Riot grrrl is an underground feminist punk movement that originated in the early 1990s in Washington state (particularly Olympia) and the greater Pacific Northwest. It also had origins in Washington, D.C. It is a subcultural movement that combines feminist consciousness and punk style and politics. It is often associated with third-wave feminism, which is sometimes seen as its starting point. It has also been described as a musical genre that came out of indie rock, with the punk scene serving as an inspiration for a musical movement in which women could express themselves in the same way men had been doing for the past several years.
Riot grrrl bands often address issues such as rape, domestic abuse, sexuality, racism, patriarchy, and female empowerment. Bands associated with the movement include Bikini Kill, Jack Off Jill (and later Scarling), Bratmobile, Adickdid, Bangs, The Butchies, Calamity Jane, Dickless, Emily's Sassy Lime, Excuse 17, Fifth Column, The Frumpies, Heavens to Betsy, Huggy Bear, Sleater-Kinney, L7, and also queercore like Team Dresch. In addition to a music scene and genre, riot grrrl is a subculture: zines, the DIY ethic, art, political action, and activism are part of the movement. Riot grrrls are known to hold meetings, start chapters, and support and organize women in music. .