The Story of Feminist Punk in 33 Songs

Surveying any “story of punk” is going to be a fraught endeavor, the limits of what constitutes the genre—indeed, can punk truly be considered a genre? An attitude? A movement?—proving far-reaching and objectively elusive. Which makes Pitchfork’s Story of Feminist Punk playlist, curated by Vivien Goldman, even more daring and triumphant. This isn’t just a list of women who make punk; rather, it’s a treatise on the protest song, as told by Crass, Bikini Kill, Kleenex, White Lung and a smorgasbord of feminist classmates. Working chronologically—and without the flabby context of other era-hits—Goldman teases out a defiant lineage of feminist thought, like a thread running through a woolen sweater, stretching from Patti Smith (“Land”) and the Bush Tetras (“Too Many Creeps”) to Priests (“And Breeding”) and Sleater-Kinney (“#1 Must Have”). It’s a brazen collection of pitch-perfect choices, an unapologetic fuck-you to the male-dominated annals of punk’s past and present, a statement of intent, and, without doubt, a rallying call to arms.