The Good Witch-Bitch: Grrrl Power as the Desublimated Ugly Aesthetic

  • Jan Jagodzinski


Perhaps its best to start with an oblique pun: Courtney Love is to Romantic Courtly Love as Hole is to the Spice Girls. Courtney Love had an uneasy relationship with the Riot Grrrls, accusing the movement for its fixation on the prepubescent tomboy as the ultimate proto-feminist rebel— like Tank Girl and Avril Lavigne today. Yet, no discussion trying to grasp the fantasy formations of the Riot Grrrls as an underground force, and their contribution to the self-sufficiency of “becoming-woman” can dismiss her. She would, of course, cringe at the idea that could be considered a symbolic “mother” to such a generation of teens and young women who made their statement in the early 1990s. “Slut me open and suck my scars.” “The sweet cream clot and the sick milk udder.” Some of the more graphic lines from “Loaded” (Pretty on the Inside) that presents pregnancy as a vile experience fit only for cows. Love’s sensibility toward abortion doesn’t fare any better. “Mrs. Jones” (on the same album) presents a horrific abortion scene where viral infection, stench, and knife stabs at the baby shock Mrs. Jones so deeply that she becomes totally paranoid: “I’ve got a bad eye. … I shouldn’t have looked at it.”


Black Woman Ethical Demand Drug Scene Oral Fixation Exoticized Dancing 
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© Jan Jagodzinski 2005

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  • Jan Jagodzinski

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