Crass released their third album, Penis Envy, in 1981. This marked a departure from the hardcore-punk image The Feeding of the 5000 and Stations of the Crass had given the group.
The point band of the early-'90s riot grrrl movement, Olympia, WA's Bikini Kill exploded onto the male-dominated indie rock scene by fusing the visceral power of punk with the impassioned ideals of feminism. Calling for "Revolution Girl Style Now," the group's fiercely polemical and anthemic music helped give rise to a newly empowered generation of women in rock, presaging the dominance female artists would enjoy throughout the decade.
Bikini Kill formed in the late '80s at Olympia's liberal Evergreen College, where students Kathleen Hanna, Tobi Vail, and Kathi Wilcox first teamed to publish a feminist fanzine, also dubbed Bikini Kill. Seeking to bring the publication's agenda to life, they decided to form a band, enlisting guitarist Billy Boredom (born William Karren) to round out the lineup. Led by singer/songwriter Hanna, a former stripper, the group laced its incendiary live performances with aggressive political stances that challenged the accepted hierarchy of the underground music community; slam dancers were forced to mosh at the fringes of the stage so that women could remain at the front of the crowd, for example, and female audience members were often invited to take control of the microphone to openly discuss issues of sexual abuse and misconduct.