Sunday, September 11, 2011

Girls to the Front!

Bands like Bikini Kill...almost always demand that the mosh boys move to the back or side to allow space in front for the girls in the audience, a controversial decision which sometimes led to booing (and sometimes violence) and once caused Melody Maker to accuse them and riot grrrl in general of misandry, a common criticism.
~Wikipedia on Riot grrl

We're not anti-boy, we're pro-girl.
~Molly Neuman

I just finished reading Sara Marcus' fascinating history of "the Riot Grrl revolution", Girls to the Front, & even though I was never a Riot Grrl myself, the book brought back a wave of nostalgia for my days as a young feminist.  In high school, my sister sent me several choice volumes to get me started on my journey:  Virginia Woolf's  gender-bending Orlando;  Herland, a feminist utopian novel by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; & Angela Y. Davis' Women, Race, & Class, which discusses racism & classism within the women's movement. Later, in college, I discovered other seminal works like This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color & Ain't I a Woman? Black Women & Feminism by bell hooks. Probably everyone remembers those experimental college years with fondness.  Reading about Riot Grrl, I only wish I had had an empowering group experience when I was even younger!  With that in mind, here's a couple of books young feminists might enjoy:

For Young Adult Readers

Girls Rock! Fifty Years of Women Making Music
It's Your World - If You Don't Like It, Change It : Activism for Teenagers
GirlSource: A Book by and for Young Women about Relationships, Rights, Futures, Bodies, Minds, and Souls

Pop Culture

BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine
Journalistas: 100 Years of the Best Writing and Reporting by Women Journalists
Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message that Feminism's Work is Done
Cinderella's Big Score: Women of the Punk and Indie Underground
Red: The Next Generation of American Writers-Teenage Girls-On What Fires Up Their Lives Today

Talk about Body

My Little Red Book
Body Outlaws: Young Women Write about Body Image and Identity
The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls 


The Essential Feminist Reader
33 Things Every Girl Should Know about Women's History: From Suffragettes to Skirt Lengths to the E.R.A.

Cultural & Class Identity

Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism
Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class
Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina
Arab Women: Between Defiance & Restraint


Stumbling & Raging: More Politically Inspired Fiction

Check out "Riot Girl: Still Relevant 20 Years" on from the January 2011 Guardian.

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