Courtney in 1992
first let me say i love your blog. i when i was younger, i often feared the days when i would hear/read/watch someone saying the words, “back in the 90s”, but now that those days have come, i actually really, really love it. i was born in 1980, so by the time i hit my teenage years i was right in the middle of grunge, at the tail end of MTV actually showing music videos, knee deep in weekends at the mall, ripe to discover third wave feminism and the zine revolution. i found your blog as a link on kathleen hanna’s own, and after reading just a few entries i remembered exactly why riot girl punk, the diy movement, perzines, and records stores saved my life. it was something i needed, because sometimes when you’re 29, you wake up and all that idealism that had you marching in protest of the iraq war and forcing your dad to listen to bikini kill on road trips home from college gets flushed away in the soul sucking vaccuum of adulthood.
Courtney in 1999
i know exactly how i became a 90’s woman and i owe it all to the internet. my family got online early, and my parents encouraged us to use the internet – then a tangled mess of code, usenet groups, and bulletin boards – to entertain us while they were at work. i was a very sheltered, very smart child who lived in a house with a lot of rules that kept me cooped up inside with cable television and baby sitter’s club books as substitutes for friends. in early high school, i was starting to develop into a solitary, quirky, quiet girl who loved mystery science theater 3000, nirvana, and reading about the manson family when a bulletin board on the (i think) defunct prodigy internet service introduced me to some young ladies from all over the country who were into these things called zines.
Kara, I’m so glad you archived the panel and so sorry I missed it! I was in Toronto, at the biggest, oldest queer theater and festival in North America, the Rhubarb Festival at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Neal was performing his Beyoncé concert DVD reenactment. (Here’s a photo I took from the front row, where I was sitting with Glenn Marla.)
The festival was such an inspiring scene, like the twine vagina art but cool and in the form of a bunch of thirty-minute plays followed by an awesome dance party.
I saw the hottest lesbian couple of all time at the latter — the one lady who was in a suit that kept falling open to reveal her breasts and had a drawn-on mustache told Neal, “See that tall girl over there? That’s my girlfriend! Woo-hoo!” And the tall girl was this ridiculously curvy, fun lady wearing the tightest dress of all time. They were so psyched for each other. Continue reading
Jessica Simpson gets all Gender Trouble for Esquire
90s bisexuality! I wrote my undergraduate Women’s Studies thesis on it. And I actually think that sexual fluidity is a not-unimportant thing to bring up in this conversation.
But first: I was thinking about how Gaga/Beyonce is a feminist statement for 2009 (more than 1999 or 1969–though that’s when these conversations started) in part because technology has changed. One way for women to deal with a world of internet porn, HDTV, and video phones is to decide that instead of bitching about the male gaze (and I love bitching about the male gaze–Kathleen’s answer to it is a good one!) is to strategically use it (which I am into, too).
However: I’m not sure it’s just an ever increasingly visual mainstream culture that has made pop feminism embrace phallic symbols and bikinis that work like Medusa. I think it could also have to do with the emphasis on the visual aspect of identity and desire within queer culture, including trans culture. Continue reading