While maybe not having an obvious relationship, on an abstract level, feminism and black metal have a lot in common. Both concepts centre around ideas of subversion, rebellion, individualism and personal freedom. Both subcultures challenge traditional norms and values and do not shy back from using highly controversial and provocative means to reach this aim.
Black metal often uses satanic themes as a metaphor and provocation. Satan sometimes has been displayed as a non-binary figure, possessing both male and female bodily features. Therefore, in this text, Satan is referred to by the gender-neutral, singular pronoun they/them.
Satan has traditionally been depicted as the antagonist of an almighty, omniscient God, that is, a God who impersonates traditional ideas of hegemonic masculinity. Furthermore, Satan has also been the antagonist of Jesus and his male disciples and Satan is, due to their historical relationship with witches and witchcraft, a metaphor for the uprising against the patriarchy.
In a similar vein as the sex-positive, queer feminism, satanism is the antithesis to traditional Christian values, such as sexual abstinence, chastity, asceticism, and virginity. Rather, feminist empowerment aims at encouraging body-positivity (as opposed to bodyshaming and fat-shaming) and sex-positivity (as opposed to slut-shaming). This could be summarized by the concept of carnality that has typically been associated with satanism.
Historic depictions have, as already mentioned, showed Satan with both male genitals and female breasts. These depictions mirror the queer feminist assumption that gender is not a binary but that gender identity is fluid and gendered bodies can have a large variety of appearances.
Both satanic and feminist issues have been controversial and provocative. Thereby, these issues have created the
public attention and awareness that is necessary to spark debates that can inspire changes in social structures and individual attitudes. Consequently, the connection of feminist messages with satanic themes is a powerful tool helping to bring our band’s message across.
- Raegina is vocalist with German black metal band Dæmonesq, who release their debut EP, ‘The Beauty Of Letting Go’, on 25 February. All views expressed in this article are her own.