Kathleen: All girls to the front. I’m not kidding. All girls to the front. All boys, be cool for once in your lives. Go back, back, back!


*Fades in White Boy*


Tat: Bikini kill, one of the most influential female bands of all time.


Voice 3: Bikini Kill

Voice 4: Bikini Kill

Voice 5: The Band Bikini Kill

Voice 6: Bikini Kill

Kathleen: God, Im so sure


Tat: Bikini Kill is a punk feminist band that was founded in Olympia, Washington in the 1990s. The band played a significant role in the riot grrl movement which addressed issues of misogyny, toxic masculinity, rape, sexual abuse, and the rebellion against gender norms. The band members are Kathleen Hanna the vocalist Tobi Vail playing drums Kathy Wilcox playing the bass and Billy Karen on guitar.


Kathleen: And we’re Bikini Kill, everybody knows what to do. I don’t need to tell you 


Tat: Bikini Kill performed their song White Boy in Minneapolis in 1961 and flipped the punk rock industry upside down with the riot girl movement. 


*white boy ends* 


Tat: Kathleen Hanna wrote White Boy in the 1990s with the intentions to promote awareness of the ignorance that men have towards women. White Boy is a punk rock song and it criticizes a white male privilege and behavior and misogynistic men. The opening of the song starts with an interview audio clip between Kathleen Hanna and an unknown male voice. 


*White Boy begins to play* 

Male Voice: I don’t think it’s a problem ’cause

Most of the girls ask for it

Uh huh, how did they ask for it?

The way they act, the way they

I… I can’t say they way they dress because

That’s their own personal choice

Some of these dumb hoes

Those slut rocker bitches walking down the street

They’re asking for it, they may deny it but it’s true


Tat: The male voice in the interview shows how most men are oblivious and privileged within society. The rest of the song is a response towards misogynistic men and expresses the frustration with the ignorance of white men. White Boy is a reflection of Bikini kills message opposing the patriarchy and encouraging equality and acceptance for women. And verse two Kathleen yells,


*White Boys plays* 

Kathleen: I’m so sorry if I’m alienating some of you.

Your whole fucking culture alienates me. 


Tat: The lead vocalist apologizes in a sarcastic tone and calls out men for the lack of awareness of the issues they have caused upon women. The song has a loud tempo and is extremely raw. The lead singer screams into the microphone throughout the song carrying the theme of the riot grrl movement. You’re about to hear comments about Kathleen Hanna stage performance from the documentary The Punk Singer.

Voice 1: Kathleen was very clear and didn’t hold back. 

Voice 2: She was just screaming at the top of her lungs, their veins sticking out of her neck.

Voice 3: And that was a huge part of what Kathleen did was to say that’s unacceptable.

Kathleen: You know we have the fucking right to be hostile and I’m not going to sit around be peace and love to somebody’s boot on my neck.


Tat: White Boy covers a topic of sexual assault the lyrics I will try to scream in pain a little nicer next time. But first the idea of men thinking they have entitlement and complete control over women’s bodies. The riot girl movement fought against a patriarchal system that justified sexual assault and supported rape culture. The movement encouraged women to speak up about their personal experiences with sexual abuse, which pushed for a revolution. Kathleen’s friends from her documentary the punk singer explained that the riot grrl movement faced backlash including violent threats from men within the patriarchal scene impacting Kathleen Hanna and Bikini Kill. 


Voice: Kathleen would get letters from guys that are like you need to die.

*white boy plays in the background* 

Kathleen: White boy 

Don’t laugh

Don’t cry

Just die!


Tat: In the 1990s conversations about sexual assault and toxic masculinity or often avoided, white boy emerged as a response to that toxic masculinity that women were dealing with at the time. And by bringing these issues into focus, it helped the riot girl scene grow.


*White boy ends* 

*Guitar strums*

Voice: Play rebel girl!

Kathleen: What are we playing?

Voices: Rebel Girl!


*Rebel Girl starts playing*


Static Radio Voice: That’s Kathleen, she used to be with a funk band called Bikini Kill. Kathleen also co-founded the feminist movement called riot grrrl.


Voice: riot grrrl

Voice: riot grrrl

News Lady: The Riot girl movement that blasted open the boys only gates of the punk rock world and wrote feminism out of the university and into the mosh pit. 


Tat: The riot girl scene was created by Bikini Kill. It was a movement that established a feminist community and encouraged women to rebel against the gender norms. The punk rock scene was born in the 70s and it was a male dominated industry. Punk Rock was often misogynistic towards women. So in response to that Bikini Kill ended up creating the riot grrl movement to create change.


Guy voice: Fuck you, you’re gonna change now, and if you don’t fucking pick up the dental hint, we’re gonna fucking very clearly direct you as to what to do.




Kathleen: Here’s your shoe get off my stage




Tat: Bikini Kill was inspired to create the riot girl movement from a band that was formed in 1987 called Babes in Toyland with their song called Bruce violet. Both bands focus their music on female empowerment and called out men for inappropriate behavior towards women.


*Bruise Violet Plays*

“You got this thing that really makes me hot”


Tat: Bikini Kill collaborated with other bands like Batmobile to join the movement and together they formed an underground network of girls who performed well on shows and published fanzines. Through their tours, the riot in riot grrl represents rebellion, influencing the third wave of feminism. The wave began in the 1990s. And it focused on recognizing gender roles, issues and the patriarchy. It also encouraged women to embrace female empowerment, the members of Bikini Kill explained, 


Bikini Kill members: we had to abandon the Olympia scene.


Kathleen: So we moved with our friends from the band Batmobile, and that’s where the whole riot girl thing really started. Our friend Jen Smith said, You know what we need we need a girl riot

Bikini Kill member: Tobi had talked about angry girl with many “Rs”, the combination of what Jen Smith said until we said became riot girl. 


Kathleen: So we made a zine called riot girl


Women:  The original riot girl zine, It was mostly Kathleen Hanna, Allison Wolf and Molly Newman from Batmobile, Jen Smith and Tobi Vile the drummer of Bikini Kill.

Tat: Kathleen Hanna, who is a lead singer Bikini Kill is an iconic figure and represents the Riot Grrl movement. She began Bikini Kill in 1990. Kathleen was a feminist activist and she promoted female empowerment through the music that she wrote for Bikini Kill. This next clip is from Elaine Breedlove from Kathleen’s documentary at the punk singer, 


Breedlove: It was shocking. They just weren’t expecting those kind of orders to come from that size of a person that gender of a person in a fucking dress.


*White Boy starts playing*


Tat: Kathleen never hesitated to confront men for the misogynistic actions, particularly in regards to handling cases of sexual assault. Kathleen is one of the most well known faces seen in Punk history and she influenced future generations of punk. She’s also the songwriter for white boy, 


Kathleen: Its okay, sometimes, Well fuck you!


Woman: It’s like oh, music is supposed to be escapist. And it wasn’t it was grounding it. It was making like music a voice for a lot of people that hadn’t been heard before. 


Tat: The song White Boy is still relevant today. It addresses the toxic masculinity that still occurs and 2023.


Woman: Stories of abuse, emotional violence, sexism that were just bubbling around, they brought that out in the open she wanted to talk about this stuff. You know, you’re objectifying women. What does that mean? What does that do to my body?


Tat: It continues to have a significant influence encouraging women to speak up and support other girls in the ongoing struggle against the patriarchy.


*White Boy starts playing*


 Thank you for listening to the debrief on the TV kills white boy


*White Boy ends*