"Wake up each day and deal with the shit coz that shit is solid gold, baby!! That's the stuff that will make you, YOU! and my grrrl, you will shine like a fuckin' diamond."
Last year I sat and watched Moxie with my two adolescent daughters. It sparked their interest in the riot grrrl movement as they watched Vivian and her friends fight the institutionalised sexism in their school. Not long after, I caught my girls drawing hearts and stars on their hands, they started looking through my zine collection and added numerous riot grrrl tracks to their digital playlists. They began to be more openly critical of the way the boys in their own schools treated or spoke to the girls. They got really annoyed at anything that, in their eyes, was sexist. It was amazing to watch as a mum!
In the same way that Moxie's character Vivian takes inspiration from her mum's riot grrrl past, I saw a similar thing happening with my own kids. In the movie, Vivian finds an old suitcase of her mother's filled with her zine collection and other memorabilia from the 1990s. I too had a similar box, which has now been leafed through by my kids and some of it has even gone up on the wall at home in the office.
My own love of the riot grrrl movement has obviously inspired them and I wanted to take a light-hearted approach to what I would consider to be the essentials for anyone wanting to engage with the riot grrrl movement. This isn't an exhaustive list, it's just some ideas that I had and talked through with my own kids. I'd love you to comment and send me any other ways you think the people, who weren't there in the 1990s, could get a better understanding of riot grrrl and keep the ideology and movement going. So counting down.... here are my top tips on how to bring some more riot grrrl into your life. And just a note here.... Riot Grrrl isn't just for cis women.... ok??.... so you other genders can get on board with this too... we really don't care what anatomy you were born with, Riot Grrrl and the strive for equality is something we feel in our hearts!!!
Not just a political or feminist movement, the key to riot grrrl was the music that went with it. Most of the riot grrrls created some sort of alternative rock, from the hardcore punk of Bikini Kill to the more grungy sounds of Sleater-Kinney. There are a whole host of bands to check out and I will blog about this some more. As Vivian does in Moxie, start with Bikini Kill's Rebel Girl and consider the lyrics. This brand of feminism has the intention of women supporting women. Rebel Girl epitomises this notion, where we hear Kathleen Hanna's screams of "They say she's a slut but I know, she's my best friend" is backed by a militant beat, which feels like a call to arms and a march toward feminist victory through unity. Check out a few more of my thoughts on Bikini Kill here.
Also, if you're looking for playlist inspiration, here's some tunes that I would consider to be riot grrrly... not all of these bands identify with the riot grrrl movement, but I think it makes a great playlist.