Submitted by groovygardener42069 in Feminism

Maybe not the best forum for this, if so, sorry.

For those unaware, I'm specifically referring to this song, "Kabuki Girl." Huge TW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jjHwrX8R5M

The Descendents are generally regarded as the most important pop punk band and one of the most important punk bands in general. They wrote this song at the tender age of 17 in the 80s, so I'll cut them a certain amount of slack, but I'm not sure the band has ever made any statements addressing this song and others that sound like incel anthems in 2021.

Anyone who's spent any time in the punk scene knows exactly what I'm talking about. It's like the pop punk version of hardcore kids "ironically" listening to skrewdriver, only instead it's full on heart-on-sleeve unironic singing along with the windows down to a song called fucking "Kabuki Girl"

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d4rk wrote

plenty of the pop punk songs individually i have listened in my youth did not age well, so far Misery Business by Paramore and Hello Kitty by Avril Lavigne being some of them. But it doesn't exactly totalize their entire careers and of the time of composition it was definitely a teen topic. Hello Kitty being a critique of Harajuku culture and Misery Business tackling post-breakup opinions within the cisheteronormative ideas of the contemporary youth, I agree with the composers and performers on this that both songs have not aged well with Paramore no longer singing Misery Business in their live sets. You have a valid sentiment, they need to apologize for this, hopefully soberly to avoid Osborne levels of cancellation.

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groovygardener42069 OP wrote

I would say this goes even beyond that and into what I would call cult-level apologism. I've had people that I otherwise looked up to as examples of praxis get straight-up mad at me for making a joke about this. Like the nostalgia factor for them totally overrode the clear problematic factors at play. I had to change the subject cause they were getting heated.

Cover bands will make a point to include this and other super problematic descendents songs into their sets. And the whole fuckin' crowd will go apeshit for it.

Like what I'm saying is that I think it's past the point of being about one song or one band and being indicative of a baseline level of toxicity within the scene itself.

There's a few descendents songs that still hold up and still move me. If they re-released Milo Goes To College with only those songs, as like a 7", I would buy it in a heartbeat. But I just don't ever see that happening tbh

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Kinshavo wrote

One big factor on this is the toxic masculinity and misogyny present in lots of musical scenes... It is a non ending daily struggle, thanks for bringing this up I know the Descendants but never get passed two music's or so.

Even silly broken heart songs can contribute with the misogynistic culture around music and society

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groovygardener42069 OP wrote

Right, but arena rock ala bon jovi doesn't position itself as an alternative to popular culture in the same way pop punk does (or tries to, depending on how you look at things).

There are some really amazing and poignant breakup songs from a male perspective. "Heard it Through the Grapevine," "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," "Walk on By"

Shit, even "Love Hurts" by Nazareth gets to the point without being toxic about it.

I feel like there's two lines here - what are we as a culture tolerating and what are we as a culture celebrating? Take that song "Blurred Lines" for example - depending on the context and crowd in which its played, that song may not be welcome at all, or it could get the whole floor heated. Personally I fucking hate that song, but this all points to a certain level of responsibility among DJs, scene-shapers, etc to use judgement in what they celebrate within their respective scenes.

But within the context of (pop) punk, in 2021, I'm surprised I haven't seen an honest reappraisal of stuff like this that is objectively awful but still considered a classic representation of the genre.

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ruin wrote

Much of the genre is basically a precursor of incel culture. That nice, nerdy kid that gets picked on at school by jocks and can’t get “the girl” trope is the bulk of pop punk along with the explicitly political acts.

Rather than a reappraisal, maybe all the oldies could just quit listening to that type of shit. Honestly, they’re the only ones that care about the descendents aside from maybe some tweens just getting into the genre and trying to look cool by listening to mediocre 40 year old bands.

One of my kids has started getting into punk and I’m positive she has no idea who they are. On the counter culture side of the scene folk punk, metal, and noisier shit seems to be where it’s at. For her it’s pat the bunny rather than the descendents as the entry point.

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lastfutures wrote

Or even queer, garage, or riot grrrl type stuff if you want something more pop without being whiny straight dudes.

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ruin wrote

True. Lots of options. If you don’t want to listen to music with shitty messages you don’t have to.

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groovygardener42069 OP wrote

I'm not sure where to go where that scene exists, apart from picking up and moving to that one neighborhood in Chicago, but I don't wanna move to Chicago.

I ended up just kinda leaving the punk scene a while back cause I didn't wanna be in a boy's club anymore

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ruin wrote

I’m many years (and currently, miles) removed from any scene, but there seems to be quite a bit of good stuff going on in various corners of the us.

Honestly not sure about what’s going on in Chicago. Philly seems cool for “non boys club” though.

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Kinshavo wrote

Much of the genre is basically a precursor of incel culture.

I didn't knew that. And I think a lot of this interact with the regional/national scene too. But I can't see any culture around the world that don't reproduce the misogynistic patriarchy that permeates every level of that society. Actually if we stop to think about any other positive trait, decolonization, queer positivity and feminist, BiPOC representation and reparations, neurodiverse awareness etc.. the general culture is centuries behind and I don't want to sound "progressivist" but we had this toxic culture for so long that the tolerance seems so distant

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ruin wrote

All good points.

I should also point out that I’m calling it a “precursor” to incel I meant that while not as blatantly and even violently misogynistic, there’s much to be found in common. Pop punk tends to play it off as a joke though.

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d4rk wrote

I wouldn't put it that way since we're dealing with teenage problems on a recently developed social sphere. I'm GenZ yet grew up with the generation where "gay" was an insult. I'm not saying they're right, more like give the now adults the benefit of the doubt. They were kids who at this point should grow up. No one's childhood should be defended, everyone clearly knows it was the shitiest time to be alive but we grew up. Times change, we're no longer young enough to do dumb shit.

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rot wrote

hate pop "punk" ruined punk

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d4rk wrote (edited )

wait till you hear about Johnny Lydon

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