I got all sorts of nostalgic last night after seeing this posted on Jezebel last night- it's an 11 part documentary on YouTube titled "Riot Grrrl Retrospective," featuring Tobi Vail, Corin Tucker, Allison Wolfe, Sharon Cheslow and other heroines of my youth. I get really gushy about that shit, you should know. It turns me right into a 12 year old fangirl.
When I was in middle school, I lamented the fact that I wasn't quite old enough to really take part in the whole riot grrrl thing- other than reading Sassy and a bunch of west coast zines, buying albums and writing "riot grrl" on my knuckles during study hall. But, you know, upon further thought- I was the exact right age at the exact right time. A couple years later, middle school girls would be fed "girl power" in the form of the Spice Girls and Britney Spears... and Sassy wouldn't even exist anymore. It was an important age to get that message- that feminism was awesome, that you were awesome, and that you shouldn't take any shit. It's a message I got from my mom, of course- but who listens to their mother half the time anyway? Who knows how cool I would have thought feminism was if it weren't for these chicks?
I'm a tough ass broad, ya know. I owe that to my mom, to The Golden Girls, to Jem and to Kathleen Hanna and the whole riot grrrl movement. I still listen to Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, The Gits, Heavens to Betsy, Sleater-Kinney, Babes in Toyland etc. I still have copies of Girl Germs and Rollerderby and Sassy tucked away somewhere, and knee-high black docs in my closet here. I like to think of my show, and of most other things I do as a product of the riot grrrl aesthetic. Things change, ya know, we don't wear baby barettes anymore, but the message is still the same.