Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Virgin Sacrificers Miss Their Mark

A comment/question posted on my last blog entry by an anonymous reader caught my attention.

"I like your observation that punk changed the way women felt about themselves because that attitude certainly seems to be prevalent among females of that generation but I am curious to know your feelings about young women today. Do you feel that punk made a lasting impact on how women view themselves and each other and if not, why?"

That's a tough question to answer because I'm not comfortable speaking for a generation of women, especially a generation to which I don't belong. I'd say that punk did have a lasting impact on women, whether or not they're aware of it. The advances each generation makes contribute to the advancement of future generations, each building upon the work of those who came before.

I think that many young girls today are hesitant to label themselves as female musicians or point out that they are in all girl bands and would rather not use the label of feminist because they are not stepping into a situation where they have to prove that they are equal. Somebody who came before them already proved it.

I think it's great that they don't have to prove themselves, however, not being aware of the fact that there still is a need for a feminist attitude can be detrimental because refusing to acknowledge where you've come from makes it difficult to recognize that you haven't yet reached your destination.

I think for the women who became immersed in the punk culture, it was life changing. Today, it's difficult to tell a mall punk from a person who truly believes in self-determination. There's a difference and the broader culture tends to enforce and reward conformity. Young women today are still modern day virgin sacrifices. They are just grist for the consumerist mill and unfortunately that reality has not changed. In fact, it may be even worse because as mass media has become omnipresent, young women are bombarded by messages that tell them they don't look good enough, are not thin enough, need to buy stuff to help them stop stinking, breaking out, etc. The only way they'll get the coveted boyfriend/husband is to buy more stuff.

I should clarify that I am what used to be called a lipstick feminist, meaning that I believe anyone should look and feel their best when they go out into the world and there is no shame in making the most of what you have. But that is not the same thing as an all-consuming obsession with an ideal image that is created by somebody else so that they can make a profit off the insecurity they've fostered in you.

So the short answer is, some things have gotten better, some things have gotten worse. Still plenty of things to write songs about.


godoggo said...

Don Bolles in trouble

Alice Bag said...

Just in case anyone follows the link posted by godoggo, I just found this on the AP newswire. It appears that the soap manufacturer is paying Don's legal costs. I know we'd all like to help Don but please research to your full satisfaction before contributing to any paypal account. You should be certain that your money and/or resources are going where they can do the most good.

Don + Soap ...???
Alice 4/11/07

From the A.P. newswire:

"Punk icon DON BOLLES is struggling to clear his name after being arrested with what police are convinced is date-rape drug GHB. The former The Germs drummer, real name Jimmy Michael Giorsetti, was pulled over in Newport Beach, California for driving with a broken taillight last week (04APR07) and police searching his van found a bottle of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap. A field test of the liquid indicated it contained GHB and Bolles was arrested on suspicion of felony narcotics possession. He spent a night in local police cells and then was transferred to two county jails before his release on Sunday (08APR07). Bolles maintains his innocence, insisting he has been using the Magic Soap for over 30 years. He tells the Los Angeles Times newspaper, "A date-rape drug is the last thing I need. If anything, I need a way to keep the girls off of me. They make my girlfriend mad." And, as he prepares to defend himself, the one-time heroin addict has won the support of the manufacturers of his favourite liquid soap. Dr Bronner's company President David Bronner has agreed to pay for Bolles' legal costs, stating, "The field test must have been flawed or tampered with." Bronner admits police field tests of Magic Soap have occasionally indicated THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, because the soap includes hemp oil. But the GHB findings are "beyond belief."

12/04/2007 03:26

godoggo said...

Thanks for that update, Alice. Just trying to be helpful.

I found another post there that had comments available and let them know what you said.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is ripe! However, old Don will probably be able to turn this around to his advantage.

Just about ten years ago, I was popped for possession of liquid P.C.P., which in reality, was video tape head cleaner - no, it was'nt "Rush" - from Blockbuster!

I ended up with 6 different lawsuits against the cops, and was paid out - rather promptly, I might add - $150.000.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alice,
I couldn't find an email address on your website but I am putting together a zine on women in the NW involved in hardcore punk. I was wondering if I could re-print your response to this questoin and site you. I would love to be able to share these words with my audience. Feel free to email me at