Amy Schroeder was a 19-year-old women's studies major at Michigan State when she created Venus in 1995. Feminism was the point of her education, and it was the point of her fanzine. "Though I was surrounded by conservatism, I started reading about the feminist movement and Gloria Steinem while I was in high school," she told me the other day in an e-mail, "and it excited me just as much as the rock that was popular in the early to mid-90s.
"At that time there was a very positive, pro-feminist collective of women making fierce rock and roll: Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, Kim and Kelley Deal of the Breeders, PJ Harvey, Courtney Love, etc. In addition, when I got to college, I learned about the Riot Grrl movement, which was not all that prevalent in Michigan but it was big in the Pacific Northwest. This was a very loud, in-your-face punk/DIY women's movement, led by Kathleen Hanna, Bratmobile, and other bands."