Lord Mantis, Transmisogyny and Questions of Intent

Content Note/Trigger Warning- discussion of explicit, graphic depictions of violence against trans women; transmisogyny

Owing to a persistent internet connection problem I’ve been unable to update the blog for about three weeks. During that period I’ve been doing my best to keep track of an extremely troubling series of events centering around the Chicago metal band Lord Mantis’ choice of artwork for their upcoming third album The Death Mask. I’ve refrained from commenting up to now, partly because I was unable to get internet access for long enough to draft a full response, but also because of a sense I wasn’t the best person to talk about the issues involved. Based on a friend’s advice, I’ve stepped away from my original plan to review the album upon its release, since even if I note my problems with the band’s artwork and associated conduct, the review format does constitute a promotion of their work. Instead, I’ve decided to make a critique of the bands’ choices (and their consequences) the central focus of this post. Most of the points I make here have been made previously (and better) by other commentors, many of whom have more of a personal connection to the issues at hand and are therefore probably more qualified to talk about it than me. Nonetheless, I feel like I need to express my feelings on the matter.

First, a quick recap for those unfamiliar with the overall story. In January of this year it was revealed that Jef Whitehead, sole member of the black metal project Leviathan, was producing the cover art for Lord Mantis’ newest album, and the artwork in question was shared on an Instagram account jointly run by Whitehead and his partner, Dark Castle and Taurus singer-guitarist Stevie Floyd. Controversy swiftly erupted due to the nature of the piece: the painting explicitly, graphically depicts a trans woman who has seemingly been tortured, then brutally murdered. (I’d prefer not to spend time describing the artwork in exacting detail; curious readers can easily find images of it if they so desire.) I personally recall that, in the wake of criticism aimed at the band, Whitehead and Floyd, and heated arguments online, there were indications that an alternate cover would be used. However, if this was ever going to be the case it no longer is: The Death Mask is set to be released in April with the original Whitehead artwork.

Readers accustomed to the graphic depictions of violence against women that unfortunately still grace extreme metal album covers might be wondering what the fuss is about. The context is important here: it might not automatically be the case that an image endorses what it is depicting, but it can sometimes tell you something about the image’s creator. The fact that album artist Jef Whitehead has been accused of sexual assault and domestic abuse (and found guilty of the latter), and incorporated violent misogyny into albums such as True Traitor, True Whore, makes it harder to accept the Lord Mantis piece as an ironic statement. It also forces us to question whether the band members themselves see violence against women, especially trans women, as a suitable subject to use for cheap controversy to garner sales.

The wider context of that everyday violence against trans women is even more important, however. While data on rates of violence against transgender people tends to be sparse, and much of this violence likely goes unreported*, it is clear that trans women, particularly trans women of colour, are subject to disproportionately high levels of police harassment, assault from healthcare professionals, and murder, not to mention astronomically high rates of suicide and transphobic abuse and discrimination in employment, housing etc. Given this reality, the prevalence of depictions of trans women as victims of violence- not just in Lord Mantis’ album artwork, but across all media- and its link to that violence in real life has to be critiqued. It’s obviously unlikely that someone would use Whitehead’s painting as their sole inspiration to murder or otherwise commit violence against a trans woman. But it does form one small piece of the wider cultural narrative surrounding trans women. And it does send yet another subtle message about how little society values trans women. People already predisposed to violent transmisogyny can and do pick up on this message and utilise it to justify their crimes, with such twisted reasoning as the conception of women “deceiving” men with their undisclosed transgender status used as an excuse for “corrective” rape or other violence.

I have heard the band’s defenders bring up the question of intent- whether or not the band members and/or Whitehead intended to offend trans women or anyone else with their choice of artwork. If they didn’t mean to hurt anyone, the argument goes, it’s OK. If they didn’t set out to be offensive or to cause harm to trans women with this cover, then they are absolved of any negative consequences, apparently. To me this is an inadequate response, one that ignores the social and cultural impact of art and reduces things to a narrow individualistic view. Our actions have consequences, often ones that we didn’t intend or want them to have. Like most people, I’ve had moments where I unintentionally caused great hurt to people I care about, and agonised over the fact that I did this without realising it. But to turn round and say to this person that, because I didn’t intend to hurt them, I was not in the wrong, would be unhelpful to say the least. It doesn’t really matter whether or not the members of Lord Mantis, or Jef Whitehead, are personally bigoted against trans women**. What matters is that their chosen artwork has the potential to contribute, however indirectly, to the epidemic levels of violence trans women face in the real world, whether they intended it to or not. The seeming refusal of the band and their label, Profound Lore, to consider this, and to insist instead on releasing the album with this cover, is the real problem.

In another sense though, the question of intent is worth considering; specifically, what artists intend to achieve with their work. I’ve said before that I believe metal has the potential to offer a site of genuine resistance against hegemonic discourses, to become a truly counter-cultural resistance against mainstream society, and rediscover the shock and panic the genre used to inspire in guardians of mainstream morality. Too often, however, bands seem content to recycle aesthetics of perversion or depravity that seem shocking on the surface, but fail to actually offer any real critique of, or alternative to, those hegemonic discourses. So it is with the cover of The Death Mask. It might initially seem shocking to depict violence against trans women in this way, and it may seem as though I’ve just spent over a thousand words on the offense this image caused me. But as noted above, this is a world where violence against trans women goes on all the time, with an awful frequency, mostly unnoticed or commented upon by the people it does not directly affect. That violence is a normalised aspect of our society; in a sense, mainstream society condones that violence. So really, what is shocking about a metal band depicting it on an album cover, seemingly without any intention to critique it? What could be more pedestrian or unchallenging? Shouldn’t we expect more of a band in what is supposed to be a counter-cultural musical movement; that it might, for instance offer a counter to the dominant cultural perception of trans women?

At this point we should probably turn to the question of what can be done. It is abundantly clear at this stage that neither the band nor Profound Lore is interested in changing the artwork or seriously considering the concerns raised. In a neoliberal economic order that increasingly gives us power only as consumers, the only way forward might well be to withdraw our custom. This is not an easy thing for me to recommend- I have grown to greatly enjoy Lord Mantis’ previous album Pervertor, and was initially looking forward to hearing their music develop on this release. But weighed against the possibility of helping a band to profit off of transmisogyny, my personal disappointment is not important. I would urge readers who were considering purchasing The Death Mask not to support Lord Mantis by paying for the album or their live shows. If possible, I would also recommend avoiding any of Profound Lore’s other releases until the band and/or the label issue a full apology and promise to change the artwork. I appreciate that it’s easy for me to ask this of others, and that it might not seem like this will have any impact. But I’d like to believe that if enough of us commit to this, and make our intentions clear to Profound Lore, it will eventually be in the label’s financial interest to do the right thing. Once again, outcomes trump intentions.

                                            

* For example, it is often reported that 238 trans people (men and women included) were murdered worldwide in 2013, but the true figure is almost certainly much higher.

** Having said that, this interview with Lord Mantis vocalist/bassist Charlie Fell suggests that his view on transgender issues could charitably be described as “unreconstructed”, and will not win over critics of the cover art choice. (Trigger warning: contains images of the Death Mask album artwork)

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29 responses to “Lord Mantis, Transmisogyny and Questions of Intent

  1. Pingback: An Open Letter: Lord Mantis, Gruesome Covers, and Taking Responsibility for Pushing the Boundaries | Counterweight

  2. Pingback: NO CLEAN SINGING » LORD MANTIS: “DEATH MASK”

  3. OK, now that I’ve read another one of your articles, I think you expect way more out of metal than it has ever hinted at offering. At its core, metal is nothing more than Hells Headbangers releases. One the one hand you might see that as pathetic, just a bunch of meaningless shock value in the form of a handful of tired tropes. But I see that simple-mindedness as a huge part of the appeal, if not beauty of the genre.

    Metal is not a smart, counter-cultural critique. It is visceral and ugly. It’s horror films as music. Any profundity is almost certainly accidental.

    And in this case in particular, I don’t think the picture shows what you think it shows. Looks to me like a Frankenstein creation made up of body parts, and the mad scientist thought, “Hey, why not tits AND a dick?” I seriously doubt any more thought than that went into it. In truth, it’s actually less disgusting than the cover to Pervertor, which also appears to have a transexuality theme. Gender-bending for shock value in metal goes back a long time. Mixing that trope with the violence trope doesn’t take a lot of thought, and no new meaning should be read into it.

  4. Full Metal Attourney spells out, what most Metal Heads (including me) might say. For me all this gore was and is never real – it is like a fantasy world which I am not even interested in. But I always liked bands like Cannibal Corpse etc. for their music. Reading this brings back the responsibility. Maybe some of my friends, visitors and anyone else watching my record compilation might be offended by it – which I would not intend to. Then again, Extreme Metal without provocating others will hardly ever work – even intelligent bands like Kreator use gore and sexist connontations on their album covers. Thank you for the article.

  5. This website is a joke right? I guess you’ve never seen many of the Scorpions album covers?

  6. Oh dear. The “it creates a culture” argument. The same way in which edgy comedians indirectly cause rape, bigotry and murder, right?
    There’s no question that the album art is tasteless. You’re correct in suggesting that its sole purpose is to stir up a little controversy surrounding its release.
    But when you start going off on tangents regarding what YOU think the motive of the creator was, and rattle off wholly irrelevant statistics to support your non-theory, you just look like an asshole. Jeff Whitehead does sound like a piece of shit, but there’s no logical reason to conclude that he wants to/condones assaulting members of the transgender community.

  7. And right here, we see why so much metal is tired and played out. If the most shocking thing a band can come up with is gore based on the abuse of women (including trans sisters, of course!), then the creativity train is not stalled, it’s off the tracks. This is nothing more than the misogyny we’ve been living with for the past 3000 years. B-O-R-I-N-G!
    This kind of metal had nothing innovative to offer, and until they solve their hatred problem, there’s nothing that can make it interesting.

  8. I’m starting to get the idea that you should perhaps stay away from anything associated with black metal. Seems to me that you just can’t handle it and are too easily offended. When a band that sells more than a couple thousand records world wide puts this type of thing on the cover, then I’ll start considering your fears of massive social repercussions as something to legitimately worry about. But you are crying over spilled milk. And as Full Metal Attorney pointed out, the album art for this release is far less disturbing than their previous album, which you claim to have enjoyed quite a bit. This isn’t crust punk or grindcore, it’s “blackened sludge metal”.

  9. I implore any traditional black metal head reading this article and those like it:
    Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can reason with the social justice crowd.
    When you see someone who uses trigger warnings in a non ironic way, run away.
    If you interact with such a social justice warrior you can expect gross dishonesty in your dealings. Understand that such dishohesty is totally normal for the social justice warrior and they they don’t feel bad about being dishonest with people holding “unreconstructed” views.
    You can expect to be quoted out of context.
    You can expect the wildest rumors to be relayed, as long as they paint you, oh unreconstructed one, in an unfavorable light.
    You can expect sophistry.
    You can expect passive aggressiveness.
    While you may make some effort to see where your sjw adversary is comin from, know that the sjw will make no effort whatsoever to see where you’re coming from.

    Does your interlocutor care a lot about ableism, privilege and transphobia ?
    Do not engage. Do not apologize. They’re not looking for a conversation.
    They just want to see you submit.

  10. It’s true that the vast majority of metalheads don’t put much thought into the art. There have always been metalhead intellectuals but they didn’t use to intellectualize metal itself. Given that metal and black metal in particular is in the crosshairs of the PC/social justice crowd that is aiming to sanitize and correct every single field of human cultural activity, non academic metal intellectuals and metalheads themselves need to start arming themselves to fight this culture war. The metal intellectualizing that I see coming out of the academy is part of the assault of the PC crowd, for the most part.

  11. I’ve never even heard this band, but I plan on buying all their shit now, purely to spite your efforts.

  12. Pingback: Sucker For Punishment: Go to Hell | Decibel Magazine

  13. Interlocutor

    Though I disagree with the other commenters who say that metal should not be ‘intellectualised’, I certainly don’t think that it (or anything else) should be pseudo-intellectualised, as you are doing. This post and other things I have read here on your blog are riddled with the intellectual dishonesty that characterises SJW discourse. You seek to incriminate based on poorly substantiated associations and scattershot mudslinging, with the end goal of… what? Patting yourself on the back for making the world a better place? In all likelihood even a band like Lord Mantis, who I have no plans to check out, contribute more to the enrichment of the world and to culture than these kinds of dead end musings.

    Even RAINN has discarded the concept of “rape culture”, but these bankrupt arguments about certain art being immoral because it “creates a culture of harm” continue to circulate in the echo chamber of the self-righteous blogosphere. Almost all the anecdotal evidence you’ll ever find about metal fans at gigs is that they’re remarkably cordial and tolerant, so it strains credibility to imply that this album cover is symptomatic of a transphobia crisis within the scene that needs to be resisted. At no stage did you seek to examine the cover piece itself and question what it might be saying. The proportions are not grotesque and the person doesn’t seem to be drawn as parody. Why is there a noose emerging from the wrist? Why is an apparently dead body sewing a mask onto its face? I don’t particularly like it, personally, but there’s the possibility that it contains some sort of insight. Whitehead’s pictures are sometimes quite interesting for the parts that prod at you psychologically. Rather than engage with art or allow others to reach their own conclusions, you would create an atmosphere of moral panic and forced censorship. No surprise, since this is the logical endpoint of subscribing to the doctrine which says that intent does not matter and that causing offence is fundamentally immoral (unless you’re offending straight white cishet males, fuck those guys). That’s SJW 101, I guess. But what’s mystifying is the question of what you seek to get out of metal, whose only real philosophical constant across bands and genres is the subversion of moral paradigms. I’m not interested in the answer.

  14. GreyAshPrayer

    I love all these comments haha!

  15. “””””
    Interlocutor | May 1, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    Though I disagree with the other commenters who say that metal should not be ‘intellectualised’, I certainly don’t think that it (or anything else) should be pseudo-intellectualised, as you are doing. This post and other things I have read here on your blog are riddled with the intellectual dishonesty that characterises SJW discourse.
    “””””
    My personal opinion is that it’s hard to intellectualize metal given that it’s a kind of “art brut”, that is art created by people who don’t have the theoretical art school training. What you hear is what you get. It’s honest.

    Apart from people like Prozak (hessian studies), Troy Southgate and Michael Moynihan, the vast majority of metal scholarship seems to be undertaken by those critical theory/postcol/intersectionality addled lefty grad students. Maybe there’s non lefty metal scholarship in languages other than English. There’s probably some in Russian. I haven’t really sought it.

  16. ” That violence is a normalised aspect of our society; in a sense, mainstream society condones that violence. So really, what is shocking about a metal band depicting it on an album cover, seemingly without any intention to critique it? What could be more pedestrian or unchallenging? Shouldn’t we expect more of a band in what is supposed to be a counter-cultural musical movement; that it might, for instance offer a counter to the dominant cultural perception of trans women?”

    Sure, transphobia is a problem in our society. But to suggest that the murder of transwomen is normalized in society to the point of being the dominant cultural perspective is clearly not correct. In mainstream Western society violence is only normalized in cartoonish action movies and sanitized news media.

    To mainstream society death and black metal still has the power to shock, it is only not shocking to those of us who are involved in the community or who have strong stomachs. Also a naked pre-op/non-op transwoman has the power to shock mainstream society. The album cover is shocking to mainstream society on two fronts. It is only pedestrian in the metal community.

    Not all counter-culture is equal. Not everyone who presents a counter culture perspective puts forward a social justice perspective. The Marquis De Sade was counter culture, neo-Nazis are counter culture. The fact that metal is counter culture doesn’t mean it should critique mainstream society on social issues.

    Extreme metal has always been counter culture in the sense that it has focused on evil and immorality.That is why a social justice critique of extreme metal is so silly. Social justice is about equality, viewing the value in each human being, creating a just society. Extreme metal is about hate, evil, destruction of society, murder, rape, satanism, esoteric cosmological evilness, anti-religion, etc. It is often anti-morality, especially black metal which takes these issues more seriously than death metal which is more theatrics. There are some extreme metal groups that do bring up social justice issues (Cattle Decapitation for example), and that’s welcome, but that’s not what the genre is about. Extreme metal is counter mainstream culture, but it is also generally counter social justice culture as well. You are asking extreme metal to chaenge at a fundamental level but it is simply not what you want it to be about.

  17. Pingback: Interesting interview with the Cynic guys... - Page 4

  18. Generally, I agree with many of the author’s underlying points about responsibility in art. If you are an adult of sound mind, you are responsible for your words, actions, and the art you create, especially if that art is released to a public audience (no matter how small). I also don’t buy the “metal is just mindless shock for entertainment’s sake” defense; if metal really had that little to say, I doubt I (or many of you) would be that interested. Let’s not sell metal (or ourselves) short by dismissing it as something so empty and meaningless. So while I don’t outright condemn this post as many of the other commenters have, I do think it contains a few fundamental problems that warrant further examination.

    First, I would caution anyone against being too quick to automatically assume this album cover espouses “transmisogyny,” or that there are only two possible interpretations as the author suggests (that it is either transmisogynistic or that it depicts transmisogyny ironically/critically). Real life, art, and the human psyche are often much more complex than such a simple dichotomy would allow. Charlie Fell has offered an alternative explanation that the cover is neither a statement supporting nor a protest against violence to transgender individuals; he described the artwork as a representation of himself and all of us, the violence and harm we cause ourselves, and the multifaceted nature of sexuality and identity (feminine, masculine, and everything else/in between).

    Second, the author acknowledges liking (which is tantamount to supporting on a public blog) Pervertor; other commenters have rightfully hinted at the inconsistency here . Now, I don’t exactly know what’s going on with that cover, but it appears to be a crucified female corpse with the limbs hacked off and some sort of skull-worm things feeding on/breathing from its entrails. Fell has called the figure a “transgender Christ,” but even though it may not immediately be apparent that the person is transgender (as it was not to me), the body clearly appears to be biologically female, and has clearly been the victim of great violence. By supporting that work but boycotting Death Mask based on its cover art, the author is essentially saying that violence toward women in general is okay, but toward transgender women specifically is not okay. The sense of social justice, outrage, or basic compassion for one’s fellow human beings appears to be quite selective.

    Finally, we all know that the best way to guarantee increased interest in something (especially metal, hip-hop, or any other form of art that is intended to be provocative and edgy) is to surround it with controversy, right? I suspect this post and others like it have led many people to check out Lord Mantis—and possibly support the band/buy their albums—when they might have otherwise overlooked them. The most effective way to boycott this kind of thing would be to just ignore it.

    • In response to your points about the Pervertor album cover: I certainly didn’t mean to imply that violence towards women in general is somehow more acceptable than that committed against trans women. I’ve written about this a little bit in previous posts, but the misogynist lyrics, album artwork and attitudes that are still unfortunately apparent in extreme metal are a massive problem, and do help add, in infinitesimal ways, to a wider culture that tolerates and excuses violence against women.
      It did not register with me immediately that the Pervertor cover depicts a female figure, trans or otherwise, being crucified. Assuming you’re not just saying this as some kind of gotcha to discredit my position, I suppose it is inconsistent to let that artwork slide but criticise the Death Mask cover. In my defence, I will say that my post on the Death Mask was motivated by the fact that trans women I know via the internet had expressed that the Death Mask cover in particular was offensive to them, whereas no one has stated (to me at the least) that they feel the same way about the Pervertor cover. Perhaps this is because the earlier album features a less realistic art style, and this distances it from the reality of everyday violence against trans women. Perhaps it’s because the Death Mask artwork was created by a man known for violent misogyny, and the response from the band and their label to complaints about the artwork was lacking.
      In any case, my criticisms are based at least in part on the distress that the Death Mask artwork had caused trans women involved in metal. I do think the Pervertor artwork is problematic as well, but at the time of writing, no one had expressed to me that it had impacted them to the same extent as its follow-up. Thus, I chose not to focus on it. However, saying that I did enjoy that album without commenting on the issues its artwork raises was an oversight, at the very least.

    • As to the point about my criticism essentially being advertising for the band- I think the kind of person that would buy this album based on the controversy is not the kind of person who would have taken my piece seriously in the first place. My blog is not exactly massively popular, and I highly doubt many people who hadn’t heard of the band before would be exposed to them for the first time through a niche site like this. There are circumstances where someone’s attempt to decry or call for the prohibition of something lead to it becoming more popular, but this usually occurs when people with a platform and a wide audience make such statements. I doubt I could have such an impact with one little article.

  19. Though I was not fully aware of it at the time, now that you point it out, my comments were probably at least partially motivated by a petty attempt at “gotcha.” A bit low, and I apologize. And your points about the distinctions between the two album covers are well-taken. There is a very meaningful difference between “this could offend someone” and “this has offended people,” and it’s especially meaningful that your arguments are based on the feelings expressed by actual members of the community. Too often we take it upon ourselves to speak for marginalized populations while failing to listen to their own voices.

    I stand by my point about controversy being good advertising for a metal band. Your defense of “my blog’s too small to really influence anyone” mirrors your detractors’ excuse that “this band’s too underground to really offend on a significant scale,” and both seem like a bit of a cop-out to me. Besides, these types of controversies that may start small and underground have a way of reaching a larger arena—Tipper Gore somehow discovered Body Count, and I doubt it was due to her personal familiarity with the rap-metal crossover scene.

    In any case, while I don’t agree with everything you say, I find your blog to be generally well-written, and I appreciate your willingness to admit when you are being self-righteous, inarticulate, overlooking certain things, etc. (that kind of insight and humility are rare on the internet). And I think you raise some very good points about social responsibility in metal; occasionally they may seem a bit extreme to me, but maybe we need that to counterbalance the opposing extremes.

  20. “Shouldn’t we expect more of a band in what is supposed to be a counter-cultural musical movement”

    Having been in this since 1993 you’ve got some strange views on what you think this was “suppose” to be about, in the context of extreme and underground black & death metal. Having played in bands/projects and given that most bands back then use to have to pay for studio time themselves with little help from small labels. It’s cliche but it holds true for many musicians at some point at least that what we do is for our own enjoyment and satisfaction, not to please individuals or to promote someone else’s idea of ‘movement’ or cause. If I or someone I was in a band with wrote lyrics that were violent, think cannibal corpse, it wasn’t because we wanted to kill anyone or hoped others go out on a rape spree. Bands owe you nothing, expect all you want, boycott Profound Lore it won’t hurt them, they have solid roots in this scene with whose behind it, good reputation, solid fan base and i suspect Lord Mantis fans will support the bands whose MUSIC they like. The likelihood someone is going to cut up a trans person, paint them green and sew a skin mask on them after buying this album is pretty slim to nil.
    I’m reminded of the Paradise Lost docs about the West Memphis Three, only instead of a bunch of inbred scared christian folk screaming “satanist! devil worshipper!” it’s a bunch of hipsters who weren’t around for anything show up late and start crying “sexist! racist! nazi!!! homophobe!!! we must make metal change from it’s unreconstructed ways!”

    keep at what you’re doing though, i’m old enough to not care either way.

  21. blackmetalvalkyrie

    “especially trans women” why does violence against transgender males matter more than violence against women? what kind of feminism is this?

    • I’m confused- you quote me talking about trans women, then mention “transgender males”. Do you mean that you consider trans women to be male, or am I misunderstanding you?

      In any case, I apologise for implying that violence against trans women means that violence against women in general does not matter, or is less important somehow. It is the case that within the category of violence against women, violence against trans women, and particularly trans women of colour, appears to be sadly even more rampant. I didn’t mean to cheapen violence against women in general by focusing on that inflicted against trans women in this article, but am still sorry for doing so.

      • blackmetalvalkyrie

        I don’t consider them to be male, they are males who getting cosmetic surgery to appropriate the female body and claim to be women because they identified with sex based stereotypes about women (gender). The problem here is male violence. It’s men who are harming transgender males, probably bc the perps are homophobes who think transsexualism as to do with being being gay.

      • I’m obviously far from the best person to say this, but I have to ask “what kind of feminism is this?” back at you. All the feminist thinkers and writers I follow are unanimous that if the movement is actually going to represent the interests of all women, it has to accept that trans women are women, equally worthy of space and safety within the movement. To call trans women “males”, to deny their gender, goes against that, I feel. I’ll politely ask you not to air those tran-exclusionary arguments here again, please.

      • Interlocutor

        I rediscovered this blog in my bookmarks and felt the inescapable need to respond to the above comments, even if they are now stale. Feminism has done a stellar job whitewashing its own history and principles if you don’t recognise blackmetalvalkyrie’s feminism as the most classical, logically consistent kind. What bmv subscribes to is feminism as an applied theory (albeit a stupid, repulsive, spiteful one). I don’t know what kind of feminism analgender subscribes to, but I suspect it’s the cherry-picked unfalsifiable kind of “It’s just a *feeling*, dude!”-type feminism, that uses the word ‘feminism’ merely as a shorthand for broadminded egalitarianism, in order to try and fit as many progressive causes as possible under feminism’s umbrella. The latter kind reminds me a lot of modern day Christians who don’t really believe anything, just a kind of woolly notion of love and heaven and pacifism – which they rarely practice anyway, just as feminists from the “it’s just equality!” school discard the notion of egalitarianism when it doesn’t suit women – and who race to disown any and every part of the bible as soon as it’s brought up in discussion. Fuck me… I mean say what you want about the tenets of Feminazism, dude – at least it’s an ethos…!

        Excuse laziness, but here is part of a post I made elsewhere on this issue:

        “Feminism has no track record of being friendly to transgender people. Quite the opposite.

        Germaine Greer, one of the most well known, mainstream feminists around, has had a fair few anti-trans scuffles, including referring to them as “pantomime dames” in a chapter denouncing them from one of her books. Janice Raymond, another notable second-wave feminist, laid claim to the lovely quote that “all transsexuals rape women’s bodies”. The Guardian regularly publishes articles from several feminist columnists who take a dim view of transgender people, although that paper might be slower to do so after crossing the line this year by publishing Julie Burchill’s piece, where she prompted a massive backlash by calling trans-women “dicks in chicks’ clothing”, “screaming mimis” and “bedwetters in bad wigs” – all while saying that trans-women are to women what the black & white minstrels were to black people. I’ve also been a witness to a lot of generalised feminist tumblr hate towards the trans- community, relayed to me by a female friend who masquerades as a feminist because she fears ostracism from the right-on online communities she’s a part of.

        The tendency is to dismiss these as examples of ‘radical’ feminism, but that’s a cop out. These people are simply making the logical extrapolation from the prevalent, mainstream feminist doctrine that says that gender is an entirely social construct. If you accept that A level Sociology tabula rasa guff as fact, then it starts to make sense that people who aspire to be accepted as a member of the opposite sex are either rapist infiltrators (MtF) or self-loathing traitors (FtM). Why would a member of the patriarchy want to join the ranks of the unfairly oppressed, and vice versa? And why should it be accepted or respected, since we’re trying to eradicate the idea of gender roles completely*? At the root of the issue are clear ideological principles, which lead to feminists saying these things.”

        *You can see an example of this exact sentiment expressed in blackmetalvalkyrie’s second post.

  22. Foreverfucked

    This is what happens when hipsters discover metal for the first time, it gives them the chance to try and be the white knight of typical liberal ideologies. Listen to yourself, you’re referring to people who listen to metal as “consumers” and you’re forcing your beliefs down their throats. You’re no different than religious bigots who do the same fucking thing and yet you people try to call them out and protest their behavior. You’re the same fucking type of societal waste and should be treated as such.

    What’s even more irritating about your childish demeanor is the fact that you think you have the right to publicly denounce bands and tell everyone to refuse to support them or the label because they don’t like what you like and you don’t like it, you’re fucking naive.

    If you don’t approve of the Death Mask album cover then fucking move on and go back to your nice little hipster simulacrum that you weak pieces of shit have tried to blend into the metal subculture with your unoriginal templates and fashion designer outfits.

    • Hipsters: the go to insult of people who resent people with more diverse taste than themselves. Nah but seriously, I’ll take metal over boring-ass indie shit any day, and I’ve been listening to the former for years. I just retain the ability to critically evaluate it, and realise when some of its practitioners do something with it that’s fucked up. If that upsets you as much as it appears to, you don’t have to read the blog.

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