Re: Guy( male) songs vs. chick ( female) songs....where do we draw the line?
posted at 11/16/2010 8:48 AM EST
Popular culture in general is driven in large part by the big three: film, literture, and yes, music. Nothing new there. So it's certainly true that marketing plays a role in getting the three types of entertainment media out the door and sold. It's not something I like to think about (someone knows how to get inside my head and make me buy something? Not me, that's for the lowest common denominator ... not me! (just kidding .. well, not really!)
So I agree that the marketing is going along the gender line, with the hair, make up and sex to sell to girls / women, along with the lyrics. Predictable and a bit depressing.
There are always going to be freaks and geeks (yay for them), but the more things change, the more they stay the same, and there will always be people, who from a young age, will aspire to be the popular cheerleader and the captain of the football team, with all the trappings that go with those roles. So does music go with finding that identity, yes, it does. At least on the surface.
When you're young, you are figuring out who you are, including your sexuality, and pop music is a big part of that transition process. Girls want to figure out how to get a guy to like them, so they always have and seems they always will, gravitate to music that helps them get the guy, or the music that helps them deal with rejection from the guy. That's universal.
I think a much more interesting trend is being aware of the blurring of the age groups that are interested in that sort of chick music, as many women listen to the same music as their daughters, from all age groups, even when they are no longer really dealing with those issues, they still listen to the music that speaks to those parts of their identity. Is that just part of the DNA of being a chick, regardless of age?? Good question!
I'd venture to say the more "progressive / alternative" female singers have appealed to men for a long time (Tori Amos, Liz Phair, Tanya Donnelly, blue grass singer Alison Krauss, and even Sarah McLachlan, to name a few) and have a wider appeal than the pop singers that (honestly, I don't listen to them myself!) like Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, or even Taylor Swift, who have a predominantly female following. But then there's Norah Jones (not my taste, honestly) and men seem to be very big fans of her music, and she has not had to do anything sensational to attract attention.
On another note, in my social circle, in both my platonic and romantic experiences with men, the best, most interesting, most innovative, and most "accurately" (meaning, I loved and gravitated to the music) recommended music for me, has always, hands down, been brought to me by men. I have rarely had a female friend recommend music to me that had any staying power for me (I said rare, not never). And this includes recommending female singers that I'd never heard of, in many cases.