Punk, like any other movement at that time, has still been dominated by its male adherents, willingly or unwillingly, for the most part. Still the female side of punk had taken its own distinguished course, a course that’s usually not as much mirrored in terms of “geniality” such as is often attributed to guys.
Single individualized enactment of a self-proclaimed autonomy from societal values, were the message you could get from this or the other female punks.
Authentic punk could to our point of view be measured by it’s unpopularity with the broad public. The more the music fitted with the lowest common denominator type of taste, the lower the “real” punk aspect of the band was.
The popularity amongst punk bands was rather driven by their political value, in quasi-anarchist-and-beyond terms – and not by something being hyped.
Punk is a label that you stick to yourself or someone else who you think is rebellious to some extent. Far more interesting than the label “punk” though is the exact qualities of stuff that the label was or is stuck too, what exact content was or is involved, summed up under that label … ?!
A lot of the stuff that comes with the label “punk” has a core message that is as conservative in its basic values and ideas as any other idea society comes up with for supposed “change”.
The impactful bits and pieces within the punk movement where different from “established norms”, the outer shell and label though could be stuffed with any content – regressive, progressive, stagnant, … . The visibile signals were one idea, the exact contents varied extremely from band to band politically and artistically. The music, lyrics and sound aspects are an interesting thing, cos they are far more revealing of differences than the visibile iconography of that movement.
Generally speaking: do you know anybody who seeks to topple “the system”?
“Female autonomy” doesn’t mean that all women are bascially the downtrodden ones who should vehemently claim radical autonomy for differing perspectives. Many women don’t have drastically different perspectives thant their male peers. Your gender role leaves you a chance to gain a critical perspective on the settings society confronts us with. The negative stereotypes female identified humans have been confronted with have always been handled individually and differently by the individuals it seems.
Society sticks itself together with dominating consensual parts, who create a contractual co-inhabitance on the costs of individual freedom and noncontractualist coexistence.
Some people place themself inside and some outside of these forced norms.
Rubella Ballet is a cult band. When you visited London in the early eighties their vibes and creative spirit, however you can describe such a pehomenon, ruled the scene. Zillah Minx and Sid Truelove produced a movie about female punk musicians of the london punk scene, called: SHE’S A PUNK ROCKER.
A lot of people saw the Crass Record “Penis Envy” – the title hinting at Freuds theory of women suggested by Freud to be envying the male penis – as the very feminist punk record.
The lyrics of some songs on that record are definitely classics, but to gain a broader view it needs more stones to complete the puzzle:
Female bands and any bands with critical ideas, and also critique of Crass – not on the grounds of the being “hippyish” but on other interesting grounds should all be noticed.
There was quite a hype around the band Crass and hypes tend to generate social codices, trends and unquestioned dogma, etc.
I am not even speaking about the enmity Crass and feminist punk earned a that time from the socially regressive bits and pieces and edges of the movement at that time.
And back to the inner problems of superficialization in ideas within the Punk movement:
I have not the slightest doubt that Crasses Penny Rimbaud writing fantastic thoughts is still taking the course of their project’s work just by being a personality even on top of being quite a critical mystic, somewhere entirely different … I should comment on his works later.
An open critic of Crass / the Crass followership more so I would think, have been the Apostles and their singer Andy Martin whom I interviewed for our Animal Rights journal Tierautonomie. In this interview you get an idea of the kind of interesting criticalness that is a precious source for debate content and further thought.
Saying this I am fully aware that the punk movement from the past, as far as it is still making itself visible today, seems the be quite a lump.
Yet a.) this is what it might seem like yet only represents a visible majority, creates that shallow impression and b.) if you just take the side from the social punk segment which devoids itself of critical societal introspection – then: what have you?
We are an animal rights punk project that has diverted from a lot of things in the course of time.
Farangis took this pic of me in in the early 1980ies. My parents had a place in Bloomsbury in London (Ridgmount Gardens 75A, London W.C.1 at that time) so from my childhood on I was lucky to be able to spend as much time in London as was possible schoolwise. Regarding my time as a Feminist Punk in London: I may write a bit about my impressions of punk in London in the early 80ies a bit later, though I am not a great fan of autobiographic writing. Issues that might be interesting to write about though are > the differences in political orientation of bands and fan-cultures > racism amongst punks in Germany at that time, and being glad to escape that a bit > Animal Rights lyrics and activism by some punk and other bands around that time > the difference you’d discover in the behaviour of other female and male punks in their political, social and environental stances … and what have you. Let’s see if I’ll get that done. So far some of my comments are linked here: https://simorgh.de/biografie/feminist-animal-rights-punk/
This page probably need to be revised.