Girls to the Front

8:02 AM / Posted by Laura Morocco /

My first introduction to riot grrrl was around 2000, nearly half a decade after the revolution had seemingly died. My family had just moved from Montana to the suburbs of Denver. My new school was indimidating in both size and the dichotomy of students. Where I grew up, you were either a jock or you weren't. Here at the new school, you could identify with a number of differnt cliques (or none at all).

While I spent the first half of the school year searcing for a new identity, or rather, maybe finding myself (maybe?), I was openly welcomed into a group of girls who had shocking strong identities and looked like extras from the Tank Girl movie.

I thought they were the fucking coolest people ever. They listened to this music that was fast and grating, jarring, even. They didn't a shit about behaving like proper ladies. They spit, smoked, made crude jokes... but they cared about women's rights, the treatment of animals and politics.

I was introduced to Fugazi, the Dead Kennedys, Bratmobile, Bikini Kill, the Lunachicks etc. etc. etc. I was introduced to zines. I was introduced to feminism. And while the girls and I eventually grew apart (the majority of them ended up attending the school's night program which my parents flat out refused to consider), I felt aliented and left on my own. So, I started hanging out with a group of dudes. I didn't have any close female friends and when I started dating, I lost myself in the relationships. It took me a couple of years and a horrible, suffocating relationship that stifled out much of my personality (I don't know or understand why I allowed it to happen), before I began to feel the roots had been laying dormant were growing again. I was miserable. I needed out and I needed to be myself.

Over the next few years, I became more edcuated in politics and feminist theory, though I had minimal formal education in the latter. I went vegetarian. I came to realize that I thought the religion I had grown up with made absolutely no fucking sense in a modern world, let alone coincided with my own ideas and values.

I graduated from college and got one of those cushy office jobs. One with a bit of downtime and an internet connection. I stumbled onto Jezebel.com and became obsessed with their coverage. It was like reconnecting with old friends. Here were women (and men) with similar ideas about society and culture, reporting on how fucked up this world can be (or how hilarious), while still maintaining senses of humor and self, and presenting beautifuly crafted articles and blurbs. Yes! Back among my own! Jezebel led me to a number of other communities, including feministing.com.

More recently, the site had pointed me in the direction of a new book, "Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution" by Sara Marcus which finally came out a few weeks ago. I stayed up to some ungodly hours reading the book; it was really hard to put down. I immediately identified with the stories of the women in the book. I knew the emotions. I knew the struggle. And, it reminded me of the importance of community and all the women I looked up to -- the women who inspired me to give a shit about music and that I wasn't alone in my experiences.

x-posted with some edits from keubs.blogspot.com

1 comments:

Comment by Stevie on December 23, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Fantastic story!

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