Femininity in metal fanship: ‘I do not need to take anyone along’

Maarit Kinnunen, Antti Honkanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Metal music has an exceptional position in Finnish society where the genre is not marginal and the proportion of female fans is considerable. However, studies on female metal fandom emphasize that female fans are in the minority among the male-dominant metal fan community. This has led to conclusions that female fans are acting in a ‘masculine’ manner to avoid sexual harassment, and to get approval and respect for their fandom from male fans. Our aim was to study very feminine metal fans, trying to find out how they perceived their position among metal fans and how they demonstrated their femininity, especially in metal festivals. Based on the results, considering metal a masculine musical genre is not justifiable if the context is female metal fans, not female metal musicians. Very feminine female fans consumed a lot of live music and described metal as beautiful, emotional and empowering. They were quite independent and became more confident in their femininity as they grew older. Part of them demonstrated their self-confidence by dressing up in a very feminine ‐ even hyperfeminine ‐ way, and part of them dressed more modestly, seeing their femininity internally, not externally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-235
JournalMetal Music Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • doing gender
  • femininity
  • gender
  • metal music
  • mixed methods research
  • music festivals

Field of science

  • Tourism research
  • Gender studies


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