The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion, and Rock 'n' Roll

Simon Reynolds, Author, Joy Press, With Harvard University Press $27.5 (432p) ISBN 978-0-674-80272-8
Attempting to focus on rock 'n' roll's underlying misogynies, freelance critics Reynolds and Press claim that two distinct male characters dominate the genre: the angry rebel and the sensitive mama's boy. They argue that the rebel image, exemplified by groups like the Rolling Stones and Throbbing Gristle, blames mothers for the degenerate youth culture and incites negative, if not violent, portrayals of women. Opposite such groups are those who bring the rebel full circle: dreampop, ambient and noise artists like My Bloody Valentine who have revived psychedelia's romanticism. Left stranded, then, are women who have had to find their place among these two male forces. While Patti Smith and Kate Bush have turned to males as role models, Kristin Hersh and Courtney Love have formulated their own brand of music. Yet the authors speak less about how women have dealt with the misogyny, spending more space defining the rebel and boy personas in this clinical analysis. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
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