Uber-talented music critic Natalie Zed has started a new column on the Canada Arts Connect website, titled “Girls Don’t Like Metal” after the infamous Metalsucks post by Sergeant D “Public Service Announcement: Girls Do Not Like Metal“. Natalie’s biweekly 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.
For her first installment, Natalie interviews Kim Kelly, aka Grim Kim, who herself is a prolific journalist, PR legend and merch slinger for bands like Corrosion of Conformity. Kim’s interview is fucking brilliant and if you haven’t already checked it out, you should. Kim has a lot of interesting things to say drawn from her experience as a fan, promoter, and member of a road crew.
Being a female metaller isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and while it’s something I would never back down from, it can get ugly. Scores of metal songs gleefully exhort violence towards women in their lyrics, but that doesn’t bother me, though other people may take terrible offence to this kind of sonic torture porn. It does bother me, though, when the fake woman hating in their liner notes comes to life. I personally have dealt with plenty of misogyny and sexism, both inadvertent and explicit. I’ve been insulted, hit on, disparaged, touched, condescended towards, propositioned, ignored, laughed at, leered at, grabbed at, sexually assaulted, dismissed as a “groupie,” a “little girl” or just “someone’s girlfriend,” had my metal knowledge, credibility, and intent called into question time and time again. I’ve had to scream, threaten, and get violent with individuals who don’t understand boundaries or show me the proper amount of respect. Even little things like getting emails addressed to “Mr. Kelly” or being asked, “So, who in the band are you dating?” can be terribly aggravating or discouraging. Sometimes it seems as though the only roles women are allowed within this world are the Madonna, the untouchable, über-feminine metal goddess with comic book proportions, or the Whore, the grody scene slut who’ll drop to her knees for any Neanderthal with a dirty ‘stache and a B. C. Rich. And guys wonder why women seem less inclined to enter this world. To enter the eternal fire, as it were.