Shirt Stains: Misogyny
A basket full of puppies will help us get through this.
Misogyny: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.
Misogynist: a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women.
Misogyny is a worldwide problem. It’s unfortunate to say, but the metal world is full of misogyny and misogynists. As much as we might like to think we’re “all-inclusive”, sadly we know that’s not the case. How many times have you heard “People only like them because their singer is a hot chick” or “She doesn’t really like metal” or “She only wears band shirts to look cool”? It’s a rush to judgment and an automatic dismissal based solely on gender.
Plenty of bands are certainly guilty of misogyny as well. Glassjaw, for example, has notoriously cringe-worthy lyrics that could easily be co-opted into “men’s rights” talking points. Does death metal get a pass for stuff like this just because it’s death metal and it’s supposed to be terrible and brutal? If a fedora-wearing Surge-sipper said those lyrics, you would shove them into the nearest locker. Entire subgenres of music are built solely on violence towards women. That’s no good.
This isn’t even getting into the objectification of women in metal. How many times do we see “Hottest Chicks in Metal”? Do we ever get “Top 10 Hottest Schlongs In Metal” in Terrorizer or “Brutal Bulges And Buns 2015” in Metal Hammer? One day we’ll get a cheesecake pin-up of George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. Just you wait.
Shirt Stains is a column to point out ridiculous merch from metal bands. The intent is always to make people laugh. I really hope you do. For this edition, I hope it makes you think a little too. I do not expect people to stop listening to certain bands just because of a little silly column, but perhaps it can start a meaningful conversation that will help both the genre and the fans move forward. Be good to each other.
For this special edition of Shirt Stains, I have asked fellow ToH writer Sarah Lafayette to give her take on each shirt. Her comments are labeled SL.
The following shirts contain language and pictures that some may find offensive. NSFW warning.
Asking Alexandria – Classycore.
Asking Alexandria are no strangers to Shirt Stains. It’s like they’re trying to make their fans into giant warning lights. They could stick their shirts on the tops of buildings to let pilots know they’re too close. While previous shirts have just been ugly or bad in design, this one just makes me shake my head. This is what you want your fans wearing? It’s lowest-common denominator bullshit that sends the wrong message to young fans, both female and male. “Listen to us and you will give/receive oral pleasuring”?
Is it even worth pointing out that blond-haired girl appears to be sucking on the model’s belly button? Is it worth pointing out that the band’s name is covered once and tiny a second time? Is it worth pointing out that the model has the most punchable face this side of Rand Paul? Even if you want to make the argument that the “giver” may be male, it’s still so weird and wrong to have this on your merch. This shirt manages to be stupid AND ugly at the same time.
SL: I’m not even going to go into how much I hate Asking Alexandria, because that would take all day. Instead I’m just going to reiterate the fact that no female with any kind of intelligence would find this funny for longer than an eighth of a second. I’m trying to get into the head of someone who would buy this, but it’s difficult. I guess if I were going to a costume party dressed as the creepy guy who collects cans behind the 7-11, or the guy who lists his education on Facebook as “The School of Hard Knocks”, this would be a good shirt to wear. If I truly hated someone I’d steal this shirt and give it to them, because the idea of paying money for it makes me cringe. Hell, the idea that ink and fiber was wasted on this makes me cringe. The idea that somewhere, some guy said to his designer, “You know what would be funny? A picture of a chick going down on you on a t-shirt!” and the designer actually complied… that’s depressing. Were they drunk? I really hope so. I also kind of hope they saw the final product and felt the same shame we feel for any member of the human race that wears this.
I Declare War – I declare that this shirt sucks.
This shirt has been covered elsewhere, but it is clearly worthy of being in Shirt Stains. Everything about this shirt is bad. Objectification and female loathing at it’s worst. This shirt comes free with a VHS copy of Girls Gone Wild that someone ordered off TV at 3 in the morning. It reduces women to just body parts while being aggressive and angry.
I’m sure the girl on the front is none to happy about this. You think she gets paid for her likeness? Not bloody likely. I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it. I’m surprised I Declare War didn’t manage to cram in a mention of how “bitch deserves it” or “it’s her own fault”. Again, what type of person wears something like this? I’ll bet they have an extensive knife collection and talk about ethics in gaming journalism.
SL: This shirt follows the current trend of giant chunky letters on band t-shirts. I’m sure whoever designed this shirt saw the infamous Iced Earth poop t-shirt, and thought “How can we make it worse?” Clearly by grabbing a photo of someone’s cousin who was totally down with being on the front of a t-shirt and putting the word “cunt” on it. Nothing is edgier than cunt. Poop? Forget about it. Tits? Please. Cunt is new! Cunt is flashy! Cunt is something you will probably never experience if you actually buy this shirt, and if you do, may god have mercy on your soul for touching whatever cunt-owning creature is willing to see past the shirt you’re wearing.
Turbidity – I think you have some anger issues.
Turbidity is a the cloudiness of a fluid by caused particles in said fluid. It’s also a death metal band from Indonesia. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, holy Jeebus on a rusty pogo stick look at this shirt! It’s the violent scribblings of an angry teenage who got turned down for a date once and now hates everything with a uterus.
Multiple naked women violently assaulted by a Silent Hill-rejected demon. Does it need to just be women? No. Do they need to be naked? No. Do they need to be decapitated? No. Does there need to be a pool of blood underneath them? No. Does the demon have to look like it’s ready for some midnight lovin’? No. All of this was done with specifics in mind. The “YOU WILL DIE BITCH” in all-caps really hammers home the horrific hatred. Yay alliteration! Way to end this on a good note.
SL: I once knew a guy who was a very talented artist. He did the kind of grindcore art that featured death, decay, rot, demons, skulls, all the things we’d draw on our 11th grade notebooks. The problem was that the featured character in every piece was a naked woman being tortured in some way. Organs ripped out, sodomized by a knife, tits chewed on by a demon, ect. ect. ect. The pictures went from “Wow, nice shading!” to “Wow, you really have a thing for women being tortured”. I get the same feeling when I look at this design. Adding “YOU WILL DIE BITCH” brings it to a whole other level of discomfort, because at some point, somewhere, someone is paying money for this.
Emmure – It tastes like your own ass, Frankie.
What would a Shirt Stains about misogyny be without an inclusion from our favorite modern poets, Emmure? Poet Laureate Frankie Palmeri crafts songs with the ladies in mind, after all. Even if this shirt wasn’t ridiculously terrible towards women, it would still end up on Shirt Stains. The powder blue is better suited for a newborn’s nursery, not a shirt. The light orange and yellow work for Easter candy. The multiple fonts as used simply to distract you from the fact that it is, in fact, an Emmure shirt. Don’t believe me? Here’s the back:
It’s like they tried to avoid being associated with their own stupid shirt. I don’t blame them. The model is really happy though. He’s all, “Yeeeeah the ladies down at Aeropostale are going to be all over me once they see this shirt!”
As to what Frankie’s wee-wee tastes like, I can only speculate that it’s a mixture of tar, stale beer, hot Clamato juice, and smegma.
SL: This shirt just goes to show that to some people, women are still considered property. Be it your mom, your girlfriend, your wife; they represent your masculinity, or lack thereof. So if someone fucks them, they have sullied your property, which makes you less of a man. This shirt goes as far as to say that your girl, your personal property, has sucked the t-shirt’s wearer’s dick. Therefore the wearer is superior, and everyone else is inferior. This shirt says to the world, “Here is a guy who still believes in archaic beliefs concerning gender roles, and that having one’s dick sucked by another man’s partner makes him a superior man”. Or, in short, “Here is a fucking dickwad”.
Ill Nino – Muy Mal
Against all odds, Ill Nino are still alive and kicking. Plenty of us enjoyed their Revolution/Revolucion album when it came out. It was like a catchier, more mainstream cousin of Roots-era Sepultura. They also had Marc Rizzo’s back pack and spinkicks. Look, it was a simpler time, okay?
Ill Nino were all set to head out on tour with Otep, Kittie, and 36 Crazyfists this summer when the band Terror Universal was added. There was was a whole kerfuffle involving Otep accusing the singer of TU of sexually assaulting her and TU kicking him out. What does this have to do with Ill Nino? Some of their members are also in Terror Universal.
All of that brings me to this statement by Ill Nino following the blow-up: “ILL NINO does not condone any forced act of violence or sexual nature towards any human beings, nor will we tolerate violations of one’s personal space.”
Their own shirt might disagree with that statement.
SL: Men love tits. Especially tits that belong to a woman who’s being bound and gagged, because it’s even better when she can’t fight back. Also, lets make it look like her mouth is bleeding. Nothing says sexy like domestic violence!
I look forward to a calm, reasonable discussion in the comments section. This is, after all, a SJW blog, right?
SL: All of these shirts made me kind of depressed. If that was the intention, bravo designers! Bravo, bands! You do your part to ensure that people still think metal is for dudes.