Huck’s favourite radical women

Huck’s favourite radical women

The fearless females shaking it up — To celebrate International Women's Day, meet the female change-makers, cultural icons, artists and freedom fighters from the Huck archives.

Let’s face it, the men in suits still run the show – and they’re doing a shocking job.

To paraphrase subversive art collective Guerrilla Girls, today may be International Women’s Day, but what happens the rest of the year? Answer: discrimination.

Except, that is, in the pages of Huck. Since we began in 2006, we’ve been celebrating women who paddle against the flow: the fierce females prepared to make noise, break the rules and fight for what they believe in.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, here are our favourite radical women from Huck, past and present.

1. Kurdish female fighters

Rojava Suzdar, 21, photographed in Serikani, Syria by Newsha Tavakolian

Rojava Suzdar, 21, photographed in Serikani, Syria by Newsha Tavakolian

“We live in a world where women are dominated by men. We are here to take control of our own future.”

In Huck 54 – The Defiance Issue, we meet the feminist army taking on Isis – and gaining ground. But what’s driving young women to take up arms on the frontline, knowing they may never return?

Sharmadean Reid

Photo by Lily Bertrand-Webb

Photo by Lily Bertrand-Webb

“The most important thing is to facilitate girls earning their own money. Because with financial freedom comes massive independence. There are so many women trapped in situations because they don’t have enough money to leave them. I’ve always been about earning my own money on my own terms so I never have to answer to anyone.”

Self-made Londoner Sharmadean Reid is helping working-class creatives realise their dreams. With WAH Nails, she has created much more than just a nail company. It’s a creative hub where driven young women have the opportunity to realise their dreams. Read more.

Ishtar Bäcklund

Swedish skater Ishtar Bäcklund takes on Norway’s rolling contours in a short film by Maceo Frost. The Scandinavian bomber is captured tearing up remote Norwegian hills in super slo-mo footage, alongside mates Caroline Boström, Kim Hansson, Sammy Hasselberg and Sander Hasselberg. Read more.

Roller Derby Beirut

Photo by Tamara Abdul Hadi

Photo by Tamara Abdul Hadi

“We thought, ‘Maybe if we look furious, we will play furiously.’ And it worked. You look in the mirror and you want to go kick some ass.” – Karima

These women aren’t just pioneers; they’re the architects of a new kind of future. Read more.


Photo by Zack Canepari / Panos Pictures

Photo by Zack Canepari / Panos Pictures

“I want to be able to say, at the end of my life, that my life was for something.”

Claressa Shields aka T-Rex is the record-breaking champion you’ve never heard of. She was the plucky seventeen-year-old that sailed through the 2012 London Olympics – the first year in history that women’s boxing was included – and scooped up America’s first female boxing gold. Now she’s fighting, against the odds, to be the best female boxer in the world.

Palestine’s female street racers

Photo by Tanya Habjouqa

Photo by Tanya Habjouqa

“We want to create a new image for Palestinian women in the eyes of the world. We want everyone to know we’re strong women who want to live normal lives, just like women everywhere. We have the same aims, the same passions and above all the same desire to live in peace” – Maysoon Jayyusi

In the close confines of Palestinian life, a nascent street-racing scene is hurtling up and taking root. For one of the women sat behind the wheel, freedom is what happens when you refuse to slow down. Read more.

Speed Sisters is released in UK cinemas via Dogwoof on 25 March. Huck will host a preview screening and Q&A with Director Amber Fares and Speed Sisters Team Manager Maysoon Jayyusi at The Rich Mix Cinema, Wednesday 09-March. Find more screenings and tickets here.

Mackenzie Peck

Photo by Jonathan Hanson

Photo by Jonathan Hanson

“It’s important that people see themselves in porn. I like to show stretch marks, bi-racial couples, women being eaten out, guys being tied up and pegged. My magazine is about celebrating kink, not categorising what or who you’re attracted to as fetishes.”

Mackenzie Peck makes real good porn. Publisher of feminist Math Magazine, she gets off on sticking it to sleazy San Fernando Valley execs and sneaking around her parents. Read more in Huck 54 – The Defiance Issue.

Juliet Elliot

Photo by James Bowden

Photo by James Bowden

“I just want more people to go and do these things and slightly change the perception of what women are and can do at the same time. And that’s changing women’s perspectives of themselves as well. Because a lot of people think that these activities aren’t for them and they really are.”

When former pro snowboarder and bike messenger Juliet Elliott turned her hand to self-publishing we knew something special was about to happen. What emerged was Coven Magazine, a groundbreaking publication for active women. Read more.

Black Lives Matter activists

Photo by Jonathan Hanson

Photo by Jonathan Hanson

“What’s happening today is modern-day slavery. Nothing has changed. We aren’t chained but we are handcuffed; not lynched from a tree but killed by police.” – Marci Rigg

From Mike Brown in Ferguson to Mark Duggan in London, black lives are being lost at the hands of police. But female activists in the US and UK are building a transatlantic bridge, coming together to share stories of loved ones lost in their fight for change. Read more.

Iran’s female surfers


“Women are already practicing a lot of sport in Iran. They are doing it with determination whatever the constraints they have. They are strong women.” – director Marion Poizeau

Women are pioneering surfing in Iran and smashing outdated stereotypes. Filmmaker Marion Poizeau has captured the birth of a bright new surfing scene and it is women leading the charge. Read more.


Caledonia Curry in the Lutheran church, North Braddock, PA. Photo Tod Seelie

Photo by Tod Seelie

“Change is the constant, the only constant. It’s going to happen, but which way are you going to row?”

Caledonia Curry aka Swoon was raised in a family of heroin addicts, but her tough upbringing only hardened her resolve to spread positivity. Now she’s helping to resurrect the impoverished town of Braddock, Pennsylvania, through an ambitious art-driven renovation project. Read more.

Laura Trott

Photo by Jon Baines

Photo by Jon Baines

“People start expecting you to win. If you go on the start-line feeling like the whole world is on your back, all that pressure on you, it’s only ever going to go one way.”

From cycling with her mum to the Olympic podium at London 2012, Laura Trott hasn’t lost sight of what matters most. After storming to two gold medals at Sunday’s world championships in London, she’s on course for another medal haul at Rio 2016. Read more.

Viv Albertine

Viv Albertine for Huck Magazine

Photo by Jackie Dewe Mathews

“Guys didn’t know whether to fuck us or kill us.”

Through music, art and an already cult classic new autobiography, the former Slits guitarist is connecting with women who don’t quite fit the mould.

Enjoyed this article? Like Huck on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.