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Second Class Punx :: Michelle Liptrot's "Oh Bondage Up Yours!"

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Female Punks in the Nineteen Nineties

Being a long-term punk Michelle Liptrot wrote Oh Bondage Up Yours! (Female Punks in the Nineteen Nineties) as a part of her postgraduate degree back in 2004. A compressed clause on early punk history in her frist chapterand in formal Academian language, caught my attention:

In many respects punk rock in the British guise was very different from that of the American form from which it had spouted. The music was much angrier and faster with obscene lyrical content and the style was outrageously shocking consisting of a combination of fetish wear, disposable materials i.e. bin bags, ex-school clothing and hair styles in spikes of dyed dayglo colours.

Liptrot's subject was Female Punks, though, quoting Dave Laing's book One Chord Wonders: Power and Meaning in Punk Rock (Open University Press, 1985):

Punk's stance against the cult of instrumental virtuosity had the side-effect of undermining one of the main sources of male dominance in musical performance: the general rock assumption that women were not capable or competent to play 'properly'.

Sadful statement on rock, but truly confirmed in Norwegian as well by Anne Lorentzen (at her site under 'Salong' and 'Lesestoff'). More optimistically, Caroline Coon was quoted from John Lydon's Rotten – No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs (Picador, 1995:227):

During the punk movement, the atmosphere for women was glorious! For the first time in the working art environment, apart from ballet, where there was a good percentage of women. Apart from Siouxie, there were the fans like Jordan, musicians, and poets like Patti Smith. It was such fun. I loved it. You could feel the power. The balance was coming.

Your humble blogger was also hoping for that balance to be established. Alas, as Liptrot concludes:

I cannot help but feel that such complacency is likely to mean that the hypocrisy will continue and female punks will continue to be treated as a woman first and as a punk second.

Second Class Punx

You don't like Nazis or the in crowd
You're a vegan for the animal rights
Hate the arms industry for the profits of death
Dropping bombs from dizzy heights
Squat and occupy wasted buildings
Protest that it's just not right
Raising cash for third world countries
Opposing the capitalists might.
Do you really mean it when you act this way?
All this show of good intention
There's still one inequality you can't see
Maybe you're too scared to mention
Second class punks
second class punks
Gender specific prejudice
Second class punks.
Religion is the opium of the masses
Burn the churches
Kill the pope
It might seem like a good idea when you're out of your head on dope
Rob the supermarket that's O.K.
Cos they've got more than enough
But does it really mean a thing
When you're preaching all this stuff
I'd like to think we can achieve it
but it might just be a dream
One day we might see sexual equality
Existing freely within our scene
When we treat each other with respect
Then we can all be the same
If we live without sexual equality
Our other causes seem so insane
Anarchy Spanky © 2000

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