Masthead CMC Magazine / March 1, 1996

Grrrls Exude Attitude

by Amelia DeLoach

They make no apologies for holding and disseminating feminist views. And they ^unwittingly serve as the founders of a language reclamation movement while adding clothed women's sites to the World Wide Web.

They're grrrls and damn proud of it.

To some, the ^grrrls are to the World Wide Web what the Riot Grrrls are to music and the Guerrilla Girls are to art. Net Chick author Carla Sinclair first noticed the Grrrl movement in the early 80s, "when I started reading the comic book *Love and Rockets*, whose characters I consider to be early Riot Grrrls. The Grrrl movement has become much stronger and unified since then. Now there are hundreds of femme zines and Web sites flooding the scene; we're no longer letting the boys push us out of the way." Like the Riot Grrrls, the grrrls on the Web ^don't have a neatly defined central purpose. In many ways, both the online and offline movement are like the Web itself -- diffuse. For instance:

Hence, with all the talk of cybergrrrlgeekyness, ^the effect just seems focused.

But those developers whose links pop up on numerous sites around the Web don't think a that the grrrls are a movement per se. They just don't think the grrrls can be classified as such. As RosieX puts it, "I think this idea of a movement is based on an older style feminist rhetoric which tended to ^homogenize all women with the same wants/needs/desires to embrace each other. ...It's just not that applicable to women who use the Internet as a medium for their message or is that massage? Heh, a bunch of us girls really like each other but we certainly don't pizz in each others pockets for ideas and strengths. Oh well, I can't speak for everyone."

Whether it is or isn't a movement, whatever it is, it's been a long time coming, according to Amelia. "All I know is that I was an awfully *angry* adolescent. I sure as hell wasn't some Seventeen magazine teen babe, and I didn't find *anything* in the media or pop culture that spoke to me. I had no money, no vote, no voice. And I wasn't alone, clearly. Grrrl was born of impotent rage, and that can be a *very* powerful force." [TOC]

Amelia DeLoach ( is a writer living in Troy, N.Y.

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