I’ve got some issues with Katy Perry’s summer hit California Gurls and it goes beyond the fact the song is so infectiously catchy it should be made illegal. No, my issue pertaining to Miss Perry’s ditty is that it perpetuates the California girl archetype as the beach-going, tanned bimbo whose biggest worry is getting sand in her stilettos (side note: no one really wears their heels to the beach because that is foolish). As a resident of the Golden State, I find this stereotype troublesome: what about the Cali-girls who kick back against the socially constructed notion of ideal womanhood? To whom do these wonderful misfits turn?
To California’s long history of rock heroines, that’s who! Girls who played music with aggression; girls who looked sweet and delicate, but could kick ass just the same, and ultimately to the girls who challenged the notion of a woman’s place in rock n’ roll. So here’s two fingers to you Katy Perry: these women are the real deal…
5. The Runaways
4. Gwen Stefani
2. Exene Cervenka
1. Joan Jett