“The culture has become so overtly sexist and degrading. We’re just meat. We’re just ass and tits, and its on to the next ass and tits. And those ass and tits are too big or too small, so we need to find the right ass and tits. But there is no right ass and tits. It’s just… It makes me ill thinking about it. We need a girl revolution. Or a revolution against all this grim shit.”
We can feel it – there’s something about 2014 that creates an odd buzz of positive change, everyone is getting pissed off, angry and more and more alternative media is telling us what the state owned media are paid not to. We are waking up, I can see it, you can see it – and even Russell Brand can see it. The thing is we all feel that a change is gonna come, to quote the beautiful Sam Cooke (or darling Mia Zapata if you’d rather), but we don’t know what the fuck to do with it, and all logic says that it must get worse before it gets better, but it will get better. So here is the Grrrl To Do list for The Revolution -
1. Write poetry, write like nobody will ever read it, find an honesty you never knew you had, then sing it – in the shower, at bus stops, under your breath…
2. Switch off the TV and internet for a day, a week, a month – record the spiritual effect it has on you. 3. Go to protests and shout as loud as you can, shout for Patti, Courtney, Sylvia and Patsy as if your life depended on it. Shout that you’re mad as hell, and you’re not going to take it any more.
4. Read the books that inspired your heroes – read Sartre, Camus, Plath, Wilde, Pamela Des Barres, Patti Smith and De Acosta. 5. Take pictures of your city. Find what you love about what you see every day. 6. Go out for a day without make up, realise that it doesn’t make a difference. 7. Make a playlist of your favourite protest songs 8. Say hello to a stranger, ask about their day - Speak with someone homeless. 9. Keep a diary
Ian MacKay had introduced [Joan] Jett to Bikini Kill, and she was instantly impressed by both the music and the ‘zines. She was particularly heartened that a rock ‘n’ roll feminism was catching on; she could have used that in the late ’70s when she was a teenage guitarist playing in the Runaways.
“The Runaways had nobody,” she said. “I felt like a feminist, but I felt completely dissed by other feminists, ‘cause they were like, ‘Well you can’t dress sexy.’ Number one, I’m not dressing sexy—even though I did have my pants open from time to time. But what do you mean? You’re saying women can’t have sex? You don’t tell me that girls don’t get horny and don’t wanna fuck! You know why girls ‘can’t play guitar’ and ‘can’t play rock ‘n’ roll’?Because rock ‘n’ roll is sex. That’s what I grew up with, and that’s what I wanted to make. So meeting people like Kathleen and Allison and all those girls, it was really incredible, because I felt like maybe people were starting to get it.”
Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus