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No, Seriously, Women Play Metal Too: Thoughts on Revolver’s Golden Gods Awards

Posted by on April 14, 2010

Stabitha is the fake name of a real lady who works in the metal music industry. She is too much of a puss to contribute to the Insider under her real name, considering the precarious nature of the music industry and the permanence of Google searches.

One of the universal truths of metal is that it’s dominated by guys. Most of the time, I’m totally okay with that, like when there’s no line for the ladies’ room at shows. But sometimes, like when it comes time for Revolver Magazine to hand out its Golden Gods, it really pisses me off. I didn’t realize how much this bothered me until I started reading recaps of this year’s awards.

Their annual Hottest Chicks in Metal issue is bad enough. I get it – boobs sell magazines, and theirs is the only industry hurting more than recorded music. At least they devote column inches to the talents rather than attributes of women in metal on a fairly regular basis.

The awards themselves, however, ghettoize women. People I love and respect, like my bros at Metal Injection, and even here at the Insider extol the awards as a night to celebrate metal, where it matters less who won what and more that everyone comes together under the same flag. But it’s hard to feel like you’re invited to the party when the only female recipient of any non-Hottest Chick award in its two year history went to Kat Von D, whose contributions to metal are limited to her love of it and the ink featured on many dudes in metal bands.

I was laughing about the whole thing all the way through Reign in Blonde’s Hottest Chick in Metal Bracket (in which it was an honor to participate). Turnabout is fair play, after all, and I’m not so naïve to think there will ever be a day where women will be evenly represented in the genre. I can’t help feeling kind of uncomfortable that it has to come to that, no matter how much I hope RiB makes it an annual event. Being sexualized is part of the human condition, but no one should feel like that’s all they are, especially when they’re already a minority in a community.

I’m a hot piece who loves metal, and I am more than okay with people appreciating that fact—I know I have a lot else to offer, and my brethren know this. No one has ever wondered if I was cheering for Devin Townsend because my boyfriend dragged me to the show (at least not to my face). Thanks in part to getting into metal very early on, most of my friends have been guys my entire life, and they have always treated me as an equal. Why, then, doesn’t the community notice that it treats women like they’re all Tawny Kitaen on the hood of a Jaguar?

Now that the Golden Gods awards are becoming kind of a BFD, it’s high time for the community to reconsider how it depicts women. ISIS’ Aaron Turner gave me a serious ladyboner when he told IndiePit he felt the Hottest Chick in Metal category was “kind of demeaning” even if Marta Peterson was a “willing participant.”

I love all my boys out there but I’m disappointed that Aaron Turner is the only one to point this out in print. So it’s your move, fellas—will the Golden Gods remain a sausage party, or should it formally recognize bands like Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Kylesa, and Kittie among the many others active in the last year?

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