Final Summary

Heavy Metal and Irish Traditional Music have similarities and differences that one would not expect. On one hand, these musical subcultures have only been accessible (to an extent) to women for about 25 years. On the other hand, one embraces tradition while the other rejects it. Nonetheless, the progression and recognition of modern feminism has allowed even more women to gain access to these traditionally masculine “Third Places”. I believe that women have an easier time gaining access to Irish Traditional Music pub sessions because such sessions have their roots in farm gatherings of both men and women musicians. Through my interviews, I learned that a lot of these women do not see their participation as a vehicle for the progress of feminism. Rather, they see themselves as simple members of a community trying to gain recognition for their talents. Despite these perceptions, I noticed that women musicians were still frequently “cat-called” and not shown the same level of respect as their male counterparts. I argue that musical subcultures such as these offer perfect opportunities to examine the actual effect of the progress of feminism in society as a whole.


  1. I think it’s really interesting that the women in the Irish Traditional Music communities didn’t see themselves as moving their gender forward, but rather saw themselves as individuals. Having taken gender studies and sociology classes, I think I understand why they choose to see themselves not first as a member of their gender but a member of the music community in such traditionally male-dominated spaces. I think your conclusion about transitioning this research to feminism as a whole is really interesting.