Riot Grrrl is a third wave feminist movement that was formed in the early 90’s, primarily by Alison Wolfe and Molly Neuman of Bratmobile. The movement was partially set up in response to the way girls were treated at rock concerts at the time. It is said there was a violent scene, especially for women. Madigan Shive said “I loved the energy but I remember looking round and seeing all these girls holding these jackets and I overheard someone saying ‘those are the coathangers’ “. This showed how girls were treated as if they were not supposed to be part of the rock scene, so Riot Grrrl aimed to make “Punk rock more feminist, or feminism more punk rock” it also “focused on what the issues were to be young and to be creative whereas previous feminism focused on more economic situations” (Sharon Cheslow) “we were reclaiming feminism for our lives”
Zines such as ‘Angry Grrrl’, ‘Grr’, ‘Gunk’ and the ‘Riot Grrrl’ zine inspired the scene and were incorporated within it as well as bands like Bratmobile, and Bikini Kill. The way they set up things in this kind of alternative, underground way made the scene appeal to younger perhaps more creative girls. A problem with the Riot Grrrl movement is that it was “only relative to a white middle class girl” (Dasha Bikceem gunk fanzine) so girls of colour may have felt alienated within the scene.
The imagery in the zines are usually in black and white, as they will have been photocopied several times to create them in a DIY style. They’re quite simple line drawings and the stark contrast between the black and white gives it quite an ‘edgy’, alternative look. Since a lot of different people would/could contribute to the zines the styles of drawings could change between zines. Some used photographs with handwritten text around it, others had line drawings and text in the form of typewriter style lettering. The zines have a grunge kind of feel to them making them appealing to girls into a more alternative rock scene.
Riot Grrrl: Revolution Girl Style Now
Riot Grrrl, Don’t Need You, a Herstory