“Punk to me has always been a moral philosophy, more than a style of music or a fashion you wear. The underpinnings of all of the songs and clothes was, for me, a core rejection of the way the world operates, the mainstream world. It was a critique of capitalism, which make some people rich on the backs of so many powerless workers. It was about smashing beauty standards that taught fat girls and boys and anyone not adhering to inhuman expectations to hate themselves. It was about challenging racism, challenging homophobia. And when you get down to what all of these rebellions have in common, it’s basic kindness. Love, even. It’s making a pledge to not hurt other people—not to profit off their bodies, not to turn hostile at the way we differ from one another, but to go forward, toward a giant community, fighting only against whoever would keep us down and powerless. Under that whole “personal is political” motto of feminism, I feel that personal kindness, treating people decently, is political—is punk.” —Beth Ditto

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