Ann Friedman, "Blurring the Lines: How to Enjoy Maybe-Sexist Music" (via bthny)
I like this piece, and I understand Friedman’s plight. I too often have trouble engaging with popular culture for these and other reasons, but more troubling to me is that embedded idea that we must. We all have the right (and perhaps the obligation) to flatout ignore anything, popular or otherwise, if it offends our sensibilities (or, you know, if it just plain sucks), and maybe this is my Gen X/”get off my lawn” showing, but I worry that this position is itself too unpopular in modern critical culture.
We don’t have to buy what they’re selling.
I get what you are saying but I also think that you are kind of missing the point. It’s not about feeling like we have to engage with pop culture (or fuck it, most subcultures too) but rather that we want to in spite of of it.
I also think that you may be ignoring how entrenched a lot of these offensive ideas are in our society. You say that you have difficulty engaging with problematic culture too, but as a man you haven’t had to learn how to live alongside them in the same way many women do - even those who proudly identify as feminists and have read all of the theory or whatever.
I’ll argue I wasn’t missing the point of the article (which I admit I didn’t confront in any sort of head-on fashion, mostly because I totally agree with her there?) so much as trying to throw cold water on the poptimist notion (as I see it) that pop culture is good or important and therefore merits our attention. I see Friedman’s interest in engaging with popular music that makes her uncomfortable as a kind of underlying poptimist sense of obligation to pop culture, which I admit I may be projecting onto her.
I did not claim at any point, nor would I, that I have had to learn to live alongside offensive ideas in our society in the same way many women do, nor do I seek to prove any credentials to justify my opinion of what constitutes problematic culture. I fully cop to being—as you may well agree—just some dude on tumblr.
If you want a vision of the future, imagine this thread being reblogged - forever.