Published by Roaring Brook Press on September 19, 2017
Genres: YA Contemporary
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Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
Here is my killer Bikini Kill feminist inspired “angry riooot grrrl” music!
Catfairy’s Riot Girrrl Thoughts
When I first heard about the book Moxie I had to reaaad it! I was literally jumping up and down after reading the synopsis. Luckily a friend of mine scored me a free copy of the book and the rest is history. This book was love at first sight for me. As soon as I started to read Moxie I totally wanted to be a part of the Moxie movement! I love reading books about girls coming together and standing strong to a society that belittles them all the time. Girls/Women are always being targeted as the lesser sex and fortunately, society is slowly making changes to the sexism that goes on with women. I have noticed that throughout the last couple of years that the word “feminist” is being used much more in our society and it isn’t deemed as a bad word anymore. Now there are documentaries such as Misrepresentation that speak out how the media sexualizes women, books such as She Persisted about girl activists/feminists, and the Women’s March in Washington after the election of Donald Trump. Finally, feminists are being seen and heard around the world and my hope is that the feminist movement never stops growing until we are finally treated as equals.
It all starts with the words, “Make me a sandwich.” These four little words bring out the monster riot girl inside Vivian and she creates the movement known as Moxie. The word Moxie was inspired by Vivian’s mother who used to be a part of the riot girl scene and this was the influence that she needed to create the Moxie Movement. Viviane was tired of the bulls*** that goes on in East Rockport High School and one day in her bedroom she creates a riot girl feminist zine named Moxie. Vivian releases all her frustration of the blatant sexism that goes on in her school each day in the Moxie zine. Every day the girls in her high school are being belittled by the East Rockport football team and the boys get away with it mainly because of the leader of the pack, Mitchell Wilson (Ultimate douche) is the principal’s son. Mitchell and his football goons come up with the most humiliating practices with the girls in the high school. The worst part about it is that the administration turns a blind eye to the antics that go on in Vivian Carter’s small-town Texas high school. The boys’ antics consist of yelling out, “Make me a sandwich,” when girls raise their hand to answer a question, to playing “bump and grab” sexual harassment games in the school hallway, and coming up with a humiliating list where they rank girls based on their “assets.” The Moxie girls come together to take down East Rockport High School and they slowly take the Moxie Movement by storm!
Meet Vivian Carter (played by Hailee Steinfeld)
“What would East Rockport look like if Moxie were in charge?”
Vivian is a bad ass riot girl and she had no clue the power that she had inside of her until she created the zine Moxie and sparked the Moxie Movement. I think Vivian is an inspiration to girls everywhere. It just takes one decision to change the world around you.
Meet Lisa Carter (played by Mary-Louise Parker)
“It’s just contributing to the narrative that girls have to monitor their bodies and behaviors, and boys have the have the license and freedom to act like animals.”
Lisa is Vivian’s mom and she is the pivotal person to influence Vivian to listen to Bikini Kill and create the Moxie zine as well as spark a huge movement through East Rockport High School. Lisa used to be a riot girl as a young girl and she ran off to see all the riot girl bands back in the day. Vivian’s mom truly represented the riot girl message. Now Lisa has tamed down her riot girl ways and is working as a nurse while dating a nice Republican. Even though, Lisa doesn’t run around with the riot girl gang anymore she still has the riot girl spark inside of her and Vivian helps bring it out again.
Meet Claudia (played by Mackenzie Foy)
“Like the word feminist is a really scary, weird word to people. It makes people think you hate men. I’d rather just say I’m for, you know, equality.”
Claudia is Vivian’s childhood best friend and she didn’t quite understand the Moxie movement in the beginning until something happened to her and the Moxie girl inside of her started to rage!
Meet Lucy Hernandez (played by Madison De La Garza)
“The way she says feminist so casually, so easily, sort of blows my mind.”
Lucy is the new girl in school and as soon as she steps into the halls of East Rockport High School she instantly gets the famous sexist words, “Make me a sandwich.” Lucy Hernandez is a true Moxie girl at heart and she encourages Vivian to push the boundaries of Moxie. Lucy Hernandez is a feminist and she isn’t ashamed of it. She brings the spark to the Moxie girl movement.
Meet Emma Johnson (played by Dove Cameron)
“Moxie is for every girl. Cheerleaders, too.”
Emma Johnson is a straight-laced, ambitious, perfect cheerleader who isn’t as perfect as people think she is.
Meet Seth Acosta (played by Thomas Doherty)
“I decide that Seth Acosta deciding that I’m kick ass is even better than him thinking I’m pretty. Definitely better.”
Seth Acosta is a stone cold fox who wears things such as tight black jeans and Sonic Youth t-shirts. Vivian describes Seth with, “long dark hair hanging in front of his eyes like he is trying to hide behind it.” If that is not a stone cold fox I don’t know what is! He is a bundle of contradictions. A football player with a pension for Black Flag. Seth Acosta is the perfect book boyfriend because he is cultured, brooding, likes cool bands like Sonic Youth, and supports women’s rights. What is sexier than that?!
Meet Joan Jett (played by Charlie Chuchi) FOLLOW ME @charliechuchi
Last and definitely not least… meet the most important character of the story! Joan Jett, the adorable tabby cat named after Lisa’s favorite singer Joan Jett! She is total Moxie cat material!
Pop Culture References
When I first heard about zines I heard about it through the book Zine Scene: The Do It Yourself Guide to Zines. After reading this book, I was totally inspired by the zine movement and I helped a friend of mine create a zine back in high school. I distinctly remember writing about the first day I met Hanson! (Such a teenybopper!) It was awesome and fun because we just talked about anything we wanted and we would charge about 50 cents a piece for it around our school!
Also when I first read Moxie I couldn’t help but relate it to my favorite 90’s movie Foxfire with the badass known as Angelina Jolie! These girls totally band together after experiencing sexual harassment from a high school teacher. The movie gives me all the feels for 90’s nostalgia and female empowerment! Highly recommended!
Catfairy’s Final Thoughts
“As I watch Lucy spin and knock her dark curls around, and as I listen to Claudia laugh and sing along (badly), it occurs to me that this is what it means to be a feminist. Not a humanist or an equalist or whatever. But a feminist. It’s not a bad word. After today it might be my favorite word. Because really all it is is girls supporting each other and wanting to be treated like human beings in a world that’s always finding ways to tell them they’re not.”
Even though I have always been interested in topics related to feminism since I was a young girl, I am the first one to admit that the word “feminist” intimidated me a little. Just like Claudia, I was scared of the power behind the word feminist and how culturally people would view feminist as just “angry women that hated men” which couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead of using the word feminist I would tell people that I was for equal rights but now after reading Moxie, the word isn’t so scary anymore.
Nowadays instead of using the word feminist women are associating themselves as “intersectional feminists” which means feminism for all races. Back then, the riot girl scene didn’t include all races and it was mostly made up of white women and now that is changing.
Catfairy’s Rrrriot Girl Rant
Now I have to say that as a Latina and as an intersectional feminist, I am tired of being discriminated against. I am tired of the expectations that many people have of me. Many Latina women including me are stereotyped as women that are expected to cook, clean, have children, and take care of their husbands. Well, I don’t cook, my husband and I clean the house TOGETHER, and I am not sure if I even want children. Unfortunately, because of the fact that I am not your cookie cutter, Latina I have been discriminated against and judged for it. I have gone out in the world and earned my Bachelor’s and Masters in Education and I am judged more on the fact that I am unsure about kids and can’t cook to save my life more than my accomplishments. The discrimination and expectations that are put on women to cook, clean, take care of the children, look picture perfect, and hold a career at the same time has to STOP! We are human beings and we are all doing the best we can. As a society, we put so much pressure on women to do it ALL and it’s an unfair and UNREALISTIC expectation. We need to come together as women and do what makes us happy and forget about other people’s expectations. We need to be treated as equals and believe that we deserve to be as happy as everyone else. We are equals! We are Moxie! I am Moxie!
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