Hey everyone! Alex and I happen to be going on vacation tomorrow- to Scotland! So I have to take a break from blogging for 10 days because you can’t listen to records on a plane.
This vacation also comes at an interesting time. Very quickly, this blog has gone from something I shared with my family and friends on Facebook, to being liked and reblogged a lot on tumblr (thanks, you guys) to being written about and accused of reinforcing harmful gender stereotypes.
I’ve given a lot of thought to whether I should write a response- my instinct is no, but my heart is telling me that maybe if I write about it, I will feel better. Because I love writing, you guys. Writing makes me feel good, and excited and alive. That’s why I started this blog. I also love learning about new things. I saw this project as a way to learn about music. I also saw it as a fun thing to do with Alex in the evenings, because it’s been a long, cold winter and we have experienced way too many Netflix binges together in 2014.
I decided to call it “My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection,” as a joke. I obviously don’t think it’s stupid at all or else I wouldn’t want to listen to all of the records. Stupid sounded funny to me, because maybe he takes it more seriously than I do. But do I really think it’s stupid? No. I was trying to be cheeky.
After I had the idea for the blog, I almost didn’t do it because I thought, “but I don’t know how to write about music.” But then I decided to put a record on and write stream of consciousness reviews. I decided to be courageous enough to talk about something as a layman, to focus on emotions and the way the music was making me feel, and certain memories or stories it would conjure up rather than the fact that I don’t know how to write about music. These thoughts are me. These are my opinions formed from my experiences. And yes, I happen to be a woman writing about her experiences and having an opinion. I guess that’s still controversial these days.
I’ve been blogging on and off since 2008. When I first started blogging, I tried writing reviews of children’s and young adult novels because I’m a children’s and young adult librarian and this is something I know a lot about. But that blog was boring for me. I didn’t enjoy writing about something I know a lot about. Writing about something I’m not an expert in feels curious and exciting.
A lot of the criticism of this blog is that it plays up this idea that women’s voices are marginal or less important, but for all that has been written, no one has made any effort to reach out to me for comment, or even to ask me a question. One article got my name wrong throughout. It’s clear that critics are more interested in making me a symbol of some harmful stereotype than understanding what this is, or who I am. Talking to me might make that difficult. It might humanize me.
I’m not trying to be someone I’m not. I couldn’t write this blog if I didn’t know who I was and what I like. Unfortunately for my critics what I like often isn’t all that gender transgressive. But that’s not bad or something that I should be ashamed of.
The same holds true for Alex, with whom I’d happily do a blog where he has to read a pile of my favorite children’s books, or go to 10 of my favorite ballets, or go to soul cycle with me for a month and write about it - parts of my life of which he is completely culturally ignorant. The reason we did this project instead of any of those is because of the two of us I’m cooler and more adventurous.
So, if this blog has put me in the category of women with controversial ideas and opinions, then I will happily join it. It’s not my responsibility to compromise who I am in the name of subverting gender stereotypes. And it’s not fair to say that every project that involves a man and a woman should have it’s main focus be gender. I just wanted to comment on the music. I wanted to write in a style I enjoyed, I wanted to learn something new, and I wanted to do something creative with the guy that I love. “Let’s lie on the living room floor and listen to records together!” I have the best marriage ever.