Our manifesto - what we're all about!

Riot grrrls are women from various underground scenes who fight for a better place to live. Not on a worldly basis, but in their own local scenes. You have to change yourself in order to change the world. They see their scenes still dominated by men; by forming bands, zines, distros, labels and chapters (local work-groups) they try to establish a place in those scenes from their own, grrrl-oriented point of view. Riot grrrls take a critical look to the world around them, and not only in a feminist way, but also animal rights, sexual abuse, racial issues, homophobia, classism and ageism get their attention. They are active and creative in uncountable ways

A whole lot of networking takes place in the riot grrrl scene too. There are, for example, yearly riot grrrl conventions where grrrls from all over the country meet each other and exchange ideas. Also a lot of discussions are going on amongst the riot grrrls, there are, of course, as many views on riot grrrl as there are riot grrrls. Different opinions sometimes give trouble. But that keeps us thinking, and thats exactly what riot grrrl is about! It is inspiring, empowering and a whole fucking lot of fun.

Past: Riot grrrl first occurred in 1991 in the USA. Amongst many other bands, the most famous band Bikini Kill drew the media's attention. Whenever you read reviews from back then the reporter often writes about an incredible electricity going on during gigs. Grrrls taking off their shirts, stagediving, crowdsurfing, singing along. All over the country bands were formed, zines and manifestos were written, chapters held meetings, projects and demonstrations.

But as always the media had to take it down. They wrote of grrrls beating down boys for being boys, and painted the one-sided picture of man-hating dykes, forgetting that grrrl love doesn't immediately mean man-hate. Or they portrayed the riot grrrls as wild whores; whole articles were written about short dresses, smeared lipstick, uncomed hair, missing panties and tattooed breasts. But there wasn't a single word about the fact that riot grrrls use a certain outfit to fight conservative gender roles. The logical follow-up revealed itself: "Riot Grrrl is Dead" Bands split up and many big businessmen sensed the moneymaking possibilities. We don't even want to mention the misformed and twisted interpretation of "girl power" and the "girlie style".

Present: Bruised and broken, but stronger and wiser the riot grrrls stand up again. There are also riot bois now - feminist men who show solidarity with the grrrls and participate in their activities. Still, women-only groups take place. Not in order to exclude any person, but because being with women is sometimes empowering. Like said before, it isn't all black&white.; Old bands are picking up their instruments again, or their members form new ones, new bands are forming everyday. There are thousands of zines and grrrls are taking over the internet. Still, the discussions go on, but again, they keep us sharp and thinking. Amongst us are now grrrls and bois, ages fourteen or twenty-seven, geeks and cheerleaders, dykes, punks, try to call us all by name, you can't, cause we are everywhere. In every thinkable shape and form.

Future: This is where Riot Grrrl Europe comes in. As for now we only exist on-line. But we want more. We want to bring all the single grrrls together. We want our own labels, our own bands, zines. Chapters in all countries, we will help wherever and whenever possible. Having a hard time finding the female bands you like near you? Help us start up a distro! Looking for a gig in some other country? See if someone else from Riot Grrrl Europe can arrange something for you. And maybe, in the future, (inter)national conventions......? Copy this flyer, translate it to your own language, hand it out at school or gigs. Start a band, write a manifesto or a whole zine. And most important, let us know about it and hook up with us. We have to work together to achieve something. Help us infiltrate the so called punk-scenes with grrrl attitude. And remember, Riot Grrrl isn't all work and no play. It is as much fun as you allow it to be. Contact us! We need every single one of you!

* * *

manifiesto en espaņol

* * *

If you want to read Kathleen Hanna's Riot Grrrl Manifesto go here.