Mining The Motherload: Mastodon’s #twerkgate and sexual objectification in metal | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2052-3998
  • E-ISSN: 2052-4005



This article analyses the metal community’s responses to Mastodon’s controversial video for ‘The Motherload’. Fans and music journalists responded critically to its premiere in September of 2014, largely condemning the highly sexualized images of women of colour onscreen, which sparked debate about objectification, racism, and sexism in metal as a whole. Using a sex positive feminist framework, I unpack the various arguments put forth by dancers in the video, the band itself, and the aforementioned critics and fans. I conclude that there is no easy answer to the question of how women should be represented in metal, and that while women and, specifically, women of colour deserve more diverse, humanizing representations, summarily condemning depictions of female sexuality is no antidote to prejudice.


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