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i enjoyed the articles about american Hardcore in last week’s City Paper (“Core Values,” “Royal Pains,” 10/20), and I got quite a laugh while reading the interview with Paul Rachman and Steven Blush. They were trying to explain the role of women in hardcore, and Blush stated: “What I remember is the women were in the back of the room.”

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Yes, indeed, we were, and I was one of them. But it had nothing to do with gender roles or the predominance of men in the hardcore scene. The guys were just fine with the girls being there. It had more to do with the sheer physicality of the shows—many of us were simply too small to be up front. When the band took the stage, I’d find myself hoisted onto a table or a speaker along the back or side wall, and then my male friends would go for the pit. One day I decided to get close to the stage, and pushed my way through to the front. I was immediately pounded into the concrete floor, and no one could see me. Several friends had to crawl through a sea of legs to drag me back out, and after the first rescue attempt I got dragged right back in! Only my metal-toed combat boots saved me from a broken leg. After that I was quite content to stay in the back, where the music was just as loud and the bar was closer.

Shaw