This week, I launched a new column called “Girls Don’t Like Metal” with Canada Arts Connect Magazine. This is an idea I’ve been turning over and over in my mind for a few months now, as a starting point for an even larger series of projects focussing on women and heavy metal.
Here’s a little bit more about the column:
Girls Don’t Like Metal is a weekly column examines gender issues, feminism, and sexuality within heavy metal music. Each post will come in the form of of an interview with a member of the heavy metal community, including artists, writers, magazine and website editors, road crew members, merch folks, sound techs, and fans. Interview subjects may identify as female/femme/trans/ genderqueer or be allies, and share a deep love of and commitment to heavy metal. The column will also discuss heavy metal culture in general, and allow women who work in the industry or identify as metalheads the space to open up about their own projects.
The inspiration for this column came from the title of an article published on Metalsucks in October of 2011: “Public Service Announcement: Girls Do Not Like Metal!” The article was supposedly intended as a piece of satire, posited the idea that women don’t actually enjoy heavy metal, but rather pretend to in order to attract male attention. This column pokes fun at that egregious falsehood, and also allows women the opportunity to talk about their love of heavy metal and the significance that this music has played in their lives.
The very first instalment of the column went up on Monday morning, and features an interview with the wonderful and inexhaustible “Grim” Kim Kelly. Kim talks about her passionate love for heavy metal, what drew her to difficult music, and how it has become the keystone to her life and identity as well as her career. We talked about feminism and gender, acceptance and negativity, and the music that we both love.
And then, the internet exploded.
The column has attracted more attention than I could have dreamed of. The outpouring of support has been overwhelmingly wonderful. As a friend pointed soon after the post went up, there was something about a dedicated column like this that has struck a nerve.
It wasn’t long before responses started to pop up.
The lovely PR and music journalist Biodagar wrote a lovely blog post about it.
Metal lifestyle blogger Steff Metal wrote about it on her blog.
Toronto Metal Music wrote about it too, and I am looking forward to working with them on a pro-diversity show in future.
Then, most incredibly of all, the mighty Decibel Magazine weighed in to post that they like the column. I have no words to describe how pleased I am that this column has struck a chord with so many.
Like anything that attracts the attention of the internet, however, it was only a matter of time before the creepier denizens of the interwebs began to emerge. Initially it was just a few defamatory statements in the comments on the original article, but by this morning Stuff You Will Hate, the website owned by the original author of the Metalsucks column that started this whole thing found the Girls Don’t Like Metal column and posted about it. The comment thread is truly a thing to behold. I think my favourite part is when someone attempted to call me a cunt and mis-wrote “count” instead. Guess who has been doing the Count voice and talking about my vagina all day? Ah ah ah.
But those negative, trolling comments have been relatively few and far between. Most people have written and posted to encourage and support, and I feel completely buoyed up by everyone’s positive energy.
Thank you so much, and I can’t wait for the next post to go up soon!
The blog is Stuff You Will Hate, not “Stuff U Will Hate.” Site is backed hard!
Will fix that asap! Thanks for pointing out my error, I was thinking their twitter feed and not the site itself.
I should add, the site is misrepresented. What’s being made fun of is just the fact that women are demanding attention for something they like. So what, you like a certain style of music, who cares? That’s not an accomplishment. Besides, by making a blog dedicated to focusing on gender issues, you’re just outlining the gender barrier.
People at SYWH don’t make pretentious posts about it because it’s common sense stuff. It’s a no B.S., #realtalk site with a bunch of great jamz. Like I said earlier, I back the site real hard.
I have no desire to insult or denigrate anyone who likes SUWH. I am, however, using their article as a jumping off point, a source of inspiration for this project.
Also, I think that the criticism that this column is simply about the fact that girls enjoy/appreciate metal is incorrect. That is the *title* of the column, but not it’s mandate. If you read the description, and the bios of the people I am interviewing, you will see that I am not just interviewing fans and people who both happen to be female and like metal. I am interviewing industry professions, people who all actively contribute to making and promoting and publicizing heavy metal. These are artists and writers and editors and label reps, as well as fans. They are people who love the musical genre, sure, but that is not what defines them — what defines them is their real, actual contribution to the genre.
I would encourage everyone to read the column and its description a little more carefully before criticizing it for just being about “women are demanding attention for something they like.”
Your response can be condensed into one or two sentences, yet you wrote 3 paragraphs. That’s more or less proving SYWH’s point about the pretense of websites like this. Yeah yeah, the description has some stuff about examining “cultural issues” or something or other, but it ultimately just boils down to “there’s women who like metal!” Big deal, why should anyone care?
At any rate, this topic isn’t really productive and I hope we all have better things to do than discuss heavy metal music and people who are “defined” by what they listen to.
@Steven Reed: Either you don’t care, in which case you really shouldn’t be so defensive about someone wanting to discuss their own interests in their own articles and why would you post here at all, or you have some serious issues with your own pretentious bullshit about somehow knowing what all people should be doing with their time. The interest the site has generated (even from internet trolls like you) seems to make it pretty clear that this is a topic of interest to people who care about culture and its impact on a variety of communities. Get over yourself and go do something you do find productive if you have too much trouble listening to a girl who has a lot of ideas about a field she is interested in.
Please visit my YT channel webpage:
It contains a playlist of my favorite Metal and retro-doom rock bands with female musicians and vocalists. From the aggressive, heavy but melodic Phantom Blue to the gloomy Blackest Orchid and Mukrat.
Phantom Blue is on top of my list. I’m not a huge fan of excessive non-melodic screams and growls in music.