Monday, 14 December 2015

2015's Top 4 Most Sexist Pieces Of Music Journalism

There's no doubt about it: 2015 was a fantastic year for misogyny in music journalism. Whereas in previous years, critics have opted for more subtle forms of sexism, this year they embraced their inner traditionalist and went all the way back to the 50's. A bold choice, certainly, but one that fits with the year's obsession with nostalgia.
Indeed, the shift is an exciting one, and bodes well for future examples of misogyny. Whereas in the past, political correctness seems to have toned down the more outlandish elements of some writers' style,  this year a number of notable critics really went for it, and wrote articles so misogynistic that they must be read to be believed.
So, as the year draws to a close, take a gander over these four pieces, a fantastic selection that proves rock journalists still have no fucking idea how to write about women.

4. David L. Garcia - Best Coast Live Review

“I need to describe the incredible outfit bandleader Bethany Cosentino was wearing. She looked sexier and badder than any rock star I’ve seen in years. The outfit was–and I’m still a bit heartbroken that I have to say this-is-the best part of the evening.”

Given the media coverage this review recieved, some of you may be surprised that it doesn't place higher on the list. But, despite really trying his best to be a misogynistic asshole, Garcia just doesn't have the linguistic skill to entirely pull off his message. His review is clunky and hard to read, which is a shame, because it really is a sexist pile of shit. Perhaps next year Garcia will be able to raise his game and release the review we have all been waiting for: the one where he ignores the music altogether and judges female musicians solely by their fashion choices.

3. "9 More Femme Fatales Who Are Killing It Right Now." - Happy

“There isn’t anything better than a girl bashing on a guitar. Sorry boys, they just make it look way cooler. Former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns had a ‘Girls Rock’ sticker on his Gibson SG, and never has a sticker been more accurate. There are so many chicks with attitude who are blowing audiences away at every turn, many of whom put their male counterparts to shame. We know we already did this list a while ago, but since then there have been a few more lovely ladies who have proven why they also deserve to be honoured in a listicle.”

Excitingly, this listicle proves that reverse sexism is still alive and well. Thank God: given the year's shift towards open misogyny, some of us were a little worried that good ole reverse sexism might be left in the dust. But it's nice to see Happy embracing a lesser known form of misogyny with a listicle so amazingly inept that it's actually laughable. It's hard to pinpoint the best part of this list, although the idea that a sticker on Daniel Johns' guitar lends credibility to the entirety of female musicians is pretty great.

2. The Entire Mainstream Media's Reaction To Ryan Adams' 1989

Triple J wouldn't play Taylor Swift. Pitchfork wouldn't review her seminal pop album. But when a noted white, male artist came in to cover the piece from beginning to end, suddenly the world sat up and took notice. Pitchfork's review was snarky and unfounded, sure, but even a negative review comes with its own implicit approval: "this album is significant enough for us to waste time on."
But even when one removes Triple J and Pitchfork from the equation, there's still enough Adams lovin'/Swift bashin' misogyny to go aound. The number of reviews that expressed shock that Swift's material could be made good (after it was given the white male middle class treatment, mind) is both bewildering and thrilling: who knew misogyny could be this wide scale?
The funny thing about these reviews is that they managed to insult both Swift and Adams, all the while ignoring the strengths of one of the most exciting cover albums to be released in years. That level of ineptitude is something to behold.

1. Du Blonde Live Review - Patrick Kinsella, Loud And Quiet

"Halfway through the set she feels compelled to take her top off, despite the fact that she's hardly broken a sweat. In the midst of such great music it's a bewildering move - with tracks this good, Du Blonde doesn't need to strip to sell records."

This one's a masterpiece. It really is. It's one of those reviews that deserves to be studied for years; a future classic, one that should be handed down from generation to generation. Kinsella touches all the bases: rather than just settle on a single form of sexism, he leaps about all over the place, incorporating elements of reverse sexism; leery, disgusting  creepiness; and a general theme of 'what women wear is more important than their music.' Some might call his approach scatter shot and unfocussed, but in actualy, his brazen attempt to insult the immensely talented Houghton in every concievable way has a kind of panache - an arrogant swagger - unrivalled in music criticism this year. The idea that a woman should be shamed for taking off a top ("she wasn't even sweating!!") is so ballsy, so disgustingly, horrendously out of touch, that it has the touch of genius to it. Well done, Patty. You won 2015.

The entire review can - and should - be read here:

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