I feel as though I've been so focused on race issues in metal and I want to divert a bit-take a breather and focus on something else for the time being. Race stuff gets tiring sometimes right? Why not temporarily move to an even more exciting topic in metal music? Gender!
So, not only am I black but I'm also a chick *gasp* and believe it or not I have somewhat of a tiny feminist in me just waiting to be heard.
*sigh* I don't know where to begin. Let me start by saying that women in metal music have exceeded expectations and are fast on the way of being a huge marketing tool...which can be good or bad. It's just interesting how many of us (women) are so into the mentality, 'we can do it just as good as the boys', yadda yadda yet allow ourselves to come right back down and be demoted to shit like this (look at the above picture).
Now you may ask, but Black Girl Into Heavy Metal, those are just two attractive powerful women in metal bands posing for a 'prestigious' title that was granted to them. My response is fuck that. Why don't they have a sexiest men in metal issue. Why is this? Because its a male dominated, super machismo, who's balls are bigger type of music genre-lets just be honest. I would be the first to formulate a list of who I think could make the sexiest men in metal as well as have them pose in tight leather pants doused in baby oil-thats beside the point. The point is that-how can we want to be treated equal yet we still cater to that male driven bullshit theory that women are ONLY supposed to be these sexual, ethereal, nonthreatening divas? And if we are even a tad bit intimidating we scare the hell out of men. For example bands like The Agonist or Vision of Atlantis v.s bands like Otep and Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult (Mind you, these bands all are different genres). I think generally there seems to be an appeal for a female presence in metal but many men cannot decide if they want women to sort of be these beautiful singing objects that are nice to look at but barely tolerable to listen to or if they want a tough women who can play an instrument and scream like the guys yet at the risk of their sexual appeal. Only one woman (in my opinion) has been able to be taken seriously as well as be powerful and sexy-Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy. Even with a lot of symphonic metal bands like Nightwish (Yes, I'm going to rag on Nightwish even if they have won some awards-they still aren't' taken seriously because at the end of the day when people speak of great metal bands none of them are female fronted. Sad but true) the girls are always a bit whimsical and uber soft. Mind you, I'm not saying women in 'tougher' brands of metal aren't considered beautiful but they aren't the type of women to end up in just their skimpees on the covers of these magazines because conventionally they aren't beautiful. Beautiful is demure and safe=nonthreatening.
What man is going to take a woman seriously in a plaid miniskirt and a corset with her boobs hanging out *coughInThisMomentcough* no matter how good she sounds. I just think women who are tougher that don't dress like sluts are respected a tad more than the run of the mill heavy metal chick. They might not get as much attention for obvious reasons but attention=/= reputation? I'm all for wanting to feel sexy in a hot outfit every once in a while but I think power, intimidation, maybe even fear can be extremely sexy.
I know that certain types of metal are supposed to portray a different look but I just find it interesting that the girls that do make the issue are in cookie cutter safe corporate bands that are mostly talentless. Maybe I'm just looking at it the wrong way.