Metal’s Myth of Inclusivity: Women Fans’ Stories of Exclusion/ Le mythe de l’inclusivité du métal : histoires d’exclusion de fans féminines

  • Rosemary Lucy Hill (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


This talk uses creative writing to empathetically examine women’s experiences at live music events in the context of metal’s mythological equality and oft-touted inclusivity. Live music is a highly valued aspect of metal culture and plays an important part in bringing fans together to inculcate a sense of metal community. It also provides a distinctive site for transcendence in the music, enabling us to put the everyday out of our minds. Against this backdrop of the multitudinous benefits of live music for fans, I creatively retell women's stories at live metal events. The stories are drawn from my interviews with women metal fans about their love of metal, interviews with music fans of their experiences of sexual violence at live music events, and my own attendance at metal gigs. The stories build up to create a narrative of both joyfulness and dismay, with layers of anger and upset. Sharing excitement with best friends, making new friends, being part of the community and feeling deeply moved by the music can confirm metal identities and provide moments of transcendence. However, women also face sexisms, microaggressions and violence which force women to reconsider their place in the ‘community’ of metal. These negative aspects of live music are not unique to metal, but they do belie the idea that metal’s live music culture is founded on equality and is inclusive of women. Listening to (other) women's voices, putting ourselves in their shoes, and working to empathise with how sexism impacts on women's feelings of inclusion is a step towards creating the equal and inclusive metal culture that (many of us) want.
Period21 Oct 2022
Event titleSubcultures, scènes musicales et classes sociales: les cas du punk et du heavy metal/Subcultures, musical scenes and social classes: the cases of punk and heavy metal
Event typeConference
LocationParis, FranceShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational