Kathleen Hanna has encouraged male musicians to write songs about sexism and challenging “traditional gender roles”.
Hannah, who formerly fronted seminal riot grrrl band Bikini Kill and also sang with Le Tigre, is interviewed in this week’s NME, available digitally and on newsstands now about her new band The Julie Ruin and how a serious illness transformed her life.
The singer has also written a blog post for NME.COM in which she discusses the controversy surrounding Default Genders – the musical project from Grimes’ boyfriend James Brooks – and their song ‘On Fraternity’. The track seemingly imagines the threat of rape on the street from a woman’s perspective.
“In terms of men being feminist allies, it’s just important to speak from your own place. I’d love to hear men singing about masculinity and the damage it does to them,” she said. “I think men having conversations with each other and through songs about the way traditional gender roles cut them off from having the full range of emotions, that it puts them in a place where they’re supposed to be the breadwinner when maybe that’s not what they want or can do, and that it teaches them that the only way to bond with each other is through sexism or racism or homophobia.”
She added: “When men sing about sexism I’m typically pretty thrilled, but I think it’s important for them to not take over the conversation. My band Le Tigre had a song called ‘Bang Bang’ that was about a racist incident in NYC where a man named Amadou Diallo was murdered by cops. He was shot 41 times and all he had was a wallet in his hand. We were really upset about it, and so we wrote about it, and I’m glad we did. I wrote the lyrics from the position of an angry New York bystander, which is what I was.” To read the post in full, visit NME.COM/blogs.
The Julie Ruin released their debut album ‘Run Fast’ on September 3. To watch the video for the band’s single ‘Oh Come On’, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click.