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Women in Metal: Why Is This Still An Issue in 2013?

#sxsw #metalwomen

The heavy metal boys' club has always made it a bit tougher for the so-called fairer sex to be accepted within the testosterone-fueled world of denim & leather, but women have been swinging guitars and screaming for vengeance since the genre's inception. Yet, more often than not, their involvement is painted in shades of sparkly, patronizing pink or stuffed into a corset and told to smile pretty. Why are "women in metal" features still acceptable, and more so, why are they seen as necessary?


MODERATOR Kim Kelly Metal Journalist

Extreme metal scribe, merch-hustlin' road dog, and independent publicist splitting my time between NYC and London.

My work has appeared in NPR, The Atlantic, The Daily Telegraph, Terrorizer, Iron Fist, Pitchfork, Metalsucks, Decibel, Invisible Oranges, Brooklyn Vegan, Loud!, Metal Hammer Norway, xoJane, and a bunch of others.

If you are a false, do not entry.

Nathan Carson Booking Agent/Musician Nanotear Booking/Witch Mountain

producer, writer, booking agent, metal dignitary, animator, drummer, dj, scenester-scum, cookie baker, you've probably slept on my floor.

I grew up on a goat farm. My brother is a Klingon. I use my Rush ticket as a bookmark in my Harry Potter book.

Mel Parsonz Musician Royal Thunder

Laina Dawes Music Journalist Writing is Fighting

Laina Dawes is the author of What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal (Bazillion Points Books, 2012). A music and cultural critic and concert photographer, her writings and photography can be found in both print and online publications such as the, The Wire,, Bitch magazine, NPR, the Toronto Star, Exclaim! Metal,, CBC Radio, and Metal Edge magazine. She also runs the blog Writing is Fighting and is a contributing editor for’s Race & Ethnicity section. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada.

Zeena Koda Media Personality SiriusXM Radio

Caryn Havlik Writer/Contributor Tom Tom Magazine

Drummer Caryn Havlik has been playing for about 20 years, and contributes to Tom Tom Magazine as often as possible, most recently as guest co-editor of the “Metal” issue. She is one third of the metal band, Mortals, and teaches drums to folks aged 5-65 through the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, as well as private lessons. She has worked for New York Public Radio's New Sounds with John Schaefer for 11 years, and considers herself lucky to be doing what she wanted to do since she was 8 (Radio and Drums.) When not breathing music, she is also a softball player, biker, and kid and adult-inspirer. She also holds a B.A. in Japanese Language and Literature and hopes to open a black metal bakery in a college town near you.