Sunday, December 12, 2010

feminist notebook

I was a tiny bit too young for Riot Grrrl. Okay that's not true, it was happening while I was happening, turning into my teen years, realizing I could think, realizing that boys didn't get to have all the fun... yeah Riot Grrrl was HAPPENING. But I was twelve and living in Bakersfield and finding out about all of it from Sassy magazine.

I have no idea how I got a subscription to this magazine as a pre-teen. Probably told my mom it was just like Seventeen or Teen or anything else. She really wanted me to stop reading rock music magazines so I cheated a little. Sue me, like crack on the street I would've found the WORD out there somewhere.

My cousin Michelle was a fantastic bad influence, just dropping the names Exene Cervenka and Anais Nin and god knows what else around me. I devoured these little clues that there was something out there for girls like me.

I just read an article on some celeb gossip piece of crap where someone was interviewing one of my first idols (but not my first idol, that's easily Cyndi Lauper) Kathleen Hanna and she said these Riot Grrrl bands were on the verge of being forgotten. of being lost. Kathleen Hanna donated all her papers, the zines, the everything to NYU to keep this from happening. It just makes me crazy that there are girls younger than my sisters out there walking around without a clue that these women, these ball busting amazing women made it okay for Taylor Momsen to be out there with her boobs out or even that these women were around before Britney or X-Tina or even Gaga (and you know I love me some Gaga)

I had my Riot Grrrl moment in the sun in the early 2000's before disbanded. They chose me to be a columnist and asked me to write about something that made me a better feminist and I wrote about moving in with my dad who recognized that I was a person and needed to be independent and needed to learn to make some money and get myself from here to there and even knew that if I worked overnights I wouldn't automatically die or get mugged. They approved my article and then the website folded. But for awhile I was bummed. And if I still had it I would repost the story about how my dad made me the bad ass independent (for the most part) take no prisoners woman I am.

When I was 23 I got to see Le Tigre perform. Kathleen Hanna is a genius. I mean come on, she punched out Courtney Love once and married one of the Beastie Boys (the original reformed boy sexist pigs turned feminists). She made me cry. She was so earnest. She believed whatever she was saying in that tiny club.

I guess what I'm saying is that none of this music should be forgotten. I absolutely wouldn't be who I am without ANY OF IT. I think I even mentioned it on the air the first week I was here when I played L7. I wouldn't have had a clue that I could be the biggest bad ass on the block in rock and be a girl.

I won't let any of this music be forgotten. It means everything.


  1. I was too young for riot grrrl. But none the less these are the bands and the songs that raised me as a child. Most elementary school kids go to McDonalds for fun. I went to record stores. When everyone in my class was reading Tiger Beat I was reading Sassy and Rolling Stone. No I didn't really get the half of it, but the music never left me and without a doubt the impact it had and still continues to have on my life was HUGE. It kills me that these bands are being forgotten. I feel like more than ever girls today need female influences of this nature to look up to. My sister is going to Wellesley (an all girls school know for it's extremely liberal feminist views) for christ's sake and does not know a single women's studies major! It sickens me. I'm trying my hardest to get her to take just one women's study class before she graduates and she's not it'll happen. It's not a priority, nor is it for the majority of her classmates.

  2. I agree, that stuff is more important now than ever. The glorification of the "slut" as a role model (not that there is anything wrong with that) is worse than ever and I feel like the media is telling girls that's the ONLY way to succeed or be noticed. Even the Disney stars... well actually they're the worst but you know what I mean.