We went on a road trip recently and were listening to Screeching Weasel when we confessed to each other that punk rock saved our lives.
I got into Bikini Kill around 2000, when I was 12 years old. I quickly got into zines, started my own distro, became a full-fledged feminist, and felt like I could conquer the world. This past year I started dating my current boyfriend, who is 11 years older than me. He lived in Olympia, saw Bikini Kill play in Los Angeles, has met Donna Dresch, did all these things I never got to do because I was just a kid when I discovered riot grrrl. I am not a traditionally jealous girl. I couldn’t care less if he looks at another woman, or even wants to sleep with another woman. Chances are I’d give him a high five and tell him to go for it! Instead, what makes me green with envy is the fact that he got to experience all of this amazing music first hand, while I sat in my parents house picking my nose and wishing I was born 10 years earlier.
We went on a road trip recently and were listening to Screeching Weasel when we confessed to each other that punk rock saved our lives. It’s an almost embarrassing statement, so cliche, but so completely fucking true. And as we drove up the coast of California we talked about how much being a teenager sucked, but how there was this kind of magical quality to it. I am 22 years old now and although I hate myself a lot less, I don’t have that fire in me that I did when I used to write zines and “fuck you” was my motto, that fire that listening to Bikini Kill gave me. I am more level-headed these days. More adult. But when I’m with him, and when I listen to Bikini Kill, I still feel that fire. I know that growing up doesn’t have to mean giving up. I know that riot grrrl saved my life, Bikini Kill saved my life, writing saved my life, zines saved my life and I am connected to all the people who feel the same way. And I am forever grateful.