Attempts to define what punk is or isn’t have always been futile; it’s a “know it when you hear it” kind of thing. From punk’s earliest days, bands rarely adhered to one sound, instead using the genre as a means of self-discovery, self-expression, and an attempt at overcoming oppression. But, even within the history of punk, the narrative has skewed toward the male perspective—especially the white male perspective. Today, Pitchfork published a story that shows women have been there every step of the way, playing important roles in punk’s formation and growth throughout the years.
With 33 artists featured, the article runs a gamut of sounds, styles, and scenes, showing that feminist punk isn’t relegated to one specific sub-genre. While the list highlights artists that should already be part of a punk’s record collection (Patti Smith, X-Ray Spex, Bikini Kill, and Sleater-Kinney, to name a few) it’s a great place for discovery as well. Hitting on obscurities such as The Brat or Kleenex—a band Kurt Cobain openly admired—and such recent acts as White Lung and Downtown Boys, it showcases music that’s powerful, poignant, and above all else, punk.