Given all the ink thatâ€™s been devoted to grunge over the past few years, itâ€™s a little surprising that more has not been written about the Riot Grrrl movement.
In Girl Power, author Marisa Meltzer devotes plenty of space to riot grrrls, as well as a slew of other female-fronted music genres throughout the decade including â€œAngry Womynâ€ (Alanis Morissette and Tori Amos), girl groups (The Spice Girls and Shampoo) and bubble gum pop (Britney, Mandy and Christina). Though all genres are covered, itâ€™s clear that Meltzer was/is a fan of the riot grrrl movement and that section is particularly well represented here.
Meltzerâ€™s book is certainly well-researched, but itâ€™s her honest, first-person point of view, and liberal use of humor that makes Girl Power exceptionally enjoyable. Her visit to the Michiganâ€™s long-running Womynâ€™s Music Festival, in particular, is laugh-out-loud funny.
Girl Power does a fantastic job of not only dissecting the role women played in music during the 90â€™s but also brings up an important debate about how the movement affected feminism (the quotes from various Spice Girls arguing how they actually helped feminism are particularly amusing).
Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution In Music by Marisa Meltzer/Faber & Faber/176 pages