The Nineties: Riot Grrrl
Posted by grrrlriot on August 16, 2008
This article was taken from Associated Content.
The Riot Grrrl community first surfaced in Washington D.C. in 1991. Its cause was to maintain a female positive environment in the punk scene when misogyny ran rampant. Kathleen Hanna, the poster child for riot grrrl and front woman of numerous bands, did not know what she was creating when she came up with the motto “Revolution Girl-Style Now!”
Firstly, Riot Grrrl is misspelled on purpose. It includes the passive-by-society “girl” and combines it with a growl of aggressiveness. It embraces the motivation and rulebook that the riot grrrl’s live by-we can be feminine but we can still fight and scream for our rights that society has never given us.
A lot of musicians, fans and reporters have said that while riot grrrl got its fame in the nineties it was around a lot longer than that. Janis Joplin, Yoko Ono, and Grace Slick are among hundreds of famous female rock stars in the sixties. The eighties also had a huge resurgence of female singers which probably made it a pathway for the nineties riot grrrl.
The third wave of feminism really took off in the nineties thanks to riot grrrl. Women started expressing by spoken word, playing in a band, and making zines (homemade magazines). Charters were set-up across the world and the internet helped make feminists organized and friendly (compared to present day feminism which has lost its organization despite the internet).
Once organization was done they started having Ladyfests, zine fairs, and carnivals against racism, sexism and fascist beauty standards. They also funded workshops for and about zine production, rape, racism, self-defense, and eating disorders (which dramatically increased in the nineties among young female adults). Riot grrrl’s were very community orientated and they had a positive message to send to the young women of society-even though some did not take it to well. Parents thought that the riot grrrls were far too radical to be telling their daughters to become equal but they never considered that maybe being radical is what it takes in a patriarchal society.