Back in high school, I didn't feel like I fit in. I hid behind green hair and combat boots. Then I found Riot Grrrl, an inspiring group of women who were courageous, proud, and defined for themselves what it means to be female in our culture. It was a relief to find other people who valued creating one's own way in life, and being true to oneself rather than trying to fit in cookie-cutter molds of what society expects of young women. I went to their to meetings, punk rock shows, and co-wrote a zine (a DIY, magazine that we xeroxed and stapled, and traded through the mail and at shows). In our zine, I did artwork and wrote about being in high school, about activism and politics and social issues, and about struggling with my sexual orientation. I knew I was part of something amazing when I got letters back from other girls across the country and world who'd read my zine and shared their own experiences with me.
|The cover of the zine I wrote in high school. Cover art by yours truly.|
So even if you've never heard of Riot Grrrl, but are looking for a good, inspiring book about women seeking and creating community, check this out! It was an engaging story, and seamlessly wove in details about the cultural and politics of the early 90's to provide the context for the movement. (Though of course I am biased because Sara, the author, was a friend in high school and I did this zine with her. Plus, Riot Grrrl changed my life!)