"Doesn't hurt to think you're not alone": style, cultural production, and feminism among the riot grrrls in São Paulo

This article aims to offer a contribution to the understanding of the various forms assumed by political activism in contemporary Brazil, focusing specifically on the intersection between politics and style in the riot grrrls' feminism. In order to do that, it rescues material originated from ethnographic research carried out between 2004 and 2007 in the São Paulo riot grrrls' scene. The research coincides with a specific moment of this scene, marked by its expansion, indicated by the growth of the volume of activities and of its visibility, and by the organization of annual editions of the LadyFest Brasil - a cultural festival devised by women and for women that resumed and symbolized the scene's spirit, also integrating it to the calendar of international festivals of the same kind. The analysis proposes to consider the spectacular character of the style as a form of "making oneself visible" and of communicating with one another, as well as to consider the multiple power relations in which the communicated message is inscribed. Therefore, it suggests thinking the styles as operators of difference, taking into account the fact that they are not produced by pre-given subjects, who act in complete awareness of the effects caused by a given composition of appearance, attitude and music. On the contrary, this article considers that the subjects are constituted in the process of quoting and dislocating social norms, and that this may be given in the process of composition of a style.

Social Movements; Feminism; Youth; Styles; Inter- sections; Social Agency


Núcleo de Estudos de Gênero - Pagu Universidade Estadual de Campinas, PAGU Cidade Universitária "Zeferino Vaz", Rua Cora Coralina, 100, 13083-896, Campinas - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel.: (55 19) 3521 7873, (55 19) 3521 1704 - Campinas - SP - Brazil
E-mail: cadpagu@unicamp.br