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Women of Punk

April 24th, 2013

It only took attending a couple of Hardcore Punk shows to realize like most of my teenage interests like BMX, Skateboarding and petty vandalism, I had once again found another interest that would insure that I had limited female contact. To say that by the mid 80s Hardcore punk had done its level best to turn into a male bounding sausage fest. Punk Rock wasn't hip, it wasn't socially attempted and a majority of those involved tended to be a bit anti-social. 

 

The thing that strikes me even today is that when you consider that there was maybe 20 guys for every girl, there were a number of woman that played important roles in the scene. Not in the traditional rock and roll form of the groupy but as the promoters, the organizers, the writers and over all as performers. Women were not just a pretty face waiting to support the men and their "important" work but an equally important creative force within the scene. Strong woman that gave a completely different view of the world that wouldn't haven't been there without them.

 

None I think it should be pointed out that this was a utopian wonderland of sudden equality. Far from it. The scene was a boy's club with all the sexism and usual bad habits that you get when a majority of the crowd is under the heavy influence of testosterone. I think it is important to point out that these pioneers of punkdom were some strong and very thick skinned people to put up with it. Often struggling against their own sexual appeal to be taken serious by the members of the loud, fast, rule that were more interested in running in circles then really listening to what the music was really about. Often expressing their own sexuality in ways that weren't polite or acceptable during that period.

 

When I started to put the list together, I knew there had a to a few bands and people that had to be on here, I just couldn't see not including Patti Smith, Exene, Alice Bag, Poison Ivy, Penelope Houston, Dinah Cancer, Kat Arthur. Chica Baby and Beki Bondage. I've been lucky enough to meet a number of them over the years and it's always been a pleasure to call some of them friends. With this list I've only scratched the surface of the female contribution to punk and I can't help but wonder whether punk would have happened at all without the Runaways or Patti Smith and for that I have to thank them.

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