Uncovering feminist roots in punk rock


Punk rock has served as an effective medium for feminist ideas since the 1970s. But some in the punk community are concerned that the stories of first-generation punk feminists and their successors, like the Riot Grrrls, are being ignored in favor of a history that focuses on 1980s hardcore.

On May 12, three women who are working to tell their side of the story convened on Stanford’s Knoll stage: Alice Bag, the lead singer of the 1970s punk group The Bags; Allison Wolfe, who has transitioned from her Riot Grrrls roots with Bratmobile to her current group Sex Stains; and Evelyn McDonnell, a Loyola Marymount journalism professor who wrote “Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways,” a history of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie’s punk group.

Before regaling the audience with narratives from the last four decades of feminist punk and performing live, Bag, Wolfe and McDonnell sat down with Peninsula Press to tell stories they say the mainstream tends to forget. Listen to the audio report above.