“white boy, just die” – my kid

I am a 27 year old mom of an 8.5 year old. The first thing that came to mind when I saw that (WTF???!!!! ahhhhhh!!!!!) there was a call for stories about how Bikini Kill, was when my kid was 4 said, “White boy, just die!!!” I have taught her well. đŸ™‚ She continues to like Bikini Kill and many other awesome riot grrrl, queers, and other all/mostly womyn bands. Good, good. Oh, she’s going to Rock n Roll Camp for girls this summer which she has been excited about since she was 4 or 5.

I remember listening to Bikini Kill years ago in high school. A queer friend of mine put in the song, “Carnival” and I was like, wtf? and I totally fucking loved it. We were in fucking Minot, North Dakota and being queer/feminist/punk/riot grrrl in high school there was not a good idea. We were the “Liberty Fags” (The Liberty was the place that we went to shows). Luckily, we went to shows there, so that helped at least. I believe Bikini Kill played in Minot, but unfortunately I was not going to shows yet.

Oh, Bikini Kill. Thank you for helping me find my feminist, myself, my own love for myself, my self-confidence, and the reason to start doing shit. I am a survivor of a 6 year abusive (emotional, sexual, mental) relationship. I listened to Bikini Kill a lot when I was with him and it helped me realize that I am a human being and it is okay to feel that. I remember listening to “Double Dare Ya” and getting chills down my back. The lyrics, “For you can stand up for your rights Rights? Rights? You DO have Rights” God, it felt so fucking good to realize there were other womyn speaking out about their oppression. It’s fucking hard to do that! People don’t want to see/realize they are oppressed and the oppressors don’t want to change their behavior.

Bikini Kill helped me realized that it’s okay to speak about how i feel, speak out about sexism/patriarchy and misgony, speak out against other forms of isms like racism, classism, capitalism, able-bodism, transphobia, heterosexism, and so on. Bikini Kill helped my self-confidence because even when I write for the student newspaper that I write for now about patriarchy, or call men out on sexism, I can not let what they say back to me, bother. The more I let them get to me, the more they have power over me. And fuck that. They can dwell on their being called out for the privilege “boo-hoos” by themselves.

Bikini Kill also helped me embrace my own gender. I’m a womyn and I like to wear dresses and don’t give a shit if my legs are apart or ride a bicycle.

I can see sexism everywhere, all the time, and I call it out. I don’t think I would have been able to do that if I never listened to riot grrrls.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me find myself, love myself, and not give a shit what others think. This stuff carries onto my daughter who tells the boys at school they’re stupid for not letting her play football, calling out gender bullshit, and reading books about strong womyn from herstory. Raising a girl is hard and I am grateful for have found my feminist self through Bikini Kill and other riot grrrl music.

Heather Jackson
27 year old single mom, queer feminist, student in North Dakota

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