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Happy Riot Grrrl Day, America!

Happy Riot Grrrl Day, America!
Bikini Kill Sylvester Park, Olympia May 1, 1991 [Photo: Flickr user Jonathan Haynes]

Boston mayor Marty Walsh has officially declared April 9 Riot Grrrl Day in honor of Kathleen Hanna, former Bikini Kill singer and one of the pioneers of the Riot Grrrl movement.

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In late ’80s and early ’90s, a string of hardcore female punk bands began to emerge in the Pacific Northwest with feminism at the core of their music. Dedicated fanzines reflected the DIY philosophy of riot grrrls and fueled the movement that focused on female empowerment–something that is just as relevant today. As the proclamation for Riot Grrrl Day states:

“Because: Our young women can’t be what they can’t see. Girls need to see other girls picking up drumsticks, basses and microphones. They need to see other girls picking up paintbrushes and pens, and telling their stories loudly. Because: the next Kathleen Hanna may be a young girl in a Boston bedroom creating feminist art by herself, fearful that she has no community to belong to.”

The riot grrrl culture needs to be fostered, regardless of whether you live in Boston or even play an instrument. It’s a movement that rightly rails against societal “norms” in order for young girls and women to have the freedom to do what they want to do on their own terms, and “to inspire grrrls everywhere to shake up the status quo and create.”

In honor of Riot Grrrl Day, we’ve put together a playlist of some of our favorite grrrls:

Sleater-Kinney, “No Cities to Love”

Bikini Kill, “Rebel Girl”

Heavens to Betsy, “Calculated”

L7, Bricks Are Heavy

Bratmobile, Pottymouth

Babes in Toyland, Nemesisters

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