Blog post 11/13

In this class, we have discussed the various modes of protest throughout the last half of the 20th century. One main subject of protest that we have not yet discussed is the role of gender broadly, and the role of the feminist movement in particular, as a movement of protest. The article that you read for today gives us clues as to how the feminist movement (broadly construed) was integrated into Raincoats songs. Give me two examples of how The Raincoats protested against traditional masculine renderings of punk music.

15 comments on “Blog post 11/13

  1. Z says:

    Different from traditional masculine renders of punk music, The Raincoats did not use a lead vocalist and guitar solos, which is actually crucial and common in male punk music. The Raincoats eschews common features if musical masculinity, and in performance they did not challenged passive notions of women nor asserted their right to the stage. Moreover, in the Raincoats, there is no punk aggression and macho posturing. At this perspective, the Raincoats has its distinctive way to protest compared to the male punk music.

  2. Aamina Ahmad says:

    The Raincoats protested traditional masculine renderings of punk music both through their lyrics and the way they performed their songs. For example, in “Fairytale in the Supermarket” the Raincoats challenge feminist conventions by singing about the supermarket – a place commonly occupied by women in traditional stereotypes. They do not outwardly protest the woman’s place in society but by referring to the supermarket they make the listener question traditional feminine conventions. They also protest traditional masculine renderings of punk music in the way they performed. Unlike other punk bands, the Raincoats did not have a lead vocalist and did not have guitar solos. Although this does not necessarily bring anything feminine to their music, it was still atypical from other all-male punk bands.

  3. Melody Carter says:

    Being a female punk group, The Raincoats transitioned away from the traditional masculine renderings of punk music. One example of them doing so is the fact that The Raincoats did not have a lead vocalist; nor did they incorporate guitar solos into their performances. The Raincoats believed in each member of the group having her own individuality, rather than there being a group image. Different from the masculine punk groups, The Raincoats would dress how each person wanted to, and they strayed away from dramatic poses when taking pictures. They often took pictures laughing and interacting with each other because they wanted to “create a feeling of community around the band, rather than one of stardom.” These two aspects of The Raincoats exemplify how the group protested against tradiotional masculine renderings of punk music.

  4. danmann7 says:

    The Raincoats protested against traditional masculine punk music in many ways. One major difference between the Raincoats and masculine punk bands is the lack of lead vocals. In place of lead vocals, most of the band members sing, intertwining their vocals and using their voices more as instruments than actual vocals. In fact their music as a whole lacks a lot of harsh instrumental use that stands out, like guitar solos. They also support feminism through their lyrics, singing more about female topics and always acting very strongly feminist in interviews and through their music.

  5. Naeem says:

    The Raincoats exhibited a variety of different actions in order to stray away from the traditional, masculine punk music. FIrst, the band expressed feminism through the lyrics of their songs. In their song “Fairytale in the Supermarket,” for example, the Raincoats sing not of classic feminist concepts such as rape and sexual discrimination, but rather of a women’s need to step out of her stereotypical role, confronting “the private lives of women in and outside the home” (9). Additionally, the Raincoats protested against traditional masculine punk by avoiding the concept of a lead vocalist and guitar solos. They did not exhibit the violent and harsh screaming generally associated with masculine punk music. Rather, they focused their music on the idea of each individual woman’s own self-expression. By avoiding the traditional lyrics and the vehement nature of punk music, the Raincoats were able to protest against traditional masculine punk music.

  6. Robbie Katz says:

    The Raincoats protested against traditional masculine renderings of punk music by making their music unique in various ways. One aspect that their music was unique was the fact that it was “nearly impossible to sing along to” which strongly differed from common punk music which attempted to “encourage listener participation.” Another way they protested by being different was they used instruments in a non-orthodox way in order to further illustrate emotion beyond the lyrics. For example in the song “In Love”, Aspinall purposefully plays in an “untuned, scratchy” manner. The Raincoats quietly protested against the masculinity of punk by being distinct and quirky in their own way.

  7. Lyons Li says:

    Unlike the contemporary male bands, the Raincoats had a great strength that is their willingness to risk their voices, showing that their ability to sing. Furthermore, when they wrote a song, they carefully avoid characterizing women as a soft or no-hierarchical sex. And the Raincoats has their special form of music. Their songs are considered kind of “incomplete” by the traditional punkers, because the Raincoats’ songs have frazzled beginning and shaky playing. Such form may make the audience uncomfortable because they are not used to such fragmentary music. Moreover, the Raincoats concord instead of guitar solos and heavy rock beats, which are two important elements in masculine punk music.

  8. Abby says:

    Male punk bands were characterized by loud sound, guttural singing and aggressive stage posturing or in other words, an overall feel of “machoness”. The Raincoats, on the other hand, adopted a more avant-garde approach to their music. However, they did not directly oppose the “machoness” of their male counterparts. First, they entered a male-dominated culture, and being onstage defied the masculine stereotype of punkness. Second, they “never overtly played with their sexuality on stage” and had an “asexual” dress style. In their performances, the Raincoat members did not assert themselves on stage nor challenge the passive stereotypes of woman. Rather, they created an image of community among the band. In photographs, they would smile and laugh, which reinforced their sense of unity instead of pushing one band member to stardom. They did not shove themselves into the spotlight as many male punk bands did when they were onstage.

  9. Dalila Vazquez says:

    The Raincoats used punk music to express their ideas, considered by many feminist ideas. They did this in a very distinctive way, which was by protesting against traditional masculine renderings of punk music. One example of this protest was the fact that being women they created a punk band. Commonly punk bands were only male bands, so by creating a women’s band they were challenging this aspect of punk music, and were demonstrating that women were as able as men to create punk music. Also, the way that The Raincoats presented their music was also a protest from the traditional punk music style. For instance, it is mentioned in the article how The Raincoats added a violinist in their band underlining “their musical and instrumental eclecticism” (305) In addition, The Raincoats lacked a lead vocalist and guitar solos, which were typical for a male punk band.

  10. Monica Poleway says:

    The Raincoats went against the normal punk rock band tradition by being an all girls and used their music to express feminist ideas. One way they protested the traditional masculine ideas of punk rock was by not having a formal lead vocalist, all members of the band sang and were able to express themselves. Another way they protested against the traditions of punk rock was there lyrics. For example, “Fairytale in the Supermarket,” they sing about women’s ability to not be traditional and stand up for there rights. Traditional the women does the shopping-hence a supermarket, but in the song the Raincoats are trying to get women to step out of their comfort zone.

  11. Rafe Mosetick says:

    They challenged traditional punk music by just being out there. Although there were a few female bands, few had the amount of praise as the Raincoats. So by being popular and performing they are challenging the belief woman can’t be successful punk rockers. The Raincoats had neither a lead singer nor a lead guitarist. Male Punk Rock bands or Rock bands in general focused their attention to the singer or the guitarist. The mens band were all about being “macho” and individualism. The Raincoats challenge this by not having a lead anything. Singing in a bigger group put more power to the words since they are collective group. It makes listeners feel that they are not alone and their are people to back them up.

  12. Haoyue Ma says:

    In “The Raincoats: breaking down punk rock’s masculinities”, O’Meara states several ways in which The Raincoats protests against the traditional masculinity recognition in punk music. For instance, when Greil Marcus objected to the early negative reviews of their music, she stated, “the Raincoats could not play well enough to sound like anyone else” (300), in which the “anyone else” refers to the masculine rock artists. She meant that, with prejudice towards feminineness, audiences and reviewers could not truly appreciate the essence of their rock music. Her opinion to some degree protests against the traditional masculinity of punk music. Furthermore, the critic Graham Lock lauded the Raincoats’ creative and innovative process in their rock music works, by saying that one of the greatest strengths of the Raincoats is “to push them beyond the limit in their attempts to reshape the parameters of female pop singing” (301). The Raincoats bravely added their “female imagination” to music, rather than simply reinterpreting the punk project, which also implicitly demonstrates their protest against traditional prejudice of feminine in punk music.

  13. Will Adams says:

    In a time of male dominated punk music, the Raincoats excelled in conveying their feminist message by protesting against traditional masculine renderings of punk music. Even though all male punk bands of the 1970s had a lead vocalist and guitar solos, the Raincoats broke this tradition in order to emphasize the individual role of each of the specific members. Instead of having a lead musician, the Raincoats held equal roles in order to emphasize the idea of collectivity and having unity with others. Another way the Raincoats differed from the stereotypical masculine punk music of the 1970s was the incorporation of the violin in the song “In Love.” The violin provides a reassuring tone that explains that women have problems dealing with love and a desire to be loved.

  14. Tony Huang says:

    The Raincoats were unique in many ways from typical punk bands for the purpose of protesting against masculine tradition of the punk music. First of all, unlike other punk bands that always have a leading singer and guitar solo, every member of the Raincoats shared equal roles in its songs. This emphasied the idea of collectivity and also suggest that everyone, whether male or female, is equal in the realm of music. Another way the Raincoats protested against the tradition is its lyrics and nuique ways of proforming. They support feminst movement through lyrics and they tend not to use hard instruments.

  15. Jen Chung says:

    Caroline O’Meara writes that the female punk band, The Raincoats, often times sang in various pitches and were “‘[willing] to risk their voices, to push them beyond the limit in attempts to reshape the parameters of female pop singing (Lock 1984)'” in order to revolutionize the perception of women in the punk music scene. For example, in the song “Fairytale in the Supermarket,” vocalist Da Silva experiments with her vocal range by having no repetitive pattern of vocal interruptions. As O’Meara put it, “Da Silva’s punchy slides and her inexpert vocal technique fractures the musical surface, drawing the listener in without providing an opportunity for identification” (O’Meara 308). Continuing with their nonconformist approach to masculine punk music, The Raincoats sympathize with women in their respective duties and home environments. The lyrics never looked down upon the necessary duties of homemakers, but rather worked to embrace them and the difficulties that they sometimes bring to the lives of these women. All in all O’Meara argues that while many aspects of The Raincoats’ music followed the traditional sounds and styles of previous punk music, “they used the public forum of rock discourse to open the closed worlds of the home and women’s emotional life to expression in rock” (O’Meara 304).

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