Alice Bag, Kathleen Hanna And Allison Wolfe Are A Riot Grrrl “9 To 5” In The Music Video “77”

by Anna Greer

Punk rock and feminist icon Alice Bag has released a new music video about equal pay, and we love it. “77” parodies the feminist classic film 9 To 5 to tackle the wage gap, and it rocks.

This single is from Alice Bag’s new album Blueprint, which comes out March 23, and you can read more about it on her website. She became a formative figure in LA’s punk rock scene in the 70s when she co-created the band The Bags. She hasn’t stopped making music since, participating in many groundbreaking groups and earning much acclaim. She is also an educator and a very vocal feminist.  

The music video opens on an office room where three women (Alice Bag, Kathleen Hanna, and Allison Wolfe) are seated at typewriters, while a mustachioed man, played by Seth Bogart, towers over them. The A-line skirts and pussy bows solidify the 9 To 5 reference. We’re even treated to Shirley Manson as the scheming assistant who conspires to keep other women down. The scene jumps between the office and a modern-day, gritty, punk rock concert. The juxtaposition of aesthetics totally works.

Obviously, we’re here for the feminism, and Alice Bag doesn’t disappoint.

“I make 77 cents on the dollar
It’s not fair and it makes me want to holler
Yeah you work hard but I work harder
To catch where you are I gotta push myself farther.”

77 cents for every man’s dollar is the statistic a lot of people cite to demonstrate the gender pay gap. Technically, it’s 80 cents, according to a report by the American Association of University Women. And that’s for white women, a fact that Alice Bag, who is Chicana, doesn’t ignore:

“I make 77 cents and it’s not right
It’s bad for women
And worse if you’re not white
You’re head of household? So am I
It’s not just about me – I need to provide.”

Black women make on average 63 cents for every dollar made by a white man, and Latina women make 54% of what white men make. The choice of using 77 may be reference to the year in which she formed her punk group, The Bags: 1977.

She also encourages viewers and listeners to go beyond her video. It’s essentially a technicolor call to action.

“And it’s time, it’s time
Ooh ooh ooh
It’s time, it’s time
Ooh ooh ooh
It’s time, it’s time
Time for change
I’m gonna yell it
I’m gonna march
I’ll cast my ballot
No, I’m not gonna settle for 77!”

It’s sad that we need a wage gap anthem, but “77” is that anthem. Punk rock is the perfect genre, and we’re ready to shred the the wage gap like a guitar solo. 

Top photo via Don Giovanni Records

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Janelle Monae’s New Music Video With Tessa Thompson Is A Powerful Tribute To Bisexuality, Black Women’s Empowerment, And Sex-Positive Love: Link Roundup

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