Women in Metal: Overcoming the Stigma

So, there’s been this stigma that’s been going on for years, that any woman who attends metal shows, is only there to get laid by a band member and has no idea what she is listening to. I realize that a woman liking or doing things that are a “man’s” thing is taboo, but it is 2016 and it’s time us women who do enjoy metal shows (for the sake of metal, thats why) are acknowledged and brought to light.

Sure, there are those women who do only go for those reasons, but I can guarantee, whether we know one song or every damn song, the band member’s names present and past, etc. we are there because we enjoy music too.

Metal is NOT just for men. It’s for women as well. If all you’ve ever experienced are women looking to get laid by band members, you must not talk to many of us. We aren’t “posers,” we are just human beings with tits who enjoy the same music you do.

Who cares if a woman dresses a certain way at a show, but doesn’t dress like that outside of a show. Hell, I only own a few band tees now, and mostly just stick to colourful tank tops, jeans, and tennis shoes. Does this make me any less metal? Nope. It just means I wear what I’m comfortable in while doing my day to day bullshit and save my nice shit for a show.

Even having been in many bands and playing many shows in front of small and large crowds, I wore whatever I felt like. I don’t always wear makeup either because news flash! I’m allergic and dont enjoy having my eyes tear up and turn red as if I’ve smoked a copious amount of weed (I don’t smoke that much, I promise.) So I save my metal look for shows, because chances are I will be too distracted having a blast with my friends, moshing and head banging to even give a shit.

Just because we are there (and sometimes there are a few of us who can hold our own in a pit) does NOT under any circumstance give you the right to grope, fondle or touch us in a sexual manner. Especially the women who crowd surf. I’m pretty sure as a man, you wouldn’t be too fond a woman grabbing your jewels and ass constantly. Please don’t do it to us. We just want to enjoy the show; not be inappropriately touched. I dealt with a situation like this a few years ago in Philadelphia. I was in the pit and a guy grabbed my boob. Initially, I let it go. After the third time, I punched him repeatedly and was thrown out of the show. Mind you, I am in no way a violent person, but I will defend myself and others as needed.

As far as women playing metal, get over it. I find it awesome to see a girl hang with the dudes and kick ass while doing so. Being a female metal vocalist myself, I’ve found that it can get both discouraging amd encouraging. You will always have the “elitist” metal dudes who will talk shit and act all high and mighty since there will be very few of them there. God forbid they’re vocalists too, because if as a female you’re really good (especially with gnarly lows like Mallika Sundara
murthy of Abnormality) you will be shit talked, and it will be more apparent. Nine times out of ten from my experiences, those dudes secretly like what you’re doing, but will never admit it.  Granted, words do hurt sometimes and you will be undermined, but guess what. I promise you there will be more people in the crowd respecting what you do and cheering you on than there will be “those guys.” From what I’ve experienced, guys find it fairly attractive when a woman is a metal vocalist. I’m not sure if they just like being growled at or what: but it’s there.

I’ve encountered my fair share of hate over the last ten years and honestly, it’s still hard to get used to. It’s not because I’m a female metal vocalist; it’s solely the reason that the work I’ve put into what I’m doing, the work that I am extremely passionate about, is being put down. You will never, ever appeal to everyone and that’s a given. I have learned to let the negativity go and learn from it.

Honestly, the next time you see a girl or woman at a show, no matter what her initial intentions are or how she is dressed, give her a high five. She paid the money to get in, probably paid for gas to get there and is supporting something that we all support. Metal is something that should unite men, women, and children alike. We shouldn’t put someone down because they look like they belong at Hollister or are hipsters. There is far too much negativity surrounding metalheads already; why add “being elitist assholes” to the list? We need to support and accept one another because, you may end up making a new friend. Gender is meaningless when it comes to loving music. Be respectful and rage on.

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