Kathleen Hanna
American musician
Kathleen Hanna
Kathleen Hanna is an American musician, feminist activist, and punk zine writer. In the early- to mid-1990s she was the lead singer and songwriter of Bikini Kill, before fronting Le Tigre in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 1998, Hanna released a solo album under the name Julie Ruin and since 2010 has been working on a project called The Julie Ruin.
Biography
Kathleen Hanna's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Kathleen Hanna from around the web
Le Tigre Reunites In Full Pantsuit Glory To Deliver A Pro-Hillary Anthem
Huffington Post - 4 months
As a nation, we may never discover who took the bomp from the bompalompalomp, but we do know for sure that Le Tigre is definitively #WithHer. The electroclash group reunited for their first song in over a decade to tell the world “I’m With Her,” Pitchfork revealed Wednesday. In the video, Kathleen Hanna, Johanna Fateman and JD Samson dance and sing in colorful jumpsuits, interspersed with images of a cat and Hillary supporters. The lyrics boldly shout about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s preparedness, her historic disinterest in making cookies, and her opponent “fascist bottom feeder” Donald Trump’s wall-building plans. Some of the lyrics include lines like, “Abortion is healthcare, it’s a human right / Policy homework till the morning light / NRA stands for murder and hate / Gun laws now! We can’t wait!” Reaction to the song on social media has been mixed, with some criticizing Le Tigre for aligning themselves with a mainstream candidate, or simply not ...
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Huffington Post article
Essential tracks: Thrills from the Julie Ruin, a soul gem by BJ the Chicago Kid and a hot beat from Badbadnotgood
LATimes - 7 months
The Julie Ruin, “Hit Reset” (Hardly Art). The new record from Kathleen Hanna’s long-running dance-punk band finds the Bikini Kill founder and feminist activist spilling out buoyant tracks dense with lyrics about both internal and external politics. Hanna, who’s the subject of the terrific documentary...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Kathleen Hanna on ‘Hit Reset,’ Her Recovery and Her Feminist Path
NYTimes - 8 months
Having recovered from illness and come to terms with her life story in a new album, the singer talks about how gratifying it is to be in control.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
First Listen: The Julie Ruin, 'Hit Reset'
NPR - 8 months
After stints in Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, Kathleen Hanna still finds new ways to rage and inspire. On her new album at the helm of The Julie Ruin, she transforms anger into a source of power and fun.
Article Link:
NPR article
Kathleen Hanna’s Most Prized, and Confounding, Piece of Art
NYTimes - 12 months
The musician and activist discusses a wooden “sculpture” she found on eBay — and its feminist roots.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Celebrate Five Years Of Experimental Queer Film With A Lost Riot Grrrl Gem
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Dirty Looks, a platform for queer experimental film and video and an institution in the NYC queer arts scene, will mark its five-year anniversary on Wednesday, Nov 4 with the screening of a "lost" Riot Grrrl film, "In Search of Margo-go." Since its inception, Dirty Looks has established a bi-costal presence, extending its reach to Los Angeles and beyond. Headed up by Bradford Nordeen and Clara López Menéndez. Dirty Looks curates installations, events, and festival-esque screening projects in various art spaces, institutions and venues. In the words of the pair, "we began approaching these screenings as installations that activate queer spaces through moving image and performance." The Huffington Post chatted with Nordeen and Menéndez this week about the five-year anniversary in order to get a better understanding of Dirty Looks and how the platform plans to evolve in the future. The Huffington Post: What is Dirty Looks? Bradford Nordeen & Clara López Menéndez: DL is ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Celebrate Five Years Of Experimental Queer Film With A Lost Riot Grrrl Gem
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Dirty Looks, a platform for queer experimental film and video and an institution in the NYC queer arts scene, will mark its five-year anniversary on Wednesday, Nov 4 with the screening of a "lost" Riot Grrrl film, "In Search of Margo-go." Since its inception, Dirty Looks has established a bi-costal presence, extending its reach to Los Angeles and beyond. Headed up by Bradford Nordeen and Clara López Menéndez. Dirty Looks curates installations, events, and festival-esque screening projects in various art spaces, institutions and venues. In the words of the pair, "we began approaching these screenings as installations that activate queer spaces through moving image and performance." The Huffington Post chatted with Nordeen and Menéndez this week about the five-year anniversary in order to get a better understanding of Dirty Looks and how the platform plans to evolve in the future. The Huffington Post: What is Dirty Looks? Bradford Nordeen & Clara López Menéndez: DL is ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
The Truth About Sluts
Huffington Post - about 2 years
"Boys will be boys, and girls will be sluts.” That's how author Leora Tanenbaum sums up the sexual double standard. Tanenbaum has spent the past two decades researching the word "slut" and how the label is used to shame and police young women, and female sexuality as a whole. Her first book on the subject, Slut! Growing Up Female With a Bad Reputation was published in August 2000. Nearly 15 years later, she re-examines what has changed -- and what hasn't -- in I Am Not a Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of the Internet, published this week. I Am Not a Slut focuses on how digital culture has shaped the ubiquitous nature of the "slut" label. "Today we’re constantly on display," said Tanenbaum in an interview with HuffPost Women, "and certainly men feel that pressure too, but the pressure on girls and women is really inescapable, because so much of our feminine identity is connected with looking sexy and looking sexy all the time." We spoke with Tanenbaum about the history of ...
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Huffington Post article
What Does 'Slut' Mean, Anyway?
Huffington Post - about 2 years
Slut and ho are remarkably confusing insults. As I researched the ways these labels inflict harm on girls and women for I Am Not a Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of the Internet, I quickly realized that there is no unanimity over their definitions. Their meanings are fluid and sometimes ambiguous. When used with the intent to injure, slut means one who is disgusting, shameful, and out of control. But slut and ho may be understood in a positive sense -- as a girl or woman who is sexy and confident. Yet it's not always evident what the intent of the name-caller is -- though even when the intent is benign, the word nearly always comes to be interpreted as a pejorative slur. For this reason, I urge girls and women to cease calling each other "sluts" or "hos," even in a light-hearted manner. The first usage of slut is from 1386 in The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer used the adjective "sluttish" to refer to a man who is dressed in dirty and untidy clothes. In 1402, the English poet Thomas ...
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Huffington Post article
The Julie Ruin Channel Super 8 Nostalgia in 'Goodnight, Goodbye' Clip
Rolling Stone - about 3 years
The Julie Ruin fronted by riot grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna (formerly of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre) have released a grainy new video for "Goodnight Goodbye" an album track from their 2013 debut Run Fast The clip shot in Olympia Washington chronicles the band's touring life on charmingly out-of-focus Super 8...
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Rolling Stone article
What's Kathleen Hanna Listening to 16 Years Post-Bikini Kill?
Mother Jones - about 3 years
Two decades ago, Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna, who now fronts a quintet called The Julie Ruin, was at the forefront of the punk-rock feminist movement. I asked the riot grrrl icon what she's listening to nowadays, and here's what she had to say. To read the rest of our interview, click here. 1. I'd say Santigold is probably my favorite younger artist. "Creator" is the song that I listen to when I'm really like, "I can't do it anymore!" It's such a bold statement about being someone who makes stuff, whatever that stuff is. It gives me so much confidence.   2. I really like Grimes a lot. I love that she produces her music and she's unapologetic about being a feminist. It sounds like a contradiction to mix fashion with feminism and I really love that she just walks through that like, "What do you mean? There's no contradiction."   3. I've been really into Vic Chesnutt lately. His music is so moving and so beautiful, and his voice is just so different than anybody ...
Article Link:
Mother Jones article
Review: 'The Punk Singer' ★★&#9733
Chicago Times - about 3 years
Kathleen Hanna has never had an easy relationship with the media. Just three years into her musical career as the frontwoman of Bikini Kill, Hanna imposed a media blackout after some mainstream publications disparaged her feminist punk band with reductive criticism — along the lines of calling them hairy-legged rape victims — and falsely reported that Hanna had endured incest.     
Article Link:
Chicago Times article
Film Shorts
The Portland Mercury - about 3 years
This week: Die Hard! The Muppet Christmas Carol! Black Christmas! Silent Night, Deadly Night! MAYBE CHRISTMAS ISN'T AWFUL AFTER ALL??? 12 Years a Slave Solomon (the brilliant Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a free black man, living in the North, who is abducted into slavery in 1841. Twelve years later, he's released. During those 12 years, he is a slave, and something of a stand-in for the modern viewer: He's intelligent, he's educated, and most crucially, he's attuned to the horror and injustice that surrounds him. Our attempts to comprehend life under slavery parallel his own: We share his terror when he wakes up in chains after a night of heavy drinking with two friendly-seeming white men. We understand his urge to fight back against those who have separated him from his family. We chafe to find him at the mercy of men who are his physical and intellectual inferior. And, through his eyes, the utterly schizophrenic nature of slavery is revea ...
Article Link:
The Portland Mercury article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Kathleen Hanna
    FORTIES
  • 2015
    Age 45
    In July 2015, Hanna and her band The Julie Ruin returned to Olympia to perform at a street party celebrating the opening of the new SafePlace Community Services Center.
    More Details Hide Details Hanna later started another band called Viva Knievel that toured the United States for two months before disbanding. Upon returning to Olympia, Hanna began collaborating with fellow Evergreen student and punk zinester Tobi Vail after seeing a performance of The Go Team (a band made up of Vail, Billy Karren, and Calvin Johnson) and recognizing Vail as the mastermind behind the fanzine Jigsaw, which Hanna greatly admired and loved. Bikini Kill soon became part of the seminal Olympia, Washington music scene of the early 1990s, which was characterized by political awareness, a strong artistic do-it-yourself ethic, and an emphasis on local collaboration and support. The band's first release for the Kill Rock Stars label was a self-titled EP produced by Ian MacKaye of Fugazi. Bikini Kill then toured the UK, recording a split LP with UK band Huggy Bear. This tour was filmed and the band was interviewed by Lucy Thane for her documentary, It Changed My Life: Bikini Kill In The UK. Upon returning to the U.S., the band began working with Joan Jett, who produced their single, "New Radio/Rebel Girl". After the release of this record, Hanna began co-writing some songs with Jett for her new album.
    In June 2015, Hanna revealed that according to latest tests, she was Lyme-free.
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  • 2014
    Age 44
    In May 2014, it was announced that Hanna's Lyme disease condition had deteriorated, forcing her to enter a three-month course of treatment and cancel live performances with her band The Julie Ruin.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2013
    Age 43
    In The Punk Singer, released in 2013, Hanna revealed that she suffered from Lyme disease for six years before it was correctly diagnosed.
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  • 2011
    Age 41
    Hanna has opened up on several occasions about her relationship with Planned Parenthood, and spoke of one instance at the 2011 Planned Parenthood “Stand Up for Women’s Health” Rally.
    More Details Hide Details After acquiring a serious infection on tour with her band when she was a mere nineteen years old, she was met with open arms. She says, “I’m here because I will always remember how terrible and desperate and sick I felt that day, and how the people at the clinic helped me, even though I only had twelve dollars… I’m here…because Planned Parenthood helped me out and I didn’t have to sideline my dreams… I’m here because women dying because they can’t afford a pap smear is unacceptable.” She contributed the piece "Gen X Survivor: From Riot Grrrl Rock Star to Feminist Artist" to the 2003 anthology Sisterhood Is Forever: The Women's Anthology for a New Millennium, edited by Robin Morgan. The riot grrrl genre, to which Hanna was central, has been credited as a historical cite for the empowerment of women by such documentaries as The Punk Singer, which credits Hanna with having molded many tenets of third-wave feminism.
  • 2010
    Age 40
    From 2010 to 2013, director Sini Anderson worked on a documentary on Kathleen Hanna titled "The Punk Singer", documenting her works from Bikini Kill to The Julie Ruin.
    More Details Hide Details It premiered at SXSW in 2013. In June 2013, Julie Ruin released its first single, "Oh Come On". An album, Run Fast was released in September 2013 with the band going on tour. The Julie Ruin cancelled the tour planned for May to September 2014, due to Hanna's Lyme disease condition deteriorating. She has since recovered and begun performing again.. The Julie Ruin's second album, Hit Reset, was published on July 2016 by Hardly Art. Kathleen Hanna is well known for being an outspoken radical feminist; many people often credit her for helping launch third-wave feminism when she helped create the riot grrrl punk movement. At Bikini Kill concerts, Hanna would encourage and enforce that women were to move to the front of the stage to avoid harassment from male concert goers. The "girls to the front" concept was symbolic in helping women feel comfortable at concerts and more welcome to participate. Her feminist contributions to punk music are also evident in her lyrics. In an interview with Nicole Brodeur from The Seattle Times, it is said that, “Hanna’s lyrics were about girls who did and wore what they wanted, despite societal expectations.” Her views on feminism focus entirely on equality and Hanna recognizes all different facets. For years, punk culture was entirely focused on men and “the masculine.” Hanna created a safe space for women and girls who were passionate about the genre, making it their own, while still maintaining the integrity of the music.
    In 2010, Hanna announced she was rebuilding her 1997 act Julie Ruin, turning it into a full band called "The Julie Ruin" with Kenny Mellman and Kathi Wilcox, and that they would be creating a new record.
    More Details Hide Details On November 20, Hanna DJed at the Museum of Modern Art, later joining the Raincoats on stage to cover the Slits' Vindictive. On December 11, at the Knitting Factory in New York City, The Julie Ruin played their first show. The group played Bikini Kill and Le Tigre songs and one new composition.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2007
    Age 37
    She also taught an art class at NYU's grad school in the Fall 2007 semester and attended interior design classes.
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  • 2005
    Age 35
    Le Tigre is currently on hiatus. Hanna left the band in 2005 due to personal health issues.
    More Details Hide Details She was later diagnosed with late stage Lyme disease. According to the Le Tigre website, during her time off from the band, Hanna has been volunteering as a band coach for the Willie Mae Rock and Roll Camp for Girls.
  • 2000
    Age 30
    In a 2000 interview with Index Magazine, Hanna related: The first two Bikini Kill EPs were released on CD as The C.D. Version of the First Two Records in 1993. The band released two more full-length albums, Pussy Whipped in 1994 and Reject All American in 1996, and in 1998, Kill Rock Stars released Bikini Kill: The Singles, a collection of the group's seven inch and compilation tracks. Bikini Kill broke up on friendly terms around April 1998.
    More Details Hide Details After the break-up of Bikini Kill, Hanna began working on a solo project called Julie Ruin. The project was created entirely in Hanna's bedroom using a $40 drum machine. One self-titled album was released under the Julie Ruin pseudonym, and was partially inspired by the work of feminist theorist Julia Kristeva. Hanna said of the project: While in Portland, Oregon, Hanna began working with friend and zine editor Johanna Fateman on a live show for Julie Ruin. The collaboration resulted in the two briefly forming a band called The Troublemakers, named after a G. B. Jones film, which ended when Fateman relocated to New York City to attend art school. Hanna joined Fateman on the East Coast, and with the addition of filmmaker Sadie Benning, they started another band called Le Tigre (French for The Tiger). This band continued to pursue a more electronic style of music similar to the sampler-driven sound Hanna had begun to explore with Julie Ruin.The band recorded for the Mr. Lady Records label, its first recording being the self-titled Le Tigre, which included the singles "Hot Topic" and "Deceptacon." After the first record, Sadie Benning left the band to be replaced by JD Samson for the follow-up CD Feminist Sweepstakes. When Mr. Lady Records closed down, the group switched labels to Universal Records for the 2004 release of This Island.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1991
    Age 21
    In 1991, Hanna performed with Bikini Kill at the Abortion March in Washington, D.C. before the Planned Parenthood v. Casey trial.
    More Details Hide Details She has been a major pro-choice advocate and was quoted saying, "It’s about women not dying in back-alley abortions, but it’s also about women saying: 'My life is worth it, too. I deserve to have control over my life and my health care.' Imagine if a man was told, 'You can’t make the decision to have a vasectomy.'" Her connections to Planned Parenthood do not end there. Her passion for the organization comes from personal experience.
    In 1991, the band spent a summer in Washington, D.C., where Hanna began collaborating with Allison Wolfe, Molly Neuman and Jen Smith from the band Bratmobile on the zine Riot grrrl, which became a call to action for increased feminist activity and female involvement in the punk rock scene.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1968
    Age -2
    Born in Portland, Oregon in 1968, Hanna moved with her family to Calverton, Maryland in 1971.
    More Details Hide Details As Hanna's father changed occupations, the family moved several more times. Hanna's parents divorced, and she returned to Portland where she graduated from Lincoln High School. Hanna first became interested in feminism around the age of nine, after her mother took her to a rally in Washington D.C. where feminist icon Gloria Steinem spoke. Though several years would pass before she became an outspoken feminist, with Hanna eventually referring to herself as a radical feminist, the event left an impression on her. In a 2000 interview with BUST magazine, Hanna recalled: "My mom was a housewife, and wasn't somebody that people would think of as a feminist, and when Ms. magazine came out we were incredibly inspired by it. I used to cut pictures out of it and make posters that said "Girls can do anything", and stuff like that, and my mom was inspired to work at a basement of a church doing anti-domestic violence work. Then she took me to the Solidarity Day thing, and it was the first time I had ever been in a big crowd of women yelling, and it really made me want to do it forever."
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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