7 Riot Grrrl Songs To Inspire Millennial Women

by Samantha Mann

Fourth wave feminists, let’s take pause and recharge. You’ve been hustling hard since early November and deserve a break. Many of you currently find yourselves tits deep organizing and vocalizing on the behalf of your fellow women all across the country, and your efforts have not gone unseen. DailyAction.Org reported that 86% of calls made to Congress in an effort to resist Trump have been placed by women. On top of calling, many of you are blogging, tweeting, raising money, marching, and occasionally knitting pussy hats in support of the effort. Fourth wavers are busy embracing new ideas about gender and sexuality while helping parents correctly use terms like pansexual and polyamorous. You’re talking to your buddies about the significance of intersectionality, and guiding the men in your life to wake up and acknowledge their privilege. Not to mention stories are cropping up all across the media noting the scores of you that have decided to run for office in the upcoming election. New York Magazine predicts a staggering 13,000 women are planning on running for local, state, or national office in the upcoming election term. You must be exhausted!

Before you continue writing letters to your local government officials and marching forward, let’s take a moment to appreciate one unique way in which the third wave feminists mobilized and raised their voices. We are talking the pre-social media era, when you couldn’t just send out a tweet to instantly connect to likeminded individuals on the other side of the U.S. You needed to scream loud enough that your voice echoed from an underground bar in the Pacific Northwest to the lawn in Washington, D.C. The Riot Grrrl music scene of the 1990s did just that. These women gave zero fucks about the cultural norms assigned to females before the idea was on trend. Let’s take time to appreciate these seven anthems that come directly from or embody the Riot Grrrl spirit, and allow them to carry you through as you proceed resisting.

Band Name: Bikini Kill
Song: “Rebel Girl”
Best lyric: “That girl thinks she’s the queen of the neighborhood. I got news for you, she is!”
Pairs best with: Getting pumped for an upcoming job interview, asking for a raise, shutting down mansplaining in your workspace, and supporting other women in the office. This song has been shown to aid in summoning radical amounts of self-appreciation.

Artist Name: JunglePussy
Song: “Bling Bling”
Best lyric: “It’s a full time job fucking loving yourself.”
Pairs best with: Shooting down unwanted advances at bars, and as a reminder of why you shouldn’t take back your ex. Let this song guide your actions when presented with the phrase, “smile for me, girl.”

Band Name: Bratmobile
Song: “Are You A Lady?”
Best lyric: “Can you explain to me how a woman somehow becomes an enemy of raving.”
Pairs best with: Composing a letter to your local congressman about the importance of not defunding Planned Parenthood. Great addition to any pump up rally/march mix.

Band Name: Sleater Kinney
Song: “Modern Girl”
Best lyric: “I’m so angry. Anger makes me a modern girl.”
Pairs best with: Needing a pick me up from the daily grind of the 24 hours news cycle. Works well as a recharge to access inner passion and anger needed to move forward.

Band Name: Wild Flag
Song: “Black Tiles”
Best lyric: “For all we know we’re just here. For the length, the length of the song.”
Pairs best with: Sitting in the waiting room at your therapist office or having an existential angst induced panic attack before bed.

Band Name: SNEAKS
Song: “Red”
Best lyric: “Can I do this? Will I survive your disinterest?”
Pairs best with: Not worrying about how expressing your feelings might affect those around you and for bolding canceling plans when you need alone time.

Band Name: Heavens to Betsy
Song: “Nothing Can Stop Me”
Best lyric: “I’ve got a heart that’s true. I got something I must do. I know that everything is fucked up. I ain’t never gonna shut up.”
Pairs best with: Toppling the patriarchy. Specifically, nevertheless persisting.

Top photo: Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill in 1991, via Wikimedia Commons

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