Or are songs about killing men and hiding their bodies, or committing felonious acts against personal property of men? But at the end of the day, they were singing about the same thing — fictional characters murdering people with fucking hammers. These examples are being used to illustrate a greater point — in metal music, there are going to be songs about violence against women and disturbing subject matter in general. Taken at face value, this seems like something to rally against. Quite the opposite, the reason the lyrics work in context of the music is because the audience members male and female find them disturbing.
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Or are songs about killing men and hiding their bodies, or committing felonious acts against personal property of men? But at the end of the day, they were singing about the same thing — fictional characters murdering people with fucking hammers.
These examples are being used to illustrate a greater point — in metal music, there are going to be songs about violence against women and disturbing subject matter in general.
Taken at face value, this seems like something to rally against. Quite the opposite, the reason the lyrics work in context of the music is because the audience members male and female find them disturbing.
The best example I can think of is the Helter Skelter murders. And Helter Skelter is a song about a fucking slide in England. The fanbase already existed, and it was predominantly working class white males in Western industrial countries the US and UK. Considering the fact that metal culture started increasing at the same time as the feminist movement was gaining social momentum in the United States also observed by Weinstein in her book — it can be viewed as a reactionary movement in the sense that it is a space where masculine qualities are socially acceptable.
But is Masculinist the same thing as misogynistic? Quite simply, the answer is no. Celebrating and encouraging patterns of behavior and social norms that have been denoted as masculine does not in any way, shape, or form promote a dislike of the feminine.
Quite the opposite, I would argue that an appreciation of the feminine is an inherent part of traditional masculinity. On Discrimination Against Female Metal Artists and Fans At face value, this seems like one of the stronger arguments that there is a good deal of discrimination in metal culture. There is certainly a notable gender gap when it comes to the proportion of male v. Just like the fanbase, the pool of metal artists is predominantly male.
And as you traverse the spectrum of music from mainstream into extreme metal — the gap gets considerably larger.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to this — I would argue that the main factor is that metal music appeals to men as a demographic significantly more than it does to women. I have yet to see an article accusing Adele of hating men because her fanbase is predominantly female. In fact, it makes perfect sense that a woman who makes music that deals with feminine attitudes and issues and presents a very effeminate sonic format would appeal to women.
Almost as much sense as music that deals with predominantly male attitudes, made by predominantly male artists, in a masculine sonic format will appeal to a predominantly male audience. And the biggest or most visible critics of masculine metal culture have no fucking clue about the music. For every woman who fails to gain popularity in the metal scene — there are probably guys who fail as well.
Because that, more than anything, is the argument behind why there is so little female participation in metal. Heavy Metal is a music and culture that celebrate power in various forms. I can think of a few women who break that mold… As a matter of fact — the girls in Arch Enemy, Eluveitie, Unleash the Archers, Huntress, Kittie, Otep, The Agonist, Kittie the list could go on all day prove exactly the opposite is true. In fact, I would argue that women in metal have a LOT more credibility if they dress like fucking metalheads.
So, we can kind of see a pattern here — the only female metalheads who use sex appeal over talent are the more mainstream bands. And I have a big problem with this. I have a problem with it because mainstream metal is the gateway for people to get into some of the harder, underground stuff. And within groupie culture, dressing in a certain way signals that these girls are there specifically to try and have sex with the band.
In an empowering, these girls are exactly where they want to be doing exactly what they want to do sort of way. However, this does present a cultural problem. Not because all men are pigs, but because their fellow females have participated in creating a groupie culture within metal and hard rock. Now, these numbers are changing thank god, a few women certainly bring a breath of fresh air into the sausage party that is a metal show — but the only real way to get rid of these negative stereotypes is for girls to go to metal shows.
The more genuine female metalheads there are at shows, the more that stereotype will disappear. Can groupies be genuine metal fans? Metal Culture relies heavily on visual cues 1 because humans are predominantly visual creatures and 2 because in many areas of the world metal is shunned.
Side note — this is why I make a big deal out of mainstream culture co-opting the metal uniform over the past few years. And girls do get this a lot more than guys. Because assholes are everywhere. Metal elitists are cool as fuck. People who do stuff like this are just plain assholes.
If you want to learn about the culture of heavy metal — who makes it, who listens to it, and why everyone else hates it — then this is the book. Elegantly written and just about perfect — how many other rock books can you say that about? This is a rigorous effort, but some ideas could have been pushed harder. The plethora of treasures in this work far outweighs any limitations.
Heavy Metal: The Music and Its Culture
Deena Weinstein, a professor of sociology, tackles here the music and its followers head on, to try and give outsiders a serious and accurate picture of such a misunderstood musical genre. Now, first published in , such description is obviously not innocent: glam metal exploded on MTV the whole previous decade, thrash is slowly emerging, and, above all, we are then barely years after the PMRC hearing and its political agenda tried to discredit and legislate the whole scene. She is indeed far from being a clueless armchair intellectual, and it shows in how engaging she is all along. She displays a serious knowledge of a scene which is quite difficult to grasp for the noninitiate; and the way she sails through it all, steering the reader smoothly by being enlightening while debunking all the silly labellings death-obsessed, Satanists, sexual perverts, blah blah blah She acknowledges the complexity and skilful musicianship required to play such a style.