For more than three decades, straight edge has ebbed and flowed through the hardcore scene. The articles in this section span twenty years’ worth of ideas, feelings, and thoughts about straight edge from a female perspective. Some of these articles were written by girls who are now women (myself included). Our thoughts were raw and unfiltered as teens. We were (and some of still are) frustrated with the status quo. We are tired of having our voices drowned out. As we have grown and evolved, so have our ideas about what it means to be edge. These are our stories, our thoughts, our journeys.
In the late seventies and early eighties, fueled by the club/party/rock and roll scenes, drug use (abuse) evolved from the dirty hippy stereotype to Hollywood chic. Drug use was seen as glamorous. The seventies saw artists like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison all pass away due to overdoses. The New York Punk scene was ravaged by heroin.
The country was still reeling from the Watergate Scandal. President Regan was ushering in a new brand of conservatism. Unreset was brewing in the DC Punk/Hardcore Scene.
Forty-six seconds, a kid with radical ideas about drugs and alcohol, and a punk rock band was all it took to convince young people from around the world to espouse a life free of drugs and alcohol.
I’m a person just like you
But I’ve got better things to do
Than sit around and fuck my head
Hang out with the living dead.
From that moment straight edge took on a life of its own, inspiring countless hardcore bands, artists, and individuals the world over.
At a high level, the guidelines are pretty simple. Don’t’ drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs. There are debates thought out the community about the definition of what a drug is. Some people abstain from over the counter pain relievers, caffeine, and prescription drugs. Adherents that take straight edge to this extreme are dubbed hardliners. Most agree that straight edge is not a commitment to be taken lightly, in fact, many adherents are lifers.