The Spice Girls, with their brazen disregard for all in the starved bourgeois order (art, music, taste, subtlety) take a atomic glitter-shit on the elite cultural border police. With an army of mucus-faced hysterics ready to unleash the bopper banshee wail upon command, The Spice Girls spread merchandise around like a mossy fungus over the 1990s, “undid” the semiotics of feminism, a linguistic deforestation of the already malformed landscape, they began to plant a more luscious jungle- pulsating with dance beats, shrill laughter, and stretchy lyrca blends. They called it “Girl Power” I call it, “The Lunatic Spectacle Parade.” Who says capitalism can’t be subversive?

If you’ve been following my teen idol series, you’re familiar with the idea that boppers obsess about teen idols in part because they identify with them, and need to project their exquisite fantasies on “free bodies” that look enough like them to foster imagined “sameness” (hence: androgynous boys). Madonna before them, but especially “The Spice Girls” succeeding in the capitalist market as the object of little girls’ bopperdom (when boybands had previously been the only groups to be lavished with the girl-culture hormonal excesses), prove the ontological success of feminism. Finally: Women’s bodies are “read” as free. Britney Spears and her litany of impersonators come out of this pro-feminist mold whether or not their actions reflect it.

The Spice Girls are the true Madonna successors. They are the Drag Queens of feminism. Honor your monarchs.