September 22, 2010


Girls To The Front, Sara Marcus' major Riot Girl history book is out next week and I am so excited for her and proud of her. I have not finished the book, but it is, as Kathleen wrote the good, bad and the ugly--and is the most real-feeling biographical representation of RG and I hope this is an opening of the door to further RG scholarship. Sara spent five years working on it and researching it and interviewing women all over the world--so it is much more complete than the typical Olympia/BK/DC/Sassy/Liz Phair/L7 90's golden girls version we've all read 120 times. There are some parts that are really made me cringe with embarrassment--such is the nature of having my sixteenth year committed to the page--it is a study in memories colliding. There is a part where a girl who I don't remember at all describes me as quiet, insecure and intimidated. I think she has me confused with someone else--she must, I have never been quiet in my life and didn't know intimidation until I knew humility, which wasn't until, like, maybe 2004. Anyhow. But that's how I seemed to her, or maybe she assumed I had that typical teenage topography. That is the beauty of the book--everyone's piece of RG's history gets some airtime and you see it as this teeming mass of uncoordinated girl love and feminist anger and scene politics. It is easy to see why it didn't last* and also easy to see why it's influence is still going strong nearly 20 year later. I am excited that there is a real and decent document of RG, because I think the collective/collected documents--zines and letters and mixes--are likely moldering in peoples parents basements and annexed in storage spaces. And it's good to confront nostalgia with something that feels true.

(* For longevity, RG would have needed some collective organizing principles to keep things together, like AA or the Masons.)

Posted by jessica hopper at September 22, 2010 01:57 AM | TrackBack