Heh heh, boobs
It seems our society is not as mature as it should be.
On Feb. 5th , Marilyn Manson brought his tour to Moose Jaw, and supporting him was a band by the name of the Butcher Babies.
This band highlights a present crisis in the metal scene and the larger patriarchal culture in which we live. The Butcher Babies explain it best themselves: “We can’t go balls out – so we go tits out! When girls are perceived as sexual or outspoken, they get labeled sluts, but we embrace those qualities and bring them to our music as well. Butcher Babies is true slut metal: We’re doing what we want, how we want.”
On this point they are completely right, it’s normal for men in the metal scene to play without shirts on, and nobody thinks twice, but if women in any genre or any walk of life do this, they are judged and/or objectified.
I had heard of Butcher Babies a year or two back, and at that time I wasn’t a fan of their music and I was annoyed by what I perceived to be near nudity as a gimmick to draw fans. I thought that selling this sexual image took away from their music, so I didn’t listen to them again.
Then when I saw them live opening for Marilyn Manson, my opinion of them changed on both counts. Firstly, the music they’ve written since I last heard them was much better and secondly, during the show in Moose Jaw they remained fully clothed.
So I thought they stopped the gimmick and focused on the music to build a real base of fans. They have indeed focused on the music, but they have not stopped the being topless on stage, as the aforementioned quote was from January 2013. What I failed to see was what they were truly trying to express, and this was made clear to me when some in the Moose Jaw crowd started yelling, “take your shirts off” and “show us your tits.” These demands are horrible but commonplace in the metal scene with not just this band but any band with female members. Immediately, both female singers replied angrily and quickly put the misogynists in their place, and continued the show.
After that I finally put myself in their shoes. How hard would it be for me to play the music I love in my band if I was always judged and discriminated by my gender alone, not by any other criteria? Ultimately it will never happen to me.
This proves my fundamental point, society and the metal scene is not ready, is not mature enough, to handle this type of artistic expression, and to further prove this, look at some online comments on most Butcher Babies videos or news articles.
This band traveled a long way to Moose Jaw just to be objectified by the metal scene here, as they surely experienced in other places, and it makes me ashamed of a metal community I consider myself a part of. It’s perplexing and frustrating that musicians that try to improve themselves and go on tour to showcase their art would be treated in such a way, and sadly I don’t see a change coming anytime soon.
Photo courtesy of gunshyassassins.com