Preview: Riot Grrrl And Other Ecstatic Imperatives
By Mellanie Moore on March 8, 2012 in Society
When asked to imagine a venue for Riot Grrrl and Other Ecstatic Imperatives, discussions of punk rock feminists of the nineties, the stuffy confines of Newcastle University aren’t a blindingly obvious choice. Sara Marcus, author of Girls to the Front – The True Story of Riot Grrrl Revolution appears to disagree, choosing to host her discussion of Riot Grrrl and other grass roots revolutionary movements in the Lipman Building on Tuesday 13th March.
Marcus will host the seminar and use her book to prompt a discussion about other cultural and political initiatives that appear at a glance to have little in common with radical feminist punks. The cause was made up of young women who refused to allow feminism to become a dirty word. They ran zines, played in bands and organised conventions to make noise and chase the equality they’d been promised. Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring are movements that have seized a culture by the throat with the same force as Marcus’ riot grrrls of the Northwestern US in the early 90s.
Despite the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street appearing to embody entirely different aims, beliefs and strategies to the Riot Grrrls, Marcus’ discussion will centre on the political and social environment around the movements with a focus on the cultural contribution of female adolescence. More recent causes seeking to make a racket have done so through the “digitised communication” network (those darned intertubes) whereas riot grrls had to rely on indie distribution methods. They printed things on paper, for example, like cave people must have.
Marcus has been featured in several prominent publications and founded her own micro-press for the publication of innovative prose. A former riot grrl, Marcus has also lived in vegetarian co-ops, anarchist communities and several spare rooms in her quest to produce music, writing and positive social change. As of today, there have been 108 International Women’s Day, where changes to unequal pay, unequal access to education and disproportionate suffering from violence and ill health are encouraged and celebrated. For those looking for a worthy example of anti-sexism, or an example of awesome women doing stuff to celebrate this year, there can be no better candidate than the Riot Grrls and the women they became.
- Occupying Newcastle – ‘We Want A Hell Of A Lot’