"some music was meant to stay underground..."

OpEd

From Dicks To Chicks: The Strange Case Of "Affirmative Action Metal"

When a very attractive, scantily clad young woman claims she loves metal, get a second opinion.

Yeah, I said that.

And I’m not claiming you’re all fakes, female metal fans. I know you’re out there. Most of us can personally attest to that. I’m talking about the posturing selfie types.

You know the ones. They lurk online, Facebooking, Tweeting, posing in metal-looking gear with an Impaled Nazarene logo prominently displayed, skin showing, pouty siren’s call etched across the face.

Sometimes they actually go to the lengths of posting music videos, and when they go there, they go big. “ROOOOTS, BLOODY ROOOOTS <3 METALCHICK FOR LIFE <3 DEATH TO ALL BUT METAL” and so on. Methinks the ladies doth protest too much.

With a few exceptions, these girls do this for one primary reason: they know how to attract men via the path of least resistance. Make that ZERO resistance. Metal is an overwhelmingly male-dominated genre, fostering a “homoerotic relationship between bands and their fans,” as former Sepultura merchbabe Marta Svetek puts it.

So when such a photo goes up, the hungry dogs swarm for their scraps, as it were. You don’t even need to read the Tolstoy-length comment thread to guess its simple pig-swooning gist. How could some girls resist?

A female musician I spoke with, who wishes to remain anonymous (more on that later), recalled of playing with her former metal band:

“Crowds of girls would come into the club between sets and prey on all the guys, then go outside for nearly the band’s entire set, probably blasting Miley or One Direction in their earbuds. I actually remember talking to some girl about a band whose T-shirt she was wearing. She said, ‘Oh, this band? I just thought the shirt was cute.’”

This tactic has suckered many a metalhead, and many enterprising folks have seized on it. Why else would countless popular metal sites and blogs hire “spokesmodels” to push their merchandise? Why else would niche custom fashion lines like Toxic Vision gain such a mammoth following? Why else would 70,000 Tons Of Metal hire “pool girls?”

Why, in other words, does metal culture virtually have to IMPORT hot women like Julius Caesar providing for the appetites of his legions?

Simple: because metalheads (i.e., dudes) like to stare at girls’ tits and asses, and some girls, spurred on by the “hot groupie fantasy,” (in Svetek’s words) like to provide such sights. Capitalism, baby.

I’m not saying I’m above all this, and I’m not exactly judging the arrangement. I believe in the free market. However, I don’t have to embrace everything the market produces, and one very dubious aspect of this Budweiser-ad approach in metal is when it manifests in the music itself.

Frontwomen Don’t Always Count

The most obvious example is, of course, the contentious “female-fronted” metal category, which transformed within a decade from a charming novelty to a monopolistic marketing beast. Without doubt, countless bands have formed with the explicit intention of fitting that mold – a far cry from 1997, when Nightwish’s lineup finalized almost by accident.

However, that would be unfair. Calculated and grating as the trend may get, many of these female-fronted acts, especially in the symphonic metal subgenre, follow well-established operatic vocal techniques. These techniques are traditionally segregated by gender, and use of the female ranges is a legitimate musical practice. Nobody wants to hear a sweaty dude sing “Ever Dream” any more than he wants to hear “Carmen” performed by a male singer.

Affirmative Action Metal

No, what most irritates me is the unnamed, unspoken, and yet painfully obvious tendency to keep a girl in the band even when specifically female talents aren’t called for. For the reasons I outlined above regarding female scarcity, I call this “Affirmative Action Metal.”

A band must fulfill one simple criterion to qualify for this designation: replace a female in a unisex lineup slot with another female.

Ensiferum

Finland’s war-painted folk metal heroes are among the less egregious offenders, but their international prominence earns them a close look.

Debut album “Ensiferum” [2001] featured guest keyboards by Henri Sorvali (Finntroll, Moonsorrow), after which the band hired a full-time keyboardist: Meiju Enho. She happened to be a girl (sidebar: Enho has also filled in for Sorvali on tour with Finntroll).

So far, so good… so what? Equal opportunity for equal talent, and all that. No problem. But after “Victory Songs,” [2007] Enho quit, citing personal reasons. For the following album “From Afar,” [2009] the band replaced her with Emmi Silvennoinen. Say that name five times quickly.

Silvennoinen, too, is female. She’s also sometimes hard to tell apart from Enho.

Both ladies were and are talented, no doubt. And to the band’s credit, Silvennoinen also contributes her female backing vocals to Ensiferum’s signature full-gang singalong choruses. Nonetheless, I can’t help but detect a shred of calculated branding in that lineup change.

However, Ensiferum’s is relatively innocuous compared to the following case, which borders on the downright cynical.

Winds Of Plague

Ah, deathcore. That ugly inbred lovechild of single mom death metal and deadbeat dad metalcore. With so much tough-guy bravado and mosh-friendly noise, how could a band resist juxtaposing a petite female presence with their image?

Southern California “wiggercore” practitioners Winds Of Plague debuted with an all-male lineup on “Decimate The Weak.” [2008] Shortly after the album’s release, keyboardist Matt Fineman bid adieu, and into his slot stepped the sultry and heavily tattooed model Kristen Randall.

Again, so far, no problem. Katrin Ball, keyboardist for German melodic death metal band Adjust The Sun, rightly told me, “Sometimes the girl is just there for musical reasons, as it is with my band, or at least I hope so! She joined the band simply because she was able to play the required instrument. She adds her part to the music and if she’s ‘eye candy’ too, then all the better!”

But when Randall appeared in the 2009 “Girls Of Century Media” calendar – which included Maria Brink of In This Moment, a fair indicator of the content – I knew there was no going back. A role had been established.

After recording “The Great Stone War,” [2009] Randall quit. Before discovering Alana Potocnik as her permanent replacement, Winds Of Plague toured Australia and New Zealand with… multi-instrumentalist Lisa Marx! (ex-Kittie) That’s TWO chicks filling Randall’s shoes!

Winds Of Plague’s distinction as one of a rare few “symphonic deathcore” bands comes with an even narrower qualifier: they have an interchangeable female mascot.

Coal Chamber

So does Coal Chamber, also of Southern California. Once the oddball darling of the early Ozzfest generation, the band’s relevance has resurged recently, thanks to a live reunion (plus a potential upcoming album) and, of course, to the prominence of frontman Dez Fafara, who made his undisputable mark with DevilDriver following Coal Chamber’s initial 2002 breakup.

A true product of the ‘90s, Coal Chamber in their heyday were innocent of any sexist trend-mongering, for quite simply, those trends barely existed in metal back then. Original bassist Rayna Foss played on all three studio albums: “Coal Chamber,” [1997] “Chamber Music,” [1999] and “Dark Days.” [2002] At the height of the nu-metal craze, Foss became a curious novelty in the scene, being one of a tiny minority of American female metal instrumentalists.

Predictably, however, it was this very novelty that compelled the band to replace Foss with the fiery-haired Nadja Peulen after the former recorded her “Dark Days” bass parts and called it quits. On a purely superficial level, some fans (all right, all right, that included me) might’ve called this an upgrade. To my inner critic, it was the calculated christening of yet another mascot.

Peulen’s initial tenure didn’t last long, because neither did the band. But after nearly a decade, popular demand brought Coal Chamber back to life, and to Soundwave 2011.

Why is Australia always stuck with the fill-ins? The bassist recruited for Soundwave was one Chela Rhea Harper of Ontario, Canada.

Like Winds Of Plague, that’s three – count ‘em, THREE – consecutive female musicians in a unisex role (and that’s before Peulen returned permanently), but Coal Chamber takes the cake due to the time lapse before the reunion featuring Harper. When that occurred, the agreement was unspoken and intrinsically understood – “Yeah, we’re that band of dudes with a chick bassist. Any chick bassists want to play with us?”

The Ladies Speak

Are the above-mentioned women posers, like the attention-whoring selfie types? Of course not. They wouldn’t be playing and persevering in metal bands if they didn’t love the music.

But their presence is undoubtedly exploited for the same reasons: guys want to look at them. Through no direct fault of their own, they become a musical extension of the fabled Internet “spokesmodel.”

Adjust The Sun’s Katrin Ball offers an additional explanation for the trend: “It shows that the male musicians are not ‘that bad,’ that they’re not just disgusting metal guys… This might bring them more fans that would otherwise be scared of them.”

Both cases blur the line between genuine talent and window dressing, which can be a constant source of frustration, both for dedicated female metal musicians and diehard female metal fans – an issue the charitable Ball admits.

“I consider myself a musician,” says the admittedly lovely keyboardist, “Not a model that’s only there because the other guys are hairy monsters who feel they need to add something beautiful that looks good in a corset to their promotion pictures.

“But I am aware that the metal scene is a very visual one. It deals a lot with iconography and symbols and therefore needs to stick to a certain visual code in order to be accepted.”

That visual code has, for better or worse, expanded to include women more than ever before. Marta Svetek notes: “On some level, the perception of women being used as eye candy can also be a kneejerk reaction to the fact that many dynamics are changing and women are becoming a much more common sight onstage, rather than just the girlfriend of the metalhead.”

Like Ball, Svetek strives for a balanced, realistic view. “If the talent is there, the gender of the member filling a specific role is of no consequence to me. But when the member is purely there as eye candy, usually the dynamic is off. I have a specific peeve with angsty or simpering girly-girls onstage. If they can deliver and look hot, great, but if they’re just there to look pretty and not do shit, then it’s a petty practice that both the guys and the girl should be ashamed to participate in.”

Are Ensiferum, Winds Of Plague, and Coal Chamber – to name but a few prominent examples – truly guilty of such practices? Talent of their respective female members notwithstanding, what weighs more heavily on the scale? Chops or hots? Have I been too harsh?

After all, Ball reminds us, “Some instruments are more often played by girls, like the piano and synths in my case.” This applies to two-thirds of the bands I’ve examined. “As a result, the ‘front row’ onstage is usually filled by male musicians, whereas women stay in the background… Though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it sexism.”

On the other hand, my anonymous female source, a cellist, speaks out: “Of the two bands I’ve been in, I left both for one reason or another. Both times I was replaced with another female. I’d love to give my cohorts the benefit of the doubt and say that cellists are typically going to be women or that they had slim pickings, but I know this to be untrue.

“After I left, I was personally contacted by a male cellist looking for a recommendation for an audition. I honestly don’t think they even entertained the idea and eventually filled the spot with a female cellist… [The trend] hadn’t occurred to me until you brought it up, and now, of course, I kind of want all those guys to go jump off a bridge.

“I won’t pretend I didn’t enjoy the favor being the ‘chick’ in the band afforded. I got my fair share of free drinks, and used my womanly prowess to get gigs and make great contacts. And to be totally truthful, I do think it helped us sell merchandise, and brought other residual benefits.

“All in all, I think every band out there is going to do whatever works well for them to become noticed. I truly believe the music industry is the toughest industry in the world, and I cannot shame a band for doing whatever they think it takes to make it.

“However, I also feel the sting of maybe not being respected as a musician and being used as a marketing tool. I can see both sides of the issue. It can be an annoying thing to watch people do, but I can also empathize with why they do it.”

Amid the swirl of opinions, three things are for certain:

1. Metal will continue to be, by and large, a sausage fest for the forseeable future.

2. Female posers will continue to take advantage of the sausage bounty – emotionally, sexually, or financially.

3. Female musicians will continue to battle their way uphill.

OverkillExposure's avatar

Mike Smith is a Southern-born, New England-based writer and a diehard metal and hard rock fan. As a music journalist, he is a staffer with Metalunderground.com and Outburn Magazine. As a screenwriter/producer, he is currently working on his first film with director Jason Matzner ("Dreamland").

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55 Comments on "From Dicks To Chicks"

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Anonymous Reader
1. Sebastian writes:

I have long sickened of the dead weight that is the "ethereal female vocals" fad. Most of the time it's some guy's little cousin bleating off key. No, thanks.

# Feb 12, 2014 @ 6:26 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

2. hellrat writes:

"Hell hath no fury........................."

I fear for you brother Overkill...while I concur with much of what you say here, I also think you might have trodden across too many fields of pretty black flowers :)

Don't always agree with ya, but I will say you've got some balls, which I appreciate (no, not like THAT :)

NP---Lest We Forget---BoltThrower (don't worry, sid is a REAL metal chick \m/

# Feb 12, 2014 @ 7:01 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. tommy the joker writes:

No homo right post 2?
Im surprised OKE didn't mention butcher babies, he could have based his entire article for the most part on that shi+ show.
I agree with most of the article and glad it was said, in the end I still believe no matter who is in the band or fronts it if you got the goods the music will do the talking not the sideshow on stage gimmicks.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 2:49 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
OverkillExposure's avatar

Writer

4. OverkillExposure writes:

Butcher Babies are way too easy of a target, and too obvious, so I deliberately avoided them. I'd say they fall into the exempt "frontwoman" category I addressed, even though they are a cheap gimmick whereas Nightwish are not.

I wanted to shine a light in some less-explored corners!

Thanks for the love, hellrat (of course - no homo). And thanks for the concern. I feel the tsunami hasn't fully hit yet, so I'll be checking beneath my car with a long-handled mirror for about a week. ;)

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 9:14 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
americanpatriot1's avatar

Member

5. americanpatriot1 writes:

Unfortunately, the female angsty thing will be around alot longer than the nu metal thing. All style, very little substance.

In This Moment: sh**ty vocals, re-hashed riffs, big tits = big sales

Huntress: Slightly less sh**ty, though still sh**ty vocals, rehashed grooves, chick who has no problem showing her gross fake tits = less but still big record sales


As a metal head since the tender, compulsively masturbating, age of 15, I never really dug the "Metal Chicks". If you dig the music, fine. But I've always liked my women a little on the "girly" side. Call me crazy, but seeing pasty girls with black lips and blue hair is just not sexy to me. A "normal" looking girl who digs metal is super attractive. Granted, my wife hates metal, but she has been with me for 15 years despite that. I knew guys who dated only goth girls they picked up at the local Hot Topic, then complained when their issues were brought to the front.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 10:14 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. Bonnie writes:

Well, you guys are a big joke.
Music is universal. And women don't give sh** about you starring at their tits. They listen to metal because they love it. How can you judge women in general ? Posers are everywhere! You need to deal with it and grow up in your head.
And you are calling yourself a journalist. This "article" is bullsh**. Come on! leave us alone. Of course there is women wearing Gojira, Burzum, and Eluveitie shirts without knowing anything about them. But for god sake , there's men too ! The words of one silly woman don't sum up the thoughts of every metalchicks. I am a woman and I am tired about answering questions about my favorite bands just like I was a criminal because a man decided that woman= cheater. I was born in metal dammit! My father (may he rest in peace) educated me with metal ! I didn't begin with gay stuff like slipknot and avenged sevenfold. And I am a f***ing woman. You don't know us. We are not all the same. Give us some bloody peace!

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 2:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. phoenix216 writes:

I do still listen to the local radio stations on occasion, and apparently everyone is enamored with halestorm. I can't possibly put into words all the reasons that band is the worst crime my ears have ever suffered, but they will continue to make loads of money off of an attractive girl who sings about sex and every low-hanging fruit of teenage boy desire.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 2:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
8. Fred1888 writes:

"Personal attacks and/or excessive profanity will not be tolerated and such comments will be removed."

Then I guess I have very little I can say, because this article is one of the worst things I've ever read. I'm sorry if one of these 'poser metal chicks' cheated on you and now you're out for blood, but you're no journalist. This isn't even worthy of a high schooler's sh**ty blog.

You really think women head out to a Cephalic Carnage show so they can find a 'sausage' to support them 'sexually and financially'? You're a self-indulgent, woefully misguided moron who basically just splurted diarrhea from his fingers and called it an article.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 3:08 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
9. narsilien writes:

Women in general have always used sex as a way to try to bring balance to the power men have always had over them. I think this "scantily clad metal lady" thing you're talking about is just a modern example of this. Gender equality is much greater than it has been in the past, but it's hard to erase thousands of years of societal views and roles. In a scene that is mostly made up of aggressive men, women feel that they must do what they can to gain power and respect, because they aren't going to gain it in the mosh pit. This just seems logical to me (feel free to let me know if my logic isn't working, or I'm missing something). Having said all that, however, I tend to not respect women who present themselves as an object of sex appeal because we are in a society where the balance of power between men and women is much more equal right off the bat and women don't need to go to the extreme of becoming a piece of eye candy to gain respect or power over men. There are plenty of men who respect women and view them as fellow humans and would love for more women to be honest, deep, and real. Or am I being too optimistic?

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 3:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
10. narsilien writes:

Please allow me to clarify my previous post before anyone starts freaking out: I am talking about things "in general" and certainly do not mean to accuse every woman or man of fitting the "general" mold I was talking about. I've met wonderful exceptions at metal shows and elsewhere.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 3:15 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
11. Fek writes:

@Bonnie...Hail! Well said..

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 3:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

12. deathbringer writes:

It's always a problem talking about things "in general," which describes this article as well. The problem is that some people will still take it personally, especially if it's something they've been grilled on or accused of. From that standpoint, I can understand many female metal fans getting upset over such an article even though it leaves the questions open ended in the end.

While I'm not into judging people, I have to at least accept the basic premises that some women say they like metal as an easy "in" with male fans, and some bands use female band members as a marketing tool (regardless of musical ability). Really, who can argue with that? No one is accusing anyone of anything directly - it's a discussion piece.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 3:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
13. KellyAnderson writes:

I don't understand what you thought your point was with this article. You seem to be claiming that other people put too much emphasis on gender, yet you're the one who's just spent two thousand words analyzing what the significance of having a vagina in metal should be.

Yes, there are more men than women in metal. Yes, some guys get off on the idea of having a woman on stage, and yes, some women try to take advantage of it in turn. But neither of these are new facts, nor are they are particularly surprising. Did you think we didn't know this happens? Yeah, it can take away from the 'integrity' of the music, but humans are sexual. Humans are selfish. What did you bloody well think would happen? Yawn. Old news.

My point is, if you want to move past that, to a fairer, more equal scene, the first step is to stop giving a sh** about what's in someone's pants. You need to practice what you preach. Stop making every girl feel like she has to pass your test to be a 'real fan.' You think it's your way of respecting genuine female metalheads, but that in itself is a sexist idea, because no woman (metalhead or not) exists to gain your respect. You write this article as if there's a dichotomy of 'real' and 'poser' female metalheads, which just reduces women to black and white characters and betrays how you really feel about them. I realize this was probably an unconscious slip, but it's sadly such a prevalent view (in metal, in particular, though not always based on gender) and it's very damaging. Women are not black and white, or 'real' and 'fake.' They are human beings with a wide variety of temperaments, characteristics and motivations for doing whatever they do.

I completely understand that there are many annoying women in the world. Very thoroughly, in fact. But...to put it bluntly: get over it. People suck. Men suck. Women suck. It's not because they have a p***s or a vagina, it's because people are stupid the world over. Talk to the ones you like and ignore the ones you don't. Stop making it all about you and discussing how a certain demographic should adhere to your personal standards and just talk about the music, man.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 3:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

14. Diamond Oz writes:

Couldn't have put it much better myself, Kelly.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 3:43 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
15. Mick The Wiz writes:

This article is f***ing rubbish. As the father of two teenage girls I can honestly say you haven't got a f***ing clue what motivates young (or in fact probably any) women.

Here's a clue: real life contains passionate people, and posers. In every field. Of both genders. Get over it. And commercial reality sucks when people try and make money. Boo-hoo. Again, this applies to just about everything. Wow. Amazing insight.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 4:11 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
16. Tün writes:

I'd write a sexist article about poser men in metal and insert a couple of shirtless sweaty guy pictures but since I have better things to do like actually listen to music I'm passing this one.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 4:51 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
17. narsilien writes:

The author wrote this as an article of opinion, not fact....some people don't seem to be understanding that. Move past the offensiveness, if that's what you're perceiving, and try to understand where the dude is coming from. Some of you sound super defensive, angry, and cornered. It's just an internet article. Hopefully you don't do this each time you encounter one of those. Maybe you don't agree with what he has to say....so then construct an argument against his points. This way those who appreciate discussion don't have to wade through pissiness and expletives.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 5:06 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar

Member

18. Drum_Junkie writes:

I find it interestingly related that in post 13, the word pen!s is censored while vagina is left alone. What's up with that?

I think the female expliotation (self inflicted or otherwise) is not limited to metal. In fact, the presence of the practice is simply a reflection of our culture at large. Women are viewed as sexual objects moreso than men are. That's just the reality of the world we live in.
Is the reason for that:
a) Because men are still the dominant gender?
b) Because women have used their sexuality as a form of power and control?
c) Because women have been known to compete with other women for said power and control?
d) Because women like the attention of men competing with other men for their affection?
e) or due to all of the above.

Right or wrong, the answer is e) in varying degrees.

Look at advertizing. The steroetypes are rampant as ad agencies successfully reduce the marketing to the lowest common demoninator. Beer, condoms, cars/trucks, domain hosting sites, food, the list goes on.

Look at pop music. From Samantha Fox to Madonna to Britney Spears, to Mylie Cyrus, to Beyonce, to Katy Perry, to the next two-bit tart with a pair of tits - sex sells if you objectify yourself. Even the Runaways were marketed to exploit their sexuality to sell records. In the minds of Lita, Joan, Cherie & Sandy, they were trying to level the playing field, but the album covers, song lyrics and overall image suggested otherwise.

Look at p0rn. Even the act of the cvmsh0t is a form of domination over the female, and the p0rn starlets use, abuse and enhance their feminine qualities to make more money.

And that is what is all comes down to - Money. Whether it's metal or any other commodity the basic truth is sex sells and no amount of resistance from either side of the gender warriors will change that fact.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 5:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
GORECUNT's avatar

Member

19. GORECUNT writes:

Another well-done bit. I'd like to mention a little black metal band called Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult. Female-fronted, decent vocals, standard blood/corpsepaint look. I find it sexy honestly but Onielar's look doesn't exactly fit the bill as far as "Affirmative Action Metal" bands go.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 5:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
xFiruath's avatar

Content Manager

20. xFiruath writes:

I agreed with much of your last op/ed about metal elitism, but I think you missed the mark on this one Mike. I know it wasn't your intent, but you do come off sounding very sexist throughout the article.

I won't comment on the opening segment and how that sounds (others above have already done so, albeit in more colorful language than I probably would have). I will say I don't agree with many of your conclusions or understand how you reached them. Take for instance the segment about female band members being replaced with other females. If there's not a problem with male band members being replaced with other males "even when specifically male talents aren’t called for" (bass, guitar, drums, cello, or whatever) I guess I fail to see why there's an issue with a female band member being replaced with another woman "even when specifically female talents aren’t called for" (And what are "specifically female talents?" Women can take any role they want in a band, and wear whatever they feel like while doing so.)

I can sort of see the reasoning behind people being opposed to bands like say Butcher Babies or In This Moment using boobs to sell albums, but I can't get behind most of what's written here, although I suppose at least getting people talking about gender roles in metal could be a good thing.

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 6:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

21. hellrat writes:

" ...although I suppose at least getting people talking about gender roles in metal could be a good thing."

Ding, ding! We have a winner! :)

Seriously, if someone doesn't broach such subjects, everyone generally tiptoes around them and we never get to the real discussion element....

I also highly doubt Overkill is 'sexist'...as well, I always find it funny that folk will take an opinion piece personally...heck, he slammed the hell out us elitists in the last one, but I understand and can appreciate where he's coming from, and it don't bug me a bit

People take sh!t WAY too fvckin seriously...jesus fvckin hell :)

NP---Thunderkiss '65 with Yseult on the 4 banger

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 8:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

22. hellrat writes:

Oh yeah post 2, no homo....not that there's anything wrong with that ;)

# Feb 13, 2014 @ 8:52 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
23. REC writes:

While I'm sure not consciously intended this way, at its core what I get from this piece is that same tired, old notion that women have to submit an “application of authenticity” for entry into the historically male identified culture of metal fans (or metal musicians for that matter). I thought we were past that?

It’s just like with sports. And as a Boston native, this reminds me of every guy that calls up sports radio decrying the “pink hats” at Red Sox and Patriots games as somehow diminishing the sacred---and likewise historically male identified---culture of sports fandom. Really?

There’s posers and pretenders of both genders at any metal show you may go to. Just like there’s posers and pretenders of both genders at any sporting event, country music jamboree, and wine tasting expo. Where is the news in that? Why are we singling out women when it comes to metal? I can’t tell you how many shows I’ve been to where some shirtless, punk-ass kid is strutting around all fired up to jump in the pit and show off what a bad-ass he is---by slamming himself into other sweaty dudes. And you know he doesn’t have a clue what band is even playing---as evidenced by him/them trying to start up pits at shows of bands that aren’t really even mosh-pit types of metal. And everyone, including some band members, are giving him that, “dude, what are you doing?” look. Point being: what makes some vamped-up, aloof, poser chick any different, or any worse, than that?

As to the relative integrity of bands with female members: even with the testimony of the female musicians quoted in the piece, do we really need to go through the exercise of dissecting the true intentions of every band with female members---or every band that happens to replace one attractive female member for another? Again, it’s like the sports talk show nuts that want to try and delineate all the “knowledgeable” female sideline reporters from those that are just eye candy. What’s the point? There are just as many vapid, dink dudes in sports media. To me, it’s great that there’s more women sports broadcasters these days (and it certainly doesn’t hurt if they're hot), just like it’s great the influx of talented female metal musicians over the past 20 years. Are there always going to be some there for sex appeal over substance? Surprise---that’s life---in every facet of consumer and popular culture throughout history. Metal is no different.

Bottom line, as a lifelong metalhead, as a devoted fan of music that, broadly demographically speaking, most chicks don’t get or can’t stand, why would I be anything but happy that more and more chicks dig it, and more and more chicks play it, now than ever before? That’s worth enduring a few silly posers and a bit of shameless “boob-based” marketing in my book.

# Feb 14, 2014 @ 12:14 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CorpusUpir's avatar

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24. CorpusUpir writes:

The article was "interesting" but I find attacking women fans and musicians sad . I have met many chicks that love metal, I am in a band with one and she knows more about metal then most dudes in our metal scene. On the topic of female fronted bands I will admit I am sick of all the nightwish knock offs but really it's just like every trend that happens to metal , it gets over populated with people jumping on the band wagon. I do however actully like the butchered babies , but I heard the music first then saw them , and yes they use sex to sell themselves , but I have seen douchebag metal acts do the same like Black something or another that I saw girls I know drool over. To speak out against being a elitist then write a elitist male article is quite ironic. Metal has been around for decades now and if women wanna join in the chaos I am glad for it. Also if you have a problem with chicks pretending to like metal to get guys grow up , you have probably pretended to like something before to get chicks ... we are all the same so welcome the womens :)

# Feb 14, 2014 @ 2:21 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
25. Pete writes:

Getting too old for those young scantily clad females, and getting annoyed? The occasional air head got you down? Not worth taking out on half the species.

# Feb 14, 2014 @ 12:12 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jigenuck's avatar

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26. Jigenuck writes:

hhmm, interesting article. I agree/disagree on certain stuff, but it's nice to read about a different subject, even if it's a spicy subject. There's some point of view that were not brought to this.
The article was mentionning on how some band replace a female member with another female member. The thing that we don't know is is it really a decision coming from the band to do so? Labels records, fans from the band can put a lot of pressure on the band to keep a female member in a band. The band, sometime, does like having a female member not just for the eye candy, but to put a different chemestry in the group. Not always easy been on tour with only guys but these are situation that we don't know as fan of a band.
I believe some band cannot change a female singer to a male singer. I kow Arch Enemy and The Gathering made the switch from men to women but I don't think Within Temptation would go from women to men to keep their style (but we never know).
As for the posers women, I believe the amount of men poser is higher than women, we just don't notice them. And the way I see poser is not easy. Just read the article on "Metal or not". It's the same thing with poser. It's never just black and white, it can be grey.

# Feb 14, 2014 @ 12:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
cbella's avatar

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27. cbella writes:

I think you've all said it already .................... but this truly is painfully shortsighted! I'd be offended it weren't so chauvinistic.

# Feb 14, 2014 @ 1:55 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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28. Blindgreed1 writes:

Hey lady! ^^^

# Feb 14, 2014 @ 2:13 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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29. Blindgreed1 writes:

BTW Mike, if your intent was to shake things up and get people talking (be it sh!t or just talking... You won). ;-)

# Feb 14, 2014 @ 2:15 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
30. pete writes:

I thought this was going to be an article about gender reassignment/dudes wearing women's clothing or something, by the headline, not from "a" d!ck to all chicks.

# Feb 14, 2014 @ 3:05 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jigenuck's avatar

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31. Jigenuck writes:

@Pete: That could be another good article about!!

# Feb 14, 2014 @ 3:13 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
32. pete writes:

Selfies and facebooking in metal looking gear? Looks like the author is guilty of the same practice.

# Feb 14, 2014 @ 3:46 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
americanpatriot1's avatar

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33. americanpatriot1 writes:

I like tater tots.

# Feb 15, 2014 @ 10:57 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Westfallen's avatar

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34. Westfallen writes:

#33 F'n a.

# Feb 15, 2014 @ 12:31 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
35. gus from phoenix writes:

i thought the article made some valid points, especially for someone like me who goes on average to 8 or 9 shows a year and see's this kind of bulls#it all of the time, the one's on here with their claws out b!tching about it being for the most part sexist i think are being a bit nieve or non willing to accept the fact that it exists, or may only go to a show or 2 a year and dont either see or pay attention to it.
The state that i live in can't be the only state where this kind of conduct happends, mike and i live clear across the country from each other and we see pretty much the same things, either in the crowd or on stage.
It's a good article because it gets alot of people of there asse$ and construct an opinion on something valid rather than watching porn or trolling all day.

# Feb 15, 2014 @ 2:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
cbella's avatar

Member

36. cbella writes:

gus from phoenix: I have never been to a metal show in the States but I have been to more shows than I can even recall all over Europe. I don't know what bands you go to watch but the majority of shows I go to attract only real metal lovers & yes that does include females (scantily clad and fully dresses) yet not these vacuous pretenders only there for the overflow of dong!!! I have NEVER seen the type of girl referred to in this article other than at a Whitesnake show (forgive my sins for attending that show). I suppose the more mainstream bands would attract these 'selfie sluts'. At the big festivals, again, I have NEVER seen that type of girl! What the hell show r u people going to?

# Feb 16, 2014 @ 6:22 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jigenuck's avatar

Member

37. Jigenuck writes:

cbella, you live in paradise. It's not in North America that you could have a band like Dimmu Borgir for a special live tv broadcast!! I know alot of people won't agree with me, but i have to say it: I've notice a rise of women to metal show with the rise of the metal-deathcore. They park their a$$ in front of the stage and complain all the time about people who are pushing them. ** NOTE TO EVERYONE ** It's not ALL of them who complain, but you notice more the people that complain from the people that don't.

# Feb 16, 2014 @ 8:28 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
38. anon writes:

No one other than anyone who reads what's on this website is going to care about what's been and being said because it's limited to this website.

So either get this article and subsequent discussion out there or really, all this is moot because everyone who participates has their own feelings on the matter and knows the truth from their own experiences and won't be able to change a damn thing if they're constrained to some random website.

# Feb 16, 2014 @ 10:10 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

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39. brandedcfh420 writes:

I guess the posers are everywhere but here in Charlotte NC the women are not posers overall. Yes we see a few here and there claiming to be metal heads but couldnt tell you what their fave album from the band they are sporting on their shirts. Most of the women here are down in the pits thrashing the fk out and getting crazy. Its a beautiful thing to see..............

# Feb 16, 2014 @ 12:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
40. tommy the joker writes:

39" most of the women are down in the pits thrashing the fk out" , really? if true good for them but I reside in new york and I hardly see a chick in the pit moshing the fk out without b****ing or crying foul one way or another here. if your statement is true good for the state you reside in.

# Feb 16, 2014 @ 5:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

Member

41. brandedcfh420 writes:

some of the craziest female pitters were at Gwar on halloween night in '13. it seemed as if they were possessed by demons because they were throwing punches and knees and elbows. it was insane! some guys were getting p***ed about it and left the pit area. PVSSIES!!!!!!

# Feb 16, 2014 @ 8:54 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
42. Product of Imagination writes:

Yet another butthurt article by a new-age poser. Hot true metal women must've shown him zero love--probably due to all this talk about "accepting" poser nu-metal into their hearts and appearances. Personal resentment is not the best place to start sociological generalizations. Of course, long-standing female-run underground metal institutions like NY's Endemoniada must have been put together by air-headed posers--naturally, no women could possibly like heavier music than sophisticated, dedicated males. Those same males would not think twice on jumping on some of these "poser' girl. had they had half a chance, and have no qualm "protecting" their girlfriends from the "evils" of the pit. Hypocritical wimps.

# Feb 21, 2014 @ 10:12 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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43. Blindgreed1 writes:

It's always been my experience that only posers call other people posers. ;-)

# Feb 21, 2014 @ 12:18 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
44. Product of Imagination writes:

Maybe the author of this article should have thought about that, before passing his high n' mighty judgment on the entire gender.

It's always been my experience that only posers get offended at other people being called posers.

# Feb 21, 2014 @ 12:30 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

Member

45. brandedcfh420 writes:

YOU'RE ALL POSERS!!!! there no one is left out and everyone is included....NOW STFU!!!!!
,l,,(**),,l,

# Feb 21, 2014 @ 12:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
46. Product of Imagination writes:

Now you're talking, someone who understands! Thank you!!!! \,,/ \,,/

# Feb 21, 2014 @ 12:38 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
OverkillExposure's avatar

Writer

47. OverkillExposure writes:

"Passing judgment on the *ENTIRE* gender." Yep, that's accurate and not melodramatic at all! ;)

# Feb 21, 2014 @ 2:22 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

48. hellrat writes:

"And I’m not claiming you’re all fakes, female metal fans. I know you’re out there. Most of us can personally attest to that. I’m talking about the posturing selfie types"

Did none of these fvcking lurchers bother to read and comprehend this??
Or is it just easier to ignore so as not to compromise your emotionally based, eh, "responses"??

BTW, one of the most sexist people I've ever known was female...toward other WOMEN. She also loved to debate, so we went round and round about it a few times. She's an older French woman, and her American husband flies the MD11 for fedex. As an example, there were women that wanted to become commercial pilots of the big superliners, and she was vehemently against it. "Who do these women think they are??? What, are they going to modify the flight deck for them??? It is NOT a woman's job!!" etc and so forth...like I said, we had some pretty good knock down drag outs over what she thought a "woman's place" should be :)

Anyway, I don't give a flying fvck if someone has a d!ck or a pvssy, purple and green polka dots or fvcking zebra stripes and a goddamned pig snout. If someone can do the job up to snuff, the rest is pretty fvcking irrelevant. Angela Gossow should make a lot of male death metal vocalists want to go fvcking hide under the stairs in shame :)

Thanks for the laugh Branded, that was fvckin funny :)

# Feb 21, 2014 @ 2:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
49. HMRok writes:

"When a very attractive, scantily clad young woman claims she loves metal, get a second opinion."

Yeah, true--they could be into Korn, or Manson, or Avenged Sevenfold instead. Get a second opinion, when a supposed metal scribe goes after groups of metal people that exclude him, as well.

He gives himself a way out by using the age old "not all blacks are n-ggers--I have many black friends" loop-hole, and giving a supposed women's perspective by interviewing women who think all other women are sluts. See the bottom line of the write-up for the bruised ego giveaway.

This writer presents his personal feelings and opinions under the guise of sociological excursion. In the past he's been offended by the true metal elitism, now he is going after what he calls false metal chicks, and he has his butt buddies eat out of the palm of his hand, because they are stuck on the same hangups and have similar experiences of rejection. Who gives a hellrat's a$s what your personal inferiority complexes are--keep the in your cramped closet, where they belong, along with your pointless stories and biased examples? It seems that the majority of the respondent see through his superficial crap, and that's good news. To my metal sisters--ignore the blue-balled haters and stay beautiful.

# Feb 23, 2014 @ 11:05 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

50. hellrat writes:

^eh, yeeeah...and there was NOTHING ironic or hypocritical in that sputtering spray of yours there, no?

heh, fvcking tool :)

# Feb 23, 2014 @ 1:25 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
OverkillExposure's avatar

Writer

51. OverkillExposure writes:

Alas, people will read what they want to read, and some ladies love to read a stark, with-or-against-us "War On Women" into everything.

# Feb 23, 2014 @ 6:02 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
americanpatriot1's avatar

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52. americanpatriot1 writes:

Tater tots man. Stiiil diggin 'em.

# Feb 24, 2014 @ 1:12 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

53. Blindgreed1 writes:

POI got mad. lol. I guess the interwebz is serious business! LMFAO! Oh and Mike?... You're never gonna get laid again. XD

# Feb 24, 2014 @ 10:35 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CorpusUpir's avatar

Member

54. CorpusUpir writes:

Damn it ... now I want tater tots

# Feb 26, 2014 @ 5:12 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
americanpatriot1's avatar

Member

55. americanpatriot1 writes:

Damn right you want tots.

# Feb 26, 2014 @ 11:37 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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