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Riot Grrrl Research

Riot Grrrl

The Voodoo Queens, 1994

"Riot grrrl was the collective brainstorm of a small group of smart, angry women that eventually became a national news story and influenced an entire generation of girls. Emerging from the punk scenes in Olympia, Washington, and Washington, DC, during the early 90s, riot grrrl called for the liberation of young women by taking control of the means of subcultural production." (Lisa Darms, The Riot Grrrl Collection)



Queens of Noise, a book by Evelyn McDonnellClothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine; Girldrive by Nona Willis Aronowitz; Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage by Alice Bag; Lips. Tits. Hits. Power? by Annette Baldauf and Katharina Weingartner; Manifesta by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards; The Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes by Francesco Bonami and Raf Simons; Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein; The Boy Looked at Johnny: The Obituary of Rock and Roll by Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons; Deborah Harry by Cathy Che; Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway by Cherie Currie with Tony O’Neil; The Riot Grrrl Collection edited by Joanna Darms; Blues Legacies and Black Feminism by Angela Davis; Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir by Beth Ditto; Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America 1967-75 by Alice Echols; Women, Sex, and Rock ‘N’ Roll: In Their Own Words by Liz Evans;  Backlash by Susan Faludi; She’s a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll by Gillian Gaar; Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen; Queer Noises by John Gill; Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon; Girls’ Guide to Taking Over the World: Writings from the Girl-Zine Revolution by Karen Green and Tristan Taormino; Female Masculinity by Judith Halberstam; Rat Girl: A Memoir by Kristin Hersh; We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The True, Tough Story of Women in Rock by Gerri Hirshey; Reckless: My Life as a Pretender by Chrissie Hynde; The First Bad Man and No One Here Belongs More Than You by Miranda July; Angry Women in Rock: Volume One by Andrea Juno; Babes in Toyland: The Making and Selling of a Rock and Roll Band by Neal Karlen; Punk Pioneers: When Punk was Fun by Jenny Lens; Respect: Women and Popular Music by Dorothy Marcic; Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus; Mamarama: A Memoir of Sex, Kids and Rock’n’Roll by Evelyn McDonnell; Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways by Evelyn McDonnell; Rock She Wrote: Women Write about Rock, Pop and Rap by Evelyn McDonnell and Ann Powers; Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain; Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music by Marisa Meltzer; She-Bop: The Definitive History of Women in Rock, Pop and Soul by Lucy O’Brien; Trouble Girls: The Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock by Barbara O’Dair; Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip Hop Feminism Anthology by Gwendolyn Pough, Elaine Richardson, Aisha Durham, and Rachel Raimist; Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer for Freedom by Pussy Riot; Cinderella’s Big Score: Women of the Punk and Indie Underground by Maria Raha; Grrrls: Viva Rock Divas by Amy Raphael; Electric Ladyland: Women and Rock Culture by Lisa Rhodes; Fever by Tim Riley; Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound by Tara Rodgers; England’s Dreaming by John Savage; I Put a Spell on You by Nina Simone; Just Kids by Patti Smith; We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk by Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen; Shout, Sister, Shout! by Gayle Wald; Grrrl: A Novel by Jennifer Whiteford; The Essential Ellen Willis and Out of the Vinyl Deeps by Ellen Willis; The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf


The Punk Singer, a film by Sini AndersonLadies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains by Lou Adler; The Punk Singer by Sini Anderson; Sadie Benning Videoworks: Volumes 1-3​Lady Outlaws and Faggot Wannabes by Tammy Rae Carland; Daisies by Vera Chytilova; Radical Act by Tex Clark; Who Took The Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour by Kerthy Fix; Out of the Blue by Dennis Hopper; Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore by Sarah Jacobsen; I was a Teenage Serial Killer by Sarah Jacobsen; The Yo-Yo Gang by GB Jones; Don't Need You by Kerri Koch; Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin; We are the Best by Lukas Moodysson; Times Square by Allan Moyle; The Gits by Kerri O'Kane; Frenzy by Jill Reiter; She’s Real: Worse Than Queer by Lucy Thane; Smithereens by Susan Seidelman; All Over Me by Alex Sichel; Tank Girl by Rachel Talalay; It Changed my Life: Bikini Kill in the UK by Lucy Thane 


Additional Resources:


Zines are self-publications that were popular in the riot grrrl movement. As Johanna Fateman explains it, "In a new tradition of self-publishing, girls used loopy cursive, hearts, stars, photo-booth portraits, and kitsch images (of housewives, superheroes, schoolgirls, and cheerleaders) to set off type or handwritten communiqués, cultural criticism, fiction, and philosophy. The feminist punk zines of the 90s, with their DIY aesthetics, humor, and raw truth telling, were a crucial counterpart to the urgent and infectious music associated with riot grrrl." (The Riot Grrrl Collection)

Zine collections can be found around the US and viewed online at the Internet ArchiveUniversity of Miami and the POC Zine Project Tumblr. For those in LA, there is the Los Angeles Zine Fest.