L7's DONITA SPARKS: 'I Was A Feminist At Five Years Old'

November 23, 2023

In a new interview with Andrew McKaysmith of the "Scars And Guitars" podcast, L7's Donita Sparks, who endured sexist harassment for years as the frontwoman of one of the very few all-female bands in the male-dominated grunge scene, was asked if she still describes herself as a feminist in the same way she did over 30 years ago. She responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Oh, yeah. I mean, I was a feminist at five years old, you know? I grew up with women's lib, as it was called back then, and my mother was a feminist, my father was a feminist. I've got three older sisters, so it was constant battle with school boards and all kinds of crap in my family. So, yes, for sure. And I'm very proud of it. And I think it has affected some other women. So that's really great. And I think it's inspired some people to not only to be politically active, but to give a shit about causes."

Asked how she feels about the "trans issue", particularly transgender women competing in sports with other women, the 60-year-old Donita said: "I support trans people. The sports thing, I don't know enough about it, so I don't think I'm a person to speak about that. So, yeah, I don't wanna step in it with that one. I plead ignorance to that particular topic of trans competing with females in sports. I don't know enough about it. Other than that, I'm very pro trans and I know a lot of people eyeroll these young people for pronouns and things. I eyeroll it too, but I think it's fucking great. And I think that that's what young people are supposed to do, is to be obnoxiously correct. [Laughs] That's how things change. Whether it's the socialists or the beatniks or the punks or whatever or the feminists or the civil rights people, yeah, be obnoxious until you win. And so I'm very pro confusing pronouns."

Asked if she thinks we are progressing as a society in the Western Hemisphere, Sparks said: "I don't know. I don't know. I mean, God, I thought we were progressing with women's issues in the U.S. and the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. But the populace does not feel the same way. So there are creeps in control everywhere who are trying to stop compassion, diversity, understanding and intelligence, and that's what's happening right now. And that's happened throughout history. But I don't know. It's so hard to say. I think we are progressing, but I think that the creeps are learning to lie better and to distort and overthrow better than we are currently doing on the left."

L7 recently completed the "In Your Space" U.S. tour, which included stops at Louder Than Life and Aftershock festivals.

Formed in 1985, L7 went on indefinite hiatus in 2001. A 2015 reunion tour was followed by the documentary "L7: Pretend We're Dead" in 2016.

L7's first album in 20 years, "Scatter The Rats", was released in May 2019 via Joan Jett's Blackheart Records. At the time, Sparks told the Asbury Park Press that new music was never part of the reunion strategy. "New music was not in the plan at all," she said. "We just got together to do reunion shows, and that just really kind of took off and we wanted to keep playing shows, we really enjoyed connecting with our fans again.

"Playing rock is fun and we hadn't done it in a long time and we realized, 'Wow, this is really fun again,' so we thought, 'If we want to keep doing this, we should put out new music.' And we felt we still had stuff to say and still wanted to express ourselves with new stuff."

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