A Response to Misogyny (By Association, On The Grounds Of Being Female)
By Beth Jones
If you had “Blatant and Inexcusable Misogyny in Printed Media” on your 2020 Armageddon Bingo Card, then you can now cross it off, as the year that just keeps on giving has done it again! This month’s issue of a fairly well followed print format rock and metal magazine, who shall remain nameless, have firmly cemented that entry into the “Turned The World Off and On Again, It Seems to be Fucked” annual; With their editor using incredible lack of judgement, and outdated views of what is acceptable, clearly clouded by unsatisfied testosterone running wildly though his system.
His two-word article title faux pas has not only managed to degrade, demean, and undermine the integrity of women in music, especially Rock and Metal; It has also incensed me, the least feminist person I know, to write this. Regardless of the content of the article, or indeed the accompanying editorial which ‘championed women in rock and metal’, this act of disregard brings, once again, to the forefront an ‘ism’; an inequality that all women experience. But this is the tip of the iceberg.
For women in many walks of life, being met with surprise and disbelief that they can do something competently, other than cook and clean, is a daily occurrence. And it’s also a regular occurrence for assumptions to be made as to our roles, purely based on the lack of external appendages within our trousers.
In the Rock and Metal world, women are used to being looked at when they turn up with their band, and the assumption being made that they’re a girlfriend of a male band member, rather than an accomplished musician, and integral part of the band. When performing on stage, women are used to being seen as ‘only there for a bit of eye candy’, and dealing with being groped, manhandled, or commented upon, because of what they choose to wear, or simply the fact that they’re a female in a band. They’re also used to getting plenty of hate regarding their size, hair colour, choice of makeup, etc, etc, ad infinitum. When they start playing or singing, women are also used to being met with surprise that they can actually do it just as well as their male counterparts. And they’re also used to it being pointed out in articles that they are female, or that the band is ‘female fronted’. I will hold my hands up, it’s something I have done on one occasion in the past, because it was ‘the done thing’ and I failed to question it. Rookie error. But why was it, and why is it still, the done thing? What is its benefit? There are only two reasons I can think of – for the benefit of those poor souls who may get confused, and wonder why a prepubescent teenage boy is being exploited in a band full of bigger boys, or so that the Neanderthals can prepare their “fun sock” before they check out the band’s videos on YouTube.
As women, we’re used to all those things, and we’re used to rising above them. But that doesn’t make any of them right, and it doesn’t make any of them grate our gears any less.
Inequality is everywhere. Inground into, and accepted in, every fabric of society. And despite the efforts of activists, and the apologetic agreement, whilst attempting to hide the problem under the carpet, of governments globally, these problems are getting worse. Racial inequality, gender inequality, homophobia, transphobia, and every other inequality or phobia aimed at making someone feel smaller than the perpetrators of hate. And the only way we can stop it is for everyone to just get real. Like any problem, the first step to curing it is admitting that it’s a problem. That has started to gain momentum, but to actually accomplish anything, EVERYONE has to get on the bus.
Pulling it back to our subject matter here, the intrenched, low-level misogyny that women are forced to endure through every step of their lives is not something that women alone can solve either, sadly. As the old saying says, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” It’s going to take every man, and I do mean EVERY MAN, to step up to the plate, and start thinking with their brains. YOU need to make the ones who refuse to see it feel like the outsiders, in the same way that women are made to feel all. The. Time.
So come on chaps, put your big boy pants on and let’s work on making everyone equal, regardless of what’s hanging between their legs, (or whatever driving force is behind every ‘ism’) yeah? Have the courage that so many are forced to employ every day, in order to survive in the global dominant patriarchy. Because no matter how much anyone tries to talk it down or laugh it off, that’s what it is. And we’ve had enough.
And before you ask, I’m not blowing things out of proportion because I’m a feminazi/ hormonal/ menopausal/ too emotional/ a woman*. This is reality.
*Delete as appropriate to indicate which one makes you feel better about your reasons for continued ignorance.
Disclaimer: This article is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.