Sound of Our Revolution | October 2021: AFAB, Women and Femme Solidarity

I’ve wanted to do a playlist on the theme of Women’s rights and solidarity for a while, and honestly it’s a travesty that I’m only now just getting it.

But while we’re seeing at best naïve useless advice and at worst victim blaming bootlicking from the police and their sympathizers in the aftermath of the much deserved full life prison sentence for the murder of Sarah Everard, it seems like an appropriate time to shine a light on the safety and rights of women even now in 2021.

The fact of the matter is that despite the sentencing of this one criminal, the wider culture of misogyny, entitlement and violence towards women is barely being addressed in government or law enforcement. Make no mistake, the sentence is only as severe as it is because the police are already battling with waning public trust, and anything less than this would’ve been the final nail in the coffin. They’re already pushing it with the way attendees at the vigil earlier this year were treated and abused.

I was naïve growing up – I definitely uttered words along the lines of “Obviously I support what feminism was, but why do we still need it in 2013? Come on everyone, you’re already equal, what more do you want!”

Which grossly misunderstands that Feminism is far more than getting women the right to vote. Just because things were worse 100 years ago, doesn’t mean that we should just be grateful for the way things are now without trying to push for more.

With Incel terrorist attacks on the rise around the world, continued lack of support or accountability for systematic oppression in both the public and private sectors – sure things are very different than they were during the height of Women’s Suffrage, but things are still objectively inherently harder for non-men.

So this playlist is a collection of Riot Grrl, hip-hop and folk from AFABs, Women & Femmes from around the world, from different cultures, different upbringings, different assigned genders, but all sharing their experiences with womanhood, both on an internal level and the external treatment it entails.

Per my last playlist, I consider intersectionality very important when it comes to issues like this – so I have neglected some songs and artists with bio-essentialist lyrics or histories of transphobia. Trans and Cis women share a common goal, and throwing trans women under the bus for the sake of “women’s rights” is the definition of counterproductive. The fight for women’s rights is fighting for ALL women’s rights. Not just the cis, middle class white ones. *cough* Rowling *cough*

Girls Get Angry Too – GIRLI

What’s a girl, what’s a boy?
Why are there gender sections for toys?
And sorry if I’m out of line
But I don’t want Hamleys to decide
If my kid’s a fireman or a bride

Of all the playlists I’ve ever done, this one has had far the most requests and engagement from the community. I have discovered a frankly stressful amount of new artists through this playlist, so those who made it are truly the best of the best.

I was expecting this playlist to be 99% 90s & 00s Punk – however turns out there’s a lot of great Riot Grrl – adjacent hip-hop, particularly in the last decade, and this track is one of them. What a fucking tune. This is an upbeat aggressive anthem all about being a woman and a feminist in the modern day.

From deconstructions of toxic masculinity, to women stereotypes, to the very notion of our outdated gender roles – what better way to open this playlist than with an unapologetic rhythmic rant about everything that sucks about the patriarchy.

Purge the Poison – MARINA Feat. Pussy Riot

I just want a world where I can see the feminine
We only make up one quarter of the government
Like an angel gone to hell, cast the moon under our spell
Ownin’ female power, takin’ back what’s ours

Next we have another newcomer to our playlists in the shape of MARINA. This is more the kind of sound I was expecting from this playlist (not that the other sounds are bad) and, my god, does it deliver.

There’s too many snippets of gold in the lyrics of this track to choose from – and as every good feminist anthem does, it champions intersectionality with a focus on women. Tackling underrepresentation, sexual abuse and grooming from powerful men, beauty ideals, but also America’s whole implementation of democracy and military obsession, and the oppression of minorities. I can see this becoming a Blizzard classic in no time.

It’s Different for Girls – Of Montreal

It’s different for girls
They’re not expected to fight
They’re expected to sit and take some lesser man’s shit

It’s Different for Girls is the definitive feminist song from gender non-comforming frontperson Kevin Barnes. It’s rare to see anyone assigned male tackling issues such as this so publicly in their music – and this is by no means a deep dive into gender theory and history – but it is a good summary of generational misogyny and the damage the patriarchy does particularly to girls of a very young age.

The song title sounds like it could be one that falls into lazy stereotypes and problematic bio-essentialism, but the song avoids that, instead providing us with gems like “For every one psycho chick, there’s ten thousand hateful pricks” deconstructing the “Crazy Bitch” trope by pointing out the gender discrepancy between the qualities that would define a woman by this metric, vs those same metrics present in a large majority of men.

Sisters are Doing it for Themselves – Eurythmics Feat. Aretha Franklin

Now this is a song to celebrate
The conscious liberation of the female state
Mothers, daughters and their daughters too, yeah
Woman to woman
We’re singing with you
The “inferior sex” got a new exterior (yeah)

Come on, did you really think this absolute banger WOULDN’T be on this list

Arguably it’s a bit dated in terms of modern feminist language and talking points, but frankly I don’t care, if this song doesn’t get you dancing and singing along, nothing will.

Woman – Little Simz feat. Cleo Sol

Ain’t nothin’ without a woman, though
Woman to woman, I just wanna see you glow (Glow, glow)

Little Simz is something else. I was torn between this song and ‘Venom’ and while on a purely aesthetic level I enjoy listening to ‘Venom’ more – ‘Woman’ is a love letter to women all over the world who inspire and influence the artist, and is just such a nice show of solidarity and case study into intersectionality between cultures.

This song is perfect for this playlist, and is a wonderful uplifting celebration of women and femininity all around the world, which is something we can never have enough of.

Men Explain Things To Me – Tacocat

“We get it dude
We’ve already heard enough from you
The turning point is overdue”

With that title and that line…do you really need me to explain why it’s on this list?

Rich, White, Straight Men – Kesha

And if you were a lady
Then you own your lady parts
Just like a man goes to a dealership
And then he owns a car
Vroom, vroom
Fuck you (Fuck you)

You all know this one by this point. Absolute Blizzard playlist classic these days. The lines do have slightly bio-essentialist implications at times, but honestly it slaps so hard and “lady parts” is ambiguous enough that I’ll give it a pass.

It’s obviously referring to reproductive rights, which is an issue primarily with AFABs – and I don’t know a single trans woman who doesn’t show solidarity with the cis women on this issue, so yeah, fuck it. Fuck the patriarchy indeed.

Civil War – Peppermint

I’m an army of one, marching alone
Fighting for my life.
In the dark of the night theres nowhere to run, no place left to hide.
I’m a warrior inside, just a stranger made to fight.
These civil war, civil war, civil war, civil war, civil war.

Civil War by the ex Drag Race star is a personal anthem on her own gender identity, oppression and struggles – but has become something of an anthem for transgender women and femmes all around.

The imagery of trying to get somewhere safe at night while being attacked from every angle is also something that can resonate with women of all types. It is dangerous out there for women, particularly Black women – especially Black trans women.

Walking home late a night before coming out was always an anxiety inducing experience, but since coming out it’s only gotten worse. Every incident I’ve experienced being around late a night have been when I have been presenting femme. I was very lucky on one occasion when a man tried to follow me home that I was able to outrun him and have my Dad pick me up in his car. I had all the right lucky variables to be safe in that situation. If any one of them had changed, had I been slower, he faster, if I was further away from home, if my Dad was asleep, things may have been uglier.

All women & femmes will have a story like this, many of which would have ended worse. It really does feel like you’re isolated and on your own in the moment – especially for Trans women who have danger from both men and Terfs to protect themselves against. One murderer being in prison unfortunately is unlikely to change this culture that women have to survive in.

The Opener – Camp Cope

It’s another whole male tour preaching equality
It’s another straight cis man who knows more about this than me
It’s another man telling us we’re missing a frequency
Show ’em Kelly!
It’s another man telling us we can’t fill up the room
It’s another man telling us to book a smaller venue
Nah, hey come on girls, we’re only thinking about you!
Now look how far we’ve come not listening to you
Yeah just get a female opener, that’ll fill the quota

The Opener is an unapologetic takedown of ingrained misogyny in the music industry. There’s hundreds of carbon copy cis white male rock bands in every Western country, yet the members of these bands are completely unable to recognize their privilege, and pretend to be feminist whilst not actually treating women as their equals, more using them as a way to boost their own image whilst belittling them as a novelty.

This list is almost if not entirely comprised of women artists and bands, and this is only a fraction of those suggested to me. There’s hundreds upon thousands of all girl bands who just don’t get the same breaks they deserve, as some marketing executives somewhere thinks they will make more profit off of bland white men.

The music industry is corrupt and full of misogyny, and Camp Cope are not shy about calling it out.

Womanarchist – Bad Cop/Bad Cop

It’s my life to choose
Not bigots or misogynists
Not even alt left liberalists
It’s their fight to lose
I’m a modern anarchist
A punk rock existentialist
Who wants to make the whole world feminist

This song is mostly here from the strength of the pun “Womanarchist” ngl.

Also it’s just a great song, and another example of later on in the song bringing intersectionality into their feminist anthem, which is super lovely to hear. Feminism without intersectionality is basically worthless in 2021, and these aren’t that.

Racist, Sexist Boy – The Linda Lindas

Racist, sexist boy
You are a racist, sexist boy
And you have racist, sexist joys
We rebuild what you destroy
You are a racist, sexist boy

Probably the newest band on this list – I wasn’t going to leave them off. This song is based on a personal experience one of the band members had with a boy who was racist towards her.

Whilst not the longest or most intricate song, it has a really satisfying bassy/grungy sound to it, and the lyrics pack a punch despite being very basic and minimal. It is satisfying hearing such a young band making a mark in the Riot Grrl genre, even opening for Bikini Kill. Very excited to see where these girls go next.

And that’s our list! You can listen to these songs and more from The Von Tramps, Grace Petrie, Against Me! and more here on Spotify and here on YouTube.

You can tune into our next stream show at on the 25th October, 7:30PM with team captains Khalid Winter and Thom Bee, and guests Edy Hurst, Richard Stott, Allie Mackintosh and Laura Monmoth.

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