I’m a massive metal head. No, I don’t have a secret love of copper and steal – metal as in head banging, crowd surfing, male dominated (whoops, who said that?) metal. When I was 11, there was a cute guy that we knew and I really wanted to spend more time with him. So, instead of doing the logical thing and talking to him, I got my older sister to investigate. She comes back with the golden knowledge: “He’s into a band called Parkway Drive, but sorry you probably won’t like them…” When I first heard it, it reminded me of the really intense scene in ‘Shrek’ where Shrek is knocking out all these knights while Self’s version of ‘Bad Reputation’ is playing. I loved it – and I only had 5 songs!
So, here I am a good 7 years later and I still love the intensity and passion that is metal. As I am now 18 and have a job, I find myself going to more and more gigs thrashing around, feeling the music. When I mosh, however, I can feel all the people around me move away, not because I’m ‘fight dancing’ but because I’m a wom*n – like I am so delicate that if they whack into me one of my dainty limbs will fly straight off and fall into their manly beer.
Instead of feeling like I am part of the ‘metal’ family, I feel like an outsider occasionally invited in. One of the happiest moments of my life was when I had just broken up with my boyfriend, who I went to most concerts with, and I went to a metal gig alone. (dun dun duuuuun!!!) Not only did I come out with two friends who treated me as one of their mates, a guy gave me a stinging high-five for my excellent fight dancing performance. I felt so incredibly liberated and not at all limited as a wom*n.
The message for today is confidence. If you stride into any kind of male-dominated arena with your head held high (imagining them as sesame street puppets sometimes helps), you can do, play or listen to anything you want. And the most important this is that you do this without feeling like you shouldn’t be there because it’s ‘unsafe’ or ‘not sexy’.