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Women In Alternative Rock

So, did I miss when women stopped having mainstream kick-ass alternative rock hits? Or is it that St. Louis hasn’t had a decent alt rock station since Q101.1? I listened to the fuck out of that station in the 90s.

Basically I was at the gym and Garbage’s “Only Happy When It Rains” was playing. Which sent me down a mental black hole thinking about the alternative rock I listened to in my ye olde coming of age era of the 90s.


Admittedly I know I am missing people/bands, but right away I was all, hmm:

Shirley Manson

Courtney Love

Gwen Stefani (in cool No Doubt days before it went very poppy and lost the raw emotion)


Ani DiFranco

Melissa Etheridge (fyi the duet of Bring Me Some Water that she did live with Joan Osbourne is amazeballs)


The Cranberries

Tracey Chapman (holy fuck does Fast Car make me cry)

Fiona Apple

Joan Osbourne

Bikini Kill

The Indigo Girls

Alanis Morrisette

Veruca Salt

Angsty me listened to a lot of Sarah McLachlan, too. Was mad that my parents wouldn’t let me to go Lilith Fair.


I don’t really know where the angry rocker alt women went. I mean, is it really represented by Paramore, Avril Lavigne, and Evanescence now? Apparently Lana del Rey is also considered alternative. I bought that album and was underwhelmed. I do really enjoy Paramore’s music, but it reminds me of 90s-light.

I guess what I’m getting at is angry women alt rock in the 90s really helped shape me as a teenager and as a feminist. It was okay to be angry and ugly about it. I didn’t need to always be smiling and keep sweet, etc.


Meghan Trainor is presented as kinda feminist, but her stuff is problematic at best. Although it is catchy, I’ll give her that, it’s a brilliant little kitschy attempt of socially-approved girl power. Which misses the point of it all.

For just casual listening I’ve been listening to pop and hip hop for the past 8 years or so, and then going back to old favorites. I mostly listen to current pop music because it’s when I’m stuck in the car and I enjoy the peppy beats and dancing in my car. Even when I turn on the alternative station, though, the songs sung by women tend to be 90s alt rock or maybe Paramore. Am I missing it or has the genre lost most of the female voices?


(edited for some clarity of thought)

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