Dear SkullsNBones Community-
The social norm for men or women in today’s world is not to participate in an anti-status-quo culture, but to conform to the social norms of the society we are brought up in. By many social standards the gendered expectations of men is that violence is okay within reason and women are to be submissive. Anger and action are assumed to be the jobs of the male and reproduction and care are the responsibility of the female.
In these ways, be them explicit or implicit, it is easy to see the path to metal being easier for men than women. The context in which the metal scene exists and the content both metalheads and metal bands express themselves with are closer to society’s definition of the male social construct versus the female.
In an unconscious effort to further segregate females, when we see women in the scene it is also met with a kind of inequality even if we don’t mean it. Bloggers will talk about “female-fronted metal bands” as if they are supposed to be met with some pre-diagnosed exceptions or they diminish the effort of women by talking about how “she’s a great guitarist for a woman.” Promoters and some magazines are happy to showcase flat out sexism with their “Sexiest women in metal” or “Hottest chicks in hard rock tour.”
This is not to say that women shouldn’t be celebrated or that I do not appreciate differences between people. We should celebrate those differences! But in today’s world, one’s sex is a defining factor in cases of inequality and rather than celebrating differences, we are divided by them.
As many long-term readers will know, SkullsNBones has been committed to a feminist-friendly agenda for many years, even if it hasn’t been in your face on the site. We have been explicit in our requirement that contributors, myself included, do not share political opinions, even when the world around us appears to be heavily-political at every turn. But as part of our culture, the metal culture, I feel it is our responsibility to address issues that keep us from being better.
Today is International Women’s Day. On this day I reaffirm my commitment to the women in our scene and of the world to do the best that I can to support you and your causes, whatever they may be. We are all equals in the metal culture (unless you’re a metal god, then you’re more equal than the rest of us!). As part of this commitment I would like to invite anyone, male or female, who are motivated to take action in supporting the women of our scene, to use the full resources available through SkullsNBones to further this agenda.
If you want to help facilitate a path for young women to participate in the arts, if you would like to support women who are going through difficult times, if there is a way for us to help play a part in stomping out inequality, SkullsNBones is happy to participate. We are a metal site, but we are also a destination for cultural cultivation. Let’s work together to help advance positive action for women!
I want to thank you, the diverse and uncompromizingly loyal community of metalheads for your commitment to the scene. If more cultures were as dedicated as you I think the world would be a far better place. Let’s take our motivation to the next level in 2017 and commit ourselves to supporting the women in our scene and around the world in all causes that might seem necessary in our current times.
Thank you. Happy International Women’s Day!
Sam RoonTags: International Women's Day open letter Sam Roon