Not Bad for a Girl – Review

Not Bad For A Girl

with Babes In Toyland, Lori Barbero, Kat Bjelland
Directed by Lisa Rose Apramian
(Spitshine Productions, 1995)
by J. Lianna Ness

Not Bad For A Girl, a thought-provoking, independent documentary chronicling women’s ventures into alternative rock ‘n’ roll, splices revealing interviews with band members together with grainy concert footage. Subjects featured include L7, Babes In Toyland, Hole, Lunachicks, and Joan Jett, as well as those involved in the Riot Grrrl movement and Australia’s Rock ‘N’ High School (where young, enterprising women of all ages enroll to learn music – the 7-year old drummer featured in this segment is amazing!). This is not just another “chick flick” – it offers a unique perspective on women’s role in music, and examines how they cope with sexist attitudes (which is still an unfortunate reality in a male-dominated business), and their never-ending struggle to be taken seriously. The comments and observations offered by the subjects are fascinating and funny, painful and personal. It’s a film that will make an impact on anyone regardless of age, race or gender. I think Courtney Love summed it up best when she offered this piece of advice to young women struggling with their identity: “Don’t mangle or starve yourself over the captain of the football team… be the captain of the football team!” You go, grrrl!