All posts by Lyndsay Helfrich

On Not Being a Douchebag: The Moral Obligation to Confront Sexism

Today I’d like to discuss sexism in metal. Don’t we talk about that all the time? I hear you ask. If you pay attention to publications in the field of metal studies, it appears that yes, we do. The topic is even getting significant uptake in mainstream metal press outlets like Decibel, Noisey, and MetalSucks. All of this is a good thing. So why am I bringing it up again, you may ask? Well, there are a couple of reasons. First, and most importantly, it would be harmful to assert that we have reached a point where it is not worth talking about. To quote an article (which is currently under review) I submitted with my friend, colleague, and fellow blogger Amanda DiGioia, ‘as academic feminists. . .we will be “post-feminists” in the “post-patriarchy.”’ The second reason, and this is the point of this little discussion, is that I believe that members of the metal community have an obligation to confront sexism and sexist behaviour within the scene. Continue reading On Not Being a Douchebag: The Moral Obligation to Confront Sexism

Tunes for the Resistance: On the Importance of Staying Outraged

At this point, it feels fair to say that most of the world is in a state of disbelief and righteous anger. In case there was any doubt about which events the world is in disbelief or righteously angry over, it would be the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America. This event, and the rising populism in many countries, including my own, has had me thinking recently about how metal and politics fit together. Much of metal’s history with politics has been somewhat tumultuous, with plenty of politics in regards to censorship. I think we’re all familiar with Dee Snider of Twisted Sister’s appearance at the PMRC Senate Committee hearings, and his passionate speech against the censoring of his and other music. For many people, this is more or less the extent to which metal gets political for them, and for a lot of people it is probably fair to say that’s how they prefer it. Continue reading Tunes for the Resistance: On the Importance of Staying Outraged

“Let Me In:” Some Reflections on Indigenous Participation in Local Metal Scenes

The colonization of North America is an oft mentioned subject in metal, most famously in Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills.” Colonialism and its impact on First Nations and Inuit peoples in North America is typically talked about in a historical context in metal, and typically from the side of settler culture, as is the dominant culture in metal. Songs like “Run to the Hills” do some justice to the acts of violence done against Indigenous peoples, but there is an overlooked and unnoticed side to this story. As most metal fans can attest, metal’s appeal lies in its ability to provide a space to express a variety of emotions and discuss subjects which are difficult to deal with (namely, death and violence). Because of this, metal’s appeal is broad and reaches a variety of people with different experiences and backgrounds. Continue reading “Let Me In:” Some Reflections on Indigenous Participation in Local Metal Scenes