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 int...more
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
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
first of all, i'm not going to pretend that this is perfect book. all historical accounts are subjective, even when they were written by people who were actually there or extremely passionate &...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
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
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
2. Whenever there's a, like, a feminism contest - you know what I mean, "t...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
She said she spent 5 years on this topic and it shows. Its a well written prose, that doesn't delve too much into the aesthetics of the music, although she does do that at times. Less about "why i t...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
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
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
i do wish it hadn't focused so tightly on a very specific time fram...more
This book documents the movement that coalesced around the Pacific Northwest and the East Coast of the U.S. It explores the movement's feminist underpinnings and gives you an idea of how this revolution spread across the U.S. (with some mention of the U.K.). A story of zines, pen pals, bands, organized groups and, later, mass media paints a picture of how this movement was able to make its mark.
"She tried to plan a slumber party anyway, hoping that it would bring back the old spirit. But on the appointed night, the DC area was paral...more
I was born about 20 years too late for riot grrrl -- although I like to think that the way I shaved my Barbies' heads as a kid was my contribution to the movement -- and yet these bands and those zines were formative for me, too. Look, I know a lot of people don't get the music. My ex-husband, f...more