MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!
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.
So I started this book early in the evening and was finished by 10:30 pm. I absolutely LOVED everything about it. I am OBSESSED with this book. I am jealous that this book was not around when I was sixteen. It is such an important contribution to the young adult literary world. Let me explain why.
Vivian Carter is the perfect narrator for this story. She is extremely likable, intelligent, and does not have a lasting impression on the high school clique spectrum; one can easily relate to her. She has two healthy and very different female representation in her life. She stumbled into feminist influence in her own way by going through her mother’s past. She approached her mantra in her own way. She started a movement but she allowed all girls to take ownership of it. She just wanted to be heard. At times she wavers but then remembers the importance of standing up for what you believe is true. She thinks about things in a logical way which is very important.
The Moxie “Zine” was a hand drawn newsletter that Vivian used to distribute her female call to arms. It was not a social media page. It did not orginate through a group text message. The only technology involved in spreading the word was a good ole copy machine. It was purely grassroots and it WORKED. I loved this. It shows youth today that something so simple can be so incredibly powerful. It does not require the rights of a domain name, a social media profile or a screen. I also loved the design of Moxie. It was retro, simple and just plain cool.
The most important element of this story is its truth. There is no doubt in my mind that this Texas high school does exist. Coincidence that the author Jennifer Mathieu is a Texas high school English teacher? There are countless high schools across America that forget the average students in their halls that are not athletic. In Moxie, if you do not play football then you may as well not exist. This is devastatingly true in most high schools. Personally, it was very clear that the male sports teams were more favored in my high school. I can relate to easily disappearing in the halls. In high school, I did not have a clique, I was an under performing student. I was not athletic. I hated most of the “popular” kids. I saw the phoniness in everything the other kids did. I observed extreme hypocrisy by the faculty as well as the students. I was criticized for choosing to leave school early when there were spirit assemblies by faculty and students alike. I was viewed differently by choosing to not jump fully into the high school experience. I am now in my thirties and do not regret a second of my quiet “rebellion”.
This is a young adult book but do not let that sway non teens from reading this. It is a rousing call to arms for ALL ladies. Whether we are willing to admit it or not, sexism is rampant everywhere. Young ladies need to learn how to see the injustices in their lives. They need to learn the right way to fight and stand up for themselves. Moxie does that. Sure, some parts are a bit cheesy but it is meant for a teen audience. The ending is predictable but it does not matter. Moxie needs to end on the expected outcome. Justice needs to happen. We need to see the movement come full circle. All that matters is that the Moxie girls fought back.
Read it. Love it. Live it. Share it. You will not be disappointed. This book needs to be read. This book needs to get into the hands of those who need the inspiration. I cannot recommend it enough!