What the F*ck is #Metalgate?
I just read a full article on Return of Kings about a phenomenon they’re dubbing #metalgate, and I’m still not really sure what it is. Which is weird, because MetalSucks is a metal website.
So I started digging into it. The term was apparently coined by Death Metal Underground, and seeks to draw a parallel with #gamergate by alleging that Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) are attacking metal to cleanse it of everything that makes it what the author thinks it is and should be: angry, misogynystic, homophobic music for conservative white people.
Basically SJWs are complaining about how people who enjoy metal tend to be racist, misogynist, and homophobic (the three favorite strawman attacks of the left) and exclude those who are not white “cisgendered” males. As you know, the average white man in the West Virginian coal mines has much more prosperity and opportunity than the rest of the ethnic and gender groups in the country, so there is no reason that white men should have a right to have any pride in their ethnic identity or have anything unique that they can identify with.
Christians are not the only ones who inject ill-fitting lyrics into any music genre they can find. A metal band called Cattle Decapitation sings about how hardcore it is to be vegetarian. At least the Christian metal is only marketed towards Christians, but this pussified street preacher (the animal rights band, not the Christians) wants to be considered one of the regulars in the metal community.
But did the metalheads ask for animal rights lyrics? If not, then pick up an acoustic guitar and find a different venue. And of course this animal rights band is drawing in animal rights activists to the venues, thus corrupting the exclusivity of the subculture.
First off, it’s hard to take any article seriously that presents Cattle Decapitation as a new band that just burst upon the scene with their righteous vegetarian agenda. Also, generally, the Return of King article is a disorganized, rambling mess. This one from Reaxxion on the same subject is a lot more clear.
But my ultimate problem with #metalgate is that it’s entirely manufactured. No one, or no group, is banding together to try and change metal in any one specific way — the threat is entirely imagined. Certain social values enter the metalsphere simply because those values are spreading throughout society as a whole — this idea that “SJWs” failed with #gamergate so they’re now moving on to a different cause is total bologna. They’re entirely separate people!
There also certainly isn’t anyone coordinating a mass effort to inject metal with liberal values. Just because someone wrote an editorial encouraging metalheads to stop using the word “faggot” doesn’t mean the music that “the average white man in the West Virginian coal mines” likes will go away tomorrow; more than likely, both his music and the tunes favored by a vegan kid living in an artist loft in Bushwick paid for by his parents will continue to coexist in this world.
It’s also not really a new argument. People have been saying “get political correctness out of my metal!” for decades already, and, guess what, both non-PC and PC metal continue not only to exist, but to be robust. And the idea of #metalgate ignores one very important fact about metal: lyrics mostly don’t matter to metalheads, it’s all about the music itself. Which further proves that the people writing this #metalgate stuff have at most a basic familiarity with metal; they’re not in metal culture so much as observers looking for a cause to latch onto.
Basically, this whole thing strikes me as pretty silly. #Metalgate is not a thing; it’s a childish expression of angst from within the gaming community that seeks to draw a connection between #gamergate and heavy metal where none actually exists, in an effort to prove that their values are the “right” ones. No one is threatening the existence of ignorant, conservative, white man metal… there’s TONS of it out there, with more coming every day! So just keep to yours and we’ll keep to ours.