Death Metal Underground

The “women in metal” debate is resolved

by Brett Stevens
November 26, 2013 –

rachel_aspe-france_has_talent-death_metal_vocals

It’s a perpetual favorite of late-night bull sessions and internet forums alike: what do we think of women in metal? Growing up with Jo Bench blasting out basslines in Bolt Thrower, the ladies in Derketa/Mythic making grinding doom, and knowing dozens of women heading zines, labels, and so on, it never occurred to us old schoolers.

But now it’s caught between two extremes. On one side, there’s great pressure to conform to the herd vision of us all being the same and doing the same thing. On the other side, there’s great commercial pressure to make women sex objects in metal, which makes everyone a bit uneasy.

Luckily, Rachel Aspe has cleared the issue up for us by demonstrating — alas, with mainstream nu-metal — the power of simply being able to pull your own weight. This was on a show called “France Has Talent,” and the reaction is priceless.

H/t Noisecreep.

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15 comments

  • kvlt attakker

    I’ve wondered why females in extreme metal haven’t used their sex appeal to sell more albums. They mostly look like tomboys.

  • eachdawnidie

    Obviously there are much fewer women than men in metal. Even more so in the musician side than on the fan side. Certainly this fact is due to social dynamics of mainstream society (metal culture itself ideally does not produce such dynamics, but uncritically adopts them in some cases) discouraging women from participating in metal culture. This is simply an observation. We as metal fans need to ask ourselves if we want to uncritically accept these (arguably harmful, as they stifle cultural potential) social norms, or try to discard them as we do with others (such as religious authority). Appealing to personal responsibility works on an individual level, but not when it comes to society as a whole; furthermore when we see metal as a culture that promotes personal responsibility we still have to recognize that we “recruit” people out of mainstream society where this isn’t the case.

    1. Barbaar

      Can we really expect women to display a warrior spirit? If so, would a woman’s sense of ‘Vir’ necessarily manifest itself along the same lines as it does in men?

      I’d find it hard to believe 95% of important metal artists are white young men because of metal culture discouraging the women, black people, elderly, etc- same goes for classical composers. Yes, we can probably name a few women, but with the possible exception of St. Hildegard they’re just not among the best.

      There’s probably a better explanation for this in biology than in sociology.

      1. eachdawnidie

        Well, no. There actually isn’t. Western (“white”) culture is the globally dominant culture due to historically arbitrary circumstances: western economic dominance resulted in its thriving and its propagation. The role of the woman (enforced by strong social pressures plus domestic violence) in western culture has, until recently, been that of nearly complete domesticity and obedience. Propagation of cultural expression is a form of social power, hence females could not be allowed this privilege. These factors are clear and evident, whereas biological (read: sexist, racist) explanations are merely rooted in correlation-causation-fallacy.

        1. fallot

          You give yourself away by throwing out nature/nurture before anyone even brought it up. Just bait. Use up your time more fruitfully, masturbate or something.

          I do find it interesting how all the reasons for women being as good as men at making metal seem to be excuses and just-so`s with a mild air of indignation and moral superiority. It is like being bullied into the idea.

    2. 1349

      Certainly this fact is due to social dynamics of mainstream society discouraging women from participating in metal culture.

      NBA is full of black men. It’s probably social dynamics discouraging whites and women from participating in NBA.
      Antarctica is full of penguins. It’s probably the unfair mainstream social dynamics there discouraging blacks, Mexicans and women from living there.
      Go fight for your rights!

      or try to discard them as we do with others (such as religious authority)

      Metal is quite religious, cult/service-ridden, if you didn’t know.

  • eachnightidrink

    eachdawnidie:

    Yeah, because gender equality and fighting “social norms” isn’t at all part of “mainstream society”. Please take your egalitarian views and leave for the punk scene.

    Metal is a primarily male form of music, and an opportunity for primarily male comradeship outside of a mainstream culture which wants to tap us all for our “cultural potential” and create a herd of morons that protest (only) the forms of authority deemed inopportune or old-fashioned. That culture is certainly horrible, but hardly because it’s so excluding to women.

    That being said, there is no need to ban women from playing metal – by all means do your best, girls. But fuck you if you bring your “norm criticism” and left-wing feminist BS into it.

    1. eachdawnidie

      You’re such a predictable bore. Why does this site attract your type so much? The staff seems to be reasonable enough most of the time but the most vocal readers are usually fucking idiots with hilariously stereotypical views.

      1. fallot

        But eachdawnidie, the wry jester watching from the sidelines, has no such problems, he smirks at the fools and rewards himself for another successful post with some tentacle anime. Its art you know.

  • Pantskidder

    What innovation and quality have women brought to extreme metal? That alone answers it. The Dana Duffeys of the world run around like aimless hamsters.

    They’re riding the coattails of irony for being female in a masculine medium. Whatever.

  • BAUSN

    Why individuals set their minds to embarrass themselves on national television will always be an enigma beyond my comprehension.

  • tiny midget

    hello, i’ m tiny midget. you fellers might remember me for “dating” Levy_Spearmen’s mom. my opinion is that women that participate in metal culture has always been important since 1970, infact if it were’nt for them, many metal classic albums would’ve never been created! however the importance of women in metal has always been as girlfriends to the male musicians that have created all the classsics we love. that is there role and it is as great or even greater than creating a Reign in Blood or Nighside Eclipse. Don’t believe me ? just ask the creator of such albums…