Revenge of the She-Punks
A Feminist Music History from Poly Styrene to Pussy Riot
By Vivien Goldman
What makes punk such a liberating art form for women?
In this volume, post-punk musician and journalist Vivien Goldman probes four themes—identity, money, love (or unlove), and protest—to explore the connection.
Goldman blends interviews, history, and her personal experience as one of Britain's first female music writers in a book that reads like a vivid documentary of a genre defined by dismantling boundaries.
A discussion of the Patti Smith song "Free Money," for example, opens with Goldman on a shopping spree with Smith. Tamar-Kali, whose name pays homage to a Hindu goddess, describes the influence of her Gullah ancestors on her music, while the late Poly Styrene's daughter reflects on why her Somali-Scots-Irish mother wrote the 1978 punk anthem "Identity," with the refrain "Identity is the crisis you can't see."
Other strands feature artists from farther afield (including in Colombia and Indonesia) and genre-busting revolutionaries such as Grace Jones, who wasn't exclusively punk but clearly influenced the movement while absorbing its liberating audacity.
From punk's European origins to its international horizons, this is an exhilarating world tour.
Designed by Amanda Weiss
Published by the University of Texas Press, 2019
Softcover, 216 pages, b&w, 5.5 × 8.2 inches