Thoughts about ‘my husband’s stupid record collection’

April 9, 2014

By Madeline Wells

NEW — 6:30 p.m. April 9, 2014

I recently read an article on Jezebel about female music writers and women in the music industry in general.

The article focused on a blog run by a woman named Sarah O’Holla, called “My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection.” The blog has brought up a great amount of discussion among the music and feminist communities in the past few weeks.

Why is it such a point of interest? Well, O’Holla’s blog is based on the idea of her exploring her husband’s expansive record collection and writing stream-of-consciousness reviews from the point of view of a person not immersed in the music industry.

Madeline Wells Issaquah High School

Madeline Wells
Issaquah High School

Her reviews are completely devoid of the advanced music terminology that enables your stereotypical Pitchfork music critics to write as they do (pretentiously), which in turn makes hers have an effect that’s honest and refreshing.

However, the flip side to O’Holla’s nuanced approach is the perpetuation of the idea that women aren’t as knowledgeable about music as men and must be educated by men in order to become so. Women are consistently shamed in the music world for “acting like they know anything” about music.

They are accused of being “posers” or just wanting to get with attractive band members. Because women can’t be real music fans, right? This is mainly found in male-dominated music genres, such as punk, metal or various denominations of rock.

O’Holla’s cutesy tone and unassuming approach, however, seem to work just fine for her. That is probably because men don’t feel intimidated by her, as she’s not claiming to possess any actual music knowledge and is a self-proclaimed outsider.

By contrast, professional female music critics in the same vein as men are often called awful names and dismissed as know-nothing groupies. Women who actually know a thing or two about music have to put up with an unbelievable amount of condescension from pretentious male “music buffs.”

However, I don’t see “My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection” as a true threat that perpetuates sexist gender stereotypes. I personally find her approach to album reviews endearing and fun to read. It’s just the fact that a woman writing about music at all still seems to be a novelty that really seems to be the issue here.

Let’s see female music bloggers of all styles, and just more of them in general, without the threat of being harassed and dismissed by the men of the music world. Let’s not tear down women who want to write about music, and stop assuming that being a female automatically makes you a music novice.

Read O’Holla’s blog here.

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