The straight-edge subculture arose from the male-dominated punk scene in 1981. The rejection of mind-altering substances and promiscuous sex was an idea presented by Minor Threat lyricist Ian MacKaye in the song "Straight Edge." Though women adhered to the lifestyle in the 1980s, when Kelly Brother adopted the xsisterhoodx.com website in 1996, more women became interested. Among Brother's goals was to rid the scene of its sexist elements.
"A lot of hardcore guys act like they're 5-year-olds and constantly assert their manhood," says Sarah, 24. "I remember a friend of a former roommate saying, 'Women can't be straight edge! Do you think Ian MacKaye wanted stupid sluts in straight edge?' He would always make the most disgusting comments and gestures as well as slap my ass."
Jenn, 19, says, "No, I haven't experienced this at all. It depends on where you reside. I've observed a lot of boys and girls in groups come together, listening to the same music and moshing."
Sarah says, "Some guys think it's disgusting when girls mosh and release aggression in the apparently masculine fashion of hardcore dancing. As for me, I remember moshing at a show, and a lot of guys came up to me afterwards and said, 'Hell yeah -- that was hot!' Some girls even joined in once they realized that they have a right to be there as much as your penis-toting contemporaries."
Jenn says, "It can depend on the girl. I don't mosh...but I've been to shows and saw a lot of girls in the pit, moshing with the guys. I once saw a girl push and shove after the band stopped playing."