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What does everybody think about women in Metal and do you think there is a sexism problem? (Doing this for my English course work in school)


ObiJuanKenobi
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Hi everyone, I'm doing an investigation in my English Language A Level, was wondering if anyone could help? The title for the course work is: : "An investigation into the representations of women in metal and rock music and whether this has changed overtime."

the main thing I'm looking into is some songs that could be quite 'offensive' to women and also how some bands lyrics may be sexist or misogynistic against women

any songs or lyrics from songs with the name of the song and band with them would be much appreciated. 

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  • 1 year later...

I don't like rock and country music with female vocals. But it's not due to sexism - far from it. I just don't like how both genres sound with a female vocal. Whereas in any metal genre I don't mind the women. In fact, there are some very good growling women in metal, like Ravdina, for instance, who happens to be my favorite (not just bc of her growling but bc she's smoking hot too) and that blonde girl from Arch Enemy whose name I always forget. :D

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  • 1 month later...

 

On 11/27/2020 at 10:15 PM, Valso said:

I don't like rock and country music with female vocals. But it's not due to sexism - far from it. I just don't like how both genres sound with a female vocal. Whereas in any metal genre I don't mind the women. In fact, there are some very good growling women in metal, like Ravdina, for instance, who happens to be my favorite (not just bc of her growling but bc she's smoking hot too) and that blonde girl from Arch Enemy whose name I always forget. :D

Alyssa white and arch enemy ring a bell in my head. Think that's right ☺️

Re women in metal don't think there's major issue as seems like most people have to prove them selves a bit when there starting out be that man or woman. Amalie brunn from myrkur said metal was much preferable to scene she worked in before doing her metal stuff. That was in her words alot darker. Think that was pop or indie music industry. 

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On 1/1/2021 at 9:58 PM, JoeyStray said:

Metal is very accepting of female vocalists. In my time gigging actually, i found female fronted bands got a following much easier than male fronted bands. Even if the female fronted band was terrible, stick a half decent metal chick front and center and watch thirsty boys come.

That is obviously great to hear that female fronted bands get  more respect from your experience, I guess myrkurs Amelie brunn concurs with this. I assumed it didn't matter if you were male or female from time to time you would have to defend yourself from idiots. Like the guitarist from a big band which I never expected he'd never get heat, who said he defended himself with his guitar on numerous occasions. I assumed females in metal might get slightly more hassle but this is just an opinion.  Maybe there's less females in metal because  more men prefer heavy metal more so that might account for it . Think either alabaster or macabre said this in previous one of these threads. Still it's interesting to think about it one more time. Not sure if it's helping your home work but I've been on the forum just a year and it's the third or fourth time this question has been asked. If you don't get many responses this might be why. 

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  • 10 months later...

There are plenty of women in metal. The idea that there is a "sexism problem" in metal is nonsense & I have my suspicions as to why that narrative exists but I won't go into it. Metal has been very accepting to women and the idea that there are "misogynistic lyrics" is no more true about metal than it is about hip-hop music. There's always going to be lyrics out there critical of women but the idea of pigeonholing all women into the "easily offended" category and thinking that those lyrics apply to them as individuals is the problem with the narrative that people are members of an "identity" before they are individuals, in reality individualism is what everyone should be striving for before thinking of themselves as part of a group & there is a reason why people are being conditioned now to see themselves as part of a group rather than individuals and be offended on behalf of that group identity as a giant social engineering project on behalf of advertisers and corporate power, but that's not terribly important enough to really break down and is irrelevant to what we're talking about here.

Like some of the best metal bands out there wouldn't be as legendary as they are if it weren't for the women in the band. Like would you really want to listen to Nightwish if it was a guy singing the majority of the vocals? I probably wouldn't.


 

On 5/9/2019 at 7:08 AM, ObiJuanKenobi said:

I'm doing an investigation in my English Language A Level, was wondering if anyone could help? The title for the course work is: : "An investigation into the representations of women in metal and rock music and whether this has changed overtime."

Is that something that you chose yourself because it's something that you care about? Or was the fact that it deals with women assigned by the course instructor and you found a way to relate it to metal?

I ask because I'm very curious as to exactly what a gender issue has to do with the English Language and how that's supposed to teach anyone about English.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I did once experience a bit of harassment from a guy when he found out that I had discovered thrash metal music a few weeks ago.
He said some pretty mean things, like how "little girls" like me "cannot handle this stuff".

It also felt condescending to be called a "little girl" like that, since I am 18 years old.
But I sometimes get mistaken for younger than that since I am only 4'11 and apparently have childlike face features, although that still doesn't excuse his attitude towards me.
But it didn't bother me that much, although it was a bit upsetting for a while.

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Yeah stereo typical pretty much covers it. While the groups I've been involved with had high numbers of males there was always females involved too. When we used to run a youth group back in the 90's we had a group of kids (aged 14-21) running and organising metal gigs in the suburbs and our groups ranged between 40 and 50% female most of the time.

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There's always going to some meathead who thinks that way, unfortunately, but overall, I've never seen reason to make an issue over women in metal. It's just music...why wouldn't it appeal to people of both genders? I'll also add, I've generally seen the number of women who listen to and enjoy metal only increase over the last few years.

EDIT: Let me also add, that I don' think there's a sexism "problem" in metal. While I have no doubt that there are sexist people in the metal community, my understanding is that it's usually a case of having 90% perfectly fine interactions, and the assholes, while noticeable are the minority

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I don't think it's in any way controversial or provoking to say that metal, especially the more extreme sub-genres of metal are just naturally going to appeal much more to testosterone filled dudes than it will appeal to girls who (not always but) more often than not tend to prefer more melodic music with melodic vocals.

But it's been my experience that there are almost always some girls around too and they are always more than welcome to participate. Dudes (especially younger dudes) just like having chicks around, bottom line. I've never seen a girl ridiculed or ostracized by guys for being into metal, quite the opposite dudes will generally tell her how cool it is that she's into metal. Kinda the same way guys seem to love when chicks are into sports or beer or cars or whatever it might be that they're into.

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1 hour ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

I don't think it's in any way controversial or provoking to say that metal, especially the more extreme sub-genres of metal are just naturally going to appeal much more to testosterone filled dudes than it will appeal to girls who (not always but) more often than not tend to prefer more melodic music with melodic vocals

See, I have to disagree with that, because it implies that our preferences are somehow determined by our gender and I'm not sure I believe that. I think there have been several studies that determined that on average, our music tastes are generally set by the time we hit our early to mid teenage years. So it's far more likely guys are drawn to metal because they were more likely exposed to it by their social circles...either an older relative or friends who wanted to show them something "really gross and cool". Girls are generally less likely to get that kind of thing growing up, and as a result there's less women in metal. These days, access to streaming services and YouTube means kids and teens have more access to more varieties of music which probably explains why the number of girls in metal has been increasing. In general it's just easier to run across it than it was before, especially in those early years when we're still forming our tastes

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I'm not saying it's a rule, it's just an observation. And of course there are going to be tons of exceptions to my observation, because of course girls can be into extreme metal as well as many other traditionally male pursuits, and that's totally fine. But it's still certainly a valid observation. Believe me I'm not trying to keep women out of metal or out of or away from anything, I absolutely welcome their participation both in bands and as fans.

But one would have to be completely blind not to notice the overwhelming majority of males at every extreme metal show I've ever been to in my entire life, and the difference seems to be even more pronounced on every metal forum I've ever been a part of. We're not talking 3 or 4 to 1 either, we're talking at least 10 or 20 or sometimes probably 30 to 1. One would also have to not be paying any attention at all not to notice that girls are much more likely to go for music with melodic vocals as opposed to growling or shrieking or other types of harsh, aggressive and unitelligible vocals in far greater percentages than boys. Of course there are lots of exceptions and crossover here but you can't deny that the more aggressive and abrasive the music the more lopsided the male to female ratio becomes.

This is not because boys are more typically being exposed to heavy metal and toy guns and toy trucks and rough contact sports in their youth while girls are being forced to wear frilly dresses, play with dolls and easy bake ovens, and have tea parties until which time their parents can get them married off. Studies have also shown that the inherent differences between boys and girls present themselves at a very young age. Young boys, even preschoolers are more likely to play rough and smash things while girls are more likely to set up pretend families and develop language skills earlier. Spend any time at a preschool or daycare center and you will see this play out over and over. My late wife bought my son lots of pink clothes and tried to make him play with dolls and gave him all the freedom for more tradtionally female toys & activities when he was just a wee toddler and I was ok with that because I do believe it's his choice. But it didn't stick, he still overwhelmingly chose all the stereotypically boy stuff all on his own. I believe these types of gender traits are locked in your genes from the time you're conceived.

Again this is not a rule and I am not advocating that traditional gender stereotypes should be enforced or perpetuated. People of either or any gender should be free to choose whatever makes them happy in life as far as music or toys or clothing or careers or anything else you can think of. There have always been tomboys and less masculine males and there always will be and that's fine, no worries, it takes all kinds. But there is a reason that when given the choice many more boys will choose to play with stereotypically boy toys and do 'boy stuff' while many more girls will choose 'girlie' stuff. Seems to me that to deny the inherent differences between the genders in an attempt to be politically correct is silly. Let people be whoever they want to be and do whatever they want to do absolutely 100%. But we shouldn't be surprised if and when they do more often happen choose the traditional stereotypical stuff for their gender and that has to be OK too. 

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Yeah, I've seen stories about those studies too, and I don't doubt the veracity of them, but if harsh, aggressive music supposedly appeals primarily to men because it's hard-coded into us, while women primarily prefer more melodic music because it's hard-coded into them, then why do the vast majority of people...men and women both...generally prefer more melodic music? Wouldn't you expect to see, not just a higher ratio of men to women into metal, but an overall higher percentage of men in the general population listening to aggressive music? Like in the grand scheme of things, wouldn't rock, punk, gangsta rap. etc. pretty much contain the majority population of men who like music, with numbers steadily trending downward the more melodic it gets. Whereas not just pop, but country, big band, orchestra, symphony, folk, etc. should all be dominated by women, with an equal drop off the more aggressive it gets...but we know that's not the case. So clearly there has to be more to this than "because men"

...and to be clear, I know you're not saying you have an issue with women in metal. I didn't think that for a second. I'm just disagreeing with the conclusion you were drawing about why the ratio is the way it is.

Honestly, I wonder if there's ever been any kind of study on it? I'd be curious to see how the distributions graph out, and how wide the population differences would be between the normal  distribution of women and the normal distribution of men regarding melody

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You're putting words in my mouth. I did not say that any of these things were hard-coded into ALL men or into ALL women. Just that certain traits and preferences seem to be hard-coded into more men than women while others into more women than men. So the more harsh aggressive sounds in music like death and black and thrash metal and grindcore will generally appeal more frequently to men but not necessarily to all men all the time and only to men. Not saying that at all. I'm just saying that clearly the people that these harsher more extreme sub-genres will appeal to are far more likely to be men than women. We've all seen this at shows and on metal forums. But as I've said it's not a rule, there will always be plenty of exceptions and lots of crossover between the genre stereotypes. I'm sure we've all known at least a few female metalheads or truck drivers or construction workers or mechanics or  firemen or roughnecks or some other traditionally male dominated occupations. And we've all known at least a few male nurses or elementary school teachers or child care workers or secretaries or ballet dancers or some other traditionally female dominated occupations. You just can't deny that in each case there are far less of them. 

As far as men being attracted to less harsh and more melodic or softer, more tame or laid back types of music I don't think it's a fair comparison to turn it around like that. Clearly most of the people you will meet in your daily life of any gender, race, ancestry, or creed are probably not going to be into extreme metal and the harsher more abrasive genres of music. We all know this to be true from our personal experiences, but I'm not sure what there is to be inferred from this. It's the extreme black and death and thrash metalheads like us who are the societal outliers and as we all know first hand the overwhelming majority of our kind are men. There's nothing stopping women from banging their heads right along with us, we've all seen a few chicks in the moshpit now and then, right? And how cool is that? But we also know that all things being equal most women would generally prefer not to. Think about all the times we've been to MDF together you and me and 'the guys' and tell me in 10 years how many of us have ever brought our old ladies along with them? Only me. And that's because the rest of them were not interested even if they were expressly invited.

But still, reading your post again I think one's socio-economic status in life also has a lot to do with what kind of music they listen to. You wonder if "rock, punk, gangsta rap. etc. pretty much contain the majority population of men who like music" and I would say if you're talking about working class men of a certain age group then I think those genres you mentioned rock, punk and rap along with metal and maybe the blues for the older guys and country for the rednecks and jazz for the more 'refined' do represent the majority of American men's listening habits. With few exceptions, most 40 year old men I've known do not choose to listen to super sweet commercial pop music.

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No, your misreading what I'm saying. I know you never said ALL men and ALL women. That's why I said primarily, but neither that, nor the fact that most people aren't into extreme metal, changes anything about my point. You're focusing too much on the extreme ends...with pop on one side and extreme metal on the other, but that doesn't define the range of music that uses melody. It's not one or the other, it's a scale.

So if men had it in their make-up to be more predisposed towards more aggressive music, and women were more generally predisposed towards melodic music,  then even with extreme metal being an outlier on the high side we would still see a higher proportion of the population of men who actually listen to music gravitating towards the more aggressive side of the scale. While a higher proportion of women would gravitate towards the more melodic side....In other words, once you ignore the outliers, you'd see a distinct cluster of men on one side of the scale and a distinct cluster of women on the other side. In reality, I think you'd find that most people probably fall roughly around the same area of the scale, tending more towards melody. Very few people, even women, really enjoy super sugary pop music. That's usually the domain of kids and k-pop/j-pop fans

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This is an interesting topic to me, simply because I only have one child and it happens to be a girl. When she popped out I did wonder what I was gonna do with her. Perhaps I was worried that the only thing I really knew about was metal and Star Wars so, what were we gonna connect over? 

Turns out she likes Star Wars, which is helped by the fact that there are more female characters in it now. Remember when Leia was the only one? I mean, she was a strong-willed female character but the princess still needed rescuing from the evil fortress. Now they fly ships and use The Force.

I think there is some truth to Surge's comment: "access to streaming services and YouTube means kids and teens have more access to more varieties of music which probably explains why the number of girls in metal has been increasing."

Seems logical. The stereotypes are eroding....but equally little boys probably do like to hit things with sticks more than girls. There will probably always be a slight bias toward men in metal.

There is a video my wife likes to roll out of me in the spare room lifting weights listening to Dying Fetus while babysitting a sleeping newborn. Alas, that early conditioning did not take. My 12 year old likes pop music, tending toward "cinematic" songs (female singers) from movies etc. I don't mind it actually; it is understandable, melodic and usually has good hooks. The lyrics often aren't great but often metal ones aren't either.

 

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2 hours ago, SurgicalBrute said:

No, your misreading what I'm saying. I know you never said ALL men and ALL women. That's why I said primarily, but neither that, nor the fact that most people aren't into extreme metal, changes anything about my point. You're focusing too much on the extreme ends...with pop on one side and extreme metal on the other, but that doesn't define the range of music that uses melody. It's not one or the other, it's a scale.

So if men had it in their make-up to be more predisposed towards more aggressive music, and women were more generally predisposed towards melodic music,  then even with extreme metal being an outlier on the high side we would still see a higher proportion of the population of men who actually listen to music gravitating towards the more aggressive side of the scale. While a higher proportion of women would gravitate towards the more melodic side....In other words, once you ignore the outliers, you'd see a distinct cluster of men on one side of the scale and a distinct cluster of women on the other side. In reality, I think you'd find that most people probably fall roughly around the same area of the scale, tending more towards melody. Very few people, even women, really enjoy super sugary pop music. That's usually the domain of kids and k-pop/j-pop fans

But Surge don't we see this? I think we do see just exactly this. Most men who choose to be actively into music, and by this I mean not the ones who just flip on the car radio and call it a day, but the ones that actively seek out their own music and build a collection are more likely to be into a somewhat more aggressive form of music be it rock or blues or jazz or classical or electronic or avant-garde or hip-hop or whatever. Aggressiveness is also a scale and it doesn't have to mean Cannibal Corpse level aggression. Jazz or classical or the blues is still more aggressive sounding than the shit on the radio like Nicleback or Taylor Swift or Billy Joel or whatever the normies are listening to these days.

I mean I do understand that we all bring our own personal anecdotal experiences to a conversation like this. What kinds of music women listen to in my life's experience might be totally different than what you've observed in your experiences. You knew my wife. She genuinely liked some hard rock and heavy metal and even some of my more extreme metal. But she also loved 80's pop and 60's pop and when we got in the car she'd still throw on the damn shitty pop station. My ex before her was 18 years older than my late wife and she liked a lot of old 70's rock like Pat Benetar and Kiss and Zeppelin and stuff but when she got in the car she still put on the shitty pop station if I let her. I had to burn a lot of compromise cd's with clean singing stuff to avoid that pop station. My first wife ('88-'90) liked only pop and r&b and EDM and I'd imagine she still does but we don't speak. My daughter who's 31 now was exposed to metal and rock through me as a kid and then went through a pop punk phase in her mid teens and then a rap music phase with various boyfriends who were into that stuff but it didn't stick she listens to the shitty pop station now. My late mother born in 1935 listened to showtunes and female jazz singers and the Beatles. Dionne Warwick and Peggy Lee are not aggressive music.

What kinds of music do the women in your world listen to? In my experience most women enjoy listening to melodic singalong fluff and boy do they love to sing along with it. While most men listen to some kind of harder rock even if it might have a lot of melody. There are always going to be some exceptions, men who like Wham and Abba and Air Supply or women who dig The Ruins of Beaverast and Lamb of god but these are the abberant outliers. And having some outliers doesn't disprove my theory that most men can generally take it a little harder while women want to sing or hum along. 

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Okay, with respect, the problem here is that you just unintentionally shifted the goal post. You originally presented the idea that you were looking at things as a single range, and that on a scale of say 1-Conqueror…the higher we went, the more aggressive and less melodic things became (i.e….girls prefer melodic and guys prefer aggressive). Now you’re saying those terms refer to two different aspects of music, and while I don’t disagree with that, you haven’t redefined the terms for what you mean by aggressive. If you’re referring to something like energy and tempo, I’d say the average pop-punk band is probably more aggressive than, among other things, the entire doom genre, jazz, the blues, and a large chunk of country.

…but even using a more nebulous definition of aggressive, I’d argue that music like the blues, jazz, and country really don’t meet the standard. They’re great styles of music, and yeah, some types can really pick up the tempo, but aggressive?

…and let’s not overlook the fact that country at least, by all appearances, has a relatively even divide in its fanbase between men and women (not going to speak for Jazz or Blues because I’m not as familiar with the way the fanbases break down…though big band and swing never seemed to be lacking for female jazz fans as far as i can see). You’re also discounting the fact that, again by appearances, things like symphony orchestra, opera, and folk seem to break down relatively evenly. As for Rock, are you really trying to argue that the fanbase for rock, as aging as it is, doesn’t usually split pretty evenly? That there aren’t just as many soccer moms as there are soccer dads at the average geriatric, cock-rock reunion show?

The point I’m making here isn’t to deny that pop has a larger female fanbase in relation to males, or that metal doesn’t have a larger male fanbase in relation to females. The point is, that on a scale of 1 to 10, with 5 representing your average alternative rock band…whether it ranges from passive to aggressive or melodic to abrasive, I’d be willing to bet you’d find that the highest percentages of men and women fall somewhere between the 4 to 6 range of liking melodic, aggressive music. Now as it tapers out towards the edges, it would probably show the outliers on the low end containing a larger percentage of females and the outliers on the high end containing a higher percentage of males, but that’s why you generally disregard outliers for overall populations

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8 hours ago, JonoBlade said:

This is an interesting topic to me, simply because I only have one child and it happens to be a girl. When she popped out I did wonder what I was gonna do with her. Perhaps I was worried that the only thing I really knew about was metal and Star Wars so, what were we gonna connect over? 

 

I remember thinking something similar when our first was born, well except for the Star Wars bit. In the end it turned out after 2 girls I ended up with one that likes metal and one that like KISS so I'm taking that for a win. However I did loose in the end because both ended up interested in Star Wars.

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Alright there Surge old buddy, first I'll say that I actually enjoyed reading and contemplating this last post of yours. But I wonder if at this point we might be overthinking things just a little bit? I will stick by my original assertation that regardless of what we're exposed to in our childhood or early teens, I believe that men who enjoy listening to music as a group are somewhat more likely to gravitate toward more aggressive music than women who enjoy music are, and women are more likely to be drawn to more melodic music and in greater numbers, specifically music with more melodic vocal lines.

Now I have already stipulated to the fact that there are plenty of men and women who won't be inclined to do either of those things, and as you've said most people meaning both men & women alike will likely tend to bunch up somewhere in the middle of the bell curve with music that falls into that 4 to 6 range, but I really don't think that proves anything at all. You say the outliers should be disregarded, but that means now we'll have to define outliers. Is everyone outside of the median 4 to 6 range now an outlier that shoudl be discounted? All the 0's 1's 2's & 3's and all the 7's 8's 9's & 10's don't count for anything?? This would depend how steep your bell curve is I suppose and what percentage of the total fall into that median 4 to 6 range. If we were to take a survey and let's say 60% (just picking a number out of thin air here) of your respondees were to fall into that median 4 to 6 range, that would leave us with 40% that will fall outside of that range, and I feel like that's just too many to disregard.

I would think that the 4.5's to 5.5's should be the ones who we disregard as they are the middle of the roaders who will likely be fairly evenly split between men & women, so I think they should just cancel each other out. I would say you could probably discount the 0's and the 1's as well as the 9's and the 10's as your 'outliers' but the rest of the 2 to 4.5's and the 5.5's to 8's should all be left in because those're gonna be the ones that will actually show us the pattern that can tell us something. With all the middle of the roaders out of the way we would them be able to see much more clearly which gender of listener more often falls to which end of the spectrum. And I think we would actually agree on how that would pan out, and that's really been my whole point.  

I'd also like to add that within the genre of rock, or the genre of jazz, or the genre of metal, or pop/punk, or blues or country or dance music or whichever genre you'd like, there will always be some bands and songs that will be more aggressive or abrasive than others and some that will be more melodic and catchy than others. The aggressive ratings and melodic ratings of various pieces of music are not always going to be in synch, meaning the one number will not always go up proportionally as the other goes down. We both know there is music that is at the same time aggressive and also melodic because we both listen to stuff that fits that description. I'd hope there's not too much disagreement between us about what melodic means, but I really did not mean energetic or uptempo when I said aggressive. I would definitely not ever say that uptempo = aggressive. I guess now this means we'll have to define aggressive for the purposes of this discussion. But that in itself could take another 10 pages back and forth to hash out and we still might not ever be able to reach a common understanding. So maybe we can come back to that.

Now I'll pick rock music for this next part just because I'm more familiar with it then I am with jazz or opera or country or whatever else. I would be willing to agree that as you suggest, the fanbase for the massive genre of rock music probably splits fairly evenly into men & women. But you can't just say for example "women like rock just as much as men" and leave it at that and think that that proves anything, like that men and women are equally fond of rock. Because that statement completely ignores the very important fact that even within the one single genre of rock, or even if we were just talking about the smaller sub-genres of hard rock or mainstream radio friendly heavy metal, we all know some stuff just simply rocks harder than other stuff. You can't just issue one universal aggressiveness or melodic rating and think it can be applied evenly across an entire genre of music!

Because when you drill down a little deeper and look a little more closely into any large genre of music like rock, or even if you were to look more closely at one single band's music, you'll find that all rock music does not sound the same. And because there are differences in levels of aggressiveness and levels of melody between bands and songs within any genre, this enables us to see patterns that indicate how men will be more likely to go for the rougher sounding and harder rocking tunes and shredding guitar solos and will seek that stuff out in greater numbers than women will, while women will be more likely to go for stuff that has more melodic vocals that they can sing along to and will seek that stuff out in greater percentages than men will. Again this is not a hard and fast rule, and of course it won't hold strictly true for every rock fan right along gender lines. I'm simply talking probabilities here. I think we can assume that men and women will probably both go for rock and catchy mainstream metal music that falls toward the middle of the melodic and aggressive spectrums in roughly similar numbers. But when the music gets a little more aggressive or exceedingly vocally melodic, or as it tapers out to the edges as you phrased it, I think we both know on which ends of the spectrum we will most likely be able to to find the greater numbers of men or women. That's all I was really trying to say.

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22 hours ago, SurgicalBrute said:

See, I have to disagree with that, because it implies that our preferences are somehow determined by our gender and I'm not sure I believe that. I think there have been several studies that determined that on average, our music tastes are generally set by the time we hit our early to mid teenage years. So it's far more likely guys are drawn to metal because they were more likely exposed to it by their social circles...either an older relative or friends who wanted to show them something "really gross and cool". Girls are generally less likely to get that kind of thing growing up, and as a result there's less women in metal. These days, access to streaming services and YouTube means kids and teens have more access to more varieties of music which probably explains why the number of girls in metal has been increasing. In general it's just easier to run across it than it was before, especially in those early years when we're still forming our tastes

It's probably more driven by socialisation of the genders.  Under current socialisation norms, women will not find metal, especially extreme metal appealing.

Despite all the crapping on by the media, I don't see any difference to socialisation of girls or boys.  There are still very much gender specific clothes, toys, books, TV shows, movies etc etc.  We tried to keep our daughter away from such things, yet even we failed because of extended family, friends, TV etc etc.

Metal is ultimately masculine in its whole presentation and aesthetic which makes it unappealing to your average woman. In fact metal has not moved on its presentation as aggressive angry male music at all since the 1990s.  

 

I will also note a lot of females in metal bands aren't really doing metal things.  They are invariably singers and sing in clean and pretty ways.  Eg Nightwish or Epica or Lacuna Coil or whatever.  They also tend to tart themselves up to focus on their looks.  They are generally not there in t-shirt and jeans belting it out on a guitar or drum kit or growling.  

 

Women also seem more likely to be attracted to softer, far less aggressive genres of metal - symphonic, power, and 1970s style doom.    Despite exceptions, there are not many female metal musicians and your average heavy, thrash, grind, death, black metal band is still 100% male. 

 

Thus women in metal and especially extreme metal is still more a novelty than any really substantial transformation in metaldom.

 

 

 

 

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That's not how bell curves work though. I'm not going to get into it too deep, but essentially the whole reason you can't discount the 4.5's or the 5.5's is because you have to account for some degree of population variation. As you've pointed out, people rarely fall perfectly into line (they don't all land exactly on the 5). Instead, in a normal distribution you'd see heavy clustering around the center point (the people who fall between 4 and 5 and the people who fall between 5 and 6...aka the normal range) and it becomes more spaced out as it moves towards the edges (i.e. there's less overall people showing up in those categories). This is how they account for what you're talking about when you say drilling down shows there's variation within a genre.

You also need to remember that if we take your number of 60%, that remaining 40% divides into 20% above our normal range and 20% below. Further, we know it's not a break that happens exactly along gender lines. Again, we both agree that there's always exception. For the sake of a nice, easy number...let's say 15% of women and 5% of men show up below the 4 and 15% of men and 5% of women show up above the 6. The fact that women account for 15% below the normal range would indicate that there is some factor in play...but it would only be considered in regards to that section of women. The very fact that only 20% of women fall outside the normal range would be considered evidence that gender doesn't impact music preference. 

...but we're also talking about the idea that we're looking at the entire population of music listeners from every genre, not each genre on it's own

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I don't think metal fandom has anything to do with bell curves.

The truth is the genre is still probably 80-90% male dominated. 

Hell it might be even more. 

Indeed one thing I noticed in gigs is that most of the small handfuls of females there were mainly girlfriends of metalheads and bored ones at that.   There was also a handful of wannabe groupies who didn't really give a shit about the music.  This was both at local gigs and big international ones in Sydney and Melbourne.

When I went to Napalm Death a couple of years ago, it was near 100% male!

I have never met a real metalhead female in my life.  My sister-in-law claims to be because she sometimes throws in a Disturbed or Bullet For My Valentine track in with her boring as bat shit Norah Jones crap.

I have met females that were really into grunge (eg my wife) or punk/garage rock or industrial/goth stuff like Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails.

  

 

In fact the metal genre has probably gone backwards if you think about the fact pretty boy glam metal bands in the 1980s often did have sizeable female followings even if it was more for how "hunky" Sebastian Bach, Brett Michaels and Jon Bon Jovi were than the actual music.

 

 

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