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is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

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Entries in mad men (45)

Wednesday
Aug242011

In Which We Interrupt To Bring You A Special Broadcast

Sixty Minutes

by KARA VANDERBIJL

The Hour
creator Abi Morgan
Wednesdays at 10 on BBC America

Imagine for a moment that Ben Whishaw last appeared on screen as John Keats. We might feel a little impatience towards his character, Freddie Lyon, in Abi Morgan’s summer drama The Hour. How can a man whose latest accomplishments involved stroking small woodland creatures, kissing Abbie Cornish and dying of consumption convince us that he is anything other than the tender romantic? We knew nothing of Whishaw before he was the perishing poet, yet Freddie is as far from Keats as a puppy is from a man.

The eager curls have been greased back. His lips harden around a cigarette. Any residual softness hides in the huggable tweed suits, in the circumference of fingers around a steaming cup of tea. In a show that is half the actual life story of Peter Jennings and half an Agatha Christie mystery, Whishaw’s character balances precariously between the romantic and the cynic. He carries the show as gently as he carries the raincoat of a man he killed. The image has not been altered in any way, but it has been tailored to fit all of your secret fears.

Clocks appear in almost every scene of The Hour, yet for the entirety of the first two episodes almost nothing progresses. A watch on Freddie's wrist moves in and out of focus. He and Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) work for the BBC, which in 1956 primarily aired newsreels of society's upper echelon getting engaged and winning croquet tournaments. He is idealistic, she ambitious.

They have tired of the mundane, and it seems like they are about to get a break when an acquaintance, Clarence Fendley (Anton Lesser), organizes a team for a new current affairs program called "The Hour" and nominates Bel as its producer. Tempers flare when Freddie’s attempts to become the face of the show are thwarted by the charming Hector Madden (The Wire's Dominic West), a disaster barely appeased by Bel’s promise that Freddie can work with her to make the show everything they have always dreamed a news program should be.

Ruth Elms

When his childhood friend Ruth Elms (Vanessa Kirby) asks Freddie to investigate a hastily dismissed murder, he finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy that eventually leads to her death, rumors of Soviet espionage and the involvement of the British secret service, MI6. To make matters worse, the BBC refuses to endorse or help Freddie in his investigation.

Everything stagnates until the crisis in Suez, when Bel and the team step up to the plate and deliver the story from an angle nobody else in England is brave enough to explore. Their insistence to bring an unbiased presentation of facts to the British people gives the show popularity while dealing out obstacles that they will have to fight to overcome.

People nowadays watch the news for entertainment, a concept that had just begun to expand in the late 50s. Word of the Suez crisis has the office assistant Sissy Cooper (Lisa Greenwood) panicking — but with excited eyes — about the outbreak of a third World War.

Outside of the television studio characters grapple for copies of old newspapers, search dusty archives, protect sensitive film reels from the elements. News still took time to travel, arrived by precious mediums, and the consumption of it hinted at privilege. Freddie brings home hot chips wrapped in old newspapers to his father, who devours them eagerly. This is decidedly British but it is also decidedly symbolic. Freddie only picks up a pen to decode the printed word, to turn it into "real" information — that which is seen, that which comes to pass. A viewer of "The Hour" confides that watching the program makes the world seem unbearably real. What did people do before live footage, before blog posts with pictures?

Bel jokes that "The Hour" is "a news show, not vaudeville" but it is farce that drives the story: the farce of British democracy, the farce of an illicit love affair, and the farce of Soviet spies in the BBC.

The ability to make somebody afraid of something constitutes true power, one that Bel and her colleagues attempt to dispel by showing the story behind the rumors. Hector Madden’s wife discovers that Bel has been sleeping with her husband under the pretense of "work" and reduces her to tears over a cup of tea. Freddie discovers that it is his father — not secret agents — who has been sacking the apartment looking for artifacts of the past. Truth is beauty. If it is not beautiful, make it so ugly that the spectator will be unable to tear his eyes away.

Chemistry between the characters gradually loosens into a sort of comfortable tension. Freddie loves Bel, which she either does not realize or pointedly ignores. Bel’s feelings for Freddie range between maternal protectiveness and intimate friendship; Hector, weirdly inarticulate and married, fails her again and again yet still manages to get in her pants.

Antagonists rise and fall like playing cards, each less threatening than the last. Morgan would have us believe that people slept together in narrow twin beds and survived solely on a diet of buttered white bread, chips, and whiskey. The Hour's six episodes have been helmed by three different directors, each defining the relationships between characters with dramatic lighting straight out of a film noir, faces blurring in and out of focus. Stark, almost industrial interiors contrast sharply with the modernity of Bel and Freddie’s project.

The Hour is particularly unkind to the elders, depicting them as senile or desperate for another bout of youth. Bel’s mother paints her face garishly and stuffs a middle-aged body into a slinky dress for a night on the town. Freddie's father spends his evenings moving chips from the paper to his mouth in front of the television, refusing to answer his son’s questions. Head of News Clarence Fendley cannot be trusted in a moving vehicle.

We might arrogantly suggest that the rapidly modernizing world — a world of nukes, of strange overturned revolutions and faces in front of a camera — belongs only to the young. In a tender, more wistful way The Hour tips its hat to a generation of people who gave up their best years to survival, to evenings in the basement with the blackout curtains drawn. We tried to make the world better for them, and succeeded in making it complicated.

Mad Men forever defines anything pre-1970; walking in the footsteps of this giant,  Morgan tries hard not to drown in its shadow. The script aspires to something like His Girl Friday and fails, while misogynistic jabs thrown in Bel’s general direction sound like they have been included just for the sake of it. Romola Garai consistently seems as if she is about to say something, but then she never does. The era undoubtedly sells well, but requires more than a few nice costumes, people enjoying smoking and clever parallels between their political situation and ours before we'll buy.

Kara VanderBijl is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Chicago. She last wrote in these pages about how to become an Anthropologie girl. You can find her website here. You can find an archive of her writing on This Recording here.

"100 Days of Sycamore" - Fionn Regan (mp3)

"The Horses Are Asleep" - Fionn Regan (mp3)

"North Star Lover" - Fionn Regan (mp3)

Monday
Feb282011

In Which Your Ballroom Days Are Over Baby They Got The Guns But We Got The Numbers Gonna Win Yeah We're Taking Over Come On!

Speak Now

by MOLLY LAMBERT

We want for Taylor Swift what we want for Betty Draper, which is for her to realize that the thing she has based her life around thus far is a fucked up lie. And that when she figures out it is a lie, her life will not end, she will just get to live in Sanctuary with the rest of us. Taylor Swift believes that heterosexual men bestow all value on people, and that for women this value is based only around marriageability, but she clearly also knows how good it feels to have a number one hit (a number one heeeeeeet). Swift won't claim her own aggression because it doesn't fit with her idea of what girls are like or should be like (pretty, docile, quiet) but she is already neither docile nor quiet. 

Swift's friend breakup with Miley Cyrus reminded me of nothing so much as Sharon Cherski and Angela Chase in its snotty prudishness. Taylor also slut-shamed Camilla Belle (who "stole" her boyfriend Joe Jonas) in a song, hilariously. "She's not a saint and she's not what you think, she's an actress. But she's better known for the things that she does on the mattress." In her own mind, there is no way that Swift could or ever will be be called a slut. But the longer she is single and the more guys she dates (especially in Hollywood) Well, girl. Why does she think being a slut is so horrible? Because slut-shaming was invented and is propagated in order to stop women from claiming their sexual power. To make them think that it is men who do all the choosing, all the hunting, and that if girls have any interest in sex it is only as deer.

But Taylor is obsessive bordering on scary. She writes vengeful anthems about romantic scorn and infatuated love songs about guys she emailed and met once in real life. What is she if not a hunter? She hunts exactly as hard as John Mayer. It is just that the system is set up for him and not her, to praise his success and laugh at her failure. The system doesn't work, so fuck it. You can't win by doing it correctly. You win by breaking the system, by transforming it, by building a better one in its place. 

 

Gwyneth Paltrow reminds me of Taylor in her prissiness and privilege and certainty that her privilege will never run out, although it obviously always does as you get older, particularly for women. I enjoy GOOP's midlife crisis because it humanizes her. Because Paltrow is realizing that being a wife and mother is something, but it is not enough to make you happy if you don't also have some things for just yourself.

I also bring this up for dudes who have the now extremely common househusband fantasy. I usually tell them to read The Feminine Mystique. The problem that has no name is not just a women's problem. It is a problem for anyone who defines their identity primarily through their relationships, which is also an issue for a lot of men. 

That to define yourself primarily through taking care of others is to lose track of yourself. That the desire to take care of others can sometimes get in the way of taking appropriate care of yourself. That when you diss Dre, you really do diss yourself. 

Anyone can be a sponge (BRAD PITT). That borderline is considered female and narcissism is considered male just reflects societal expectations based around gendered stereotypes. Anyone who's seen an episode of any Real Housewives can vouch for the existence of female narcissists, and everyone has had a dude friend or ten that disappears into relationships. People aren't their gender. They're individuals.

Watching Valentine's Day (shut up/it was horrible) I was struck by two things about Taylor Swift's performance: that she delivers lines exactly like Jonah Hill, and that her physicality is just like Nomi Malone's. She is tall and gawky and she flings her long blonde limbs around with all the aggression of Nomi on the floor of the Crave Club.

Taylor Swift doesn't understand yet that her constant intense desire to fall in love is mostly just the desire to fuck everything, and that she can fuck everything without automatically falling in love. And that she can fuck everything AND fall in love. 

Why do some people cling so rigidly to gender roles? Ernest Hemingway grew up wearing a pink gingham dress and a bonnet until he was six. Charles Bronson likewise had to wear his sister's hand me down dress as a child, because he was so poor. Those are two of the all time totems of classical outlaw masculinity. I'm not trying to play classical outlaw psychiatrist but there's not NOT a connection there. Ernest Hemingway's mother was the breadwinner in his family, a talented opera singer who then gave up her career to raise children. His father committed suicide. Hmmm...

So many liberal dudes consider themselves political revolutionaries but then ignore or devalue gender politics as less important than other causes. Or they talk a good game about gender politics but then do the complete opposite in their personal lives. There was a great Mad Men episode touching on this. You think subcultures are going to have better more equal power dynamics, but then they usually reproduce the same fucked up power dynamics of mainstream institutions. It happened in the civil rights movement. It happened with hippies. It happens in indie and punk. It happens in everything when men are the only ones in recognized leadership positions. I wish that it never happened, but it does. Rather than bury our heads in the sand we must choose to engage with it, to figure out why it happens and how we can work on it.

That's why it was so cool when Kurt Cobain wore a dress on Headbanger's Ball. It was genuinely radical and revolutionary. He challenged the world to call him a fag, to ask themselves why they would be threatened by a beautiful man in a dress and why he was supposed to care. A hirsute or ugly man in a dress can be dismissed as comedic, but feminine male beauty is especially threatening to traditional masculinity because it offers the question of what exactly "maleness" is, if there is really anything particular to having a dick besides just having a dick. He forced questions on an audience that didn't want to touch those questions with a ten foot pole lest it end up in their ass. 

Likewise Courtney Love took femininity to its farthest possible outcrop and exposed how horrifying all the most desirable/accepted tropes of girlhood are. How fake and impossible it is to be pretty or quiet and how much the world requires and demands it of women. That's why Kurt was so horrified when Nirvana's audiences started to be full of the same kinds of bros he hated so much when they were still Guns 'n Roses fans. And why people who grew up Hole fans inspired by these ideas were all so horrified when Courtney started fucking with her face and body. No one here gets out alive

Women aren't afraid of becoming men, but the undertone of misogyny is that men are afraid they'll become like women. It assumes that to feel like a woman is to feel weak, powerless, degraded. But that's not what women feel like! That's just how society treats us. Men feel weak, powerless, and/or degraded every goddamn day. Misogyny allows men to separate themselves from negative emotions and ideas by attaching them to women, to a thing that they get to think they are not and could never be. 

You have to speak up. You have to call people out. It doesn't make you are a horrible shrill fun-averse harpy bitch. It doesn't mean you hate men. You LOVE men. You just also want to be taken as seriously as they automatically are. Not taken seriously for a woman. Taken seriously as a person. A person. Not as a woman. As a human being.  

There is a belief that some people have, historically men but occasionally also Ayn Rand and Angelina Jolie, that they have a divine right to power. A lifelong pass to fuck anyone they want and fuck over anyone they feel like and never have to face real consequences. It is the thing that is scariest and most fascist about the bulk of politicians and politics in general, and why Obama is genuinely revolutionary in his feminism and aversion to macho bullshit, but also why he gets called a pussy (sigh). 

It is to pretend like you are on the board of the imaginary but universal organization that tacitly endorses male dominance and ran ENRON. To side with them because it is to side with history's winners, because it is easy and requires no inquisition of the self, no possibility that you might have to change anything or give up any perks. It is to agree with Hitler because everyone else is. If you really want to renounce fascism and oppressive institutions then you have to renounce patriarchy. There is no other way.

You are never really a liberal if you treat women differently. If you hold them to different more difficult standards than you hold men to, than you hold yourself to. You are something else. You are an emosogynist. It is nothing to be proud of. This is what is so horrible and insidious about Bill Clinton and John Edwards. It's why I hate Bill Maher so much. If you deny women the same personhood you give yourself, you are not a liberal. You are not a revolutionary. You are not an outlaw or a gangster or anything cool. You are just a misogynist in a sweater and fuck you, seriously, for real. 

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She is a writer living in Los Angeles. She twitters here and tumbls here. She last wrote in these pages about Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, and YouTube.

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Tuesday
Feb222011

In Which We Teach You How To Be A Woman In Any Boys' Club

Can't Be Tamed: A Manifesto

by MOLLY LAMBERT 

for Kathleen Hanna, Kim Deal, and Kim Gordon

Here are some rules about how to be a girl in a boys' club. This works for any world you're in or want to be in. Pretty much everything in the world is still a boys' club.

Befriend The Other Woman: Always. Seriously. Even if she sucks (expansion on "if she sucks" follows below). Otherwise you will be "jokingly" put into competition with her constantly, and you will be encouraged and generally provoked by some dudes to do this for their entertainment to take focus off the fact that they are in homosocial competition with each other. Befriend her and press your boobs against the glass ceiling together (copyright Kristen Schaal). She is not the enemy. She is never your enemy. The enemy is always any guys who are creating situations that limit the number of females allowed. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. 

What If She Sucks?: Well, there could be a lot of reasons for this. But if she's being a real scary bitch to you, it's probably just because she's threatened you are going to take her spot as "the girl that is cool enough to hang out with the guys." Defuse this by being really super friendly no matter what in order to demonstrate the above: you are not enemies because you have a common enemy and the enemy is exclusionism. This gets easier the more girls there are. One to one situations are especially harsh, because Black Swan. But it's not usually that hard because most girls don't suck.

What If She Actually Sucks? This does happen. It's not unfeminist to admit that some women are assholes, just don't make it your focal point or judge any other situations according to how the all time worst one went down (this is a good rule in general). Some people just actually suck. Definition of sucks: steals, lies, or otherwise tries to ruin your life in an undeniable way. Feel bad for her and then back…the fuck…away…

What If She's Cool But I Still Feel Competitive? Sometimes cool funny girls are initially cunty to other cool funny girls because they are afraid the presence of another cool funny girl will dilute or diminish their own coolness or funniness. But it won't. It just makes you both even cooler and funnier. Forgive yourself for feeling insecure and think about the way you feel around your best friend. Generally the more intimidating you initially find another person the deeper your eventual love will end up being. 

Why Do Dudes Think You're In Competition With The Other Girls? Because if you're in competition with the men, you might be better than they are. And a lot of them can't handle this, and even more weirdly it's like it doesn't even really occur to them. They just automatically compare you to other girls and not other men, even though you obviously compare yourself against everybody in your field, not just the women.

Why exactly they can't handle this is something that I understand but can't really sympathize with for obvious reasons. The sinister underlying idea is that men are always going to be naturally better at everything than women. That the best man will always be better than the best woman, and that women should expect and accept this.

The truth is that most kinds of talent aren't gendered. Sometimes women will be the best at things and other times men will. The implicit fear is that women are going to take spots formerly reserved for men. THIS IS SO STUPID. The most talented people take the top spots. There are no gender quotas. Tina Fey coexists peacefully with Will Ferrell and Danny McBride. They are just all the best at their specific talent (comedy).

Ferrell isn't threatened by Fey because game recognize game. And clearly I'm really aiming for this to catch on, but it's not emasculating if you like it. And a lot of dudes like it. And a lot of other dudes secretly like it but are afraid of what their dude friends will think. Not caring about what other people think is attractive to oh, everybody.

What If I Love Being The Only Girl In The Boys Club? Megan Fox Syndrome, aka Wendy from Peter Pan. It is the delusion that you can become an official part of the boys' club if you are its strictest enforcer, its most useful prole. That if you follow the rules exactly you can become the Official Woman. If you refuse other women admission you are denying that other women are talented, which makes you just as bad as any boys' club for thinking there would only be one talented girl at a time.

You will never actually be part of the boys' club, because you are a woman. You are Ray Liotta in Goodfellas. You are not Italian, therefore you are never going to get made. And you don't want to be a part of the boys' club, because it is dedicated to preserving its own privilege at your expense. Why wouldn't you want to know and endorse the work of other women who share your interests? How insecure are you?

Drive It Like You Stole It: Be the best. That is, assuming that you are the best. Be the best you can possibly be, whatever that means to you. Absolutely do not step down in order to not threaten people. Don't apologize. If you genuinely fucked up fine, you are allowed to apologize once but then stop apologizing. Think about how much you hear women apologizing for themselves for no reason, or being self-deprecating or self-abnegating out of habit. What the fuck are you apologizing for? For being too good?

Complain And Explain: If somebody says or does something fucked up, call them out on it. Don't pretend like fucked up things never get said because you are afraid of getting exiled from the kingdom of being Angie Dickinson in the Rat Pack. It makes people uncomfortable to get called out on their bullshit, and they get weird and defensive (John Mayer), especially since they know they were bullshitting to begin with.

But it's a function of not thinking about how fucked up it feels when fucked up things get said and nobody else thinks it's fucked up, because they just don't knowwwww. They're not always trying to be assholes, they just literally sometimes do not get it. It is better to engage than to roll your eyes. Some guys will keep trolling you until the very last second. You can almost always get them to admit that they're just trying to push your buttons and don't really believe the thing they are arguing in favor of.

Guys will feel REALLY BAD when they get called out, and usually react by either getting really loud and angry and defensive, or really sad and quiet and weird. This might make you feel bad or like a bully but don't. Some conversations are uncomfortable but also necessary. They are so uncomfortable because they are so necessary. Discomfort is not death. You will be fine after, I promise. And then you will feel fucking great, because trying to protect other people from reality is for morons and chumps.

Non-normative guys who still secretly consider themselves the most macho guy in their friend group get totally freaked out when confronted by real actual bros, because it forces them to face the ultimate self-truth that they actually hate bros and they actually do respect women. They're just still embarrassed that they're indoor kids who are not good at sports, because athleticism is to men what beauty is to women. 

What If I Complain And Get Laughed At And Dismissed? Well this might happen 99% of the time, because that is how men are socialized to react to being uncomfortable. The other option is that they get quiet and squirrelly and weird and constipated about talking. It sucks to have to call people out. But it is important, because that is the only way anything is ever going to change. Women have done everything in their power to conform to the existing power structures (even though those structures generally run and ruin our lives). Straight white men are the ones who have to change. They have to.

You know in Shampoo when Warren Beatty says that when he does women's hair all they ever do is complain about all the horrible bullshit men put them through? All I ever witness is straight men showing me how miserable they are with the expectations placed on them as men, how much they hate trying to live up to this impossible standard and how unhappy they still are if they manage to succeed. They have a hard time acknowledging there are other modes of being because they are fucking terrified to deviate from the known, even though the known is horrible and hurts them.

"Masculinity" is as damaging to men as "Femininity" is to women. Neither is something to aspire to. Women who understand this are called feminists. Men who understand this aren't called anything yet, but maybe they can just be called feminists too. 

Lowered Expectations, The Double Edged Sword: When men demonstrate or betray surprise that you know a lot about something or have mastered a skill that they care about, it unfortunately just shows that some guys still don't expect women to care about anything. Except being pretty and shopping and having thoughts that are somehow completely unlike male thoughts in any way. They think we don't like dumb obsessive information hoarding. They think our brains are wired differently. They are wrong. Sasha Baron-Cohen's brother is wrong (man u so fucking wrong Simon). 

The flip side of exceptionalism for anyone from an oppressed group is the realization that you are only considered exceptional because the system is sooooooo fuckkkkkked uppppppppp. The idea that it's fair and you just worked your way in because you're so hyper-talented is a useful seeming illusion that stops benefiting you the moment it fucks over somebody else. When men are like "wow you're so cool, you're not like most girls" it always begs the question oh my god what do you think girls are like?

Some people will never want to talk about the way things are or how and why they got that way. if you end up exiled or excluded from the boys' club for not towing the party line, start your own fucking club. I'll come! I'll bring a lovely bottle of orange soda.

Allies And Enemies Some guys will hate you for being superior to them at the thing they care most about being good at. They are Paul Kinseys. This generally looks like it sounds, and involves sputtering. Cool guys will respect you and your hustle without being personally or professionally threatened. The coolest guys (Ken Cosgroves) will be secure in themselves enough to respect you specifically because of your hustle. 

Most cool girls are totally fucked up because they are used to guys telling them they are "cool" or "funny" or "smart" and they assume it's a euphemism for "not hot" because they already feel like dudes with boobs. But that's okay because a hundred percent of cool guys are fucked up too and secretly feel like girls with dicks. Straight men are sooooooooo pink inside. They just can't tell you or anyone, because they have been socialized expressly not to. But I just told you you, and now everybody knows.

The idea that men will be turned off by ambition or success is just another part of the big lie. It is meant to scare you and keep you from questioning the system. The only men who are turned off by ambition and success are men that are insecure about their own talents and success or lack thereof. You don't really want to know those guys anyway, because they suck and they will constantly attempt to undermine you, and even if you are secure enough in yourself not to care it's still really fucking annoying.

Everyone feels like the worst awkward looking junior high version of themselves at times and has conflicted feelings about whatever demographic they usually date. The best thing you can do is team up to fight all the lame assholes of both genders. 

If You Are A Straight Guy Who Figured Out Girls And Gays Are The Most Fun:

- Of course you can join, but you have to shut up. I mean, you can talk, obviously. But you have to realize and recognize that traditional male privilege becomes your liability in these situations. The same thing that puts you at the top of the pecking order in most social situations (glass elevator) puts you at the bottom of this one. Get used to bottoming. Realize it can be the best. Think about how intense it is to be a woman.

- If anybody makes fun of straight dudes and the lame bonehead things they sometimes do, you are not allowed to get defensive and say that you never do any of those things. Relax, we're aren't talking about you. We're just talking about privilege denying dudes in general, and admitting that they exist is not the same as being one. The best first step to demonstrating that you are not one is to admit that they exist. 

How About When You're The Privileged Person In The Situation? Golden rule. Don't deny that the privilege exists or that while some people might have it, certainly you are not one of those people because blah blah blah. Nope. Don't do that. Admit that the world is unfair, that there are ideologies and systems in place that benefit some people and hurt others, often one at the expense of the other.

Accept that while you didn't create and don't directly control these systems, you have definitely benefited from them at one time or another. Equality isn't about fucking anyone over. It's about learning how not to do that. Listen to what other people have to say. Do not mistake your personal lived experiences for universal truths or cite them as if they were such. Genuinely listen. Pay attention. Listen. 

Things That Might Happen While You Are In The Boys' Club:

- it will be suggested that you are only considered talented because you are a woman, implying that even if you are talented, you are just "talented for a woman." Untalented men jealous of your skills will cling to this even when it becomes clear how blatantly untrue it is.

It involves the idea that being beaten by somebody who is "lesser" is emasculating and humiliating. But that women should be happy, even excited to be beaten by men in all situations, because women's egos are always discounted as being secondary to men's. 

- Whatever you look like, it will be used against you. If you're attractive it will be used to suggest that men are just pretending to care about what you think in order to try to fuck you. If you're unattractive, it will be used to discount you as a human being entirely, on the grounds that a woman who is not physically attractive to heterosexual men is a completely useless entity, no matter how smart or talented she is. 

- You may be praised in a way that is so backhanded and/or condescending you're not really sure if it still counts as praise.

- The conversations will all be oriented around straight men and their desires. 

- Boys' clubs exist to protect and preserve the right that some people believe they have to make no allowance for anyone else. That is privilege.

- If you dig too deep with some people it will come out that they genuinely do believe that women are less interested in things than men are. That women who have interests are outliers or unusual cases, This is part of a larger heterosexual male narcissism wherein it is assumed that all of women's interests are related to men: that if a woman is a record nerd, it is because she learned about it from a guy or she hopes to meet men through it rather than because she just genuinely enjoys music. 

This is obviously total bullshit. Women have interests because they have their own interests, because they are human beings. They are interested in things. And you can have those independent interests and still want to fuck Mick Jagger, and it doesn't discount the authenticity of your fandom for the music of The Rolling Stones. It's not like men don't equally want to fuck Mick Jagger. That's the whole point of Mick Jagger.

Women don't just like things because some dude turned them onto it. You like things because you turn yourself onto things, because you like finding out what you like. 

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She is a writer living in Los Angeles. She tumbls here and twitters here. You can find an archive of her writing here.

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"Rich Kids Blues" - Lykke Li (mp3)

"Youth Knows No Pain" - Lykke Li (mp3)

"Silent My Song" - Lykke Li (mp3)

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