It was 1991 when Bikini Kill first called for Revolution Girl Style Now! and though it’s been nearly 25 years and a few things have changed, there is still a loud and plaintive cry for equality. Nearly 25 years later, there is a call for Revolution Girl Style STILL, and one of those crying out loudest is Seattle based punk trio Childbirth. Made up of members of a few other prominent PNW outfits (Julie Shapiro plays in Chastity Belt, Bree McKenna plays in Tacocat, and Stacy Peck plays in Ponytime), Childbirth is proudly carrying the torch that was lit by a movement long ago, in a world that still desperately needs the dark corners of misogyny illuminated and eradicated.
The band’s sophomore release Women’s Rights (released Sept 28 via Suicide Squeeze) opens with 40 seconds of Shapiro and McKenna call and response shout-singing the words Childbirth! and Women’s Rights! over and over, setting the tone for the entire record: irreverent, demanding, and urgent. Childbirth tackles the nuanced bits and pieces of girlhood that women are made to feel lesser or ashamed of: online dating, fertility, and hygiene (I never wash my bras either, fist bump of solidarity), with a restlessness and sense of humor that make their music buoyant and bright, and hopefully energizing for the new guard of young feminists ready to take on that torch.
We asked the women of Childbirth our seven questions:
1. What is your life motto?
Stacy – you can’t win if you don’t play
Bree – Bear Necessities
Julia – no regerts
2. Who is your muse?
Stacy – Rhea Perlman
Bree – Courtney Love
Julia – Elliott Smith
3. What is your idea of abject misery?
Stacy – living in a beige housing community in Tucson
Bree – Watching any live sporting event that isn’t women’s figure skating
Julia – living in a condo and working for a “tech startup”
4. What is your idea of total happiness?
Stacy – watching a House Hunters marathon on HGTV
Bree – Hanging out at my dilapidated punk mansion Spruce Haus with my adult teen roommates and friends
Julia – floating on my back in the middle of a lake… namaste
5. What is the best quality in a woman?
Stacy – smarts
Bree – being really powerful through witchcraft
Julia – nice body
6. What is the best quality in a man?
Stacy – Knowing when to shut it
Bree – Feminist dudes who don’t mansplain anything
Julia – nice body
7. Draw a self-portrait: