June 26, 2013

IconWhy heavy metal should not portray women in this way

I’ve never liked heavy metal, can’t stand the ‘screaming’, the nature of the lyrics and the plethora of sub genres that attach themselves to a dark, tortured part of music.  Attila are ‘deathcore’ apparently, and they have recently released one of the most disturbing music videos I’ve had the misfortune of watching in quite a while.  ‘Break Shit’ comes with a warning, stating “Portions of this video may contain graphic imagery which may offend and/or trigger sensitive viewers and is not recommended for viewing by persons under the age of 18. Viewer discretion is advised.”

What Attila have done is fashioned a semi-pornographic video, with women lap dancing on a man, with the view point of the camera focused from the sight of the sitting man, and flashing lyrics sprawled across the screen (because otherwise we wouldn’t know what they’re saying).  Not only is this vulgar and grim, but completely disrespects women by showcasing that this sort of behaviour is acceptable.

It gets worse.

I do, however, understand that they have the right to create what they want and these women can do what the heck they like, but for anyone with any ounce of respect for fellow women and has a drip of integrity flowing through them, they know that this sort of depiction is plain wrong.  What makes the whole piece even more worrying is the disgusting lyrics that flash on the screen.  Messages of “fuck the law, break shit, let your inner demons out” being advertised in such a way is plain and simply vile.  It encourages bad behaviour, a treacherous view on life and a complete disregard to a moral lifestyle.

This is probably the most sickening part of the whole video…

A message that Attila is conveying through their ‘Break Shit’ video is “punch that bitch”, which pops up on the screen more than once.  Yes, they are promoting domestic violence.  I felt physical sick when I saw that appear on the screen, my mouth hung open and the first thing that came into mind was “how on earth did this every get approved”.  Not only have they got the support of their record label, press team, and a whole host of other people working as part of their team, but VEVO have also given them a platform by streaming the video, even though YouTube have banned it due to violating their policy on nudity and sexual content.

According to Home Office figures, 1.2 million women experienced domestic abuse last year in the UK, including half a million victims of sexual assault, the Guardian stated in an article titled Domestic violence figures are disturbingly high, says charity, which was published in March, 2013.  It goes on to state: “Citizens Advice says it received reports of attacks from 13,500 people – 80% of them women – in 2012”.   With domestic violence a huge problem for hundreds of thousands of women all over the world, Attila have proven how insensitive, disrespectful and utterly shambolic they are with regards to this.

Just because Attila are a heavy metal band, doesn’t mean the music industry doesn’t have the right to address these sorts of messages and videos.  If it was in the mainstream, the papers would be riddled with scandalous headlines pointing out how shambolic that song is, but yet this is swept under the carpet.

I hope someone takes some responsibility for this and corrects it quick, before it influences some weaker minds that may believe that this sort of thing is acceptable.

A lasting question for you to consider – what if it was your daughter? Your mum?  A member of your family you love and cherish, who is punched because this song says it’s OK?

If you want to view the video, click here, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

1 Response to Why heavy metal should not portray women in this way

  1. Ruth Pearce Ruth Pearce says:

    I’m a metal fan. There is power in darkness, and I feel that extreme musicianship/screamed vocals can be done with meaning and emotion. There is no excuse for this kind of song/video though – it’s appealing to the lowest common denominator in a harmful way. Attila clearly have absolutely nothing useful or interesting to say.

    If people want genuinely extreme music that isn’t full of sexist nonsense there is plenty to listen to elsewhere – and women have a place as performers, not sex objects (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yikUGMg_Z34)

Ffion Davies

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