Essay, Morning Column, Newsletter

Taylor Swift wants to talk about male privilege in the music industry, I try to sneak in another subject

Here is the NPOYS Morning Column. Sometimes not in the mornings.

Taylor Swift has a CBS interview coming out that will focus on sexism in the music industry. I recognize I’m a cis white male so I mostly go into listen mode when friends or celebrities that are female / LGBT/ POC are sharing their feelings and perspectives on society. I’ll admit that if I were reactionary, like I once was, there is probably a lot I’d disagree with as a reaction. I’ve started to grow some amount of maturity (very little, I’m still into fart jokes, but I’m proud of what progress I’ve had) and I’ve learned that it’s better to listen and understand and admit I don’t have any insight in the way it is to be any of the above groups. The most simple thing and the thing that’s lost on so many “x-gate” types is that you can just listen and move on and help where you’re able.

Taylor does link the question on whether she writes her songs to sexism in the music industry and of course it’s her experience so there is real correlation with that topic and sexism. Song writing is something that’s attacked in every genre across the board. Taylor Swift has song writing credits but they are often with multiple other names on albums on albums with Taylor’s name on them and not an entire band. I’ve come to let go of how much or whether the band or lead singer is writing lyrics but Taylor’s issue with that stems from her posing as a real song writer when she’s a very talented pop performer (with real pop writing skills there is an album out there where she is the ONLY song writer).

While there’s not doubt in my mind there is sexism entwined in all of this, the question of what a song writer is and what necessary to sell albums and generate streams is a topic I’ll talk about a lot in the future and it’s something that caught my in the short preview linked above.

I just wrote a whole paragraph about listening and then I picked one thing out with a “but”. I get it, but the song writing subject is an interesting topic and how it’s looked at across genres is equally engaging, but I thought it would be rote to start the column with that topic when Taylor was speaking on such an important topic like the male privilege that exists in the upper echelons of the music industry. The article above previewing the interview highlights some of Taylor Swift’s experience with the difference the way men and women are treated in music:

“Okay: A man does something, it’s ‘strategic’; a woman does the same thing, it’s ‘calculated,'” Swift replied. “A man is allowed to ‘react’; a woman can only ‘over-react.'”

“And you’ve had these labels thrown at you?”

“Oh, yeah! It goes on and on and on. A man does something? ‘Confident and bold.’ A woman does it the same way, and she’s ‘smug.’ A man ‘stands up for himself,’ [whereas] a woman ‘throws a temper tantrum.'”

We live in a period where we’ve made such strides in equality but everyday is more proof that we have a long road ahead to realize those goals as a society. But damn it! I really want to talk about song writing, what it really is and it’s mentioned here in a storm of calling out male privilege.

Now I’ll shut the heck and hear what she has to say.

Aside from the news there are few content creation things that have been on my mind.

It’s about time to expand my review subjects. I spend a lot of time posting on the Chaos and Comics YouTube channel and not very much time at all on my music focused channel Not Part of Your Scene. Obviously I have some issues with matching up subject matters, because this website is called Not Part of Your Scene and I post comic books stuff all the time. But comics are something a lot easier to give in depth reviews because you can read a comic once or twice and have real insight.

Music is different. I almost want to write reviews first and then put up videos. That concept might be best but it’s easy to get behind doing something like that. The channel could be a show and tell channel, which works for so many music fans on YouTube, but I prefer producing opinion, reactions and news editorial content.

In the spirit of getting off my ass I’ve decided to start with immediate reaction videos to the various premieres of metal and hip-hop songs in order to apply the philosophy of “just doing it”. Nothing will stop me from adjusting or taking a different path down the road.

Music / Writing / Reading are my passions and I have to make sure that I’m not just experiencing them but also thinking about them and talking about them. Thank god for the internet amirite?

Christopher Sarda