Once upon a time, there was a talented deviantArtist by the handle of LusoSkav who knew everything there was to know about the metal scene. He used his abilities to draw caricatures depicting every kind of metalhead he’d encountered. Many metalheads from all walks of life delighted in the humorous drawings. After all, LusoSkav had drawn death metal fans, folk metal fans, power metal fans, and…girls, to name a few, so it was difficult to find someone that couldn’t see a little of themselves in at least one of the depictions. However, the women who saw them couldn’t help but feel insulted — initially because they’d been almost completely left out of the fun, but also because it felt like their caricatures hadn’t quite been as good-natured as the ones of the men. The following is their lament, from the point of view of one person — me.
So, ladies, how does it feel knowing that there are only two female metalhead stereotypes? Kind of shitty, huh? Well, how about the fact that neither female metalhead stereotype is actually even a metalhead? Even worse, eh?? The “Metal GRRRL” and “Trophy Metal Girl” (grown metalhead women don’t exist at all, evidently) are essentially two sides of the same misogynistic coin. If you’re a “Metal GRRRL,” you only like bands (or maybe even just a single band) fronted by ladies, you take pride in normal metalhead skills that you actually lack (unbeknownst to you — tee hee, isn’t it funny how women are clueless and guys are only humoring them?), and you’re out of touch with your inner femininity. If you’re a “Trophy Metal Girl,” you stand around looking cute for your boyfriend and might not even REALLY be a fan (because goodness knows attractive women are physically incapable of liking metal if a man isn’t making them listen to it). Ladies, do either of these types sound like anyone you know/willingly associate with? Of the 20 points made between both pictures, only five of them aren’t blatantly misogynistic. Of course, those five points are so generic that they aren’t really funny either, so it’s impossible to get even a mild chuckle out of either picture.
The worst part? The other images in the series that LusoSkav drew are actually pretty funny. As someone who attended Paganfest every time it came to the US, I laughed heartily at the folk/Viking metaller‘s “Nordic-er than thou” and “leather bracers nearly mandatory” blurbs. What thrash fan WOULDN’T guffaw at Mainstreamallica‘s “only sings along on ‘Nothing Else Matters’…gets confused and frightened when ‘Battery’ comes on?” Despite the fact that I’m a woman, the Thrasher fits me to a tee, especially in the “being a minority” and “90% chance of being wasted” areas. Taken at face value, both woman-related images aren’t even necessarily terrible, they’re more unimaginative and boring than anything. I suppose our deviantArtist didn’t realize that women who actually enjoy multiple kinds of metal exist, which is really a pity because if he’d made female equivalents for each subgenre, I probably wouldn’t have even called him out on his misogyny. I can see it now: Power Metal Woman (literally never stops moving, will explain at length why Dragonforce is the worst band ever…), Folk Metal Mistress (owns at least one leather skirt, wears elaborate makeup/facepaint even when not at shows…), Black Metal Lady (hair is at least waist-length, never ever speaks…), and the list goes on. If you’ve gone to enough shows (and pulled your head out of your ass), you’ll probably find it pretty easy to make funny, lady-friendly versions of LusoSkav’s images yourself.
What sorts of female metalhead stereotypes have you come across in your travels? We’ve all known our share of killjoys of all genders, but please don’t flat-out identify specific people or get overly inflammatory/slut-shamey/misogynist/disrespectful.