May 15, 2011 • In web :: Features
Every Girl is a Riot Grrrl
The Riot Grrrl movement of the early 90s paved the way for women musicians and their fight for feminism. Writer Carly Lewis takes a look at what this movement means for feminists today and chats with author Sara Marcus about her book, “Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution.”
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This meant that more young girls were picking up drumsticks and guitars and securing themselves a place in the music world alongside their male counterparts. The Riot Grrrls are thought of as pioneers, not only for women who play music, but for anyone who believes in the value of doing whatever you feel like doing and not being quiet about it.
"The spread of this permissive DIY ideal meant that people could find their voices and styles through experience and experimentation as much as (or more than) through imitation," says Marcus. Making and distributing zines were a big part of the Riot Grrrl movement. It was a way to spread the message of feminism, rally people together for protests and meetings, share new art and music and above all, to uphold a strong sense of community. These days, the work of zines tends to be done using the Internet instead of glue and scissors, but Marcus says that's okay. "Zines played an important function in the Riot Grrrl movement, but online communications can fulfill similar roles as long as we're intentional about it. When I mailed somebody a zine in the '90s, I would frequently include a long letter about what I'd been thinking about lately or what I'd thought of the other person's last zine. It was much more involved than just hitting "like" or "reblog" on somebody else's Tumblr post, and it meant we were having substantive conversations about ideas, discussing one another's work and trying to carry the conversation forward.”
To the Riot Grrrls of today looking for a sense of community, Marcus has some suggestions. "Why do so many young feminists' blogs just involve posting images?" she asks. "I would love to see people start writing more about their reactions to the images they post, and including in-depth responses when reposting other people's blog posts."