Happy Riot Grrrl Day, everyone! Though it is not a national holiday yet (as it should be), it has been declared such by Boston's mayor Marty Walsh, in honor of Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill/The Julie Ruin/Le Tigre). It will be officially celebrated in the city during a Julie Ruin concert (collectively let us take a moment and wish we could be there). Hanna will receive the proclamation from her friend / associate of twenty years, Boston's Chief of Policy Joyce Linehan (who previously worked as a manager / show promoter for Sub Pop).
For those who need a refresher or an introduction: Riot Grrrl was and is a movement. Started as an underground feminist hardcore punk expression in the 1990s, it was a musical genre, it was a zine movement, a political stance, and, of course, it was expressed through art. Regardless of the format, the purpose was the same: for women to be able to express themselves the same as men. They have and continue to address important issues such as equality, rape, sexuality, and abuse. Topics, which as you know women and minorities still grapple with today.
Boston's mayor Walsh was in part inspired the Riot Grrrl Manifesto that Hanna wrote back in 1991 (and you thought Manifestos were a thing of the past) and as stated in the proclamation: "The riot grrrl philosophy has never felt more relevant, with misogyny still rampant in many cultural spaces,” and “Riot grrrls redefine the language used against them and continue to fight the newest incarnations of patriarchy. In doing so, they ironically confirm one ex-congressman’s accidental wisdom: ‘the female body has ways to try to shut that down.’ It sure does: women’s voices telling their stories can shut that down.” (according to Boston Magazine).
In honor of this day, and the strides made by Riot Grrrls such as Kathleen Hanna, here are ten songs to help you celebrate this momentous occasion, whether if you live in Boston or not. Embrace your inner Riot Grrrl and rock out with her. She deserves it.
Bikini Kill - Rebel Girl
The Frumpies - Be Good
L7- Pretend We're Dead
Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out
Emily's Sassy Lime - Pinapple Boys Need Not Apply
Bratmobile - Do You Like Me Like That?
Le Tigre - Hot Topic