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WATCH: Riot Grrrl Retrospectives - Bikini Kill Describe 'Revolution Girl Style Now!'

Riot Grrrl Retrospectives - Bikini Kill

In a 1999 oral history interview with the Museum of Pop Culture, leaders of the Riot Grrrl movement—Tobi Vail, Kathleen Hanna, and Kathi Wilcox of Bikini Kill—describe the idea behind the slogan 'Revolution Girl Style Now!'

Tobi Vail: I feel like Bikini Kill and Bratmobile and our friends sort of had this idea that was called 'Revolution Girl Style Now!' And that was sort of like our idea of like, let's just, you know, 'Let's get all these girls to learn how to play instruments and take care of her and change everything.' When Bikini Kill first started, people reacted to what we did very strongly, you know? Either they really loved it or they really hated it. And a lot of times that was kind of hard to deal with, especially just starting out. A lot of times I thought we would just be asking questions and people saw us as really sort of like dogmatic or whatever. But I thought that was really not how it was at all. Maybe our presentation was sort of dogmatic or whatever because every show we played was like a war. Because guys were trying to beat us up and stuff, you know? It was really violent. We had a lot of fans and we didn't have any crowd control, we didn't have a manager, you know? We'd just play these crazy places, like bowling alleys and they'd cram like 600 people in there and stuff. No security.

Kathleen Hanna: That's what the revolution is a lot about: fighting those things that keep us divided, listening to each other and not saying 'this is what feminism is,' or 'this is what a girl band is,' or 'this is what this is.' But just opening up a discourse for women and saying it's really important that we're girls and it's really important that we're doing things and we're claiming that what we're doing is important.


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