"I want you to think of me sitting and singing beside youI wish we could meet all the people behind us in lineThe climb to the crest is less frightening with someone to clutch youBut isn't it nice when we're all afraid at the same time..."—AFP
I often wonder what makes the sound of my voice so different from that of my three sisters. The way I pronounce short vowels and grumble, how my laugh sometimes sounds violent, why I swear so often and cringe when I hear the word “like” too much. I used to attribute my sarcastic, matter-of-fact tone to a younger, subconscious need to stand out from my hyper-feminine sisters—the youngest in a family of six, I was always seeking small ways to rebel, to get attention, to be heard. But now I have to wonder if the way I talk and laugh and write is a direct result of growing up in the punk scene, and because of it. I feel certain that spending all of my free time in crowds of mohawked girls and men in tight pants taught me more about gender—and rebellion—than I could have understood at the time. The lyrics of my favorite songs, the way brusque, angry women would scream from their stomachs when they sang, the humor of their pseudonyms and song titles, and the brash attitudes they donned in interviews were speaking directly to the norms and standards against which I was also trying to rebel. Today, with a greater understanding of gender norms, subcultures, linguistic use, and of course, myself, I see that an analysis of women within the punk movement can be a valuable place to look for manifestations of social and political resistance through self-expression.
“The only thing that punk rock should ever really mean is not sitting ‘round and waiting for the lights to go green.” —Frank Turner