Anyone who’s read my blog (or books) for a while knows how much I love hard rock and heavy metal music—and also how I speak out against real rock stars I feel might be behaving badly (e.g., When Assholes Prosper and Once Upon a Time…). A good chunk of the time, I won’t name names but, this time, I must.
Corey Taylor, I’m coming for you.
I’m being a little melodramatic, so please let me assure you that I love Mr. Taylor. He is one of the most brilliant lyricists of our age and he never ceases to amaze me with how he can capture rage so well in such a poetic way. Many of his songs have truly made life worth living for me. I also think he has an amazing voice and, while I love Slipknot far more than Stone Sour or even his solo stuff, I do like all of it. (Side note: he’s also an author of books like Seven Deadly Sins.)
Before going on to my rant, I also need to preface it with more information. I came of age in the 80s, during the heyday of what was called “glam” or “hair” metal. I just called it “metal” and I loved it. That form of music spoke to me more than anything else ever had in my life. There was just one problem: the way women were treated in that world was shameful–just as shameful as the impression it left upon those of us onlookers.
If you’re not quite with me, go back and take a look at Mötley Crüe’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” video or even look at the female singers in the “Wild Side” video from the same album, how they’re fawning all over Vince Neil as if he were a prince and they were his concubines. Or try Warrant’s “Cherry Pie.” That’s good for a cringe, if you want to see just how far we’ve come. Or listen to Guns N’ Roses “Rocket Queen” (and, if you’re not familiar, look up the story behind it). I’d venture a guess that a good many videos (and possibly songs) that I’ve since forgotten pushed the theme that we didn’t realize because we were living it.
Women were objectified. There were few women in metal (although Lita Ford kicked major ass), and the rock stars of that era thought of women as nothing more than sex objects. While I could dredge up story after story, you need look no further than Stephen Pearcy’s memoir Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll. Granted, he admits that he had some sort of sex addiction, but he was not the only one who got as much “trim” back in the day as they could.
But I digress.
Back to last year, 2020. Corey Taylor released an album called CMFT (if you want to know what that means, you need only to listen to the song “CMFT Must be Stopped” on that album). It’s not a bad song. In fact, it’s classic Taylor, chock full of meaningful lyrics that sometimes you need to churn over a time or two to really appreciate their full meaning. The song also features other artists, Tech N9ne and Kid Bookie, whom I believe wrote their sections of the song–but it’s not the song I take issue with.
It’s the video.
The women in it could have been straight from 1987. I mean that in the way that they are only valued for the cheesecake factor they add to the video. There are rappers and rockers appearing all throughout–but the generic women are valued only for the T and A.
Corey, I don’t want to stop your music, not ever. I cannot express enough how much your lyrics have meant to me over the years.
I do, however, want to stop your shitty denigrating videos. Please do it for your young female fans.
Sincerely, one of your older female fans