Friday, January 24, 2014

Some food for thought: Whatever happened to talent?

Today before work I stopped by Barnes and Noble to see if they would have the new issue of Revolver Magazine which features the 25 Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock. In the list, it features the women from Butcher Babies, one of my favorite new bands from 2013. Well I was lucky and I did find the issue and bought it right away. It was an entertaining read without a shadow of a doubt but the raging feminist in me really wanted to scream out loud and yell at the magazine "WTF does a woman's physical appearance has anything to do with music?". Truth be told I had never heard of the majority of the women on the list since I tend to favor EBM, electropop, futurepop, industrial and synthpop music. Some of the blurbs for the women does mention their music but not all, their photos really speaks to me that this article is about their physical appearances. I definitely won't go out as far to bash the women in the article for being physically attractive. For me that isn't the issue. Also I am not here to question their talent. I am sure those whom I am not familiar with are as talented as those I am familiar with. My issue is how THEY are viewed by their male peers. By using the term "chick" really speaks volumes to the attitude towards women from the folks at Revolver. I'm not sorry when I say this but I truly dislike the term "chick".  I find it condescending and insulting to my intelligence as a woman (especially as a proud feminist, a term that should not be viewed as a negative).

Apparently I am not the only person who has taken umbrage over Revolver's annual Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock list, so has Blake Deppe who wrote this interesting OP'd piece a couple of years ago A Subculture Evolving: Women in Metal Speak Out. He poses an interesting question of why put together a list that comes out once a year featuring women in the current scene as opposed to giving them equal coverage through out the year? Yeah, what are women? Just the second banana to their male bandmates?

Also in the article, Lizzy Hale says "It was always important to me to be a woman on stage, not a girl trying to be a man. And the best part of being a woman comes with being able to play with the boys...but in stilettos," she quipped. "A lot of people don't realize the guts it takes to be a woman in metal. We have to carve our own path and make our own rules." I think Lizzy totally misses the point of the criticism towards Revolver's annual Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock list. It is the view of women in music in general, not necessarily what they wear. If Lizzy and other female musicians wants to wear high heels on stage, that's their perogative. What I am questioning is whatever happened to talent and proving your mettle's worth through what you can do whether sing or play an instrument? PERSONALLY fashion and one's personal vanity should be an artist's last concern but what would I know I am just a lowly blogger.

While I don't think the annual list is exploitive as the crap that comes out of Maxim magazine and their disgusting ilk, I do think the 25 hottest chicks in hard rock list is really doesn't do women in music any huge favors. There were a couple of photographs in the magazine that made me question the intentions of the magazine. One artist was on her hands and knees and another you got a pretty good shot of her chest. It is pretty obvious to me that the focus is not on the musical accomplishments of the women featured on the list. Pretty disappointing to me. If you ask me "badass" would be a much better description to use, not to mention ditch the term "chick".  It  may be the 21st century but obviously women in music still has ways to go to be taken dead serious. Just some food for thought from this blogger/music junkie/feminist. 

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