When I was in graduate school during 2014 and 2015 at Moore College of Art & Design pursing an MFA in Studio Art focusing on photography, my work was inspired by subcultural beauty, style, and fashion. I had planned on writing my MFA thesis on the topic of feminism and women’s roles in subcultures. I amassed a small collection of books and articles on the subject matter in preparation for writing my thesis. Then I had to, unexpectedly, leave my job of nearly ten years and graduate school later in 2015, I found myself months later still unemployed and staring at these books and said to myself “fuck it, I am going to write my thesis anyway.” Once I started outlining all of the chapters, it quickly became apparent that the topic was going to cover a lot more content than would be appropriate for the length of a thesis paper. Once I started writing, it made sense to split the book into series otherwise it would have made one extremely long book. As I began the research process, I quickly noticed that women were not included in many of the seminal texts on subcultural studies. Women were mentioned in brief from time to time in the books that I read on subcultural theory and history, but often their contributions were overlooked and ignored. Plus, it was not always evident how feminism affected the roles of women in subcultures. Not to mention that I knew very little about the history of feminism and women’s issues in general despite having attended an all-women’s college.
This book crafts and compiles my personal experiences, stories, essays, and relationship to feminist issues. I may not be some fancy academic elite teaching at some renowned university or a prominent feminist blogger who works for a trendy magazine, but, my experiences are real even though my feminism was still coming in to form and it was there along lurking in the shadows. My education on feminism and women's issues came from my own thirst for knowledge. I’ve read more books, journal articles, news articles, and blog posts than I can even name though you can find them in my bibliography. Some day I plan on finishing my master’s degree, but student loan debt sucks, but I digress.
The first book compiles my personal experiences growing up as "that weird girl" in relation to feminist and subcultural theories and issues under the new working title: That Weird Girl: Essays. I have been writing about myself, various feminist issues and experiences focuses on the mixed messages that we traverse through subcultures and pop culture. The topics I have been researching focus on gender roles, feminism and sexuality, slut-shaming, rape culture, and the mythology of beauty. Concluding with how feminism is still relevant today and looking at how feminism and subcultures make strong, independent women.
The second book Women’s Roles and Feminism in Subcultures & Postsubcultures focuses on further exploring feminist issues within the academic context of subcultural studies and theories. This study will build the framework for the analysis of the transformations of women's roles in subcultures and fandoms explored in the third book From Video Vixens to Riot Grrrls and Beyond.
The third book From Video Vixens to Riot Grrrls and Beyond is a comprehensive study of how women’s roles have changed in subcultures looking back to the 1970s when women became more prominent in pop and subcultures. This book will focus primarily on subcultures of the 1980s and 1990s and how they have evolved since 2000. I will examine the contemporary theories of how feminism informs our perception of women’s roles in various subcultures. Through research and interviews, I will begin examining women’s roles pertinent in the 1970s focusing on groupies, early hard rock, punk, post-punk and new wave genres. Moving on to the 1980s and 1990s, I will provide an in-depth analysis of how particular women influenced several subcultures: goth, industrial, heavy/glam metal, alternative, grunge, underground art rock, techno and riot grrrls. I will look further into how subcultures have changed in the new millennium focusing on artist specific subcultures and fandoms, and how subcultures continue to thrive in the age of the Internet, social media, virtual worlds, and video games.