"Angry White Female." That's pretty 90s.
So, Ada, I asked Marisa (our friend, fellow EMP panelist, my Sassy book co-author, and author of Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music) if she wanted to chat with me about the much-maligned Alanis Morissette. There are lots of feminist Alanis-haters, and while Marisa and I very much like some of them, we are die-hard defenders of Alanis and her feminist importance. As far as I am concerned, she is a total 90swoman! For real! We thought maybe 90swoman readers would be interested in why. So here goes.
Kara: So there is a big discussion on tumblr about Jessica Hopper’s blog post on women and music. We know Jessica and are fans of her writing. And you were saying that you are totally with her for most of it.
Marisa: I was and am. I mean: “Feminism has to move on, salute new icons, be excited by the varieties of archetypes of women in music, be they Gaga or Nite Jewel, that are self-directed, self-produced, not operating under the shadow of a Svengali hand.” YES. I am right there with her.
Kara: TOTALLY. But there is one thing neither one of us agree with and it is…..
ada, i could not agree more with your assessment that 90swomen are strategic–sometimes in smarter ways, sometimes not. i also want to introduce you to “judy!” the 1992 zine about judith butler. according to barnard’s online zine library (put together by very cool zine librarian jenna freedman):
“Judy is a Judith Butler fanzine from 1992. The existence of a Judith Butler fanzine alone is enough to crack up anyone involved in women’s studies and zines. Dr. Butler’s response to the zine, made by a college undergrad, is documented in the zine and in Lingua Franca. There are also quizzes, letters, photos and paper dolls.”
A-MA-ZING. there is nothing more to say.
Remember in the 90s when it seemed like everyone could live a super boho life in Austin (which you did!) or Olympia, making zines and going to shows and working part-time at coffee shops?
Well, most 90swomen can’t afford to live the Slacker lifestyle now; they realized, eventually, that they needed higher-paying jobs. And they also realized that writing “slut” across their stomach like they did as students wouldn’t really work in an office environment; more likely they would have to deal with a boss like (a very nice) one of mine who said “I’m scared of you right now” when I told him I was a feminist.
But that doesn’t mean we gave up our politics.