The other pieces are out there somewhere

tobi sinigng
When I started listening to Bikini Kill it was around 2003/4. I was 16/17, starting university and beginning to find music that better represented me as a queer female. It was an overwhelming time filled with so many important bands, Le tigre, sleater kinney, gossip, basically the KRS and K roster. It came at a time when I found feminism both culturally and academically and it drove my learning and still does.

White boy made me feel proud to listen to such an amazing band, and rebel girl made me wanna get up and dance and sing out. Jigsaw is the song/article that sticks with me most. It is to this day one of the most inspirational and affirming things I’ve ever heard/read. At a time when trying to figure out my own sexuality, it helped me realise it was ok to not conform to black and white or binary standards, that I could be fluid in every aspect of my life, that we are not simply stuck as the one person forever. I liked that someone else understood that being a walking contradiction is not weird or wrong. I got a tattoo of a jigsaw piece soon after and whenever I get the oh so common “where’s the rest of it?” I smile because I know the other pieces are out there somewhere, that I’m one part of a whole. Being a sociology/politics student, I loved gender studies and I loved that it was so easy to connect it all into my own life with the lessons I learned from riot grrrl. It helped bridge the gap between academic and real life. I wrote my dissertation on the effects of riot grrrl on third wave feminism and I loved every second of it. Its by far my proudest and most passionate piece of work. BK incite emotions. Sometimes not the ones you think.

I love BK for what they gave the world and more specifically me. Riot grrrl is everything, even in 2010 to a 23 year old student from Glasgow, Scotland who never did see BK, bratmobile, heavens to betsy or team dresch play live. I don’t know who’d I’d be today without that music, that writing and feeling. The herstory of riot grrrl is an inspiration that never did die and never will.
-Nicola Kelly

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