There’s a nice thought piece over at the Atom Smasher Music blog titled, Women in Metal: I Salute You, written up by Serena Cherry about the continued marginalization and sexism towards women in the Metal scene. I’m glad to see that folks are still having a dialogue about this and realizing that the rampant sexism emerging from Hollywood isn’t the only place where misogyny and abuse are thriving.
Not surprisingly, many of the comments that Serena listed in her post aren’t unlike the ones I encountered back when I was doing my research on Women in NYC’s extreme metal music scene. The constant testing of authenticity happens in almost all genres of music, and, as many folks can agree is just tiresome. While great strides have been and are continuing to be made by women, there’s still a long road. One aspect to keep in mind for these authors writing about women in metal are the intersectionalities – let’s not forget about race and sexuality – still challenging areas within metal to navigate and full of political polarizations. Having been woke by colleagues of mine about racism in the metal genre, it’s hard not to see the many problems that still exist in metal on a daily basis.
In addition, we can’t forget the “girl on girl” maliciousness which does exist. From my own experience, I’ve met women who were insular and ostracizing in their fandom as they were already the token woman in that scene. I’m sure one might think this odd, but it’s happened more than often for me to notice.
Finally – while I agree it’s important to not tokenize women, we need to find new ways to show representation (it still matters!) without categorizing ourselves into areas like “female-fronted”. How best to do that? – I’m not sure.