Friday, August 01, 2008

Women & rock 'n roll (by Suzie)

          In the 1980s, Rolling Stone published a few of my poems. It didn’t bother me that the magazine was paying next-to-nothing for poetry to use as filler. I understood that most of the writers, editors and musicians were men, but I was proud that women were infiltrating the ranks.
          Any hope that mass-market music magazines might have any concept of gender equity was dispelled by this MarketWatch article on Blender, whose editor, Joe Levy, spent 10 years at Rolling Stone.
         Blender is about “sex, more sex and rock and roll,” Jon Friedman writes. He uses the word “sex” repeatedly as a stand-in for women dressed and posed sexually. In other words, the magazine is all about women as the objects of men’s sexual desire. Women = sex. Friedman defends it:
Blender is more than just a string of babes adorning the covers. It features whimsical writing and analytical reporting.
         So, guys, don’t worry. You can say you subscribe for the articles.
         Friedman writes on economics, but doesn’t seem to see the market effect on women. If women are seen first and foremost as sex objects, they are less likely to reach parity with men in the music business.
        In other Rolling Stone commentary: Deeky notes that the magazine commented on Ludacris's rap on Obama, without mentioning what he said about Clinton. I guess it considered her irrelevant.