"Hanna says that young women often write to her, telling her that they want to revive the riot-grrrl moment. She responds, much as one of her mentors did once, with tough love: ‘Don’t revive it, make something better.’"
— "Hanna and Her Sisters," by Sasha Frere-Jones. This is a pretty mainstream article about riot grrl, but, you know. Of course you want to read it anyway.
"What (some) bands do is go, ‘It’s not important that I’m a girl, it’s just important that I want to rock.’ And that’s cool. But that’s more of an assimilationist thing. It’s like they just want to be allowed to join the world as it is; whereas I’m more into revolution and radicalism and changing the whole structure. What I’m into is making the world different for me to live in."
— Kathleen Hanna
"'If what you really want is to get people to hear your position and make social change,' Dougher says, 'take the good things from that culture and ditch the things that don't work in our current culture.'"
Revolution Girl Style, 20 Years Later
I only discovered riot grrl after it was “over,” but it was revolutionary to me. I had grown up a tomboy who didn’t identity with women at all and struggled with how to handle the fact I was supposed to be one. Traditional femininity didn’t make sense to me; neither did traditional feminism. Riot grrl, though, opened it all up. It said being a girl was nothing to apologize for, that being strong and independent was nothing to apologize for, that sex was nothing to apologize for, and that redefining identity, power and life on your own terms was possible.
It’s not just nostalgia. It’s a reminder that girls still need this, young and old alike.
I posted this quote from a CNN interview with Kathleen Hanna a couple of weeks ago. It’s been liked and/or reblogged over 260 times already. Riot grrl ain’t dead as long as there are still girls who need it.
"I always tell girls who say they want to start a band but don’t have any talent, well, neither do I. I mean, I can carry a tune, but anyone who picks up a bass can figure it out. You don’t have to have magic unicorn powers. You work at it, and you get better. It’s like anything: You sit there and do it every day, and eventually you get good at it."
— Kathleen Hanna