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Women in Punk Through the Years

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Have you ever listened to punk music and thought about how there isn’t enough female representation within the community? There are a lot of female voices within the punk world, but still, there could always be more representation. There are voices still not being heard. Below I’ve given a sort-of introductory guide on the original women who pioneered the punk movement, in addition to some newer women paving the way today.

5. Siouxsie Sioux

No woman in punk would be where they are today without Siouxsie Sioux. Not only is she a major pioneer for women in punk, but even punk in general. Her band, Siouxsie and the Banshees came to be in 1976. Although they were initially associated with the punk scene, they drifted to be more of the post-punk variety.

4. Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth has been described as redefining what rock with guitars could do, so much so that they are even considered to be a major band in helping classify the alternative and indie-rock genres. During the band’s career (they are technically on “hiatus”) they were known as alternative icons, even going so far as to headline Lollapalooza along with Pavement and another female-led band, Hole.

3. Bikini Kill

The ’90s saw a new movement, specifically for girls in punk, called Riot Grrrl. The band Bikini Kill was seen as one of the forerunners for this movement. Riot grrrl is basically what happens when you have a bunch of angry feminists come together to make a bunch of angry punk songs. It’s also often associated with the third-wave of feminism which is seen as having been grown out of the riot grrrl movement.

2. Paramore

Once we get to the 2000s, we see a major trend with a punk subgenre called pop-punk, something that Paramore was widely known for in the first half of their career. With fiery Hayley Williams at its forefront, Paramore is seen as one of the classic emo/pop-punk bands of this particular decade. Some people would even go as far as to say that Paramore’s music shaped and molded a generation.

1. The Regrettes

The Regrettes had a mini take over the last half of the 2010s with their riot grrrl inspired lyrics and ’60s punk musicality. They mesh the best of the past, combining elements of Siouxsie, Sonic Youth, Bikini Kill, and Paramore to make the band that The Regrettes are today. Although some of their music can be more pop than punk, it is quite easy to see that this band is definitely doing what needs to be done in terms of representation for women in the punk community.

Image courtesy of Kim Gordon


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