The mayor of Boston just proclaimed that April 9 would officially be Riot Grrrl Day, and we’re officially skipping around in our combat boots. Behold a playlist for keeping “the man” down.
We at SheKnows love anything that empowers, praises and inspires women, and the Riot Grrrl scene does all of that and more. Originally emerging from the pit of the ’90s’ punk movement in Washington, D.C., and Washington state, Riot Grrrl music was exactly what rocker girls have longed for.
To be clear, Riot Grrrl isn’t about being anti-dudes. It’s much bigger and deeper than that. Riot Grrrl music talked about things girls can relate to and had a definite political spin. The Post-Punk scene was equally as anti-establishment and political as the Riot Grrrl movement. However, Riot Grrrl bands also touched on subjects like sexuality, patriarchy, rape and various types of abuse and hate. Many historians even credit the music with ushering in the third wave of feminism. Which, obviously, makes it totally badass.
Two of the biggest acts that came from the Riot Grrrl sound are Bikini Kill and Bratmobile. As a matter of fact, it’s Allison Wolfe of Bratmobile and Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill who are credited with coining the term. Useless but cool fact we nerded out over: The two girls started a zine called Riot Grrrl, replacing the “i” with extra “r”s to make it sound growling and abrasive, thus taking out the sweet and simpering meaning that’s often attached to the term “girl.” (As in being told you do anything “like a girl.”) Bonus useless fact: Hanna is also credited with putting the phrase “Smells Like Teen Spirit” into Kurt Cobain’s head.
Now that we’ve given you just the basics, make sure you check out our essential Riot Grrrl playlist. Consider it the ultimate feminist #TBT playlist!
We’ve only skimmed the surface of the Riot Grrrl movement! Want more info? Check out these books: The Riot Grrrl Collection, Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution and Pretty in Punk: Girls’ Gender Resistance in a Boys’ Subculture.