You Might Be a 90s Woman If…

Okay, someone asked us to try to pin down 90s Womanhood and here’s our yes-we-used-to-write-magazine-sidebars-for-a-living attempt.

You might be a 90s Woman if…

Any of the following changed your life: Bikini Kill, Nirvana, 7 Year
Bitch, Hole, Babes in Toyland, Sinead O’Connor, Lisa Carver, Tank
Girl, Sister Spit, Liz Phair.

You have had a crush on any of the following: Paul Rudd, James Spader, Brittany Murphy, Winona Ryder, Johnny Depp (21 Jump Street era).

You’ve read Sassy.

You’ve defended sex workers or been one.

When you heard Billy Corgan and Jessica Simpson were dating you got upset.

You’ve made a mix tape on an actual tape.

You know lines from Clueless.

You were kind of slutty for a while and aren’t ashamed.

You’ve marched for abortion rights, against the first Iraq War, or for Take Back the Night.

You have ever been into Wicca, eco-feminism, or liberation theology.

You have a speech ready whenever any of the following come up: Camille Paglia, WAM, Katie Roiphe, or the Michigan Womyn’s Festival.

You think any of the following items of clothing are hot: thigh-highs, plaid shirts, work boots with dresses, cat-eye glasses, chunky heels, baby-doll dresses, overalls, plaid, flannel, bra straps showing, barrettes.

You’ve dyed your hair a color not found in nature, ideally with Manic Panic.

You are all over your birth control responsibilities.

It would never occur to you that women wouldn’t work or that men wouldn’t clean the house.

You have self-identified as bisexual (even if you’re gay or straight).

You can do a feminist analysis of your favorite pop culture.

You started—or at least read—a zine. Now it’s a blog or tumblr.

You are both ironic and sentimental. But for real, not like that “like rain on a wedding day” Alannis Morissette irony song, which you have mocked but know all the words to.

Are you a 90s woman? Send us a testimony and photo!


Filed under Ada, Kara

32 responses to “You Might Be a 90s Woman If…

  1. I hit 17 out of those 19 points. Somewhere there is photographic evidence of the flannel, that’s for sure, and I’m still holding on to my purple hair.

  2. I think I am a 90s woman despite being a man. So many of these apply to me! Especially the crush on Paul Rudd (sigh), having my life changed by Bikini Kill, quoting lines from Clueless and the ridiculous number of times I Manic Panic-ed my own hair. Also, I adore this blog!

  3. Matt Dennis

    True chrisco. I am also a 90s woman despite being man. All of these in fact apply to me. I have read Michelle Tea and as well as Judith Butler and Eve Sedgwick. I love this blog please go no where.

  4. Thanks so much, everyone! Please send us testimonies about the 90s and keep commenting with any thoughts you have! We just started doing this blog to figure out what 90s feminism was about for us and we need help, especially cause we keep getting distracted by talk of, like, how it was really fashion forward when everyone had their plaid bra straps showing.
    P.S. Men can totally be 90s Women.

  5. I consider myself a “90s woman” but I sort of caught the tail end of it (I was just becoming a teen in the late ’90s).

    Instead of Sassy, I started off reading Jane (my first subscription). I didn’t get into Liz Phair until 2002 (Exile in Guyville played for weeks after bad breakup). I started a blog instead of a zine.

    When I interned at a mag in college, all of my role models were classic “90s women.” I pretty much emulated them, but I was five years behind. This list feels like a life I really wanted to live, but only sort of half did… mostly due to late timing.

  6. Jennifer

    OMG, I just hit literally every point on that list. I love this blog and what you’re trying to do. The 90s and the feminism I found while growing up during that time (I graduated high school in 94 and college in 98) literally and truly changed my life and how I approach my day to day living. The third wave of feminism needs just as much critical analysis and applause as its forerunners…thank you for this.

  7. Gwynne

    “When you heard Billy Corgan and Jessica Simpson were dating you got upset.” Ha! Yes. Yes indeed.

  8. Liza Featherstone

    Just about 100%. Thought I was a person, but I’m actually more like a zeitgeist!

  9. As someone who listened to Bikini Kill and dyed her hair Hot Hot Pink well into the 00s, this list is spot-on.

  10. christine

    This site is awesome. I hit 18 out of 19 (I don’t know lines from Clueless). I currently teach women’s studies and still have old issues of Sassy that I show my students. I used to assign them to make zines, but with the internet it really has killed zine making and my students have no idea what they are.

    My dream was always to teach at Antioch College because of their amazing sexual consent policy, very much a product of 90s feminism. I taught there until the school closed, very sadly in 2008. When I tell people about the policy they think it must be a joke.

    Has anyone been to a Ladyfest…the riot grrrl answer to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival? This was 90s feminism moving into the new millenium. I attended the first one, and a later one in SF. It seemed that the energy was moving into the 2000s but it just fizzled somehow.

  11. Alix

    This is crazy–I wasn’t even born til the beginning of the 90s, but I feel very much like a 90s woman. Though I tend to go for Special Effects rather than Manic Panic because they seem to come with more dye.

  12. Christine, maybe you should write a testimonial about Ladyfest and send it to us! Or I should ask Marisa to write something because I’m pretty sure she has been, though I never have. –kara

  13. Pingback: » I might be a 90’s woman…

  14. i got fourteen, though i was a pre-teen/teenager in the nineties. (born ’82) and also, from finland.

  15. Feral Farrell

    I never thought my entire personality could be summed up in one page!! I still wear baby doll dresses with clunky shoes! Sadly I was just a child in the 90s, born in ’88, but I am a slave to all of the above! Where can I find the ‘Valencia’ bound Time Machine???

  16. YAY, I love this. Found it in Bitch mag.
    Anyway, I am all about the 90’s, it was my defining time, and I don’t think I ever really grew out of it.
    Here is the quintessential 90s picture of me, at Lollapalooza 1993, fresh out of the mosh pit. I was 15.

  17. Loved this! Made me laugh.

  18. Ha! Great list! Really takes me back.

  19. Pingback: Boys vs. Girls on 90s Nostalgia «

  20. I was all over most of that, but was too young to be into feminism. Spice Girls was my feminism.

  21. considering that I was born in 1990, I think getting 14/19 is pretty sweet. 😀

  22. Pingback: on names, identities, and the 90′s. plus some other things. « the sanest days are mad

  23. your blog is so awesome!! I’m so a 90’s woman!

    check out my blog!

    it’s worth it, honest!!



  24. Oh, I want to play.

    Barrettes, yes!

    You own a dremel and or know how to use power tools

    You were a member of the Women’s Action Coalition and remember what the blue dot stood for.

    *Le Sigh*

  25. Pingback: Ladies Who Lunch ( style)

  26. Susana

    You forgot about the feminist influence of Ani Difranco in the 90s!

  27. Wow, 17 out of 19 (I didn’t love the Smashing Pumpkins or Clueless, but everything else – whoa). I was living in Vancouver as a university undergrad from 1990-1995 – a pretty great time to be in the Pacific northwest. ’90s Women ran that town!

    Some ’90s Woman titles I recently culled from the book collection: Ecofeminism and the Sacred, Bridges of Power: Building Women’s Multicultural Alliances, and the collected works of Helene Cixous and Luce Irigary (oh Women’s Studies, how I loved you).

    Agreed with Susana – Ani Difranco is missing. Also: veganism. I think there was a point at which just about everyone I knew was subsisting on Vitasoy and analogue meats….before the anemia set in.

  28. CC Greene

    Wow…Ok my gf Joy told me about this blog and said it was totally cool. Yep. She’s right. VERY cool. I think I only got one wrong on your quiz, yo! I’ve been having a 90s flashback for a minute and I’m glad it’s not just me. Thanks for the fun…xxx

    • Oh, this is so sweet! I would also like to reply to this girl or boy I don’t know about 1982. I am as well 1982. And I do consider myself ’90woman-child. We were ten in 1992. So, we were teenage 14 in 1994..’90 are our years! And yea, the fact that I was a refugee from Bosnia and Hercegovina, even so, a Croatian refugee to Croatia (since I am Croat from Bosnia and Hercegovina).
      p.s: I hit all in a row yes! my hair dye was orange – does that still count? Remember Fifth element? So, clown red still counts, I think! 🙂

  29. Erin

    I’m surprised that things like “I watched Daria”, “Wearing a long-sleeved shirt underneath a short-sleeved shirt with overalls”, “I remember Marilyn Manson pre-breasts (and post-breasts)” or “as a man, I refused to cut my hair (or wash it often)” wasn’t in here. And though all of this totally rocks, I’m a bit disappointed because we’ve left out the late 90’s, this seems to be only the grunge-era. What about when factories began creating boy bands? I also have to admit, rather than having 21 Jump Street change my life, Empire Records did… sigh.

  30. I am pretty happy with my 12 “points”! I love chunky heels and have vowed to honor flannel this year by wearing it at least once a week. I am also working on a way to wear bright blue streaks in my hair while still maintaining professionalism. Paul Rudd, check. Feminism and pop culture, check. Wiccan gathering, check. 90s women are awesome!

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