Since their birth, Metal and Rock have had a revolutionary color painted all over them. Therefore it was only natural that the early Rock and Metal bands were accused of many things, such as satanism and promoting violence and suicide. Now, thanks to the world getting more open to itself, these accusations have been lifted, although not completely in some places.
Some patriarchal cultures that consider women to be of lesser value than men would not appreciate a kind of music (or any other form of arts) that tell people that they are equal, that they can do what they like, that they shouldn’t follow rules blindly, or that they are strong. And therefore, in some eastern countries and some societies in general, the view that people responsible for guiding the public opinion have been promoting about music in general, and Metal and Rock in particular, make people view fans of such music as many ugly things.
Now of course, and like in everything else, it is easier for boys. I, for example, when I was a kid, was told I should listen to “softer” music that would “suite my femininity“. Other girls have it harder.
We talked with a Nejhla and asked her some questions about how people in her area look at her and other people who listen to Metal.
“My life summarized in music. Music is everything,” Nejhla said when we asked her what music means for her. Nejhla, who dreams of becoming a Rock star herself, walking the footsteps of her favorite artists, such as Tatiana Shmayluk (Jinjer), Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Angela Gossow (ex Arch Enemy) and Floor Jansen (Nightwish), is a teenager from Iran that is passionate about Metal music. We asked her what people in general think about “Metalheads” in her society. “They think we worship Satan and we’re evil. They think we are angry and harsh and change our feet into cow’s feet.”
Yes, the patriarchal society have managed to successfully plant these ideas into people’s minds. Anything for the sake of winning the unholy crusade against freedom of minds.
We also asked Nejhla what would people think about her if they know she wants to sing. She answered: “If I want to sing they’d say I’m a bitch and that I need attention. What if I sing Metal? They’d say I’m a monster. But I don’t care.”
Nejhla says she would have to leave her country in order to pursue a career in music because singing for women is considered a crime there. But, she left us with a very encouraging message that all women around the would can benefit from. She said:
“It doesn’t matter what people say or think. Follow your dreams. Don’t let anyone affect them. Your dreams can come true.”
This is one example of what women would go through to achieve their dreams in some areas in the world. We are not here to target any country or religion or culture in particular. We are here to target all of them. Every system of beliefs that circulates around limiting the rights of human beings of any gender, sexuality, or race, and limiting their access to arts in order to prevent their minds from going wide, is one that we will face and fight. Because one thing we learned from Heavy Metal is that there’s nothing that can stand between a right and someone fighting for that right.