Activist Profile No1:Kathleen Hanna

In a previous post we spoke about how we will be creating inspiration pieces on our favorite activists for social change. This week, our first post is on Kathleen Hanna, the lead singer for Bikini Kill, Julie Ruin and Le Tigre.


What Kathleen Hanna has done not just for the music world but for the world of girls as a whole is incredible. Hanna was at the forefront of the Riot Grrrl movement, creating zines, getting her opinions out there through spoken word, fashion shows and eventually through music which went from hard hitting punk rock to a sound that came out of a girls room and onto the stage with electro beats and forever with words of truth, of the life of a woman.


Hanna first felt compelled to do something about the on going trouble of women being raped and those reports falling on deaf ears or even being covered up for the good of so-called talent of the town. From having seen her friends go through these kinds of traumatic experiences and herself going through certain experiences gave her a voice, a voice to be heard.

Hanna collaborated with fellow feminist punk band Brat Mobile to create The Riot Grrrl Zine, a publication that gave a platform to women to speak about what they had been through, what they are fed up with and how they can come together to create an even bigger voice that won’t be ignored.


Without Hanna we would never had been able to witness women coming to the front of music and of culture and being accepted for who we are and to not buy into the whole idea of a rose tinted version of what society wants us to be. We would never have seen third-wave feminism as it has now been seen, a movement of utter confidence and power. Yet that power comes through speaking of the truth and being open with each other; taking down the barriers of society and reinforcing years upon years of hard work for women to get the rights they deserve and the acceptance they deserve.

One particular moment that just sums up Kathleen Hanna’s enormous power is a clip from a gig where she screams “ALL GIRLS TO THE FRONT!” She then forces the guys to move to the back of the venue and make way for the women. Personally for us at KCUK we find this event to stand out because, going to gigs was never fun, you would get trampled on, kicked, have guys try to put their hands where they aren’t wanted and it would just ruin what was meant to be a fun experience. That changed thanks to Kathleen Hanna, she would stand at the front of stage, scream, get her way and let the women of the room finally enjoy themselves free from any kind of violence.

kathleen hanna

Kathleen Hanna was subjected to a lot of criticism along the way but that never stopped her from creating a noise so loud, it couldn’t be ignored. She created a whole subculture of girls writing their own zines, speaking their own truth through any means of  a creative out let. She is a force of nature that won’t take no for an answer, even when she had fallen seriously ill from Lyme disease, she waited for the right moment to jump back and told her story through the incredible documentary, ” The Punk Singer” (Directed by Sini Anderson 2013) which we strongly recommend you watch if you are loving this lady just as much as we do!


We here at KCUK would like to say a massive thank you to Kathleen Hanna, you are an inspiration to us all and the hard work you have done throughout your life will be remembered through each generation of grrrls!

Watch Punk Singer Here:
The Punk Singer
Check out this book for The Story of The Riot Grrrl Movement:
Girls To The Front

(All photography taken from Pinterest)


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