This article appears in our 2017 Summer issue, Invisibility. Subscribe today!
There are days when life can feel like one gut punch after the other, especially when simply existing in the world constitutes an act of bravery amidst a constant onslaught of heightened xenophobia. In this environment, the Loud Women compilation of punk from British women (which benefits Women’s Aid, an organization dedicated to ending domestic abuse against women and children) serves as a beautiful encapsulation of so many things we need to hear and keep hearing over and over again right now: We have power. We have agency. We are worthy. There are other women who want to lift us up.
This record screams “fuck you!” to the toxic, draining, soul-sucking people and institutions that only serve to drag us into darkness, and manages to find light in the inner strength and self-love intrinsic to the best feminist punk. Mirroring the myriad emotions that are inevitable for anyone marginalized in a patriarchal power structure, these songs convey anger and rebellion, but also humor, love, and camaraderie.
Loud Women kicks off with the riotous, joyful, and uplifting “DIY” by Dream Nails, which lists many things that can be done yourself (including putting shelves up, healing a broken heart, and starting a punk band!) and screams through the bridge, “You are good enough! You are strong enough! You are smart enough!” The rest of the compilation plows through hard and fast riot grrrl and pop punk tracks that do everything from calling out dudes who publicly identify as feminist only to abuse and rape women privately, to defiantly declaring, “I wanna love you like I love myself but I love myself just a little too hard.” In “Nando’s,” The Wimmins’ Institute admonishes a guy who tries to feel up his girlfriend at the tasty but low-end Portuguese-style chicken chain, asking the question, “Did you think you could fuck me ’cause you bought me half a chicken?”
What results from this unique combination of songs is an album that showcases the raw beauty of punk: This genre offers an outlet for anger, a message of hope, an anthem for limitless energy, a powerful form of self-care, and a rallying cry for others who are struggling and resisting. All of which we seem to be in constant need of these days.