I'm probably going to take a lot of heat for this one, but I don't care. It's not that I'm a diehard supporter, because I'm absolutely not. I've seen the documentaries. I read the book. I'm as skeptical as anyone else. I loved Nirvana, and was personally never much of a Hole fan. But her impact on the scene is undeniable. She's also a survivor of a hell of a lot of turmoil in her life, and has been quite outspoken about revealing aspects of the music industry that aren't so glamorous.
If you were a girl who listened to punk music in the 90s, you didn't label yourself "punk." You were a "riot grrrl." "Grrr" because these girls had attitude. They held up a big middle finger salute to traditional female roles in music. Instead of fancy dresses and sweet heavenly voices, women like Courtney came out with messy hair, torn clothes, and said "fuck you, I'm a girl, and I like this music too!" She also raised awareness about the treatment of women through her music. If we don't have songs like "Doll Parts" or "Violet" in 1994, do we still have "Just A Girl" by No Doubt in 1995?
You had to have a chip on your shoulder as a woman in the mostly male dominated punk scene back then. I remember being pretty young while seeing bands like F-Minus who had guitarist and vocalist Jen Johnson. I thought about how fucking rare it was to see a cute girl that was actually into punk music at the time. But I quickly realized why there might have been such a lack of female punks when I heard some of the comments that she had to endure on stage. I don't remember anything specifically said, but I could tell by the laughs and giggles coming from the guys in the corner of her side of the stage and by her body language that it probably wasn't pleasant. It looked like she just wanted to play the songs and get out of there. This is why we can't have nice things, fellas.
Punk is a very debatable term and one of the beauties of the punk ethos is that it's somewhat open to interpretation. But I think most people would agree that treating women in a derogatory manner has no place in the scene. It's refreshing to see a lot more women taking part in punk music these days. Many of those women have trailblazers like Courtney Love to thank for that, whether they like her or not. As a punk who has been going to shows for quite some time, I have witnessed the evolution first hand. However, there's still a lot of room to grow. We still need women like Courtney to continue to push the envelope.
Regardless whether you're a Kurdt Cobain fan or a Courtney Love fan, they were both incredibly similar people. Which is why they were so drawn to each other. Believe me that when I say someone reminds me of a young Courtney Love, I mean that as a sincere compliment.