Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Cuttings Conversation

A pile of press cuttings from the 1970s slithers around as I look for information for the chapter that I am writing. Have just emerged from a three-hour research zone and I'm shaking the dust out of my feathers.
It's so depressing to be reminded of the horrible things that the journalists wrote about bands back then. I'm only looking at stuff on X Ray Spex, The Slits, The Au Pairs,The Raincoats, The Mo-Dettes; but the sheer oldfashionedness of the times has come back and whupped me on the head like a baseball bat.
These guys didn't want anyone to succeed. The descriptions of the music are patronising, negative and apparently entirely aimed at showcasing the vocabularies of the writers. It's a miracle that any female bands managed to even get up on stage and play, let alone make albums and tour.
And there is a lot of stuff about female guitarists saying they don't need feminism because everything is equal now, and stuff like that.
I can remember feeling not that exactly, but that feminism seemed to be another set of rules (it was not uncommon for members of women's groups to tell you what you should/shouldn't be wearing or should/shouldn't be singing about back then in the dark ages).
I did think things needed to change: having a brother 18 months younger who seemed to have an entirely different set of expectations out of life, and wishing I could be a boy instead of me... a difficult one for a heterosexual woman to work out, and I still haven't got there.
Or rather, we still haven't got there. How naive to think that in my lifetime things might become equal! Prejudice has just become easier to hide, and feminism has become more glamorous and less didactic.
Revisiting punk is peculiar.
I am glad it is over; having been one has left a scar, or a tattoo, depending daily on whether it feels like a bad thing, or a good thing. I feel grateful to have been able to write about it, film it and talk about it, but I feel even more grateful for the life I've had after punk. It was a cruel subculture.

No comments: