How Punk Influenced Third-Wave Feminism

How Punk Influenced Third-Wave Feminism

Punk Wave Feminism

Almost as soon as the Third Wave movement began, its punk extension, Riot Grrrl, came to fruition.

The origins of the movement, can be traced back to Olympia, Wash. in 1991 with the members of Bikini Kill, Bratmobile and other local all female and female-fronted bands taking to the stage with the event "Love Rock Revolution Girl Style Now," shortened to "Girls Night."

These women caused a stir in the early- to mid-1990s. What began as a movement in the indie-label punk community quickly became mainstream news following Joan Jett’s collaboration with Bikini Kill. The media went into a frenzy, associating the movement with any female-fronted band in the early 1990s. Any famous woman was bound to be asked the "feminist" question. Many women of the time rejected being associated with Riot Grrrl, including Courtney Love, who often appeared at the forefront of the movement to mainstream media. According to her, the Riot Grrrl movement did not embrace her as a feminist figure and said her feminism "came in a weird brand."

Central to the Riot Grrrl movement was the utilization of the zine. The word zine originates from the term magazine, and, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is defined as, “a noncommercial often homemade or online publication usually devoted to specialized and often unconventional subject matter.” While the origination of the zine is hard to pinpoint, zine culture exploded during the 1970s and 1980s in the punk scene due to the popularity of DIY aesthetics.

In the realms of Third Wave Feminism, zines have been used to express opinions on numerous topics and are directed to politically charged females. In many ways, zines were the precursor to the Riot Grrrl movement, with prominent women such as Tobi Vail, creating zines before or in conjunction with starting a band. Riot Grrrl zines, such as Vail's Jigsaw gave light to many issues surrounding the Third Wave movement such as violence against women, reproductive rights, and LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Zines were often filled with quotes from famous feminists but offered a personal side to the movement as well. Many women came forward to share stories of sexual violence within their pages. As a zine writer of the 1980s, Stephen Duncombe saw the Riot Grrrl movement and its use of zines as the “bringing together [of] the radical critique of patriarchy and desire for female community of past feminist movements, and the in-your-face, rebellious individualism of punk rock.”

While the bands that created the Riot Grrrl were, for the most part, disbanded by the end of the 1990s, the attitude of the movement continues today. On Jan. 24, 2011 Police Officer Michael Sanguinetti of Toronto, Canada, according to the BBC, stated at York University, “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”

Such a statement sparked backlash, his words were not only highly unacceptable but simply inaccurate. The aggressor should always be the one at fault for their own actions, not the victim. This incident inspired the Toronto SlutWalk which was co-founded by Sonya Barnett and Heather Jarvis. Both were enraged by the officer's comments and used their various skills in gender studies and social activism to rile up participants.

On April 3 that year, over 1,000 people took to the streets and participated in the world’s first SlutWalk, wearing anything from religious garb to pasties and thongs, many bearing resemblance to Kathleen Hanna who was known for scrawling derogatory words such as "slut" across her body for performances with Bikini Kill. The message of this movement was clear, to prove that no matter how a woman looks she deserves respect and the right to say no to sexual advances, much like the messages in Riot Grrrl zines. As these walks spread across the world, they proved that punk is more than a genre now, it's an attitude.

Cover Image Credit: bikinikill

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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What I Learned From The CMA Journalism Convention

After attending the College Media Association's annual convention, I have a clear dream and the motivation to chase it.


I've been lucky enough to visit New York City three times in my life, and each trip has left me more in love with the city than the last. The first trip was for less than 24 hours on black friday. I took the train with my grandparents and cousins from New Jersey to Penn Station and spent one glorious day hitting the pavement, topping it all off with attending the Rockettes Christmas show at Radio City Music hall.

The second time was as a graduation present during my senior year of high school. I went with my mom for a few days, and it was magical. Since then, I had yearned to go back to the Big Apple and once again feel the rush of energy that the city gives you every time you immerse yourself in it.

After my second trip, I didn't know when I would get to return, but this past month, I got a golden opportunity to go back to my favorite city in the world. I was invited to attend the College Media Association's annual spring convention for student journalists, from March 6-10. I went along with five other students from my college newspaper, and I was absolutely thrilled.

It was truly surreal to be back. Even though it had been two years since my last trip, it felt like I had never even left. Ironically, the convention was held at the same hotel I stayed at the last time, so I genuinely felt right at home. A lot of my time was spent working, where I got to learn about journalism from experts in the business. All of the sessions I attended were interesting and incredibly relevant to my career, and the speakers were passionate and helpful with their advice.

The highlight of the convention for me was getting to go to the Good Morning America studios to see a taping of Strahan and Sara. Michael Strahan and Sara Haines were so nice and the overall energy of the show was upbeat, positive and fun. I enjoyed every second of my experience there, and I will always cherish the photos I got with the two hosts.

Outside of work, I managed to score tickets to the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and so my roommate and I spent one glorious evening at the Ed Sullivan theatre. It was so exhilarating and fun, and I even got to go onstage while the musical guest, Mumford and Sons, was performing.

After the convention, I walked away with a clearer sense of what my career goals were as a journalist. Throughout my experience both in the sessions and in the television studios, I realized that broadcast journalism was my passion and what I wanted to pursue. Journalism is a field that is ever-changing as technology grows and evolves, so it can feel overwhelming to find your place as a reporter. There's the traditional print route, broadcast, or all of the new opportunities that the digital world is offering, not to mention the in-depth investigative reporting that transcends all mediums. But for me, the feeling of adrenaline when I was in the audience of the tv shows was indescribable, and it was something that made me feel more inspired than ever.

I know it is a lofty goal to be a news anchor on TV, and I know it is a goal that is shared by many others. But thanks to the convention and the bright lights of New York City, I know that it is a goal I want to chase with all my might. I can't wait to see what the future holds, and I am counting down the days until I can return to the Big Apple again.

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