£888
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43
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, October 9 2016 4:44 PM UTC +00:00
Louis CollenetteBy Louis Collenette
First created
Louis CollenetteBy Louis Collenette
First created
£888
pledged of £11,000pledged of £11,000 goal
43
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, October 9 2016 4:44 PM UTC +00:00

About

What does manhood mean to you?

For too long now the popular media have pushed a narrow and limiting model of masculinity that revolves around antiquated ideas of what it means to be a man. We believe this needs to change, so we created U-ZINE to be that change.

We believe that a men’s magazine can work for all men without relying on cheap stereotypes or dividing us along lines of race, sexuality or class.

We believe that women shouldn't have to be wearing a bikini to have their voices heard in men's magazines (and that it is ridiculous even to have to state that).

We believe that there is still a place for insightful writing in a world of listicles, memes and ‘viral content’, and that there are men out there who want more from a magazine than pictures of shiny cars and articles about shiny watches.

Above all we believe it is time to re-evaluate how we think about manhood, and we want to help lead the way.

How will U-ZINE work?

Content will be published on the U-ZINE website on a rolling basis. Following our launch, we are aiming to publish three new articles a week. We hope to increase this gradually but this is largely dependent on finances — the more money we raise, the bigger our budget for contributors, the more we can publish.

The website will have six main categories:

- Manhood

- Society

- Politics

- Sex

- Culture

- Voices (divided into the following sub-categories: LGBTQ+; Mental Health; Identity*A Female Perspective)

* for all things related to race, religion and personal identity.

There are four main principles underlying what we publish:

1 Inclusivity is key

We want to provide a platform for voices and ideas that don’t normally feature in mainstream men’s magazines.  As such, we dedicate space to people from groups that are usually overlooked in—or entirely written out of—men’s magazines to have their say. The image of masculinity presented to us by the media is overwhelmingly white, straight, cisgender and able-bodied, and we want to work to change this.

We also believe it is important to give women a platform to engage and educate men about feminism and the female experience. Men’s magazines have traditionally gone hand-in-hand with misogyny and have promoted the casual objectification of women, which we believe must change.

It is also important to us that our team of contributors is as diverse and varied as our readership.  Since we are an online platform, we are open to international submissions, which we hope will really open up this discussion.

2 Funny is good

One of the main reasons U-ZINE was created was to explore difficult and often highly-charged topics in an engaging and inclusive way. Humour is one of the best tools we have to do this. Of course there are some subjects that warrant serious journalism, but it is our belief that humour and quality, insightful writing need not be mutually exclusive.

3 Self-righteous pontification isn’t good

Our aim is simple(ish): To establish ourselves as a high-quality feminist magazine for men, which challenges traditional tropes of masculinity without being either a) unbearably earnest or b) a masturbatory exercise, lazily disparaging traditional notions of masculinity. We’re often talking about serious subjects - that doesn’t mean we have to take ourselves too seriously.

We at U-ZINE don’t have all the answers—in fact, at last count we only had 14—but we have a lot of questions, and that’s a good starting point. It’s certainly a better starting point for debate than telling somebody they are an idiot because they happen to disagree. This is not a cosy liberal love-in.

4 No junk food journalism

These days our social media feeds are often filled with junk food journalism—hard to resist bingeing on, but liable to lead us to later self-loathing. This is largely due to the way online advertising works, but since U-ZINE is independent and profit is not our main motivation, we believe we can avoid falling into this trap by not compromising what we do in search of clicks. We want to offer quality content, which means no listicles, no memes and no clickbait.

Why do we need to re-think ideas about manhood now?

Today's generation of men are facing a crisis of masculinity.  Caught between traditional ideas of manhood and more modern notions of gender, many guys are left unsure about what being a man actually means. Are we supposed to be strong and silent or sensitive and nurturing? Withheld and enigmatic or emotionally demonstrative? Providers and breadwinners or equal supportive partners?

This hangover from old ideas about masculinity may seem faintly ridiculous and easy to dismiss, but it is in fact a big problem; it seems that the way we think about masculinity is killing us—literally.

Suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK, with 76% of all suicides in 2014 being men (https://www.thecalmzone.net/help/get-help/suicide/).

Globally, men are four times more likely to kill themselves than women. (http://www.befrienders.org/suicide-statistics)

Shocking? Yes. But when we live in a society in which expressing emotion is considered a uniquely feminine ability, and the phrase 'be a man' is used to shame young boys into shutting off their feelings, how can we act surprised when guys find it hard to seek help?

We at U-ZINE believe the first step to addressing this issue is to encourage the idea that masculinity need not be as rigid as many of us have been taught to believe. We want to challenge the ideas about masculinity that limit and divide men, paving the way for guys to create their own definition of manhood.

The Kickstarter Campaign

Here is a breakdown of the costs we have to cover:

1 - Building the website

We want to make sure the site looks good and functions well.

2 - Site maintenance, hosting & domain costs

We want to keep our little plot of internet-land and ensure it's well looked-after.

3 - Paying contributors

Publishing on a rolling basis is the best way to engage with what’s happening around us, but it also means that we need to commission more work than a standard issue-based magazine.

**More about contributors below >

4 - Exploring other media

In order to really open up this discussion to more people, we want to look at other forms of media, such as videos and podcasts, but we need a bit of money to cover equipment rental.

5 - Ongoing promotion/publicity

In order to reach the right people and effect any real change, we need to get our ideas out there.  This is not a huge part of the budget but it is important, as we want to extend what we're doing beyond our own personal social media echo-chambers.

6 - Kickstarter rewards & postage

We need a bit more cash to make sure all the rewards are of good quality and arrive in one piece.

***

If we reach our target it will cover most of our costs for the first six months. We expect to keep the site sustainable long-term through events, brand alignment and advertising revenue.

Why did I start U-ZINE?

It would take an entire article to explain why I started U-ZINE. Fortunately, I’ve already written such an article for the fantastic Orlando, which you can read here:

http://www.weareorlando.co.uk/page46.php

For those of you who are pushed for time, the short answer is this:

I think it is really important that there exists a media platform that encourages men to critically examine their attitude about masculinity and gender in general, as traditional notions of gender roles are limiting for us all. I have seen the negative effect on my own life of trying to live up to the masculine ideal, so I decided to do what I could to offer an alternative view of manhood.

>>> Follow us on Twitter <<<

A note on contributors

We want to be in a position to commission freelance work for two reasons:

1) In order to publish regularly and truly offer a quality alternative to other men's magazines, we need to be able to produce great content and work to deadlines.  This requires professional work, and professional work requires payment.

2) There is a wealth of talent out there struggling to make ends meet and we would love to pay them to do what they're great at.  We believe this is especially important at a time when many people in the creative industries are working for next-to-nothing or having to do unpaid internships to get their foot in the door.

HOWEVER, we are also open to publishing the work of non-professionals and bloggers.  For these contributors we have two options:

1) If you have a great idea and are happy to work with the editor towards a deadline, we will gladly consider commissioning your work.  Just send a pitch and an example of previous work to: editor@uzine.uk

2) If you would like to contribute but want to complete your work in your own time, or wish to submit a piece of work you have already completed, we will gladly consider publishing it and will cover expenses if possible, but we will not offer a fee for the work itself.

*Images:

Weightlifting man — Still from 'The Skeleton', Encyclopedia Britannica, 1953 https://archive.org/details/TheSkeleton

High school boys — Still from 'Feeling Left Out - Social Adjustment', Coronet Instructional Films, 1951 https://archive.org/details/FeelingLeftOut

Man in chair — Still from 'Arabic X-ray Film', Haskins Laboratories, 1962 https://archive.org/details/arabicxrayfilm

Roller-skating boy scouts — Still from 'This is Roller Skating', Roller Skating Foundation of America https://archive.org/details/ThisIsRollerSkating

Risks and challenges

Since we are only publishing online, our risk factor is very low.

The only foreseeable risk is that after the initial six months we will still not be financially sustainable without donations. I believe that this will not be the case, as I have confidence in our ability to generate revenue through events, brand alignment and advertising, but should we find ourselves in this situation, we can pare back the amount we publish and/or rely on volunteer contributors (you'd be seeing a lot more of my writing, for example). This would impact our ability to publish regularly, but it would allow us to keep going while we work something else out.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £2 or more About $2.60

    In the loop

    For just £2 you will receive our eternal gratitude. I will also personally keep you updated with a fortnightly newsletter including all our latest updates, links to some of my favourite articles on the site and links to other great writing I've enjoyed from across the web.

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    Pledge £4 or more About $5

    U-ZINE badge (of honour)

    A U-ZINE badge will be delivered to your door. Wear it with pride!

    + FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER

    {{{Shipping free for UK, £1 for rest of the world}}}

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    Pledge £8 or more About $10

    U-ZINE lanyard

    If you're willing to put your neck out for us, we're willing to adorn it with a U-ZINE lanyard made from the finest polyester in all the land.

    + BADGE + FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER

    {{{Shipping free for UK, £1 for rest of the world}}}

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    Pledge £12 or more About $16

    Your face, doodled

    Yes, a member of the U-ZINE team will put pen to paper and immortalise your face with an A5 illustrated portrait. Not only will the finished product be mailed to you, along with a personal thank you note, it will also go up on our website's Wall of Thanks along with your name. Congratulations, you can now add 'Philanthropist' to your linkedin profile!

    + LANYARD + BADGE + FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER

    {{{Shipping free for UK, £1 for rest of the world}}}

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    Pledge £20 or more About $26

    U-ZINE drawstring bag

    You stylish so-and-so! You'll be getting a limited edition U-ZINE drawstring bag (our logo in black on a powder blue background).

    + A5 PORTRAIT + LANYARD + BADGE + WALL OF THANKS + FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER

    {{{Shipping free for UK, £3 for rest of the world}}}

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $33

    U-ZINE T-shirt

    Be the envy of all the other boys and girls with a limited edition pre-shrunk ultra cotton U-ZINE T-shirt (our logo in black on a powder blue background).

    Sizes (men's fit): S, M, L, XL (Sizes are limited to availability so do get in touch to make sure we've got the right fit for you!)

    + A5 PORTRAIT + LANYARD + BADGE + WALL OF THANKS + FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER

    {{{Shipping free for UK, £3 for rest of the world}}}

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    Pledge £40 or more About $52

    Launch party invite (+1)

    Yep, you read correctly. You'll get an invite (+1) to our private launch party in London. You'll get to meet some of the gang as well as access to an unlimited supply of the patented U-ZINE cocktail (it's Buckfast out of a shoe). Don't wait up, Mum!

    + WALL OF THANKS + FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $65

    2017 birthday present

    You'll get a present from U-ZINE for your birthday in 2017, along with an A5 illustrated portrait and a hand-drawn card. It's the gift that keeps on giving!

    + WALL OF THANKS + FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER

    {{{Free shipping worldwide - it's your birthday!}}}

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    Pledge £60 or more About $78

    Style icon

    >>> U-ZINE T-SHIRT, DRAWSTRING BAG & BASEBALL CAP<<<

    Watch out Peter Andre, there's a new style icon in the house! The T-shirt, drawstring bag and cap all come in powder blue with our logo in black.

    + A5 PORTRAIT + LANYARD + BADGE + WALL OF THANKS + FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER

    {{{Shipping £2 for UK, £8 for rest of the world}}}

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    Pledge £100 or more About $130

    Physical quarterly zine

    For you truly committed souls I will compile my favourite content from each quarter of 2017 into a physical zine, which I will mail to you. A true collector's item!

    With each edition you will also receive some extra goodies.

    The editions will be: Jan, April, July, Oct 2017

    + A5 PORTRAIT + LANYARD + BADGE + WALL OF THANKS + FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER

    {{{Shipping free for UK, £5 for rest of the world}}}

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £250 or more About $325

    JACK OF ALL REWARDS

    Hey big spender, for this level of commitment you get everything. That's right, everything:

    QUARTERLY PHYSICAL ZINE +
    U-ZINE CAP +
    U-ZINE T-SHIRT +
    U-ZINE DRAWSTRING BAG +
    INVITE (+1) TO OUR PRIVATE LAUNCH PARTY +
    BIRTHDAY PRESENT +
    A5 PORTRAIT +
    U-ZINE LANYARD +
    U-ZINE BADGE +
    WALL OF THANKS +
    THE MOST SINCERE OF THANK YOU CARDS FROM YOURS TRULY

    {{{Free shipping}}}

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    Pledge £600 or more About $779

    2-week brand association

    For brands that are interested in working with us, we are offering the opportunity to gain exclusive access to advertising space on our website's homepage for a two-week slot. For those two weeks you will be the ONLY brand advertising on our homepage and we will list you as a sponsor on our landing page. Not only will you be doing a good thing for men the world over, you'll also be in a position to reach out to our unique audience.

    Please note that we will only work with brands that we feel align with our ethos and values, so send an email to editor@uzine.uk before making this commitment to make sure we can work together.

    N.B. The two-week slots will be handed out on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,299

    Month-long brand association

    For brands that are interested in working with us, we are offering the opportunity to gain exclusive access to advertising space on our website's homepage for a one month period. During this month you will be the ONLY brand advertising on our homepage and we will list you as a sponsor on our landing page. Not only will you be doing a great thing for men the world over, you'll also be in a position to reach out to our unique audience.

    Please note that we will only work with brands that we feel align with our ethos and values, so send an email to editor@uzine.uk before making this commitment to make sure we can work together.

    N.B. The monthly slots will be handed out on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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Funding period

- (40 days)