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Pretty in Punk: Girl's Gender Resistance in a Boy's Subculture
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Pretty in Punk: Girl's Gender Resistance in a Boy's Subculture

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  423 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Pretty in Punk combines autobiography, interviews, and sophisticated analysis to create the first insider’s examination of the ways punk girls resist gender roles and create strong identities.

Why would an articulate, intelligent, thoughtful young women shave off most of her hair, dye the remainder green, shape it into a mohawk, and glue it onto her head? What attracts girl
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Rutgers University Press
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Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
coming from a anarcha-punk perspective:
this book did nothing for me. it basically highlighted the most nihilistic people in punk that yell at you when you dont give them change, beat their dogs, come to your benefit shows and refuse to pay, get really wasted and wreck your house, then overextend their stay.

this book was really disheartening and i felt like silences the women who do shit in punk outside of college acedemia upper middle class riot grrls or skumfuck gutter punks. these other women
Mar 24, 2007 rated it did not like it
i read this and was bored. it's about clothes and hair. nobody gives a shit.
Dec 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
I think i had high expectations for this book, and so i was let down. I dont feel that Leblanc came to any conclusions or made any summaries of her own. Everything i read in this book I already knew from my own involvement in the punk scene. I think i could have written a much more interesting book had i just interviewed my girlfriends, and they would have been much more well spoken, and portrayed punks in a better light...
Sep 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
One of the few sociological texts that considers girls' involvement with punk, and how it effects their social lives, interactions with authority, peer and familial relationships, and professional ambitions. Most importantly, it challenges the supposedly egalitarian gender and sex politics of punk, delving into how boys and men in this scene could be just as exclusionary, sexist, misogynistic, and regressive as any other music scene, yet makes you really root for these tough, smart, courageous g ...more
Anna Graizbord
Jul 12, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: 14-year-olds
Dissappointing. Not enough theory or analysis.
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Except for trying to make herself seem uber cool, tyhis is a really good book. I realized very quickly, however, that the point of the book seemed more to revolve around the author, rather than the actual points of the subculture.
Stacy Fetters
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Badass punk girls are taking over the world.
While reading this, I realized I share the same ideas and views of these girls. Now, I want a Mohawk.
Many mixed feelings.

I am glad the subject gathered enough interest for an actual book to be published. Yeah!
The research done is really superficial and it’s not really analysed: what we get is mostly the author’s point of view. Booh!
The testimonies were very interesting and illustrated the many issues with being the female minority in a generally male-dominated subculture. Yeah!
The sampling of testimonies was really localized and not diverse enough to feel representative. Booh!
It’s interesting t
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: music, political
Interesting topic that deserves many writings on the subject, and this is perhaps one of the most well-known outside of avid zine readers. It comes across as more the author's point of view, and then finding data and theory to back this up, this is what I call bad research (though it is what most academics [heck, even I've done it] do). The better understanding to your study is to first collect data, use one or more theoretical frameworks to interpret the data, and then state a conclusion. There ...more
Apr 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book assumes that punk rock is male. Repeatedly, starting with the title, the words boys' subculture are teamed up with boy-words like masculine, man, boy, macho etc. etc. There is the possiblity that punk rock is not rooted in the male gender, but that the author made this assumption because of her own personal punk rock experiences--obviously she is extremely aware of being a female.

By the time the author wrote this book in 1999, the punk culture had solidified itself as a genre with sub
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
this book ended up being very useful to me in college as i wrote a lot of papers about subjects where it could be referenced. at the time there wasn't a lot of material on the subject and people were only begining to use the internet as a research tool (yes 10 years ago the academic search engines we use every day were still being developed).

that being said, it's not that great of a book. It's pretty boring even considering how interested i was in the subject at the time but I did get a lot of
Oct 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is half sociological theory about gender-construction in subcultures and half true stories of girls in punk subculture. The sociological theory I found a little dry; I'd forgotten that in academic writing you have to spend a paragraph explaining every quote you use. However, the true stories about punk girls were interesting, as were the ideas presented in the book. Leblanc does an excellent job explaining the multiple problems and pressures of being a girl in any subculture and the di ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting read if only for the fascinating, insightful interviews with the punk girls themselves; some of the conclusions reached by the author aren't actually supported by her research. If you do read this, skip over the potted history of punk in one of the early chapters because it's riddled with factual inaccuracies, e.g. Jordan danced on stage in the early days of the Sex Pistols, not Siouxsie Sioux as stated here.
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Given that the subject matter is right up my alley, I didn't enjoy this as much as I anticipated. The writing style does not draw the reader in: it's both overly academic and lacks flow. However, I found the second half significantly more engaging than the first. My favorite chapter was "'I'll Slap on My Lipstick and Then Kick Their Ass': Constructing Femininity." It was definitely interesting research but not necessarily an enjoyable read.
Dated by now, and dry academic reading that can be rough without some background in sociology and feminist theory (I have the latter, but not the former), but there were flashes in there of... me, I guess. Can I say that without sounding like a douchebag? Bald women in combat boots, traipsing through life with foul language and an ironic grin. I can get behind that.
Nov 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
I first picked up this book just to read, and ended up doing a paper on it in college. The author looks at the female punk from the view of an ex-punk who was a sociologist. I enjoyed it at the time and found several parallels to my own life. I still own it and think that I should read it now that I'm a little older and to relive my youth.
Allison Thurman
Mar 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-loan
Finally! Someone talks to punk girls about what it's like to be female in that subculture. Take away points: punk women often use humor more successfully than aggression to deal with harassment (sexual and in general), and instead of fretting over teenage girls we should LISTEN to them!

8/26/2010 - loaned to D.
Apr 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Interesting book, like the investigation into the gutter punk culture. Fairly dry reading, but enjoyable nonetheless. Worth reading for a girl who has run in the punk culture at some point or another.
Geoff Vasile
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Equal parts ethnography and autobiography, Pretty In Punk takes a measured yet daring look at the cultural frontier of the Punk scene from a woman's perspective. Academics, music enthusiasts, and readers of all stripes are guaranteed to enjoy this book. Just not hipsters.
Jun 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
grrrl power.
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
So far this is an enjoyable read inspecting women's interaction with the patriarchal forces within punk, and outside of the subculture.
May 17, 2007 rated it liked it
I'm only giving this three stars because I was forced to use it for 8000 projects in undergrad, because ... there wasn't any other academic writing about this stuff at the time.
Jun 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sociology, chicks
I found this book while looking for sources and ended up reading the thing cover-to-cover, couldn't put it down. Wish there was more on the topic.
Jan 27, 2008 rated it liked it
interesting, but not particularly informative, as i recall. though she made some solid arguments.
Aubrie Layton
Aug 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
A part of Punk that is underlooked and under appreciated.
Ainsley Thrasher
Jun 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
I read this book when I was 15 before I ran away from home. I really don't remember anything about it other than that. I do remember enjoying it though
Nov 05, 2015 added it
Great book exploring girls' resistance to gender roles. I recommend to others who love reading about subcultures structures
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Read this a long time ago. Dry, but an interesting academic book.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I did enjoy the subject matter and conclusions but honestly it was pretty boring for such a vibrant topic. The interview segments were the best part to me.
rated it liked it
Aug 20, 2013
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“In order to win the femininity game, women and girls must abandon the valued "masculine" characteristics of self-efficacy and self-determination. However, this is the catch: the femininity game ultimately presents girls and women with a "no-win" situation. Although failure to live up to the expectations of femininity can have devastating effects on girls' and women's self-esteem, so can success in attaining them. A "winner" of the femininity game has effectively stripped herself of valued human characteristics in adopting an undervalued identity.” 2 likes
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