Brushing the dust off of the covers of that stack of Rolling Stones taking up space on your kitchen table, one falls to the floor and you pick it up. On the cover is some hi-res, glossy photo of some current musician, or, as the magazine has evolved, some other pop culture icon of the moment. They stare back at you, as bold-print typeface shouts article headlines at you. As interesting as they seem, you flip through and discover most, if not all, of them are written by men. Lester Bangs stands out as one of the most iconic rock critics of all time, spending his short-lived (figuratively and literally) career at
Lester Bangs stands out as one of the most iconic rock critics of all time, spending his short-lived (figuratively and literally) career at Rolling Stone crushing hearts of spiky-collared punks across the globe. Bob Boilen’s claim to fame is NPR’s music branch, particularly those Tiny Desk Concerts you can’t seem to stop watching on YouTube. You’ve probably heard Ryan Schreiber’s name thrown around– he’s the guy that made Pitchfork a thing to love/hate. The list goes on…
And sure, there’s Lisa Robinson as womankind’s claim to fame in the realm of music journalism, but aside from here, there’s not nearly as extensive of a list. While there are plenty of multi-talented female music critics out there writing for all of the publications and more that exist, the issue lies in that we don’t know their names.
And so, as an aspiring music journalist myself, I find that earth-shattering.
Of course, the writers that exist today are well worth their positions, male or female. We simply need some fresher faces for the latter. If women are to make any strides in the music industry, it all comes down to exposure. Musicians have to get discovered, executives have to pull out their claws- and the writers have to document it all. Talent lies within every facet of the music industry, but if none of the goings ons are being publicized, then are we truly making any new strides?
Women have to pick up their pink felt tipped pens, cross their Ts, and dot their Is in order to further break barriers in the music industry. Okay, they don’t have to be pink. Whatever their favorite color is. But I’m making it my personal duty to ensure there’s always a feminine perspective to be given. After all, without women, half of rock and roll’s greatest songs wouldn’t exist to be critiqued.