This website is divided into several sections. I recommend that you start by reading the zine all the way through, then go back and click on each page one at a time, and finally visit the CONCLUSION page. However, there are no rules to the web, and you should click around as much or as little as you would like, and if you get lost just click the back button on your browser, or come back here to the Introduction.
You will notice that, for the most part, there are no citations on the pages of the zines themselves. I wanted to preserve some of the linguistic style of grrrl zines, as well as the aesthetic, and footnotes or inline citations looked clunky. Instead, each zine spread is a hyperlink that will take you to a webpage containing some explanatory notes, analysis, and citations. You can also access all of these in one place at the zine map
In 1992, Riot Grrrl #4
was cut, stick, xeroxed, and stapled together. The content includes articles such as "The Armed Citizen," an anonymous open letter to "a foxy, pretty girl" promising to protect and fight for her, as well as politically charged rants and testimonies of sexual assault. Perhaps because I had spent all summer with boxes of Women's Liberation materials, the fighting tone and blotchy typewritten pages were suddenly very familiar. As I learned more about the Riot Grrrl movement that went along with the zine, more connections bubbled to the surface. First there was the stop sign on the back cover of RG#4
that reminded me of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union Stop Rape
pamphlet, then the testimonial nature of the meetings of both generations of feminists, and after that the reliance on women-power and cheap replicating technology to proliferate their thoughts.
It was this last similarity – the similarity in means of production – that alienated me as a 21st century woman the most. In an age when more and more of our culture, news, organizing groups, etc. are exclusively online, I wasn't sure how I would ever understand the feelings elicited by producing a pamphlet, a newspaper, or a zine entirely from scratch. I made a zine, just to make sure, but I still had the sense that I was doing a craft project for myself rather than creating something that existed outside of my own experience. But of course, the answer was also the problem. Second Wave feminists used the mimeograph because that's what there was
. Riot Grrrls used a photocopier because that's what there was
. In turn, I have created this website -- with no formal knowledge of HTML or CSS -- because this is how information is disseminated right now. I wanted the DIY experience, and I certainly got it. This is, however, indicative of the nature of my research in general. It was harder and harder to remain impersonal while reading and interacting with the materials that truly embodied "the personal is political," so I gave up. Or rather, in true riot grrrl style, I embraced my own position and my own voice within this story.