Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Coilhouse: Misogyny in Industrial Music

A great article from Coilhouse has been posted with a long and detailed history of the evolution from taboo, boundary pushing music of Throbbing Gristle to the bro-tastic misogynistic and racist music of some artists today. Thanks for mentioning us in your article, but that's not the only reason we're posting you here. Fantastic article filled with great history lessons. They even interview Mollena Williams.

From the article:

In other words, the answer is not censorship (it’s never censorship), but more context. If you care for your audience to include people other than basement-dwelling virgins and 35 year old aggro muscle heads, but you’re artistically moved to repeatedly depict women being punished, called sluts, beaten and humiliated - talk about what that means publicly. Write a blog post. Engage with your audience. Talk about consent. Talk about your inspirations. Own what you’re doing, but talk about the problematic nature of it. Don’t hide behind cheap defenses like “it’s art” or “it’s just a character” or “it’s grindhouse” or “some of my best friends are women.”  You may find that your audience may expand, because, guess what? Sexual violence is a fascinating topic, and within the right context, it’s something that people of all ideologies (GASP – feminists included!) can find interesting, appealing, fun, and exciting. And isn’t being an artist more fulfilling when your fans come from all walks of life?
Ultimately, we shouldn’t be too worried about the future of “dark music.” It doesn’t belong to the Confederate-flag-waving assholes. It may not even lie in the industrial genre, but with musicians such as Spoek Mathambo, Fever Ray, Light AsylumHTRK, Chelsea Wolfe, Cat’s Eyes, and Kate Stelmanis. Or, musicians in the industrial scene can rise up and continue to call bullshit on the misogyny as it happens, following Ad·ver·sary and Antigen Shift’s lead. It would be great to see the scene’s most lazy and pandering art replaced with more discourse, critical thinking (both about oneself and one’s peers), compassion, inclusivity, and diversity. At its core, this is an issue of othering, of negation, and a lack of basic recognition of others’ humanity. Modern incarnations/offspring of the industrial scene can still be angry, hard, heavy… but not hateful or abysmally ignorant.
Until then, industrial music will continue to replicate the tired, boring, old cliches of the mainstream:

Image descrtiption: 3 panels pasted vertically together show three male artists flanked by two women being used as sexualized props. The first image centers Snoop Dogg who is dark skinned, staring at the screen with both arms up and fingers pointed towards the camera. On each side of him is a medium brown skinned woman wearing a bathing suit bottom and nothing on top, each giving the camera a sultry look. The second image centers Thomas Rainer of Nachtmahr who is very light skinned with dark hair. He is standing with his face have masked in black with a hooded green jacket so you can only see his eyes and forehead. On each side is a light skinned thin woman with a tight skirt, shirt, tie, and military cap and nazi-like armband with an N on it. The third image centers Andy Laplegua of Combichrist and other projects who is light skinned with light hair. He is wearing a spiked football uniform with a 6 emblazoned on the front and black smudges around his eyes. On each side of him is a white light skinned woman with long dark hair, bondage collars, and a tight cheerleader uniform, each also with a 6 on the front. They are holding pom poms and have their arm around Andy's and are all standing in front of lockers. Longest image description!
With the spooky costumes and makeup stripped away, it’s the same old, tired story. 

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