Dworkin’s nightmare

Porngrind as the sound of feminist fears


  • Lee Barron Northumbria University Author




Andrea Dworkin, death metal, heavy metal, porngrind, pornography


This article examines the relationship between extreme metal and gender, specifically the sexual representation of women in a relatively obscure ‘underground’ metal subgenre that developed in the 1990s dubbed porngrind. This is a subgenre of metal that fuses the lyrical content and sound of death metal with a sustained focus on sexual explicitness, sexual violence and misogyny, and it is best represented by underground American and European bands such as: Soldered Poon, Anal Penetration, Anal Whore, Waco Jesus, Lividity, and Meatshits. The article explores the relationship between porngrind and feminist positions on pornography, most significantly the anti-pornography approach of Andrea Dworkin. The article argues that porngrind centrally reflects the salient perceptions Dworkin levels at pornography within her seminal text, Pornography: Men Possessing Women: that it expresses patriarchal oppression and sexual violence against women. However, the article contends that the subject-matter of porngrind actually identifies a degree of proximity between it and Dworkin in that they both perceive pornography to be reducible to, and representative of, sex as an act of domination, brutality and the aggressive possession of female bodies.

Author Biography

  • Lee Barron, Northumbria University

    Lee Barron is a senior lecturer in the Division of Media at Northumbria University. His main research and teaching interests are in the areas of cultural theories and popular culture and include: popular music, film, television, and celebrity. He is the author of journal articles, book chapters and reports on popular culture, teaching and learning and sport. His writings have appeared in journals such as: The Journal of Popular Culture, Nebula, Fashion Theory, Chapter and Verse, International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, and Disability & Society. He has also published in a number of books including: Speak To Me: The Legacy of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon; Music; Terror Tracks: Music, Sound and Horror Cinema; Popular Music and Film and The Sage Dictionary of Research Issues. His forthcoming work includes a study of the British science fiction series Torchwood.


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How to Cite

Barron, L. (2012). Dworkin’s nightmare: Porngrind as the sound of feminist fears. Popular Music History, 6(1-2), 68-84. https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.v6i1.68