Bondage Up Yours

Bondage Up Yours / $5 / 1:15 / 68M / http://www.activedistribution.org / 

This is an impressive and informative mini-book that describes its sub-title topic (Female Punks in the Nineteen Nineties) admirably. The book starts off with a quick-rundown of punk’s history (since the author Michelle is British, the band list is substantially different than what most American individuals would deem “punk”), and then starts to move into the history of bands with female members (Crass, The Poison Girls, The Slits). When Michelle is discussing the history of punk, there is little to complain about; a number of different, more obscure bands are described in detail (The Raincoats) and more famous bands (Crass) are given a better treatment than “that British anarchist punk band”. However, the interviewing style of Michelle leaves much to be desired; quotes ramble on much too long (especially in the case of Louise), and the writing is stilted, leaving readers wondering why simpler constructs were not used (perhaps this is just a difference between British grammar and the more simplistic Strunk and White-dominated American system). What seems most absurd in “Bondage Up Yours” is the discussion that Michelle has about the typical happenings in a mosh pit; the style of writing seems to shift to an almost patronizing voice. However visible the flaws are in Bondage Up Yours, they pale in comparison to the use that this piece has as a feminist primer. The one thing I personally picked up from the book was that a number of chivalric actions that happen at a punk show (loading in female’s equipment, hitting them lighter in the pit) is honestly a sexist action. Either help out or hit individuals lighter, don’t just assume that because the person is female that they cannot do their own shit. The idea was present in my mind before, but thank you Michelle for showing me that I wasn’t just an insensitive ass.

Rating: 5.9/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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