People’s list, women, ranking, etc.
If I had bothered to guess before reading the results, I would have put female participation in Pitchfork’s People’s List at 10%. So 12% is a positive surprise! (FWIW, I finally decided to make a list … an hour after the polls closed.) I probably know a little more about these things than the average Pitchfork reader, having written for the pub and, more to the point, having been female and a passionate music person for a good long time. I take it for granted that my friends who are into seeing bands and who keep up with new releases are always male and that dudes who don’t know me will always try to bulldoze my musical opinions with their own. (I admit to vindictive glee when they realize how well-informed mine generally are.)
I’ve thought a lot about the women and lists question over the years because I’m one of those women who doesn’t like making them. Or, I should say, I don’t mind the listing, but I hate the ranking. I don’t know enough to speculate on the biological or cultural reasons, but men seem to love the ranking bit, the bettering and besting of utterly unrelated items. Me, I can’t see the sense in hoisting the New Pornographers’ Twin Cinema higher than Samamidon’s All is Well or DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing or Joanna Newsom’s Ys. (just to name a few that would have made my list if I weren’t such a huge procrastinator). Apples to oranges to kiwis to kumquats. I’d offer the purely anecdotal evidence that the majority of female listeners feel something similar. I mean, if pressed, we could rank our favorite albums. But why should we? Music isn’t a math test or a foot race. Every answer is right and no one’s a winner.
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- imathers said: I’ve grown to hate the ranking bit as well. I tend to just want to list things alphabetically/chronologically at this point. I think I owe you a drink for mentioning All Is Well, though.
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- fotzepolitic said: “I don’t mind the listing, but I hate the ranking” - YES! I’ll fight for who I think is top five in my personal canon, but after that it just feels useless.
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