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Remembering the Riot Grrrls: Women, music and feminism in the 1990s

February 10, 2010

Two very interesting Riot Grrrl related news nuggets have popped up over the past week or so. Firstly, there was the news that Kathleen Hanna, formerly of Bikini Kill, has donated her papers to the Riot Grrrl archive at New York University’s Fales library.

It’s great to see that the movement recognised, although part of me thinks that I could probably donate my own papers of about 4,000 dog-eared NME and Melody Maker clippings and rather grandly call it ‘the Girl Brain archive’. What I find interesting about the New Yorker piece is it links the rise of feminist bloggers (younger generation in particular) as a legacy of the Riot Grrrl scene. I could probably class myself in that very group!

Secondly, there’s a new book out on the women, feminism and music in the 1990s, in particular the whole Riot Grrrl phenomenon, by Marisa Meltzer, called, well, Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music, out, and you can read an interview she did with New York magazine here.

I’ll read and review it here for you at a later date (the things I do for you, eh?) but suffice to say I hope  it does a decent job of examining the role of feminism in the rise of women, and women oriented, artists in the decade, along with the inevitable co-opting and commercialisation. I did wince slightly to see it called Girl Power, but I shall not reserve judgement ….

Instead, I shall leave you with something from my favourite (largely female) band of the 1990s, Hole. Who I am seeing in slightly different form next week, a fact that has me LITERALLY quivering in anticipation. An inspiration for, although not technically of, the Riot Grrrl scene, this video still reminds you of how much they kicked ARSE. Enjoy!

Incidentally, the jerk who’s losing his hair she mentions at the beginning? Billy Corgan 😉

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 10, 2010 10:37 pm

    You and I need to talk riot grrrl sometime soon. I am a noted authority on obscure riot grrrl bands of the 90s. Kathleen Hanna is a total hero for me, and is essential reading…

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