Maybe Women Just Aren’t That Into Metal

nita_strauss

Nope, not thinking about how she looks at all!  Totally just admiring the playing of Alice Cooper’s guitarist, Ms. Nita Strauss!

What do comic books, science fiction, roll playing games, anime, video games and heavy metal all have in common?  Think really hard about it.  So, where most intelligent people, I would think accept the fact that men will outnumber women in all of these nerd intensive hobbies by default, there will still be that Social Justice parasite, that interloper that exists for the sole purpose of ruining the fun and joy that these things bring by accusing their practitioners of not being inclusive enough.

I stumbled upon this article titled “Metal’s Problem with Women Is Not Going Away Anytime Soon“, written by a Kristy Loye for the Houston Press.  With her obviously lazy research and her almost entirely complete lack of knowledge or insight, she levies some strong accusations against the metal genre and the people who listen to it.

In the article she concludes that:

Many bands either openly encourage violence against women or fail to support legitimate female fandom, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Female metal bands are rarely booked on national tours and practically ignored by the media — and worse, the ones who make it that far get ridiculed or sexualized.

In other words, as of November 11, 2015, according to the article, metal has their proverbial Jodi Fosters up against the pinball machines.  Now, how much does the article reflect reality?  Before one even gets to the actual article, there is a picture of a band called Halestrom, who feature three faggy looking guys with nice, swooping hair cuts and a hot broad with fantastic legs, wearing those hot patterned tights that do wonders for my libido.  Beneath the picture, the caption reads: “Question: how many metal bands featuring female members — besides Halestorm, shown above — can you name?”

Let’s see.  I can name Girlschool, Rock Goddess, Bitch, Bolt Thrower, White Zombie, Blood Ceremony, Kylesa, Electric Wizard, Acid King, Arch Enemy, Huntress, Demonic Christ, Triptykon, Nashville Pussy, Jucifer, Madam X, Lita Ford and, if we want to plumb the depths of shittyness, we can even dredge up nu-metal bands like Kittie and Otep just to prove this point.  But, what point are we trying to prove?  That metal music doesn’t have enough women participating in its creation?  That this in and of itself is some sort of indication that the metal genre, as a whole, is deliberately trying to keep women out?

She then continues with this “observation”:

Even metal fandom is exclusive. Women who are metal fans come under the constant scrutiny of male metal fans, and have their motives questioned. They’re either assumed to be a poser or a girlfriend, no more than a fan by association. Often they must prove their fandom to suspicious men who require authenticity. Ridiculous.

Is that how it is?  Because, this very weekend, I was at the mighty Detroit metal/hardcore/noise/whatever festival called Berserker fest, which a.) was run by Child Bite singer Shawn Knight and his wife Veronica, b.) had plenty of women at the gig, c.) had no instances that I recall where men accused women of not being “legit” and d.) involved me partying and drinking with two metal loving women, my friend Wendy and the mighty Dawnowar, former fan club operator for Manowar.  And if there’s one band a person can claim to be blatantly sexist, it’s them.  According to Dawnowar, her experience working with Manowar might have involved quite a bit of assholishness on the part of embarrassingly not-self aware bassist/spokesman Joey Demaio, but sexism and sexual harassment were not part of her experience.  And we’re talking about the band who wrote this song:

But, assuming that is the case, where women are scrutinized more heavily to see if they’re truly part of the club or not, that’s par for the course.  Metal – and we’re talking the more extreme side of metal, not mainstream hard rock bands like Def Leppard or Motley Crue – is an outsider form of music.  Outsider music, art and hobbies always attract more men than women.  Studies show this.  In fact, you’re more likely to find women who listen to extreme metal than who like the confusing, often messy sounding jazz-fusion noodlings of Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart.  Sure, you will find women who are into these things, but, if we’re going by the law of large numbers, it’s not as likely.

Then of course the author brings up the obligatory “objectification” argument:

For many years, metal’s message to women has been one of assignment: you can be a groupie, but not a fan or serious musician. It has failed to support women in any capacity besides as live props — objects, not subjects. It’s also guilty of encouraging a Hooters-like, bikini-model, stripper-girl atmosphere in general.

Maybe that attitude was more prevalent among glam metal musicians, so she’s not even really attacking her intended target, since anyone can attest that none of what she described happens at thrash, death, doom or black metal concerts (I wish it did, though!), but, if they did, there’s two things to say about this. 1.) When women decide to strip onstage or expose their breasts while perched atop their boyfriends’ shoulders in the audience, that is their decision; the band doesn’t make them do this.  In fact, a member of the Scorpions said that it is only in North America where this occurs.  On top of that, the groupie phenomenon is another example of the genetic differences between men and women.  Women who become groupies want to be groupies.  Popularity makes a man more desirable; or as Paul Stanley of Kiss once said, “we can do in one evening what several men spend weeks or months trying to accomplish.”  But, 2.) that “objectification” alone never prevented women from participating in music.  Lemmy, the biggest hornball of them all, still backed all girl band Girlschool simply because he liked them.  While, there aren’t many women in hard rock and heavy metal dating back to the 70s, except for maybe Heart, there has been considerably more involvement since then, and I still put the onus of becoming a musician and being in a band strictly on the women.

She continues with more tripe about female bands not headlining festivals and male fans not cheering for women.  Again, while the former is true; not many women headline metal festivals, it’s not out of some alleged discrimination; there just aren’t that many female musicians in metal and no festival promoter is going to top bill a band just to fill an affirmative action quota.  As for the second case, get over it; men cheer for bands they like regardless of the genitalia of the members.  If the members are attractive, then it’s a bonus.

And then comes the argument of the lyrics, which allegedly promote rape and violence towards women.  She makes some reasonable observations, siting some pretty damn violent lyrics by Cannibal Corpse.  But, does the band harbor an anti-woman agenda?  Are they trying to get their fans to rape and murder women?  Hardly.  I saw Cannibal Corpse once and singer George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher said onstage, “this one’s for all the ladies, it’s called ‘FUCKED… WITH… A… KNIFE!!!'”  Did the male audience members start fucking all of the women with knives?  No.  Did women feel that the male audience members would go and fuck them with knives in the parking lot?  No.  Has “Fucked with a Knife” by Cannibal Corpse led to a rise in husbands fucking all of their wives with knives?  No.  I maintain, that if you’re offended by what you hear, then don’t listen.

But, because the author of the article isn’t even good at cherry picking her “evidence” of a prevailing anti-female lyrical trend – I can find a few more examples of anti-female attitudes from metal bands, like the above Manowar song or just instances of violence towards women, such as in the rape themed, “Sex, Murder, Art” by Slayer – she sites the profanity free, PG-13 lyrics of Alice Cooper?!

The problem is nobody is taking offense to these violent lyrical themes. And if they are, they’re not speaking up about it. Alice Cooper was once quoted as saying, “There’s more blood in Macbeth than in my shows, and that’s required school reading.”

Yet there’s a stark contrast between the macabre theatrics of Cooper’s guillotine and lyrics that detail physically ripping open a woman through forced sexual contact and watching her die as a result. And even if Macbeth was bloody, it was a statement on the will to power and the attraction to corruption…and did Alice Cooper just compare himself to Shakespeare?

This last part about “forced sexual contact” is a lie.  The woman was dead for crying out loud!  And, on top of that, the theatrical piece was set to “Cold Ethyl”, a song about fucking a corpse.  So, if anything, her beef should be that Alice is promoting necrophilia!  But, on top of that, she has to throw in some slick, snarky condescension.  Alice indeed compared his show to Shakespeare, which was the popular entertainment of the Elizabethan era, and also featured some tasteless humor.  Alice has also been praised by Bob Dylan as an underrated songwriter, so you can take your “intellectual” credentials and shove ’em up yer arse!

Ah, but there’s hope after all!

Believe it or not, some bands do self-correct. Some men will stand up for women and understand that women can be equal partners in artistic expression, even in death metal. We love those men.

Speaking to Andy Marsh, guitarist for Thy Art Is Murder, he makes no attempts at backpedaling or defending the lyrical content of his band’s 2008 release, Infinite Death, which contains lyrics like, “I’m inflicting bloodshed upon bitches/ just because I hate the female race…women were born to be fucked.” In fact, he agrees they were abhorrent, and his level of discomfort with the band’s previous sexism was apparent.

Abhorrent?  How about just retarded?  But, feel free to “self-correct.”  Your lyrics will emancipate all of the women from this awful patriarchal society, in which women have their clits cut and are forced to wear burqas.

Even Whitechapel, due at Houston’s Scout Bar next Monday, has followed suit. The band responsible for such lyrics as “I ripped her fucking limb from limb,” from 2006 LP Somatic Defilement (“Vicer Exciser”), has now turned away from misogynistic lyrical content. It wasn’t easy move for a band named after the area of London where Jack the Ripper murdered at least five women, but the band felt it was a necessary move. (Right on.)

Right on!  Don’t ever sing about anything unless someone with a vagina approves of it.  You will be re-educated to think like them and they will arbitrate the correct things to sing about.

Metal is not alone in its ostracism of women — its close cousin, punk rock, was completely revamped 20 years ago. Back in the ’90s, female punk fans and musicians are credited for riding the third wave of feminism and forming their very own subgenre, Riot Grrrl, with bands like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile and L7, a spirit that even surfaced in Russia a generation later with the rise of Pussy Riot. When those women wanted opportunities in the punk scene that didn’t already exist, they simply created them. Yet even that scene wasn’t created in a vacuum.

This paragraph is a complete lie and further exemplifies the ignorance of the author.  Punk rock NEVER ostracized women and, since the mid ’70s, had more women involved than metal on both of sides of the Atlantic; Siouxsie and the Banshees, X-Ray Spex, the Adverts, the Rezillos, the Slits, Vice Squad, Penetration, the Runaways, Blondie, Patti Smith, X, the Germs, the Avengers and the Bags are just a few examples; those don’t even count New York noise rockers like Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore or Boss Hog.  Hell, if she wants to find the roots of all this turbo-slut, sex-positive feminist nonsense, she would do well to look up Lydia Lunch, the adorable looking, yet repulsively acting singer for Teenage Jesus and the Jerks.  The fact that the author makes such an audacious claim, yet doesn’t even know some of the bands I mentioned, makes me wonder if she even listens to music or if she’s just trying to ruin things with her Social Justice agenda.

And, in the final section of the piece, she mentions… ugh, War on Women.

It’s not just women who need to fight misogyny in music. War On Women’s Shawna Potter encourages men to take up the battle as well.

“While women [with people of color and the LGBQT community] must fight for our rights and humanity, men must also fight,” she says. “They must [fight] against the insulting notion that they are animals have no self-control. But first, they must see it as insulting, I suppose.

So that’s the name of the hot singer for War on Women, whose gyrations made me tight in the pants.

 

 

 

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