Every Girl Is a Riot Grrrl? Exploring the Intersections of Riot Grrrl and the Third Wave of Feminism Open Access

Carter, Stefanie Laurel (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/tb09j646c?locale=en


Every Girl Is a Riot Grrrl? Exploring the Intersections of Riot Grrrl and the Third Wave
of Feminism
By Stefanie L. Carter
The early 1990s saw the emergence and development of the Riot Grrrl music subculture
and the third wave of feminism, two socio-political movements that have since been
compared and conflated by scholars in a number of disciplines. Due to the absence of
leadership and hierarchy in both movements, as well as their shared historical and
cultural contexts, these claims have gone unchallenged. In order to position riot grrrl as
an independent cultural phenomenon, the first chapter traces the emergence
of the movement and examines the artistic and cultural movements that developed
methods, techniques, and philosophical components of riot grrrl ideology and production.
By examining the work of third wave feminists, as well as scholars and critics of the
movement, I have developed a working definition of the third wave for the purpose of
comparison with the riot grrrl movement. Chapter three utilizes the textual work of riot
grrrl authors through the medium of zines in order to examine the similarities and
differences between the two movements. These independent publications have been
underutilized in other scholarly examinations, yet represent a significant portion of
creative and theoretical production within the riot grrrl movement. Based on the analysis
of riot grrrl zines in comparison to third wave feminist theory, it is clear that while
superficially similar, the philosophy and praxis of riot grrrl and the third wave are not as
clear or substantial as scholars have previously claimed. By establishing riot grrrl as a
discrete subcultural phenomenon and utilizing primary textual evidence, this thesis
attempts to challenge the assumptions of earlier scholars and recognize the value of riot
grrrl texts.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

Introduction 1
Chapter One 11
Riot Grrrl History 11
Cultural Background of Riot Grrrl 21
Chapter Two 33
Chapter Three 56
Chapter Overview 57
Riot Grrrl Definitions 58
Riot Grrrl and Feminism 65
Essentialism/Anti-Essentialism 73
Race 75
Class 83
Sexual Orientation 85
Community Building and the Zine Network 94
Riot Grrrl and Punk 103
Riot Grrrl, the Media, and Popular Culture 106
Conclusion 112
Bibliography of Zines 114
Bibliography 119

About this Honors Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files