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Shocked by the title?  Well it got your attention so please read on.

When it comes to punk fashion most outsiders generally think that everything begins and ends with the trusty mohawk and some tartan trousers.  It’s even worse when you consider that alternative women have been the subject of derision and misogyny for decades, much of it coming from within their own ranks, from within the scene itself.  The fiction has been that the female punk as with many genres is somehow just a distraction and that it’s always the guys that lead the way..  The facts offer a much different picture though, one that shows individual flair, creativity and fearless bravery.  History shows us that whether it’s fashion or music or anything else for that matter women often lead the way even if they’ve had to battle twice as hard to do so.

Music in the 70s was desperate for something new and it was punk and its anti-fashion and anti-establishment stance that filled the hole.  It was then that some very unlikely style icons paved the way for so much that we take for granted today.  Davis Bowie crossed the gender divide with stunning make up and flamboyant clothing.  He had a look that was truly unisex.  Siouxsie Sioux took the dark approach pioneering a look that would morph eventually into a whole series of subgenres including death rock and gothic.  Ari Up wore dreads before the term cultural appropriation had even been thought of let alone misused.  And let’s not forget Wendy O Williams who broke so many taboos about how women should dress and be seen on her way to helping launch what we now know as shock rock.

Thankfully we still have those within the punk world who have that same strength to look how they want and to create not just new music but also a whole new style.  We could all debate where the boundaries of this genre or that genre lie.  Who fits and who doesn’t.  The problem with this is that those early pioneers didn’t fit, nor did they care that they didn’t.  Their music had virtually nothing in common, it was the scene that took them in and this is how it should be today, inclusivity and acceptance, not exclusivity and intolerance.  We now cherish the songs and the style created by the female rockers from decades back.  We should equally cherish and nurture the new breed because they are the future.  The Punk Lounge will be taking a look at and talking to as many of these creative dynamos as possible. The women that constantly prove today more than ever that they are not just tits and a mohawk.

 

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