“How Bikini Kill changed my life”
Honestly, this should actually be titled, “How Kathleen Hanna Changed My Life,” but it began with Bikini Kill. Actually, it began with my aunt. She was twelve years older than me and ten years younger than my mom, which made our relationship more sisterly than aunt/niece. When I was in the eighth grade my two best friends and I walked out of our Pre-International Baccalaureate (i.e. supposedly high-quality) science class in protest when our teacher, like every other day that year, began handing out worksheets. When my aunt picked me up from school that day, she was blasting “Rebel Girl” and screaming, “This is for you!” From then on I was hooked, and since then I actively seek out other Bikini Kill fans. In high school I was lucky enough to find others, and with them and my aunt I spent many nights at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC listening to Le Tigre, The Butchies, Tami Hart, other Mr. Lady bands, and Sleater-Kinney. Kathleen Hanna inspired me to be fearless, to find my voice and fight for what I believe in.
Currently I am working towards a Master of Arts degree in Comprehensive English Education. Unfortunately my aforementioned aunt took her own life in June of 2009. I celebrate her life daily and hope she is proud of my accomplishments. Attached is a photo my best friend Paige took of our memorial tattoos for my aunt. Mine, on the left, reads: “Rebel grrrl, you are the queen of my world” (of Rebel Girl). Paige’s, on the right, reads: “We can’t hear a word they say / Let’s pretend we own the world today” (of For Tammy Rae).
That is the abridged version of how Bikini Kill and Kathleen Hanna changed my life.