Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution
Girls to the Front is the epic, definitive history of Riot Grrrlthe radical feminist uprising that exploded into the public eye in the 1990s and included incendiary punk bands Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy, and Huggy Bear. A dynamic chronicle not just a movement but an era, this is the story of a group of pissed-off girls with no patience for sexism and no inte...more
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So began the primal scream of a frustrated girl, an angry band, a feminist movement.
Girls to the Front is about the Riot Grrrl movement of the early '90s, and when you speak of Riot Grrrl, you speak of Kathleen Hanna and her band Bikini Kill. Hanna released her rage against the sexism that surrounded her through music, discovering a sort of cadre of like-minded girls in Olympia, WA, some of whom were already entrenched in grassroots feminist punk ideology. ...more
I want to know that person.
I was a smidge too young when Riot Grrrl was a thing that was happening. In fact, by the time actually I heard of it, it was essentially over and one of the letter 'r's had been dropped from the second word - I always se ...more
Sadly, I felt like there was a structural problem to this book. The author was either too in love with the subject, or she wasn't removed enough from the activities. There was a tonal problem to what was written here.
I also felt that the book had way too much of a focus on Kathleen Hanna, but again, I think that's because I expected her to be chronicling s ...more
Johanna Fateman has discussed it here.
Allison Wolfe discussed it here.
I found all of their reviews and insights to be a great supplement to the actual book, since Sara Marcus worked on this book for five years, researched the hell out of it, but didn't cover everything or get it all right. You could say that no one could cover everything or get it all right, and ok, that's true.
I have really been soul searching over the last two weeks, trying to ...more
2. Whenever there's a, like, a feminism contest - you know what I mean, "t ...more
For this reason, I found this bo ...more
2. This book completes the "Books that teach you about a different time in history" category because it is about events that happened in the 1980s and 90s. I ...more
Was the message of this book that I could relate to. I graduated from high school in 1999 in a very small town in upstate New York. My cousin Jeff, who was 3 years older than me, introduced me to hardcore punk rock and skating music, and I gobbled it up. I loved the energy of the mosh pit, the political rants, plus, I could throw elbows and slam dance with the best of them. However, after one particularly rough show, I ended up with some broken toes and that's when I ...more
Reading this took me back. I never considered myself a riot grrl (frankly, I never considered myself cool enough), but the music and zines were absolutely vital to my development as feminist. Marcus’s book really captures ...more
While the beginning of the book seemed like mostly cheerleading Kathleen Hanna and the Riot Grrrl movement, Marcus covers many of the negative aspects of ...more
Still, because I love reading about strong, independent females creating art, speaking up, and taking action, I was going to give it three stars, even though the writing was subpar:
"Sure, she wouldn't mind getting somewhere with her art. The guys she hung out with in Seattle, fe ...more
Sara Marcus lavishes as much attention on the zine writers as much as Kathleen Hanna or the members of Bratmobile (whose on-stage demise feels utterly heartbreaking), as well she should. I happened to read this the same week Daniel Tosh suggested that it would be hilarious if a female heckler in his audience would get gang raped by his very male, very macho audience, and so I got to read women explain, AGAIN, to men how real a threat rape is to their lives, how constricting that co ...more
A main takeaway for me is this dichotomy between the desire for privacy and the desire to connect with and create for a specific audience. Kath ...more
I joined Women's Action Coalition, performed w ...more
This was a great book. I think the author did well balancing her obvious love for the Riot Grrrl movement (I don't know what else to call it?) with probably tons of research and pouring over zines and archives. I wish I had been born a little sooner and lived in one of these places, it sounds like I would've fit right in. Maybe.
I think it's clear that Riot Grrrl was of and for younger girls with lotsa angst. Which sounds like me! but, clearly timing mattered too. I loved reading abou ...more