Riot Grrrl 2010: A new riot-ous wave

I lucked out with the Dresden Dolls. Big time. I had just moved to Chapel Hill to start college there and was eager to find new music—especially of the local variety. In a search for the CH band “Sorry About Dresden,” I found the Dresden Dolls. And I found out they were coming to my town in a few short weeks. I seized the opportunity, despite not really knowing anyone and therefore having to go alone, and went to the show at Cat’s Cradle.

I’m damn proud to say that the Dresden Dolls were my first ever concert experience. But there are so many things I’ve missed out on, that it puts the whole fluctuating scale of “here today/gone tomorrow” pop culture into perspective.

I missed Le Tigre.

I missed Bikini Kill.

I missed Skunk Anansi.

I missed the original Lilith Fair tours.

I missed 90s punk (7 Year Bitch, Babes in Toyland, etc)

And I missed the fucking Riot Grrrl movement.

While I’m glad I learned about all of these artists and the riot grrrl movement, a part of me can’t help but to be kind of upset at having missed that experience. Imagine combining a love of music, of DIY zine making, of activism, of punk, of feminism, of all of that and throwing them together. Imagine a community where this is your life. You are about all of these things and somehow they come together to define (however temporarily) the “what you’re doing with your life” question.

Now the question comes: What if we tried again? What if we brought back the riot grrrl movement for 2010? It wouldn’t be the same of course, it never is, but that’s okay.

Could a new wave of riot grrrl happen? Is it even feasible? Totally. While magazines like Rockrgrl have fallen, publications like Bust still exist, which is made up of more than JUST articles with a feminist perspective. If you go online and visit the magazine’s site, you’ll see Bust’s link to the “Girl Wide Web”, which will take you all over the internet to different sites that are grrrl-powered. We’ve got women all over the country, all over the WORLD who are making a name for themselves in the name of music. All we’ve got to do is start bringing it back together, finding a way to support these artists wherever and however we can. Zine makers and distros are still in abundance, despite the Internet’s attempt to take over our lives and make everything we do online.

Now is absolutely the time. The question is: how can we do it? How can we make a new wave of riot grrrl happen, how can we create a new wave of riot grrrls? Simple: spread the message. Find artists/musician/zine makers who embody aspects of Riot Grrrl and promote them! Find more artists/musicians/zine makers who do the same and promote them too! Work on building bridges within these communities and finding a way to pass your passion onto other people. True fact: Passion can be contagious. Share your passion for all things riot grrrl, find others who are into it, and before you know it, yes we will have a riot on our hands!

Embrace a sense of fearlessness in your life and don’t be afraid to make a stand for what you believe in. Ultimately, that is all the riot grrrl movement comes down to is making a difference. Fighting for what you believe in. And having fun while doing so.


5 thoughts on “Riot Grrrl 2010: A new riot-ous wave

  1. jackie2010 February 20, 2010 / 6:53 pm

    Totally agree with you here. I feel like I missed out on a lot of stuff as a kid. My first concert was the Spice Girls, what a misconstrued conception of ‘Girl Power’, but I was 11 and excited. 12 years later, I realize what the Spice Girls were for me, a fun time with made up personalities (Sporty, Scary, etc), but for the music at the time, it was a sorry excuse for feminism.

    Either way, I totally think a revamping of the riot grrrrl movement is possible. I also agree that passion is quite contagious. The hurdle I see is that we need to bring the people who fight on many fronts together, and use music as a unifier, and in this case, riot grrrl music.

    Let’s start the revolution together 🙂

  2. DJ Moonlight February 21, 2010 / 3:30 am

    an excellent blog, I’m in complete agreeance with you.

    I’m disappointed that I too, missed out on the Riot Grrrl movement and funny enough my first gig was also the Spice Girls.

    It was a big deal for me the other night to get to see “Hole” even though it wasn’t the original line up!
    Many bands are making comebacks these days, including Skunk Anansie and Guano Apes so I’m optimistic we may not have seen the back of bands like Bikini Kill and L7.
    Like you say, we have to promote the riot grrrl bands that are out there, and even the old ones, to others especially the younger girls who haven’t quite discovered the joys of rock/punk type music yet, if we get a younger generation interersted as well, perhaps there will be much more of a call to bring all this music back, I really hope so!!

  3. Emily February 21, 2010 / 4:40 pm

    I missed it as well, but I think we are due for another revolution. I know the music I write is riot grrrl and I want to see more women in rock. It is our time! Revolution Grrrl Style NOW!

  4. starsweare August 10, 2010 / 9:30 pm

    the riot grrrl spirit will emerge again, we’re ready for it.

  5. AFABULOUS January 17, 2011 / 3:52 am

    I am 100% in. I am from the oc and am in currently in a self-proclaimed riot grrrl band called scarlet, I just started my home made fanzine pussy pride, the few grrrls i do know are gonna help my try to start an oc chapter/activity group of riot grrrls as well. facebook me if you want more info

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