Surviving as a woman guitarist in heavy metal: players detail the sexism they face online

Nikki Stringfield, Marcela Campos, Stephanie Bradley and Guitar Gabby
(Image credit: Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images / Press / Dionne McDonald)

Backstage, onstage, behind the scenes and even in the bathroom: harassment is always a problem for female metal guitarists. Although diversity grows with every passing year, the industry struggles to balance itself. In 2019, 7.7 per cent of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees were women. The New York Times might be plastering “Rock’s Not Dead, It’s Ruled By Women” over its pages, but even Google can’t muster much more than Joni Mitchell.

Sophie Burrell, a UK metal guitarist, touched on the subject this time last year. “The audience [that comes with metal] can be quite discouraging at times,” she said in an interview for “A lot of, ‘She’s good, but for a girl,’ sort of stuff. Which is really crap.”

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