Another deleted scene from Violence Girl. Enjoy!
It seems like the whole time I was growing up, the world was trying to teach me the role of women. From the first time I saw my mother cowering at my father’s feet, to the current state of insidious inequality, I’ve been confronted with the message that females are somehow weaker, less capable than men. I began questioning the validity of these messages early on, inspired by the women around me. My mother, my sisters, my friends, aunts and cousins - each one constantly refined the definitions of femininity, androgyny and the true nature of equality in small ways through their daily routines. Sometimes these women discarded antiquated cliches of lady-like behavior in favor of an assertive, can-do attitude. At other times, they tried to squeeze themselves into someone else’s idea of womanhood. Either way, they helped me figure out that the tidy stereotype labeled “femininity” had to some stretching to do to catch up with my evolving female consciousness.
In the 1970's, my mother found herself by stepping up to help my father in the male-dominated construction business; my girlfriends were pushing the boundaries, too. The L.A. punk scene was densely populated by female musicians, artists, writers, photographers, roadies and more. These were the modern suffragettes in my life who, without banners or demonstrations, quietly led by example. Not that I oppose banners and demonstrations; I’ve participated in my share of marches, but it was the tiny changes that the women around me made in their personal lives
that spoke the loudest.
Patricia and I learned early on from auditioning male musicians that every one of them thought they were the next Jimi Hendrix or another Keith Moon. While most of the women we auditioned apologized in advance for not being very good, all the males wielded their axes with a bravado that seemed like second nature to them. Even the lamest male guitarist would talk up his skills, acting cocky and confident while the women underplayed their experience. After a bit of this, Patricia and I learned to adapt. We figured that when people wrote reviews about the band, they mentioned the two of us more often than they mentioned the guys. This gave us confidence and after awhile, we learned to do away with the modesty. It felt great to be able to say, “I’m a musician” without feeling the need to tack on an apology.
Changing the way we spoke about ourselves as musicians and artists was like tossing tiny pebbles into a sea of conformity, making ripples, making waves, bringing about change that starts from within and spills out into the lives of those around us. The words were so powerful that the more often we said them, the truer they became. Now, when we stepped on the stage we weren’t asking for approval, we were flaunting our talent.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Five Star Amazon review of Violence Girl!
"Read this book, it will open your eyes."
"This is an autobiography unlike any other..not selectively choosing only the flattering memories to tell the reader, but rather openly, willingly, painfully at times & with great humility Alice's recollections are conveyed. As a woman who was part of the same music scene a few years already into her genesis as a frontwoman for the Bags, I am humbled to have shared the intimate details of just how this woman put HERSELF up front. There is a constant thread throughout this book...it is one of hopefulness & truth. The lessons in futility become the fuel for this formidable female who realized her value emanated from within not from the external view..there is great beauty in this book, even within the violent times painful as they must have been. This is a story for everyone..about growing up, rising up, surviving, finding your voice & healing your heart through your own actions. Inspiring, interesting, funny & powerful define this book....these same traits describe the Author. Get this, share it with your daughters. Empowering." - Nancy Sheets, 10/2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Music video trailer for Violence Girl, From East LA Rage to Hollywood Stage - A Chicana Punk Story by Alice Bag. Published by Feral House. This video features elements, themes and images from Alice Bag's memoir