Week 3, Update #2 “I am not a feminist”

Week 3 has flown by and my time in Ireland is coming to an end. Every interview leaves me feeling like I have learned something new about the Irish traditional music community as a whole. With many interviews under my belt, I would say with confidence that the community is very accommodating to people of all backgrounds and identities. The only people who really seem to have negative stereotypes are people who play the spoons. Man or woman, many Irish musicians see it as disruptive and not requiring any serious musical ability.

 

The environment is not as polarized with gender as I originally thought it would be. Regardless, there is a very negative connotation associated with feminism in Ireland. A musician I was interviewing told me that she refused to identify as a feminist because she does not hate or despise men. This was surprising as my (and many others’) definition of feminism is not the condemnation of masculinity, but rather an embrace of equality.

 

In conclusion, I remain very excited to see how gender operates in the heavy metal communities around Portland, OR. Heavy metal music is usually a vehicle for the reversal or rejection of societal norms, whereas Irish traditional music aims to preserve an ancient cultural heritage. I would not be surprised if the traditional music community turned out to be more egalitarian than the heavy metal subculture. Nonetheless, my interviews will hopefully shed some light on this question.

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