Mainstream media coverage of the Riot Grrrl feminist punk movement of the early 1990s was incomplete at best and wildly inaccurate at worst. Fortunately, in the book Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution, writer Sara Marcus helps to set the record straight.
Marcus does an excellent job chronicling the Riot Grrrl movement in a way that piques readerd’ curiosity (I actually ended up YouTubing Bikini Kill and Bratmobile shows to hear the songs for myself). She tells the story of the movement by focusing on how relationships between key figures and groups developed and changed from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s.
I’d highly recommend Girls to the Front to anyone interested in music, youth activism, and feminism. Having participated in Riot Grrrl herself as a teenager, Marcus gives an insider perspective of Riot Grrrl chapters, discussing the sources of rage that drove young women to join and how groups helped shaped current feminist discussion. Marcus also take an unflinching look at the internal and external forces that eventually caused the movement to break down. Readers gain a deeper appreciation for the complexity of Riot Grrrl and a better understanding of the long term effects the movement had on 21st century feminism.
Girls to the Front
by Sara Marcus