GRRRLS on the Side
By Carrie Pack
16 year old Tabatha, our main character, is heavy set and bullied by her peers and those who once were her friends. She does have a friend, Mike, who she attends a punk show with, there she picks up a zine that invites her to go to a Riot GRRRL meet up. At the meet up she is introduced to bold, strong, older females who challenge her to understand her white privilege as well as her own sexuality. Tabatha has found her tribe and as the group bonds, they find themselves learning, growing, and loving, through many circumstances.
GRRRLS on the Side is a historical glimpse into a feminist movement, full of 90’s pop culture nostalgia. The 90’s weren’t as politically correct as we are nowadays, still today we have a lot of growing to do and steps to becoming more understanding and tolerant of other races and other’s sexuality. Don’t be surprised by some of the characters’ ignorance, as punk and revolutionary as the book presents itself. Some of the passages can serve as great way to have a conversation about why a character’s actions are problematic and how they can be made right.
There are awesome, truly enjoyable, parts in the book design, as each chapter ends with a page from our main character’s Riot GRRRL zine, complete with poems, articles, band names, and tour dates. The text with images and collage create a palpable feel for the punk scene and 90’s time period. The printed zines can surely be relate-able to today’s teens on social media and online blogs as well as the need for young adults to find their own tribe, their own community that helps them grow and understand the world in which they live.
Check Out GRRRLS on the Side
…and more Riot GRRRL materials available at SFPL!
Music by Bikini Kill