Re-conceptualizing women’s marginalization in heavy metal: A feminist post-structuralist perspective | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2052-3998
  • E-ISSN: 2052-4005



The continuing expansion of the field of metal music studies has evoked an increased interest from scholars to critically explore women’s participation within heavy metal, along with other axes of identity, from a variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. Since Weinstein’s ([1991] 2000) canonical sociological study of heavy metal the notion that heavy metal is masculinist remains theoretically pervasive in gendered analyzes of heavy metal and its practices. The upcoming special issue ‘Metal and Marginalization’ signals the ‘disruptive return of the excluded’ (Butler 2004) whereby concepts of marginalization, inclusivity and agency are called into question. Drawing upon my own doctoral research, this article deconstructs the synonymous and obstructive relationship heavy metal has with masculinity by focusing on women’s embodied practices. Influenced by Butler’s (1990) theory of performativity and poststructural notions of ‘equality’ and ‘inclusivity’ (Butler et al. 1997; Scott 1988), I discuss how heavy metal scenes should be considered spaces of equality and potentiality as they permit different performativities and understandings; thus, creating real pathways for doing metal fandom differently.


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