Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jack White promotes music made by women. So why does this article make me feel twitchy?

In a quote from an article the Guardian titled: Jack White: the champion of women musicians, writer Leonie Cooper says:
[...] to look at 35-year-old music mogul Jack White you wouldn't say he was a prime candidate for the role of the industry's most ardent champion of music made by women. However, the actions of this unlikely Lilith Fair-ista would suggest otherwise. As well as being the driving force behind one of the most successful rock bands of this millennium, the White Stripes, White is also head of Third Man Records. Mercifully, he doesn't take his sonic lead from the independent label's name and subject his patrons purely to material from infuriating zither bands. Instead, White's tastes seem to be refreshingly skewed towards the feminine.
Maybe it’s the way Jack White is portrayed as unusual or exceptional because he champions music made by women, maybe it’s the obligatory nod to the Lilith Fair, or maybe it’s just the numerous comparisons to Phil Spector (but you know, less sinister!), but this post just doesn't sit well with me.

It's fantastic that he does seem to truly respect women as artists and contemporaries, but the overall tenor of this articles is a little too close to "Look! A dude who's not an asshole!" You don't get a cookie for not being an asshole: it should be the default*.

*(I want to credit Kate Harding for saying something like this in a post several years back. It's been my go-to response when someone's acting full of themselves for basically doing what every human being should be doing.)

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