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Sara Marcus discovered the Riot Grrrls at the age of 14 and immediately felt a connection. She managed to track down her local chapter and although she arrived at a time when it had been going for some years and wasn't at its highest, it had an impact on her life.
Many (most) people are not quite sure how to define the Riot Grrrl movement - was/is it political or should we associate it with music or a mixture of both? This book is both about how it all started taking as a point of departure the major players and their incentives to get involved; Whether it was frustration with the state of things in the late 80s early 90s in relation to e.g. gender roles or the appeal of a community of like-minded girls that were willing - and able - to make a change and who were willing to listen and deal with their personal issues.
They are certainly feminist, but not in the -sometimes- rigid, academic and excluding way of their predecessors, and what made them stand out even more was that they were very young yet demanded to be taken seriously and there is no doubt that music played a major role especially in the formative period and in order to spread the word amongst their contemporaries.
There are supporters and detractors of every movement and I'm sure there are lots of people that will look at Riot Grrrls with less rose-tinted spectacles than Sara Marcus, but as a story of a group of young women that were unhappy with the state of things and who did something about it and had a lasting influence on many other women's lives, and as a history of a new type of music/bands - and a new way of going to concerts! - I think it is very interesting and readable.

I think where she really succeeds is in contextualising the development of the movement in the times in which it happened and she really seems to GET what the movement was about - and she is able to communicate it which many others have tried -and failed - to do before her.
The only criticism I have is that she wasn't really there for many of these events and therefore she must rely on a third-person account of things which of course can be problematic as people have different versions of the truth, sometimes out of convenience and sometimes because they simply experienced it differently at the time, and in those cases, it might have been better if she had presented the material more in a he said/she said version rather than trying to tell it as fact.
But definitely one for the collection!
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on 14 June 2015
It starts off so great. The style of writing and the passion of the author really shine through and captures your attention. Then by half way through it descends into lists of girls names and how they fell out with each other. To the point where nobody seems to have significance and to finish the book turned into chore. Unfortunate as it truly started out as something great. Maybe just a clever metaphor for the movement itself.
It did however provide a well researched body of work to carry on ready and the authors passion and respect for the subject is fully appreciated.
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on 27 August 2016
Excellent book!
Definitely lives up to all of the hype!
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on 6 June 2015
I have to admit that I did not really appreciate the full extend of what was happening in America. I loved Huggy Bear though and I miss the attitude of people on the scene in the UK in those days. More recently I have been to gigs where you can count the number of females present on one hand.
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on 10 April 2015
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