutionary. We encourage you to protest.

Protest Magazine declares itself a welcoming organization created to feature work from artists and writers of neglected communities. Protest is dedicated to preserving the cultural identities and supporting the artistic advancement of trans/women and femme people of color. 

Art can be used as a vessel for personal ideas and commentary on the good and the bad of our cultures and societies. The critiques can open up discussions that educate and lead to change when change is necessary.

The goal is to create a community sustained company to feature the work- all work presented in the magazine is submission based and those who contribute (money and artwork) are the readers and viewers of the magazine. In this world, money is treated as fuel. Protest Mag recognizes the financial disparities across black and brown communities, to combat this we need to put funds back into the hands of our brothers and sisters. We want to compensate the artists through donations received from the general public, organizations which align with our ethical beliefs and practices and all other others who support the cause. Contributors are allowed to submit their personal essays, short stories, artwork and photography and pitch to profile and interview members of marginalized communities who have dedicated their energy into uplifting others. It is the collaborative effort between the audience and the company that will keep the work featured honest and new.

 Remember, Protest Magazine will survive with the help of the readers, contributors and friends. Reach out with any ideas, pitches and questions and to find out ways you can help Protest Magazine launch and make it.