New feature – Women in punk: the return

The 1990s brought with them grunge, riot grrrl – and fresh inspiration for the women at the centre of Britain’s 1970s punk scene. Cazz Blase continues her series

This is part five in a series of features writing women back into the history of British punk. Click here to read:

Part one

Part two

Part three

Part four

Introduction: Is that all there is?

At the heart of this series is a desire to explore three things: what inspired women to get involved with the punk scene, frequently amidst tremendous hostility from both outside and within the subculture itself? Where did they go after punk died? And what inspired them to re-engage with punk, typically 10-15 years later, as adult women whose lives and careers had taken them away from punk?

I was interested, not just in the process of rejection and return, but the influencing and enabling factors in each individual case.

The 1990s, already a much misrepresented decade, were both scarred by and reacting against the decade that had proceeded it. It began with recession and the death of Thatcherism, continued in a woeful grey kind of way with John Major’s government and a wafer-thin Tory majority, and ended with a house price boom and the cringeworthy Blairite concept of ‘Cool Britannia’.

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