Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, I followed a link on Twitter about Sara Marcus’s upcoming book, Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution, and started an adventure into the unknown. Riot grrrl was a feminist movement that started in the the early 1990’s. Many of the girls who started and joined the movement were teenagers who wanted to be heard, wanted the world to change, and who didn’t speak but shouted about issues like sexism, rape, abortion and more through activism, punk music, and zines.
Before I started this book, I hadn’t heard of the riot grrrl movement. The author shares stories about the girls behind the movement and how the movement affected so many people, including herself. I’ve only had this book in my possession for two days now and I’m taking it everywhere with me. I’m finding the book to be pretty inspirational. Here’s one of my favorite passages so far:
More to the point: when you’re a teenage girl who’s trying with all your might not to hate yourself, trying not to get harassed or raped, trying not to let bikini blondes in beer ads crush your self image, trying not to be discouraged from joining a sports team or math club or shop class or school newspaper, trying not to let your family’s crippling dysfunction (and the confounding irony or enduring domestic cruelty in an age of Family Values) make you want to fucking die, a feminist movement that’s mostly about electing new Senators might not be all that compelling to you.
But because you’re looking for something, anything, to make you feel a little less crazy, you might go to such a march anyway. The fact remains, though, that if this movement, this feminism, is going to be relevant to your life in the long run—which is to say, if feminism is going to survive—you’re going to have to do some tinkering, even some large-scale renovations. You’re going to have to make this thing your own.
Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: October 2010
What are you reading this weekend?