Thursday, March 10, 2011
Why Women In Metal Are Not Taken Seriously Pt. 2
I have been meaning to do a part 2 about this topic and today I just saw this ad for the Hottest Chicks In Metal-excuse me-Hard Rock: Hall Hath No Fury Tour with In This Moment (ick) headlining. Other bands on the bill include Sister Sin (eek), Straight Line Stitch (Meh, but I respectfully applaud), and System Divide. (Ugh)
Whenever I see the Hottest Chicks In Metal anything I receive a mixture of emotions that consist of anger, shame, and frustration. Why is this?
This kind of promotion is a double edged sword.
The Hottest Chicks In Metal title, I believe, does abso-fucking-lutely nothing for women who sing or listen to heavy metal. Its not empowering and its not honorable. Some may disagree but I believe this sort of title is setting us back.
First off, by creating this (be it man or woman) we have essentially separated ourselves from the metal community by gender first and not anything else. That's the first red flag.
The second, of course, would be the blatant hyper-sexualized photo/promotion for it. I think in my last post about this I said that men are not going to take a women seriously who dresses like one of the above ladies as showed (I'm thinking you can guess which one). Women who make it a point to dress provocatively in an industry that is ruled by men will not be regarded as a serious band. The only angle they may have is 'Uh, well she's hot so I'll watch them anyway'. An anon commenter left this comment in Pt.1:
"...If women are gendered into the beauty complex and use this to their advantage, I take my hat off to them.
Judge musicians based on the music they make, not their clothing.
It's not about the way women dress. It's about the normalisation of belittling women for the way they dress, rather than judging their talent."
You should go back and read the whole comment. Very interesting.
However, I disagree.
Again, that's taking leaps back. Specifically the first sentence. That's the exact reason why we should not take that angle because its expected and its very easy to gain notoriety for beauty rather than talent. People will be so blinded by the lead singers tits to really notice that the music may actually be great...or terrible. Its also different depending on the type of metal we are talking about as well. Women in symphonic metal bands may dress different than women in metalcore or black metal.
The Hottest Chicks In Metal title may give a lot of bands great promo but I also notice that this tends to shift the focus from not only the actual music but the other members of said band.
I actually have tons of respect for Angela Gossow (as I said before pt.1, she may be one of the few who successfully separated herself from 'lead female singer' and band to just Arch Enemy. She has really proven that she is in it for the music. Whether or not you dislike Arch Enemy, you have to respect that.)
Gossow did an interview for KNAC.com and the interviewer asked if she had basically ever wanted to be involved with the Hottest Chicks of Metal.
Angela said: " It's funny that you mentioned that because I just had a huge clash with the editor of Revolver. He's put me into the 2010 "Hottest Chicks in Metal" calendar with that picture in of 2004, so they keep kind of recycling that one. And, I've explained several times I don't want to be featured in that — in that corner. If they want a picture of the band and it's about the music, all cool. No problem. But if it's about me being a woman… I don't like the "Hottest Chicks in Metal" movement at all. I think it's very counterproductive and kind of retro, you know?...
I hate the "Hottest Chicks in Metal!" It's an embarrassment for women, I think (laughs). It's an embarrassment for female musicians, who actually are musicians.
You can read the whole thing in it's entirety here:
I have to say I agree with her.
I understand why some do it though. For promotion and all. But I honestly think that its a path that doesn't have to be taken if your serious about being in this business. I really do.
I literally had to do my research in order to find out that its for the Keep a Breast foundation. ( I was too focused on Maria Brinks to notice any other breast anything. As I'm sure most men who look at this are).
I dunno, maybe its just me.
I'm not saying a woman has to growl or act like a guy in order to gain respect in metal music. But ladies, show a little respect for yourself and then maybe you can gain respect from everyone else.
I want your opinion, guys.
(By the way ladies, Who would your nominees be for the Hottest Guys in Metal? Post some below!...I know how hypocritical. But I couldn't help myself)