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In 2001, prominent Portland zinester and DIY punk Alex Wrekk declared in her hugely popular self-published zine Brainscan, that she was an “anti-girl” who didn’t like girls and preferred to be “one of the guys”. Her online diary, though, tells a different story. What can the tensions between Wrekk’s online self-presentation and her DIY print media self-presentation tell us about navigating subcultural pressures as a punk girl at the turn of the millennium? This chapter considers this tension and proposes that online diary communities, shaped by perceived notions of authenticity and intimacy, have the potential to elicit autobiographical practices that forge networks of support for young women.
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Buttons, also sometimes called badges or pins, are fashion accessories consisting of a round plastic casing that protects an image or text printed on paper, with a pin backing that is often attached to clothing and bags. Buttons found popularity in punk cultures, have been used to make political statements, and are often sold by bands as merchandise.
A note on referencing in this chapter: Brainscan does not have page numbers, therefore no references to either Brainscan #14 or Brainscan #18 will include a page number.
Maddy Dental’s zines are catalogued in the Barnard Zine Library catalogue under her real name Madeleine Baran, but I refer to her here using the name that she has chosen to publish under.
sari does not capitalise their name, therefore I have not capitalised it here.
As part of sari’s identity politics as a queer, non-binary/trans*, gender variant person, sari asks that they are referred to by this gender-neutral set of pronouns. This is clear from sari’s work (see p. 34 of Thou Shalt) and sari has also confirmed it in an email to me. Importantly, sari does not identify as a girl.
Tight Pants #6 does not include page numbers, so none accompany the references here.
The standard measure for a zine is the A4 piece of paper, and a “half-sized” zine indicates a zine that is half the size of an A4 page.
For a more detailed yet succinct history and definition of Riot Grrrl, see Rosenberg and Garofalo (1998).
Wrekk’s 14th issue of Brainscan appears in a three-way “split zine”. A split zine is a form of collaborative zine in which two or more zinesters each contribute an issue of their own zine to form a collection published as a single zine. This is distinct from a collaborative zine (sometimes called a “collab”) where two or more (but usually two) zinesters work together to create a zine that is authored by them both/all. The split zine is a compilation of separate zines, whereas the collab is a single zine created jointly by multiple zinesters. In Wrekk’s case, Brainscan #14 appears in a split that also features issue #7 of Three A.M. by Lisa Mancini and issue #4 of Journalsong by Steve Gevurtz. The benefit of a split zine for readers is that they get two or more zines to read instead of only one, and the benefit to authors is that they are able to increase the circulation of their own zine by tapping into the readership of their collaborator/s. It is also a way to strengthen the bonds between zinesters, which is crucial to Wrekk’s sense of life in her zine community. Because zinesters rely, in large part, on social networks of regular readers to distribute their zine, split zines are a way to reach another zinester’s regular readers.
The band members of Bikini Kill were central to forming the Riot Grrrl movement, and they are often associated with Riot Grrrl.
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Wrekk, Alex. 2000a. Empty Houses, Empty Heads, Empty Bottles. DiaryLand: Disjointed Late Night Ramblings of Alex Wrekk, September 13. https://web.archive.org/web/20020116002025/http://alexwrekk.diaryland.com/000913_27.html. Accessed 10 Oct 2017.
———. 2000b. Girl-Girl Hate. DiaryLand: Disjointed Late Night Ramblings of Alex Wrekk, July 24. https://web.archive.org/web/20010902205237/http://alexwrekk.diaryland.com/000724_3.html. Accessed 28 Apr 2015.
———. 2000c. I Hate Being Proved Right Almost as Much as I Hate Being Proved Wrong. DiaryLand: Disjointed Late Night Ramblings of Alex Wrekk, October 11. https://web.archive.org/web/20020123232111/http://alexwrekk.diaryland.com/001011_62.html. Accessed 10 Oct 2017.
———. 2000d. Last Days of Summer, Playing My First Show and Missign My Joey. DiaryLand: Disjointed Late Night Ramblings of Alex Wrekk, August 8. https://web.archive.org/web/20010902212836/http://alexwrekk.diaryland.com/000808_48.html. Accessed 10 Oct 2017.
———. 2000e. Lazy Days, Tampon Alternatives and Diversity. DiaryLand: Disjointed Late Night Ramblings of Alex Wrekk, September 10. https://web.archive.org/web/20010307223506/http://alexwrekk.diaryland.com/000910_97.html. Accessed 10 Oct 2017.
———. 2000f. Small Steps to Things I Need to Do. DiaryLand: Disjointed Late Night Ramblings of Alex Wrekk, July 14. https://web.archive.org/web/20010609140727/http://alexwrekk.diaryland.com/000714_79.html. Accessed 10 Oct 2017.
———. 2000g. Too Much Coffee, Music as Salvation, and the Worth of Online Diaries. DiaryLand: Disjointed Late Night Ramblings of Alex Wrekk, December 24. (No Longer Available). http://alexwrekk.diaryland.com/001224_69.html. Accessed 28 Apr 2015.
———. 2001a. Beer, Shows, Riot Grrrrrrrrrrrrrl, and Unstalkers. DiaryLand: Disjointed Late Night Ramblings of Alex Wrekk. (No Longer Available). http://alexwrekk.diaryland.com:80/010328_76.html. Accessed 28 Apr 2015.
———. 2001b. Brainscan #14. Portland: Self Published.
———. 2001c. Gardens, Wall Patching, Bad Zines, Good Zines and a Zine Conference. DiaryLand: Disjointed Late Night Ramblings of Alex Wrekk, May 5. (No Longer Available). Accessed 28 Apr 2015.
———. 2001d. My Rambling Pseudo Manifestos and Things. DiaryLand: Disjointed Late Night Ramblings of Alex Wrekk, May 8. (No Longer Available). http://alexwrekk.diaryland.com/010508_71.html. Accessed 28 Apr 2015.
———. 2001e. Our House in the Middle of the Street. DiaryLand: Disjointed Late Night Ramblings of Alex Wrekk, February 21. https://web.archive.org/web/20010307225112/http://alexwrekk.diaryland.com/010221_85.html. Accessed 10 Oct 2017.
———. 2001f. Trickle Down Gender Sensitivity. DiaryLand: Disjointed Late Night Ramblings of Alex Wrekk, March 14. (No Longer Available). http://alexwrekk.diaryland.com/010314_70.html. Accessed 28 Apr 2015.
———. 2002. Brainscan #18. Portland: Self Published.
———. 2003. Stolen Sharpie Revolution. Portland: Microcosm Publishing.
———. 2017. Private Email Communication.
- Negotiating the Anti-Girl: Articulating Punk Girlhood in the Online Diary
- Chapter 3