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14 Essential Feminist Artists, Courtesy of Kitten Forever

In 2014 Beyonce forged a proud and visible stance as a feminist, and–among other things–it cultivated even more discussion of the F word that became so obnoxiously divisive amongst, well, everyone. Whatever your thoughts on her music, persona or intentions, it’s been interesting to see feminism reach the mainstream on a new level, and the dialogue that’s surrounding it is key to advancing the cause.

At our next tribute night this Saturday, local party-punk trio Kitten Forever will be taking on the fierce, feminist (and perhaps most importantly, extremely dance-able) music of Queen Bey. In honor of Beyonce’s contributions to the feminist conversation, we asked Corrie Harrigan of KF to compile a list of fearless, unapologetic, proud feminist artists you need to know.

Indigo Girls

This may seem like a boring pick, but Indigo girls have long been outspoken activists on behalf of women, glbtq persons, the environment, Native American rights, and more, since forming as duo in 1985. Most recently they became one of the first high profile artists to publicly denounce Michigan Womyn’s festival for it’s policy of exclusion towards transgender women, stating that they will cease their long term participation in the event, which people such as Kathleen Hanna have still yet to do…

 

Screaming Females

I remember playing with Marissa Paternoster and company in a tiny basement in 2007 and thinking, this girl is the best guitar player I have ever seen. Since then then world has taken note and Paternoster has been declared “Best Guitar Shredder” by the Village Voice in 2009 and ranked the 77th Greatest Guitarist of all Time by Spin Magazine in 2012. Despite her gender being mentioned alongside all these accolades, it’s an awesome thing to see a young queer woman being recognized for her extraordinary talents.

Nicki Minaj

THIS. VIDEO.

Osa Atoe

Her old band New Bloods was amazing, but since they broke Atoe has been busy running No More Fiction, a promotion company putting on shows in New Orleans that strictly focuses on women, queers, and POC artists. She was a part of the POC Zine project with her work “Shotgun Seamstress”, as well as helping to organize Not Enough Fest, a festival in which young queer people start bands for the purpose of playing their first show at the fest. She is getting shit done and it’s all the right shit.

 

 

Grimes

Claire Boucher wrote this awesome thing about sexism in the music industry and she is frequently outspoken on her Tumblr and Twitter about feminist issues.

Girlpool

Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad are still in high school (maybe they JUST graduated?) but they are making unapologetic, beautiful, amazing work for their age. They are outspoken feminists writing songs about growing up, falling in love, slut shaming, and fear at an age when I was wearing a Coal Chamber t-shirt and slamming doors in my mom’s face. They are my main source of hope for the future right now.

 

Pussy Riot

A Russian feminist punk group whose membership is a constant rotation of around 11 young women. They stage crazy guerrilla protest performances and in 2012 two of PR members were imprisoned for participating in a protest inside Moscow’s Cathedral of the Christ Savior. They have since been released and based on some stuff on Instagram they seem to be working with JD Samson and Le Tigre on a new collaboration, which is insanely exciting.

Others to check out:

Perfect Pussy

Slutever

Mannequin Pussy

Katie and Allison Crutchfield’s bands

Tobi Vail

Peaches

Priests

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