It has come to our attention that the “Riot Grrrl” movement is alive and well in NYU’s Fales Library & Special Collections. They actually have an entire section dedicated to the genre.
With origins nestled in such musicians and bands as The Runaways, Lydia Lunch and Siouxsie Sioux, the Riot Grrrl revolution emerged in the 1990’s with its roots being predominately in the Pacific Northwest. It was the the 90’s after all, so the music scene in Seattle/Olympia and Portland were definitely major locations for the blossoming of these extremely influential bands. It was the likes of Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney and Bratmobile who were among the many bands who were associated with what has been declared the third-wave of feminism.
The Riot Grrrl bands addressed not only the empowering of women, but such sensitive subjects as abuse, rape, and sexuality. The subcultural revolution extended past music and eventually inspired zines and activism.
Although the NYU website says “the collections in the Riot Grrrl Collection are still being processed and some do not yet have online finding aids; however, the following collections are available to researchers,” the point is that it exists. The Riot Grrrl movement has not been forgotten! And exactly what is on that list? Well, the queen Riot Grrrl herself, Ms. Kathleen Hanna, of course.
Along with the The Kathleen Hanna Papers which covers 1998 to 2010, there’s also The Becca Albee Grrrl Collection, The Tammy Rae Carland “I (heart) Amy Carter” Riot Grrrl Collection and The Outpunk Archive which was not only a mid-1990’s zine but also a queercore label that released music during that time. Queercore was an important element in the Riot Grrrl genre as it basically told conventional society to go fuck itself when it came to its non-acceptance of the LGBT community.
For me, Kathleen Hanna has always been the type of woman I only am in my dreams. She’s not only completely candid (she’s openly discussed her abortion in the hopes that other women would do the same), but she’s unapologetic in her ultra feminist ways.
To discover that NYU houses such a collection is sort of badass and awesome. The impact that Riot Grrrl made on music, art and feminism obviously still rings true; not just in our memories (read: hearts) or how we’ve learned to implement it in our daily lives, but also in NYU’s Fales Library.
In honor of such a discovery, let’s listen to Le Tigre’s “They Want to Make a Symphony Out of the Sound of Women Swallowing Their Own Tongues,” shall we?
Thank you, NYU.