Spiritbox’s Courtney LaPlante On Gender Equality In The Heavy Music Scene: “My Existence Itself Makes A Lot Of People Uncomfortable”


Spiritbox/ex-iwrestledabearonce frontwoman Courtney LaPlante has penned an op-ed for Kerrang! that touches upon gender equality in the heavy music world and the challenges females face in the traditionally male-dominated genre. It also finds her sharing her thoughts on white feminism and more. Published today, March 08th, in celebration of International Women’s Day, LaPlante‘s opening paragraphs read as follows:

“Choose to challenge.

My first thoughts are a bit cynical: ‘Choose’ is an interesting verb to use.

Challenging the status quo doesn’t really feel like an action within my line of work, I feel like by existing within the heavy music world that I don’t get to choose. My existence itself makes a lot of people uncomfortable, and often people avoid or scorn what makes them uncomfortable. Sometimes I feel like I am an intruder into a world where my presence makes others have to re-evaluate their lack of empathy towards women. Sometimes I feel like my very position in this music world relies on the fact that I am in a band with other men, validating me and showing other men that they can listen to and relate to my music. Sometimes I use my voice for dissent, and it makes for a lot of tension within the ecosystem of a tour. Someday I know I am going to have to pass on a tour because I do not feel safe around one of my peers. Someday I am going to have to justify why I chose to wear a short skirt onstage.

It’s a strange feeling to have your existence – or how you choose to present your existence – become inherently political. How feminine you are, how masculine you are, all these presentations are subject to a higher standard of critique than my male counterparts experience. I could complain about it for a few thousand pages. It’s exhausting.

I believe this is typical in any male-dominated industry. I didn’t sign up to play ‘identity politics’ but I do not have a choice. I am not the one making the rules of the game. I would prefer to call it ‘reality’ instead of identity politics.

Things are changing, but I think the choice of challenging is a lot more difficult that it seems…”

You can find the rest of her op-ed over at Kerrang!.

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