Don’t Blame Us: Four Women Talk About Why They Didn’t Make People’s Lists

The results from Pitchfork People’s List were published today, and 88% of voters were male. (12% were female, there wasn’t an “other” option, fwiw.) Since I Am The Twelve Percent and I spend a lot of my time talking about and thinking about and writing about music, I wanted to ask a couple of women who didn’t make lists why they didn’t make them, because I thought they’d have more insight about this skewed percentage than I would. So I took the very unscientific and lazy approach (which is to say: these are four individual opinions, not meant to be indicative of What Womankind Thinks About This) of emailing a couple of my closest lady internet friends and here is what they said.

Friend #1: “Oh let me talk about this.

[Dude Friend Of Ours] told me about [the People’s List], otherwise I probably wouldn’t have known it was a thing because I don’t read pfork too often. And I looked at his list which was like 50 albums and then this girl he’s crushing on’s list, which had like TEN only. And I was like you cant like her she ranked Spoon too high and obviously doesnt CARE about music since she only listed ten.
ANYWAY the point is that I love making things like that and I went to make mine and I had 70 albums and got overwhelmed with ranking them and forgot and never published it. Honestly I think it takes some things to have the energy to make one of those: a) some degree of narcissism to assume that literally anyone cares what albums you like b) enough self esteem to believe your choices are correct or to not care if people disagree with you or think less of you because of which albums you like c) the fastidious patience to actually complete a task that is based mainly in narcissism.
 
I have some of these things, and there are many women who also have these things, but I would say in general that men are more apt to have all of them.”

Friend #2: “My issue is that I don’t listen to a ton of new music. So whenever men are like, “What are you listening to these days?” (and ONLY men ever ask that as an ice breaker), I’m like, ‘Um this album that came out in 1983.’

And then they quiz you on the artist’s entire catalog. For instance, I really like this one Mission of Burma album, but I am hesitant to bring that up to a man, because I don’t listen to ALL of their albums. 
I agree that men are more likely to think their opinions are Definitive and Correct.

As per women not finding as much pleasure in solitary activities, maybe? But a lot of our lady friends love to read and to discuss books and articles and etc. I’m turned off from talking about music because I’ve encountered so many men who are mainsplain-y about it, while I haven’t had that same experience with books, because a lot of men are dismissive of, like, Jane Eyre, so we never have those convos to begin with.”

Friend #3: “I change my mind every two days about what my favorite record is, so that was a reason I didn’t participate, plus what others said about it being a personal thing, PLUS what [Friend #2] said. I absolutely despise musical discussions with men and when they come up in my life (rarely, nowadays) I get hostile. When I do talk about music, I talk about it with women, or with [Cool Dude Friend Of Ours Who Is A Good Listener And General Ally in Fighting The Patriarchy And Stuff]. 

Friend #4: “Same with everyone. I love music but for me it’s more of a personal thing that I don’t really care to spend a lot of time talking about / discussing / researching, etc. I spend most of my time doing that with books and literary things which is a bigger interest of mine. Also, it is one of those things that men in my life have been so  annoying about that I think at some point I was turned off from giving it a lot of attention. I never really felt included in the conversation therefore I started to pay less and less attention to it?

I also am very rarely listening to new music. i keep up with punk/garage etc. but the land of most new ‘indie’ music i don’t know much about. Right now I’ve been going through all the crates of records my mom gave me ie: listening to strange handsome men’s folk music, and also listening to various radio programs I like of international music, soul/funk, etc.”

Friend #1: “Sorry I keep yapping about this but it feels important for me to note that I have spent my entire life very passionately invested in learning about and enjoying music.  My older brother is a professional musician, my longest relationship was with a professional musician, and my whole life I have felt constant pressure that if I wanted to participate in a conversation about music that I needed to be on this male influence’s level. To be able to fully discuss music in a world where men are going to grill you about a band’s discography and mansplain the double bass line on a Hella song to you, you have to either bow out or try to keep up with them, which is majorly bullshit. But it sounds like I’ve chosen to play along and the rest of you/women in general are OVER IT.”

When I Asked If I Could Post This On My Tumblr

Friend #3: “By all means, and if you want to add the quote, ‘In the end, white dudes are superior at making fun things much less fun,’ then you have my permission.”

Friend #1: “Yes, make sure that you leave in that I hate Spoon though.”
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