Metal and Misogyny in the Age of Harvey Weinstein

Is the storm against Harvey Weinstein’s outrageous habitual behaviour some kind of tipping point? Maybe. We’ve already seen plenty of #MeToo revelations involving other powerful men in the movie industry. When will we start hearing more stories of abuse from the music industry? God knows there are thousands of seedy, criminal tales of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll that don’t stop with the accusations against DecapitatedTwiggy Rameriz, Matt Mondanile (ex-Real Estate) and PWT BTTM and the stories told by Hazel O’Connor, Bjork and Veruca Salt. You get the feeling that many shoes are about to drop as people (women mostly, but there are tales of sexual abuse against men, too) are emboldened to come forward.

And the effects may extend beyond stories of sexual assault and harassment. It may change the very nature of some sorts of music.

Take metal, for example, a genre famous for its reliance on shock value. What has been considered normal is now being viewed in a whole new light. This is from Medium.

Marilyn Manson’s latest interview with NME shrugs off Trump to discuss skeleton collections and hypothetical sex with Lana Del Rey. But are we still receptive to such outdated shock tactics?

It makes sense to want to maintain an aura of deviance, a rebellious image, if you’re an artist in the genres of hard rock and metal, especially at the launch of a new album. A couple of weeks ago when I started reading NME’s interview with Marilyn Manson — one of the most globally-recognised images of industrial metal — I was expecting it to be littered with his usual intentionally hyperbolic, tongue-in-cheek quips about absinthe and dead babies. I found myself wondering instead why his references to his child-skeleton collection, his devil’s-advocate-sexism and his stance that Trump is no worse than any other president came off as less shocking, and a bit more lame. Is it because apathy and gender-based insults and the grotesque no longer shock us? And another thing: is it still so difficult to discuss female musicians without focusing on sexual merit?

The rest of this article is worth reading and discussing.

 

 

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Metal and Misogyny in the Age of Harvey Weinstein

  • October 25, 2017 at 1:10 pm
    Permalink

    I thought Manson’s comments about LDR were misogynistic, too.

    Reply

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