Cinderella #340 Cinderella's Big Score (Raha, M., 2005)
|photo from Raha, M.|
Once upon a time, there was a woman named Maria Raha. She lived in New York City and earned her living by writing for magazines. It happened that Maria had been smitten by the counterculture as a young girl, growing up in the suburbs. There, she felt suffocated and trapped, but when she first discovered the joys of punk rocking she found that "all of the beautiful, strange mutations of the indie underground [were] the only places" where she had "ever felt solace". She writes that "It was punk's nihilist philosophies which shocked parents and middle suburbanites the most...Rejection of the mainstream values of Londoners was was crucial to its potency". Though she developed a tremendous respect for the artists and musicians who populate the inde art world, she felt that there was an important element missing. This was the female influence. In fact, though Maria admitted to feeling "a bit traitorous to criticize a community" in which she has sunk her roots, she still decided to act on her conviction that an expose about the trials and travails of women in the punk scene was needed. So she wrote a book (in five sections and 34 chapters), chronicling punk rockers from the United States and Britain in the 1970's ("No One's Little Girl: Introduction"); the 1980's ("Cruel, Cruel, Decade"), and on into the 1990's,("TRUEPUNKROCKSOULCRUSADERS"). When the band Crass rose to popularity, they "presented issues but had enough respect for its listening audience to allow them to make their own informed decisions" about feminism. To them, it was "wrapped up in the complete undoing of social structures and culturally created boundaries". The band's home became a refuge for locals seeking a place to untangle their thoughts and participate in drug-free, intellectual rambles.
By the time Raha has covered such artists as Patti Smith, Debby Harry, Siouxie Sioux, The Slits, The Raincoats, Lydia Lunch and Kim Deal, the 20th Century has closed. She believes that "No Doubt earned a feminist gold star when vocalist Gwen Stefani penned "Just a Girl", a punk-influenced pop song about the social captivity of of girlhood." On the first decade of the New Millennium, she says that "the lessons to take away from these women's work begins with what makes them better role models than those floating around in the mainstream abyss: their resistance to self-censorship." For a truly insider perspective on women in the punk rock movement over the last forty years, with thoughtful explorations of the individuals who played the music, this book is a must read. Be sure to check out the photo section!
From: Raha, M. (2005) Cinderella's Big Score: Women of the Punk and Indie Underground. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press