Recently, a lot of articles and discussions in comment feeds have expressed the opinion that being a woman in the rock communities like hardcore, punk, and metal is hard; That they are not only faced with the uphill battle to prove themselves or become accepted into these worlds, but that they also have to endure sexism and misogyny. As a woman and a lover of all these genres, who attends shows on the regular, and has had much interaction and conversation with people in these communities, I’ve never had a single instance where I felt unsafe or mistreated. There are sexists and misogynists everywhere you go. Is it right? No. But, should we hold grudges or demean an entire community, because of the actions of a few? We most assuredly should not.
I was partly inspired to write this article because of a post a Noisey staff member wrote about The Story So Far’s, Parker Cannon, “drop-kicking” a female fan off the stage. She claims that what he did was not only an act of stupidity, but an act of sexism. Do I think it was stupid for Parker to nudge a fan off the stage? Yes. Is he sometimes a loose cannon? Yes. Does this make him sexist? No. She even mentions the first time TSSF’s lead kicked a fan off the stage for taking a selfie. The fan in question was male and she even acknowledges that in the article, but this didn’t sway her opinion whatsoever. Were headlines in an out roar because he kicked a man? No. Many people actually described it as funny in the comment feeds. Here is a quote from Metal Injection on the incident, “Parker Cannon, frontman for The Story So Far, was on stage doing what he does in Texas on June 2 at the Scout Bar when some dickhead got up on stage and tried to take a selfie. Not with Cannon, not with the rest of the band, but just a selfie to… look cool on the Internet? Cannon was having none of that shit and kicked the kid off the stage- literally.” The mere fact that the fan in question, this time around, was a female, caused people to instantly jump to the conclusion that he must be sexist and/or now he’s all the sudden an asshole for doing so. Now that it’s a girl who got kicked, the fact that Parker kicked someone off stage is no longer funny, no longer commended. Here’s another quote from a different writer of Metal Injection, but he takes a different tone with the latest drop-kicking incident, “Cannon probably felt like such a tough guy, kicking a girl half his age, while literally the least tough music imaginable is playing in the background. Cannon just comes off like a jerk.” Since, he’s booted both a boy and girl off the stage, I’d say he’s an equal opportunity kicker. If you don’t find that funny, you’ve proved my point. We are so overly sensitive to situations like these. Again, I’m not condoning his actions, just simply stating that we need refrain from making assumptions about band members and people we don’t know and look at the bigger picture. Do I want to be kicked off a stage? No. But, I can also turn around and say that I don’t want to be treated like a fragile human being just because I’m a woman. I want to be treated equally, whether that be in the crowd at a hardcore concert or in my daily life. I know what to expect when I got to a hardcore show. Sure, TSSF aren’t hardcore, but the point I’m making still pertains here. I don’t ever jump to the conclusion that a man pushed into me for the sole fact that I’m a woman; He pushed into me because I’m at a hardcore show.
Just when I thought the Noisey writer I mentioned earlier was done making unsupported claims, she furthered her hate towards the male lead, almost with the anger of a misandrist, by stating, “The flippancy with which Cannon acts so aggressively towards a young female fan who is literally funding his excuse to be on stage in the first place—despite the fact that he spends every night shouting “think about who you let between your thighs” and “I know where you’ve been / You’re ruining men” into a mic—is fucking gross.” Music is personal, derived from our unique experiences. When you listen to the entirety of The Story So Far’s discography, you can tell that Parker is angry at someone; Seemingly someone who has no respect for themselves or the feelings of others. The words you’ve and you’re show that he’s talking about one girl in particular, not the entire female population and when listening to the songs in full, you learn that someone did something to hurt him. It’s very rare that I’ll ever say someone’s interpretation of music is wrong as it’s a subjective experience, but this is an exception to that rule. Articles like these are fueling the hate fire of women against men in the various rock genres, erasing all benefit of doubt, creating over-generalizations that are further dividing the community, and completely discounting the fact that there are many women out there who have experienced nothing but positive experiences. I’ve personally found a safe haven in hardcore; A community that has constantly understood and accepted me for who I am.
Now, I know I just ranted about this article on Noisey, but it is a perfect example of why I’m so frustrated. I, for one, am tired of the mentality that it’s hard to be a woman in rock, metal, punk, and hardcore, and their sub-genres. Are women outnumbered? Yes. I won’t deny that. But, does that mean that men want to do everything in their power to keep them out? Does that mean that they are a bunch of sexist and misogynist people? No, definitely not. Personally, I’ve never experienced an ounce of malice or sexism from any guy in these genres. Furthermore, I’m a music writer and not one person has attacked me for being female. Actually, the fact that I’m a female who writes about rock and hardcore music has neither surprised nor been brought up by someone. No one cares about the fact that I’m a woman, they only care about my opinion. Most importantly, no one has discounted me because I’m a woman. They may have discounted my opinion as a person because they disagreed with me, but I don’t assume nor come to the conclusion that they only disagree with me because of my sex. Finally, to the claim that it’s hard to be a woman in these music worlds, I’ve found it consistently to be untrue. Reddit is a good example here. The metalcore and post-hardcore subreddits are full of conversations and feeds about music and bands. It’s saturated by a male population. But, they don’t care about your sex. They will call you out if you say something stupid, hateful, or incorrect, but they aren’t sitting there waiting for a girl to comment so they can attack her. As I’ve said earlier, there are always outliers, exceptions to the rule. There are sexists and misogynists in every group of people just like there are misandrists in every group as well. The main thing to take away here is that someone’s actions or beliefs do not pertain to everyone in a large group of people and most of all there are way more positive, loving, friendly people in these groups rather than hateful, spiteful, judgmental ones.
There’s a misconception that just because women are outnumbered in certain communities, that they are mistreated or welcomed with hatred or judgement. Right now, young girls who are thinking about joining these communities are being turned off to the idea by constantly being told that they most assuredly will be discriminated against. But, I’m here as a woman in these communities to tell you that that’s just not true. Again, the fact that a few sexists have reared their ugly heads doesn’t mean that this pertains to an entire group of people. So, here I am asking for the women (like me) who hold no ill-will towards these music communities to please stand up, because right now the only ones speaking out are spewing anger and judgement and, quite honestly, we have enough of that in the world already.
Please share your experiences below. Let’s try to spread some positivity and light towards the other side of the story.
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