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So Meta It Hurts: A Blog Post About an Interview About Blogs By Women Who Like Metal

November 17, 2009

I can’t think of a topic more appropriate to begin with, so here’s my response to a recent quote. The Reign in Blonde editors were recently interviewed for Noisecreep, and some interesting excerpts follow:

Elise of Reign in Blonde distances herself from female blogger tropes:

“Blogs give me a sense of who the person is as I’m reading their stuff day-to-day, and I like that. But I actually find it really hard to relate to most female bloggers, in general. Many seem like they’re always fighting something, whether we’re talking feminists or Carrie Bradshaw wannabe’s who want to complain about much men have ruined their lives. I don’t get into that sort of stuff. I have no cause or agenda. I just want to be ‘me’ and talk about silly stuff that makes me laugh. Most of that happens to be metal-related.”(emphasis mine)

I have not really encountered those blogger stereotypes. Maybe she reads different blogs. It’s something that could be elaborated on. I sense a strong “I’m not a feminist, but…”(TM) sentiment here.

Elise gives her views on women in the metal media:

“The girls are definitely out there in the metal media, but it always felt like a vast majority of them were either straight-laced journalists or ultra sexed up chicks with tongue rings who host their own TV show. I don’t mean to knock those people, but that’s not who I am. Reign in Blonde is not Blabbermouth, and it’s not Mistress Juliya, we’re Elise and Julia (no Y). We’re girls who like heavy music, but are also really silly and sarcastic … so it’s a different spin on things. Not everyone is going to dig it, but I suppose it shows people that the metal community is actually a lot more diverse than previously thought.” (emphasis mine)

It’s interesting to see how Elise acknowledges the either/or stereotypes (in this case, sexy and frivolous OR serious and boring). She nods to the existing types of women who create the media surrounding the metal world, yet doesn’t challenge WHY these limiting molds are there.

My theory is that these women must do certain things (aka covering) to be accepted, validated, or paid attention by the world they portray. Women have battled the virgin/whore complex for centuries. These are the hoops women must jump through in order to have an audience: either tart yourself up or deny your sexual expression. Anyone who has ever talked to a woman knows that these carefully constructed images are just that, images. The mere existence of Elise proves that you can be a woman, write about metal, and be a nuanced human being with a personality of your own. Elise mentions that she does not adhere to these expectations. I’d like to challenge those expectations, and that’s a great “jumping off” point.

Reign in Blonde’s Julia continues:

“I don’t think it’s a matter of a female versus a male voice; the metal community just needs strong voices period. I mean, metal isn’t music for wussy, weak people so if you’re going to actively represent the metal world in a journalistic/blog forum you need to uphold every ounce of your convictions. … Elise and I try to present a different point of view about the music we love, which probably has to do a lot with the fact that we’re both women, and pretty girly ones at that. We don’t ‘look the part’ and we are interested in a lot of different things besides metal, like baking, fashion, pop culture … but that doesn’t mean that we don’t know what we’re talking about.” (emphasis mine)

I’ve dealt with the “you have a vagina, you don’t know anything” (TM) sentiment all too often. I’m glad Julia critiqued these sexist notions. However, I wish she’d add to this conversation a little more. If that’s not what she chooses, I need to respect her point of view. I don’t know what the metal community needs at this moment, but I think Reign in Blonde is a great counterpoint to the old joke: “women don’t listen to metal!”

Well, these two women do. They’re funny women who write blogs. I can’t help but admit my tiny crush. \m/

-Ms. Anthropia

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