The way that we talk about ex-wives and ex-girlfriends is fucked. This is an issue that extends far beyond aggressive music, beyond music in general and into general culture. I realize this is just one more deeply anchored, grotesque tentacle of patriarchy manifesting itself in the world. Taking all of that into consideration, one of the easiest and most frequently employed means of stripping a woman of her humanity and turning her into a monster is transforming her into an Evil Ex.
The Evil Ex-Wife (or Ex-Girlfriend) is up there with zombies and Nazis when it comes to human punching bags of pop culture: figures so obviously repugnant that we can do anything to them, guilt free. Whether she reportedly cheated and broke a man’s trust, lied and manipulated him, or simply committed that most treasonous of acts — leaving the relationship while the man still happened to find her desirable — Evil Exes are fair game. Most lose their names, referred to only as “her” or “that bitch;” even other women cluck and coo over stories of the Evil Ex, that harpy and harridan who tormented their man (not realizing that they are always on the verge of transforming into such a creature themselves). We may as well be vampires or werewolves the moment our relationship with a specific man ends.
And heavy metal musicians absolutely adore writing songs about their Evil Exes. Some are classics: Type O Negative’s Slow, Deep and Hard, Jane Doe by Converge, and All Else Failed’s This Never Happened are record-length tributes to exes — some merely mournful while others are threatening. Sometimes individual songs serve as tributes to failed love, such as “Tearing” by Rollins Band, “Break Beat” by Dangers or Drowningman’s “My First Restraining Order.” Some are grimmer testimonies to violence, like Leviathan’s 2011 record, True Traitor, True Whore, which is entirely about Jef “Wrest” Whitehead’s ex (Whitehead is currently serving two years probation for aggravated domestic battery after being found guilty of assaulting his ex, down from the original 36 counts).
Many of these songs and records are beyond reproach, merely explorations of heartbreak and loss. Others are more combative and confrontational, even violent, seething with hatred for the Ex in questions. When I first began listening to heavy metal, it never occurred to me to consider the way that the women — all these ex-partners — were treated and portrayed in these songs. I may even have been typically sympathetic as a new girlfriend siding with a partner over his obviously “crazy” ex. Poor lambs, what all those shes put you through.
Then, one day, I became an Evil Ex myself; there was even a song, throbbing with anger, written about me. Suddenly the way I thought about all those women, all those exes in songs, changed. What followed still stands as the strangest, and often most frightening, period of my entire life. I stopped siding with the men in those songs; I started to wonder about the other side of the story. And when the Tim Lambesis story broke, I immediately thought of Meggan and felt a deep, terrible kinship."
Artists are eternally selfish people unless they are worth something. Then you never hear about them.
Boomers writing head-scratching thinkpieces wondering why Millenials aren’t having children/buying houses/generally taking on massive amounts of debt
are basically like a fat bully asking “why are you hitting yourself?” after smashing your face in with your own wrists, except these idiots seem to be genuinely ignorant of the fact that this is literally the direct consequence of their economic stewardship.