Legacy of Riot Girl

Topics: Punk rock, Sleater-Kinney, Riot Grrrl Pages: 4 (1064 words) Published: October 8, 2008
Riot Grrrl- A Concrete Manifestation of the Third Wave of Feminism

Riot Grrrl is an underground feminist punk movement that started in the early 1990’s and is often associated with third wave feminism. They address issues such as rape, sexuality and female empowerment.

“You profit from the rape lie baby
Eat meat
Hate Blacks
Beat your wife
It’s all the same thing
Deny, you live your life in denial”
Lyrics by Bikini Kill

To give a complete description of Riot Grrrl is impossible. There’s some debate over the status: Some claim it was mostly about punk music whilst others say it’s a sub cultural youth movement. I believe it is probably both of these. I want to discuss Riot Grrrl as a concrete manifestation of the third wave of feminism. I’m not declaring that Riot Grrrl thoroughly represents the 3rd wave, but would argue that it was one of the many expressions of 3rd wave feministic ideals and issues.

Riot Grrrl made a difference at an individual level rather than a political improvement. It didn’t meet the needs of many women because it was mostly a white middle-class youth oriented movement. As I browsed over forums and blogs I understood that many girls and young women talk about how Riot Grrrl helped them to speak up and overcome, and above all it welcomes a sense of community with young girls who feel alienated from mainstream culture. The movement consisted of a network of young women- early teens to 20’s- wanting to start a girl riot against a society they felt offered no validation of women’s experiences. They did this both within the underground punk scene and society in general. It’s characterised by certain punk philosophies, mainly DIY, in that girls engaged in cultural production, creating their own music. This reflects aspects of 3rd wave feminism. Body image concerns and the redefinition of the word ‘feminist’ along with ‘girl’. Third wavers reclaimed the word ‘feminist’ and weaken the stereotype of the unattractive...
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