Monday, June 21, 2010

Misogyny Is Sooo Metal!

Man Hating: it's the oldest feminist stereotype in the book. And it's usually the go-to excuse for not being a feminist, not supporting feminism, etc. It's obviously a huge misconception. And like any feminist stereotype, or any stereotype at all, it's perpetuated by ignorance and fear. But it is such an outdated and uneducated assumption that's it's not even worth it to really address it further. You know that anyone who says the feminists are 'man haters' doesn't know what they're talking about and is completely uneducated on the subject, so why bother? In situations like that I address how what they are saying is completely false, but generally don't go further than that because my attempts at educating those kinds of people are usually fails. But I want to talk about the other side of 'man hating', woman hating.

Now I'm not talking general sexism or discrimination, I'm talking actual woman hating. I'm going beyond general sexism into the realm of men truly hating on women. And today I'm specifically talking about woman hating that I've witnessed. It's something that I really began noticing in my early days, when I was merely blossoming as a feminist, not yet identifying with the movement, when I was running on feminist ideals, but not knowing that's what they were yet. I was in 8th grade, and trying as hard as I could to rebel against my Catholic school environment, as I had been doing my whole life. I was constantly looking for ways I could break away from my school life and my peers. That's when I found Leathernecks. Leathernecks was a music venue at a military bar. It catered to Las Vegas's hardcore and metal music scenes. I remember going to my first show there, and just having my mind blown. It was a completely different world than the one I lived in from 7 to 1 each day. The music was loud and angry, as were the people. The show-goers had tattoos, piercings, gauges. My friend and I were always the youngest ones there. And mostly, I'd never seen people behave that way to music.

That's a video of a show at Leathernecks, and the band playing is one of the first bands I ever saw play there, Misericordiam. And they are probably the best example of woman hating I can think of. They have songs with titles such as 'Cum Sucking Whore' and 'Scab Wound in Your Stabbed Womb'. Yeah. Seriously. Not even kidding (and what's interesting is in one of there songs they 'sing' about not subjugating anyone, including women....hmm...) And Misericordiam is in no way an independent subject, I saw countless bands at Leathernecks that were just like that. Let's look at the lyrics for a band called Waking the Cadaver's song Raped, Pillaged, and Gutted

Raped, pillaged, and gutted
I could only imagine the fear in your mind
As my hands grab your throat from behind
No doubt
For this bitch
I'll use the pressure point choke out
Because when it comes to sluts
It's a good chance your gonna see my glock, before you see my cock

Yeah. That shit is for real. And because one example is never enough, here is a pretty well known band called Cannibal Corpse's take on woman hating, through their song She Was Asking For It:

I hear her screaming, waiting.
I wrapped my hands around her neck, squeezing out her breath.
Eyes rolled back in her head, clawing at my skin.
I know now it's not my fault, she was asking for it.
Memories, come back to me.

Obviously, there is SO much wrong here. The glorifying of violence against women, the glorifying of violence in general, it's obviously absolutely horrifying. And because the lyrics are never discernible when you're listening to this music, when I first started going to these shows and hanging out with these people, I didn't realize this was happening. But when I did, I was thoroughly disgusted and questioned my friends who listened to this, as well as the ones in bands who followed this style. The general consensus was that they weren't serious, they were just angry about ex girlfriends and were fantasizing about what they wanted to do to those 'sluts'. And the Leathernecks folks were grade-A slut bashers. Now, I've always had a problem with the 'slut' word, I try so hard not to use it, it's my feminist vice. But occasionally I do, and when I slip, I acknowledge it. But these people saw nothing wrong with slut shaming. They paraded around in 'Slut Free' shirts. The phrase 'Slut Free' became a staple of Las Vegas hardcore/metal. This is one of many pictures that made it's way onto tee shirts, hoodies, and the myspaces of Leathernecks goers, both male and female:

The brass knuckles show just how nonchalantly acceptable violence against 'sluts' was accepted amongst this crowd. Not violence against women, of course. Just 'sluts'. And this crowd was notorious for preaching respect and integrity, especially because of the heavy involvement from straight edge people. They had some problems with hypocrisy and mixed messages. I split from this scene very quickly, but a friend of mine (who is a friend no longer) stayed with it. Through her involvement I witnessed one of the most horrifying things I've ever seen. It was when I was in high school, long after I had moved on from my Leathernecks phase. Nude pictures of my friend from when she was 14 made their way onto a forum inhabited by people I knew from Leathernecks shows. And she wasn't the only one. Men AND women from the shows I used to go to were posting naked photos, or 'nudes', of other girls from that scene. Along with the photos would be stories about what 'sluts' these girls are. Most of the posters were anonymous, but in most situations it was still pretty easy to figure out who was who. It was the ultimate act of slut shaming. The site didn't last long, it was removed maybe a month or so after it had gained a big viewership, and as far as I know nothing like that has come back up, but to this day I still look back on that and feel absolutely horrified that it ever happened.

With all this you might think, well, that's a specific group of people, they have problems, but that's as far as it goes. Definitely not. I had several experiences in high school involving woman hating. There are two people that I can think of specifically, two men. They were both good friends of mine, we spent a lot of time together and got along very well. But both of them ended up have romantic feelings for me which I did not return. And I had to reject their advances. Now, no one likes to get rejected. It sucks. But you mope a bit, think a few bad thoughts internally about that person, then move on. At least, that's how things should happen. But in these situations, that did NOT happen. These two boys reacted ridiculously to the rejection. First, they broke off their friendships with me. Then, they went on to attempt to make everyone else they knew hate me. They wanted me to seem like this horrible person because I did not have romantic or sexual feelings for them. They talked a lot of shit, 'slut' was thrown around, and they basically just reacted through hate. I saw this happen to so many girls in highschool. So many girls were attacked for breaking up with someone or rejecting them. I saw so many cases of woman hating spawned by not getting what was wanted.

In cases like the ones I saw in highschool, and the ones I saw in Leathernecks, these people hate women because they didn't respect them in the first place. They're viewing the women in their lives as people who exist solely to inflate their egos, to follow their rules, and when these women don't do that, they react violently or cruelly.

Slut-shaming is the most prime example of woman hating, and it's a huge problem. I want to do a whole post on slut-shaming, and my own problems with it, so expect that soon.

I just don't understand why we live in a world where it's acceptable to hate women who don't do you what you want or fill your expectations. Men should never, EVER have a sense of entitlement when it comes to women. End of story.

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