i love bikini kill. i remember sitting in my car after school my senior year, waiting for my popular, social sister to finish talking to her friends so we could drive home. i would turn up the volume on my bikini kill mix tape as high as it would go and and feel my anger and frustration slip away with kathleen hanna’s words. the riot grrl movement was central to my high school identity and to the identity of the awesome women (and men) around me at the time. ok, so i have a million memories of bk, le tigre, riot grrl and radical feminism (and my bad ass little sister, who probably DID NOT self-identify as popular) but i want to talk about the punk singer.
so, i loved bk but i’ve always said that i want to do the visual art version of le tigre. i didn’t really know what that meant, but after watching the punk singer it was illuminated for me.
kathleen talks about the formation of le tigre and how she and joann wanted to create a band that talked about all the things that were good. she says that in bk they were singing to a outside asshole dude and that in le tigre they were singing to other women. and i interpret that as, bk was responding to the dominant narrative, which needed to be done and i think they did it in the most bad ass way possible. but le tigre was operating outside of the dominant narrative, creating a new one.
she mentions that they were creating a non-competitive atmosphere and a culture of praise which is absolutely outside the dominant narrative.
of course there is this element of raw beauty to everything she has worked on which i think aesthetically jives with what i love. after the movie, there was a panel discussion and i noticed i got totally annoyed by the speakers intellectualizing punk and riot grrl. it literally got me hot under the collar!
i think that so many of us have that left over valley girl accent with question marks on the end of everything or hairy armpits or a little bit of repressed anger and that by moving forward and being who we are and contributing something good to the world, with our imperfections, well, i think that’s all we can do really.