Despite the treasures the 2000’s have bestowed upon popular culture – ‘Jersey Shore’, jeggings and Bieber Fever – there seems to be an undeniable desire to recreate a better time, a purer time when the Fresh Prince ruled, floral and flannel were mixed shamelessly and grunge records were spun: we’re time-warping to the 90s, kids.

WORDS: Steph Perrin

As the music and fashion worlds tend to function in twenty-year cycles, I would argue that with this nostalgia we may be on the borders of our very own stripped down, grungey trend landscape. If, like the ’90s saying goodbye to the 80s, we are about to leave behind a decade of excesses –musically (swap hair metal douchebags for our auto-tuned pop tartlets), and politically (Reagan and Bush both pushed eras of wacko capitalism and militarization into periods of stagnation and downturn) – then I expect these commonalities to produce some similarly radical cultural phenomena.

An especially desirable 1990s reincarnation would be that of the riot grrl movement. Let’s call a Zack Morris time-out, and take an all-too-brief look at some pop culture and feminist history:

While the Seattle grunge scene exploded with angst-ridden testosterone-driven bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam in the early 90s, there was a subculture of female-fronted acts gathering around issues like female empowerment, birth control and abortion. Through DIY practices, ‘zine swapping and a refusal to back down to the male-run industry, bands like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile and, later, Sleater-Kinney allowed the riot grrl manifesto to be born (a must-read document). The women driving this underground movement came together for “Love Rock Revolution Girl Style Now”, the all-female-fronted opening night of the International Pop Underground Convention in August of 1991. In doing so, they put faces to the third wave of feminism they had begun and reinvented punk while they were at it.

Time in: The riot grrl movement produced a brand of feminism that gets down to the nitty gritty of what me and many righteous females I associate with are all about. The causes these unfuckwithable females fought against – capitalism, sexism, racism – still riddle our seemingly progressive society.

I think it’s high time for us to re-establish a grassroots community for like-minded brilliant and bodacious women with something to SAY.  Don’t fantasize about your life on The Hills? Thank the gods!  You aren’t riveted by the latest please-your-man tips from Cosmo?  Blog about it.  Have something you want to shout about?  Let’s find you some supportive pals! It has been argued that blogs have the potential to become the 21st century equivalent of the zines that traded hands in the very scene that spawned riot grrl ethics. Although I’m a print girl at heart, I have no desire to argue against the Internet when it comes to community-building.

Grrls, let’s kick it back to the ’90s riot-style: as a collective we are a FORCE.


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