You ever notice that the groups that get the most critical press, the most nastiness, the most dismissive reviews, are usually the groups that appeal mostly to women? The boy bands, the Britneys, the ABBAs, the bouncy bubblegum pop, are all thought to be unfit for human consumption. As if what appeals to men should appeal equally to women. How is that fair? Women (I’m speaking in generalities here, I’m aware there are women who hate that kind of stuff, just as there are men that love that kind of stuff) like what they like and are allowed to like what they like. They don’t need male approval, though I’m sure they’re a bit tired of male disapproval. My wife doesn’t like to listen to my Metal collection but she doesn’t say it sucks. She doesn’t write scholarly articles designed to mock and belittle my Metal selections. And yet so many people write those articles dismissing the music that women like.

Part of that is just that most music critics are men and thus do not have the same taste in music as do women. Which is fair in that it’s hard to ask someone to like something they don’t like but unfair in that it gives the impression that music that women like is inherently inferior to music that men like. Ridiculous. It just serves a different purpose. I like listening to some dark themes, I like the blues, I like the depth of emotion but that’s me. Not everyone needs or wants that, sometimes they just want something fun, something that changes their mental state and makes it better. A song that makes you smile.

In writing I find that the hardest emotion to get readers to feel is joy but music does it easily, effortlessly, as if it was meant to inspire joy. And the music women like reflects this, it is light and it is fun and it uplifts your spirits. How in the world is that a bad thing? Why is that worthy of mockery?

Ideally as an artist you would want to create a work that is not gender specific, you would want it to appeal to both genders equally. Unfortunately that is difficult in that we (most of us) are either male or female and know our own outlooks and preferences and it’s difficult to shift focus so as to be inclusive. Though, let’s face it, when artists try to be inclusive they are often mocked even more by the mass of critical opinion. A rock act that releases a ballad will make money but lose credibility. A pop act that tries to appeal to male listeners will gain much mockery but not much new listeners.

Why is this okay? I mock ABBA because I honestly do not like ABBA but I do not believe the music is inherently bad, I just know I personally don’t like it. Which is always fair. No one is required to like music they don’t like. No one is required to say nothing negative. The distinction comes (as far as I’m concerned) when disliking one thing and liking something else means you try to make others feel like lesser beings for liking that thing. As if women’s musical taste needs to ‘mature’ and by that you mean become more like men’s musical taste.

Because, God knows, it’s WOMEN who need to grow up and mature.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I gotta go drink kool-aid, play video games and watch sports.