For Colored Girls Who Considered Black Feminism When Riot Grrrl Wasn't Enough

  • The service having id "propeller" is missing, reactivate its module or save again the list of services.
  • The service having id "buzz" is missing, reactivate its module or save again the list of services.
For Colored Girls Who Considered Black Feminism When Riot Grrrl Wasn't Enough

My foray in the concept of feminism came through the riot grrrl movement of the '90s. I was a young black girl into '80s hardcore punk. Riot Grrl was exciting because it was an alternative to predominantly White upper middle class male culture within the punk and hardcore music I was listening to at the time.

Born in the age of the internet, I discovered the punk band Bikini Kill in the related videos section of a Minor Threat video on YouTube. The name caught my attention, Bikini Kill? This discovery catalyzed a night of Googling and soaking in all the information I found. I soon discovered Riot Grrrl was a culture I had to be apart of. Instantly, I became a riot grrrl. It was a badge of honor. I wrote it all over my folders. I was officially the expert in all things Riot Grrrl. I was 13 and Kathleen Hanna, the leader singer of Bikini Kill, was everything to me. Looking back on it, the reasons I for into Riot Grrrl included:

 

  • I wanted somewhere to belong. Every person wants to belong somewhere at some point in their lives. At 12 and 13, I felt alienated. Often alone in my thoughts, it thrilled me to find commonalities with other young women and girls.
  • The DIY aesthetic. The idea that I too could be a riot grrrl on my OWN was so dope. It was empowering. I, Tayler was riot grrl because I, Tayler said so. I defined myself for myself and was still apart of something bigger than me. Not trying to live up to some unattainable standards of Punk rock.
  • Kathleen Hanna singing, “I’m so sorry if I’m alienating some of you. Your fucking culture alienates me!” in the Bikini Kill song "White Boy" was something I needed to hear at the time and something related to.
  • The idea that my body was beautiful as it was and images of grrrls showing their different body types helped me cope at a time I felt less than beautiful. I had just hit puberty and gaining weight rapidly. That alone took a major toll on my self esteem. My mother telling me I’m beautiful just wasn’t enough in a world where my body type isn’t considered beautiful. Although I must say, my body looked nothing like most of the other grrrls. 
  •  

    Despite my adoration of riot grrrl, it became clear that the movement lacked black women because it