Punk was arguably the first youth movement that accepted women as equals, and freed young girls to explore their own idea of themselves in music, fashion and art.

For the first time women fronted male bands on their own terms, and defied convention as to how they should look and what they sang about.

Women like Poly Styrene and Siouxsie Sioux were a new breed of singer who refused to dress and look pretty, and rather forced the music industry and the public to change their perceptions of female musicians.

Their songs were not about lost love or heartless men, but rather represented their own personal world view.

These so-called women of the new wave paved the way for the post punk movement, Ska Two-Tone with groups including The Specials and The Selecter.

They challenged racism and sexism through their music and lyrics.

Singer Pauline Black meets some of the women who were in the vanguard of that cultural revolution and asks what their legacy is for women today.

For X-Ray Spex frontwoman, Poly Styrene, it's knowing her own daughter has the confidence to do anything she wants in life, while for guitarist Viv Albertine of The Slits the legacy is better demonstrated through the work of artists Tracy Emin and Sarah Lucas.


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  Singer Pauline Black meets some of the women who were in the vanguard of punk and new wave music, and asks what their legacy is for today's female artists.
Punk offered women the chance to get on stage and be themselves, free from the constraints of a previously male dominated music industry.
Artists such as Siouxsie Sioux, Poly Styrene and Gaye Advert started their own bands and expressed themselves in ways that female musicians hadn't been allowed to previously.
They refused to be judged on their looks and asserted the right to sing about subjects that interested them rather than about broken hearts and lost loves.
As punk evolved into a wider musical spectrum that encompassed New Wave and Two Tone, bands such as The Selecter emerged through which singers such as Pauline Black tackled issues of racism and sexism in their lyrics.
Thirty years on, she asks some of those groundbreaking women what they think they've achieved for women of their and subsequent generations.
Producer: Maggie Ayre.
Singer Pauline Black meets some of the women who were in the vanguard of punk music.

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