Emma, thank you for your comments on the punk women series. I’m pleased you found the series informative and interesting. In terms of the line you are referring to, this was written to line up the issues I intended to discuss in part five, namely that a number of women involved with the 1970s UK punk scene went quiet in the ’80s, and many ceased to make music, but that despite both punk and feminism being declared dead by the early ’90s, grunge and riot grrrl came along, and a number of the ’70s punk women were able to use either or both scenes as a way back into making music or writing about punk.
I’m pleased the London scene is so healthy, I suspect that the girl punk scenes in a number of other UK towns and cities are also equally healthy. It’s always nice to have this confirmed, but please don’t think that I was suggesting that there were no punk girls after, say, 1981 – I know there were, I know there are. That’s why I discussed riot grrrl, Ladyfest and grunge. I didn’t do as much on the last 10 years, musically, because I felt that much of it was a continuation of what had happened in the previous 10 years: Ladyfest, Girls Rock Camp and many of the bands involved with them being the legacy of riot grrrl. If I’d been writing about riot grrrl exclusively, and it’s legacy, then I would have been writing a lot more about the scene you discuss, but that was never the intention of the series. The intention was to focus on women from the ’70s punk scene, to show that a) they did exist b) that what they were doing at the time was important c) that it continues to be important d) that they are back doing stuff now e) that that is important too. I’m sorry if that wasn’t the series you wanted to read.
I have written about riot grrrl before, and it’s legacy, and I am aware that this year is the 20th anniversery of its birth, and that last year was the 10 year anniversary of Ladyfest. I do intend to write about the 20 year anniversary, but in the meantime, please feel free to read the first of what I hope will be many pieces on the subject.
I would also add that, personally, I’m eagerly awaiting the next wave of post-punk, post-riot grrrl, post-Ladyfest action. I’m waiting for someone to do something new to take it to the next level. Maybe it will be the band you mentioned, maybe it will be a new writer, or a new film maker, or a new activist campaign, or a website, or a magazine… I don’t know. Maybe it will be you.
So please don’t feel discouraged – I do write about and acknowledge girls in punk today, it’s just that this wasn’t the kind of series where that was the focus.