James Hetfield is a male vocalist famous for fronting Metallica. His band-mates are male guitarist, Kirk Hammett, male bassist, Robert Trujillo, and male drummer, Lars Ulrich. Metallica is one of the most commercially successful male-fronted bands.
Felt anything wrong with the paragraph above?
Probably you were disturbed by the excessive and unnecessary use of the word ‘male’. When reading some media articles on Rock or Metal bands with a female vocalist, you’d notice in many instances the word ‘female’ unnecessarily shoved behind names. And what we get is a guitarist and a female guitarist, a drummer and a female drummer, or a band and a female-fronted band.
This idiotic description does not only take place in the world of music. You have female doctors, female firefighters, female scientists, female truck drivers, female footballers, and female wrestlers.
Some might wonder, is adding the gender adjective really that sexist? The answer actually lies in the intention behind it.
Ask yourself: If the sentence I’m saying was about a man, would it be necessary to use a gender adjective? If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t use it.
For example, few years ago, Green Day released a graphic novel entitled ‘Last of the American Girls’, who many feminists considered as mansplaining through a ‘handbook’. A website wrote: “All-male band Green Day writes ‘handbook’ for rebellious women and nope we did not ask for this”. In this case, specifying the gender of the band’s members was necessary for the sake of the idea of the article. However, it would have been dumb to say something like: “All-male band, Green Day, releases a new album”.
In short, if it is not necessary to specify the gender in the case of telling the same story about a man, there’s no need to do that when that exact story is about a woman. Otherwise, it would be as ridiculous as the first paragraph in this article.
Unfortunately, there are instances where a ‘male’ adjective is added. You hear people calling someone a ‘man-whore’, or a ‘male supermodel’ or a ‘male porn star’. Anything sexualized is considered normally a woman’s job, while everything related to arts, science, and sports a man’s. Here lies the sexism. In that case, if norms are to be projected and genders specified accordingly, let me tell you, there are plenty of male decent people. If you know what I mean. 😉