Synopses & Reviews
Growing up immersed in the feminist, DIY values of punk, Riot Grrrl, and zine culture of the 1990s and early 2000s gave Eleanor Whitney, like so many other young people who gravitate towards activism and musical subcultures, a sense of power, confidence, community, and social responsibility. As she grew into adulthood she struggled to stay true to those values, and with the gaps left by her punk rock education. This insightful, deeply personal history of early-2000s subcultures lovingly explores the difficulty of applying radical feminist values to real-life dilemmas, and embrace an evolving political and personal consciousness. Whitney traces the sometimes painful clash between her feminist values and everyday, adult realities — and anyone who has worked to integrate their political ideals into their daily life will resonate with the histories and analysis on these pages, such as engaging in anti-domestic violence advocacy while feeling trapped in an unhealthy relationship, envisioning a unified "girl utopia" while lacking racial consciousness, or espousing body positivity while feeling ambivalent towards one's own body. Throughout the book, the words and power of Bikini Kill and other Riot Grrrl bands ground the story and analysis, bringing it back to the raw emotions and experiences that gave this movement its lasting power while offering a complex, contemporary look at the promises and pitfalls of Riot Grrrl-informed feminism.
"Eleanor Whitney's Riot Woman is a deeply personal exploration of the power feminism had in shaping her life. With vivid detail, she chronicles intimate and professional milestones, striking a tone that is at once accessible and yet critically sophisticated. Describing how she navigated everything from activist organizing to seasons of compulsory coupledom, Whitney pushes us all to embrace a more inclusive, expansive, and egalitarian feminist politics." Suzanne Leonard, author of Wife, Inc.
"Eleanor Whitney's essays are both deeply political and deeply personal, shining light on how individual feminist consciousness and collective movements evolve. Her writing shows how readers can boldly embrace the transformative power of intersectional feminism in all its complexity and empower themselves to speak up and change the world." Krista Suh, author of DIY Rules for a WTF World
About the Author
Eleanor C. Whitney is a feminist writer, musician, and editor living in Brooklyn. She has built community and content strategy for startups and arts organizations including Axiom, Managed by Q, Dev Bootcamp, Shapeways, and the Brooklyn Museum. Her first book, Grow, is a practical field guide for managing a creative business. She's currently working on her next book, Riot Woman, a collection of feminist essays, and is the host of a podcast of the same name. She loves to punch out her writer's block at her local boxing gym.