I spent my entire teen years in the 90s and it was a great decade to be an angry young woman who felt like her family, her men and the whole damn universe didn't understand her. In Rob Sheffield's "Love Is A Mixtape", a book everyone should read, he says:
The nineties fad for indie rock overlapped precisely with the nineties fad for feminism. The idea of a pop culture that was pro-girl, or even just not anti-girl - that was 1990s mainstream dream, rather than a 1980s or 2000s one, and it was real for awhile.and
Something was happening in nineties music that isn't happening anywhere in pop culture these days...with women making noise in public ways that seem distant now.I still can't listen to Don't Speak by No Doubt because fourteen years later it still reminds me of my junior year heartbreak, an event I don't even think about unless that comes on. I learned all the important lessons on love and loss from Fiona Apple, L7, The Breeders, Liz Phair, Alanis Morrisette and Courtney Love. Maybe smearing too much eyeliner on and screaming into a mic wasn't the healthiest way of dealing with issues but when you're young and still trying to trust your voice to see the women who were doing it was to look at heroes.
This is not to ignore all the great male musicians and the impact they had on me but to have so many amazing female musicians who wrote and/or sang music that cut through all the BS and made everything I felt seem more justified was a gift I'm glad the 90s gave me.
And, of course, I have to give a big shout out to Sassy magazine for being the big sister I didn't have and introducing me to so much of the music that helped. Not to mention all the other ways in which it was the best magazine ever.