Prometheus Burning (pr0_burn) wrote,
Prometheus Burning

RE: A Brave New Era of Misogyny

DJ Pathogen has written some heavy words regarding the latest Combichrist video and the subject of the rampant misogyny spreading in some areas of Industrial music. We thank him for summing up in one well-written article a complex subject that we have been troubled over and struggling with in this scene for quite some time now. It seems like for every step of forward progress made in regards to women, power, and respect, we see unimaginative and adolescent garbage like this video attempting to take it two steps back. We hope your words do not fall upon deaf and desensitized ears Matt. If this is a glimpse of the Industrial revolution, music and visuals stripped of all intelligence and artistic substance while appealing to the lowest common denominator, filled with hatred, intolerance, and childish tuff-guy machismo, then it is a bleak and sad future indeed.

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It has to be a by-product of the rampant cross-pollenization between the industrial and fetish cultures. Fetish imagery generally involves extreme polarization of sexual roles, so the woman is either the dominant nazi hot chick with the riding crop or she's a complete subby all tied up and gagged and yet somehow exposed. Guess which one popular tourist jock douches are going to make more popular (and therefore show up as more profitable to use to market to their demographic) ...

I've been railing about this in the underground fetish scene for a long time, right alongside amateurs assuming dominatrix roles without the proper training (HIGHLY dangerous), and I am both aghast to see Combichrist engaging in this infantile marketing as well as encouraged to see how many real rivetheads are standing up to point at this bullshit and call it what it is.

I remember how goofy and funny I thought the Broken bootleg was, until a girlfriend asked me how I'd feel if the victim was a girl. I don't want to lose that instinct to be repulsed by that idea, however sexist it may be.

Sorry, I sometimes get caught ranting ...
We not only perform at many fetish events and burlesque events, we also attend them as frequently as possible too, both of us being bi-sexual to varying degrees and very into fetish culture and sexual deviancy. We have also used fetish imagery in our work and music. The world of underground erotic art and fetish culture have always been haphazardly tied in with Industrial music. They go hand in hand, as has homosexual tolerance and Industrial for the most part. It is nothing new and has existed since the early days of Throbbing Gristle. We really don't see how things like this video could be the by-product of this type of "cross-pollinization" that is three decades old now, nor do we see anything erotic or fetish related in that video. Only low brow softcore torture porn and depictions of sexual assault. It is the complete opposite of anything we have ever witnessed or experienced at a fetish type of event, were everything is completely consensual and respectful. Dominant/submissive does not equate to rape/murder in way shape or form.
I wish I lived in your guys' area, it sounds awesome for my tastes, or at least more appropriate than Dallas :-)

An unintentional by-product is still a by-product. My first complaints in this vein started with my recoiling in disgust at violent misogynistic flyers for underground perversion parties in the 80s because they were designed by non-fetish-scene people trying to market for something they didn't understand - in that case the band playing at the party printed up the flyers and had no idea what went on at these kinds of gatherings innocent mistakes but it augured for what was to come, and in the intervening years there was plenty of that off and on, depending on who was involved.

But this pervasive misogyny like what we see in this moronic video for an otherwise great song seems to come from the same source: inaccurate surface impressions and complete misunderstanding. It's not always one culture or another that's at fault, and anymore seems to come from marketroids who are clueless about either, but the merging of the cultures is where I see the start of the confusion. I'm not a separatist, just making an observation. If you have differing ideas about the source of this kind of imagery I'm always open to discussion, but any time I see this kind of goofiness my experiences invariably invoke the memories of those old photocopied flyers.

Believe it or not, in the case of this video just like in the case of those grainy flyers, I don't think the intent is as bad as the product, I think they're just trying to market something. But I see the product as distasteful, giving a bad impression, and worth the time for fans to address.
The only redeeming quality of that link is the well put argument by someone about how incredibly wrong the author is for cherry picking parts of the video to make their argument.

Not to say that there isn't an issue with misogyny in "teh scene" (because everyone knows that those female artists only get their gigs by giving head to the promoter) just that that video really has nothing what so ever to do with promoting it.
Sadly the comment about 'head for promotion' isn't limited to 'teh scene' knowing my share of scummy, and not so scummy promoters, you pay for it one way or another. I just find it a further evolution from Combi's 'shut up and swallow' this time, more blatent, and in a well produced, slick video form.
You should watch this:

This has been an issue with music videos since they became a vehicle for promotion. And is anyone, considering Andy's personal history, surprised he might objectify women a bit? He's almost become the Spinal Tap of techno.
And by saying it's been around for a while, I am in no way saying that makes it OK. I saw that documentary 17 years ago and it disturbed the shit out of me and I never watched a music video the same way again.