Who is she?
Kathleen Hanna is an American musician and feminist activist, best known for being the lead singer of the 1990s punk band Bikini Kill.
She was first introduced to feminism when her mother took her to a rally where Gloria Steinem was speaking and has been an outspoken feminist her whole life.
Kathleen formed Bikini Kill in 1990 and the band was considered the pioneers of the riot grrrl movement. At Bikini Kill concerts, she would encourage women to move to the front of the stage to avoid harassment. Kathleen and the band helped to forge a way for women in punk rock, which with a few exceptions had been dominated by male acts.
She and the band supported abortion rights and Planned Parenthood, performing and speaking at protests.
Bikini Kill disbanded in 1997 after only two albums, but they left a legacy that inspired many other bands, such as Sleater Kinney.
Why should we thank her?
Kathleen was one of the key drivers behind the riot grrrl movement, which encouraged and supported women in punk rock and female music fans.
“There’s just as many different kinds of feminism as there are women in the world.”
Kathleen is married to Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz and inspired the name of the song Smells Like Teen Spirit – she memorably wrote on a wall “Kurt (Cobain) smells like teen spirit”, the name of a deodorant brand.