Given recent headlines, it looks like the #MeToo movement has finally caught up with the music industry. There is one event that I’d like to focus on in particular.
The most recent major story about abusive male behaviour within the music industry comes courtesy of a New York Times investigative article about indie-rocker Ryan Adams. In this article, Adams’ former wife (actor and singer Mandy Moore) and several women he career-mentored accused him of psychological abuse and manipulative behaviour in which he”dangled career opportunities while simultaneously pursuing female artists for sex.”
To highlight the issue at hand, I draw your attention to Laura Snapes, writing for the Guardian:
So-called alternative musicians pride themselves on being more enlightened than their rock counterparts, but in my years of writing about them, I have found no end of ‘beta male misogyny’
The independent-music culture of which Adams is a longstanding figurehead prides itself on being different to rock: more sensitive; feminist, even. But this can curdle into a more insidious form of toxic masculinity – what music website the Quietus referred to as “beta male misogyny”, after Ariel Pink told a journalist: “Beta males have got it figured out so that they don’t have to chase or rape their prey.” Because indie rock considers itself culturally progressive – unlike rock with its concomitant outrageousness – it rarely takes well to being called out, and takes great pains to protect its brand, which depends on an impression of sensitivity.
To any woman who identifies as a feminist and who may be reading this, the above description might sound very familiar if you’ve ever acquainted yourself with a self-described “male ally”, i.e., a Male Feminist.
To put a finer point on it, here’s Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy writing for Al Jazeera:
But what men say in public often contradicts their personal and political actions. It is a convenient time for men to claim they oppose things like rape and groping – this is a simple way to demonstrate the feminist credentials we have been told are effortless to adopt (few, today, would argue against something as innocuous-sounding as “equality”).
It is also an opportune moment for men to point the finger at others, and away from themselves, all the while enjoying praise for coming out in defense of women.
But what is the motivation for a self-described Male Feminist to behave in a manner that’s so inconsistent with his words? Here is another well-known Canadian (a clinical psychologist) who offers his own assessment:
Jordan Peterson: We asked earlier what’s the motivation of these pathological guys who are out there bolstering up the feminists…
Joe Rogan: They don’t compete any other way?
Peterson: They don’t compete. They figured out how to compete. They compete as “allies” let’s say. Very sneaky.
Rogan: Wow – “sneaky”. That’s how everybody always describes them too…. I avoid doing it because it almost feels gross to label them like that. But that is the way you think of Male Feminists. You think of them as “sneaky”.
Hence, the usage of the term “Beta Male Misogyny” to describe these type of men and their attendant behaviour. These are men who “cannot compete” in the conventional sense via looks or charisma, so they present themselves as something they are not in order to indulge in manipulative and exploitative behaviour towards women. Ryan Adams only happens to be the most current high-profile example. If you’re looking for a Canadian example, read up on Jian Gomeshi, a formerly self-described feminist, former national radio host and, you guessed it (!) – indie musician.
Now let’s examine Alpha Male Misogyny in the music industry. There are a lot of examples to choose from, but the most blatantly hilarious example that I can think of is Gene Simmons of Kiss. Here are some quotes from him in recent years:
Women have something going for them that men don’t: their physical self. My suggestion is, if women want power, and if they’re looked at as sexual objects, for God’s sakes, you use it to your advantage. Models do. The Kardashians do. You don’t have to be talented or do much of anything. If you happen to be born with the right genes, you may as well use it [before you] lose it.
“Women have a choice,” he told The Post. “They can dress in potato sacks, [but] as soon as they pretty themselves up with lipstick, lift and separate them and point them in our general direction, they’re gonna get a response. Guys are jackasses — we will buy them mansions and houses . . . all because of sex.”
And, ladies, if you’re thinking of being a working mom, think again. “Get over your biological urges,” Simmons said. “It’s natural to want to have kids, but, sorry, you can’t have it both ways. You have to commit to either career or family. It’s very difficult to have both.”
If you think the popular rock ‘n’ roll legend that Gene Simmons has slept with 4,600 woman is a ridiculous farce, you’d be right — only, probably not in the way you’d expect. The number is even larger than that, the Kiss star claims in a new interview with The Sun. How much larger?
“It’s 4,800,” he tells the British tabloid. “I took Polaroid photos for a long time,” he adds, explaining how he can be so specific. “I took photos of the vast majority. It just proves you can be an ugly b—— and if you’ve got the right job you’ll have access.”
Love him or hate him, the man speaks his mind and doesn’t care what anyone thinks – a key trait of the Alpha Male personality. You know where he stands and what he’s selling. Full disclosure: I’m a long-time Kiss fan, but mainly of Ace Frehley. 🙂
So given the transparency of the typical Alpha Male, you can either engage in a relationship with an Alpha (personal, professional or otherwise) or just stay the hell away.
Contrast this to the opaqueness of the Beta Male where you don’t really know where he stands when it comes to his true thoughts on relations between the sexes.
The preceding was of course, an opinion piece. If you’re a woman trying to build a career in the music industry and found this information true to your experiences or if you thought that everything I wrote above was just plain bullshit, I’d appreciate your feedback in the comments below.