Bitch on the Blog

March 3, 2015

Fortissimo

Some headline tells me that we need to address the lack of female composers.

Be still my beating heart. Why don’t I just lie down and die instead? Has the world gone completely bonkers? Why do we NEED to ADDRESS the LACK of FEMALE composers?

Sweethearts, there is a reason [why women – on the whole – don’t compose]. Mainly – try not to reinvent the wheel – that men and women are different. We have to get to my life time to be told that we can, should and are all able to do the same? Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrleeeeeeeeeese!

So glad I don’t have a daughter. What would I tell her? “Address the lack of female composers, girl.” Here is a Bechstein for you. Try not to sleep with your piano teacher. And, whilst you are at it, I have also installed a glass ceiling on top so you can prepare for a time when you’ll be pushed to push through it. Try and time it so you don’t give birth at the same time and on the board room table. Men might faint. And then who will make you push? To the right beat. Who? That’s right. Your female comrade losers. The ones who can’t distinguish between a hearth and a mine.

I am sick of it. Sick of it all. Even sicker of women who tell me, WOMAN, how to live my life. If I wanted to be a man I’d go to Canada and fell trees. In the meantime can you please leave me and my inner as yet not unleashed brain surgeon in peace. Please.

What prescriptive times we live in.

U

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8 Comments »

  1. I raised my daughter according to the scientific standards of the present age: You can’t be a woman unless you are an engineer, an astronaut, an infantry commander and a Sumo wrestler. She only succeeded at one of those. Now I am hitting myself for neglecting the role of composer in my efforts to impose ambition onto her psyche. How will I be able to face the other fathers?

    Comment by Looney — March 3, 2015 @ 04:45 | Reply

  2. I think the concern stems from the belief that opportunities are blocked for women in certain fields, thus not able to express themselves with the same freedom as men. I hope that one day talent/skill/interest, not gender, will not be a factor in our discourse when it comes to whose doing what. I really don’t think that we are there yet–thus the observation which needles you.

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — March 3, 2015 @ 17:59 | Reply

  3. One of my daughters is a psychologist so she wasn’t blocked. The other wanted to be a doctor & had never made anything but A-s. At Stanford she didn’t get the grades that the males got. Asked why & she was told that women wasted their education, because they got pregnant & became homemakers. —This can’t be happening NOW–?

    Comment by bikehikebabe66 — March 3, 2015 @ 19:48 | Reply

  4. “Asked why & she was told that women wasted their education…” This must have been his way of discouraging women wanting to become doctors.

    btw My husband’s grandmother graduated WV University in about 1890. She was the only woman graduating & her major was Math. She had four kids, only one daughter who taught my husband to read at three. When he got home from grade school there were books on the dining room table for studying.

    His grandmother said it was most important for the daughter to get the education because she educated her kids.

    Comment by bikehikebabe66 — March 3, 2015 @ 20:35 | Reply

  5. What Lorna said. Methinks you’re over-reacting to a simple remark about the fact that men are encouraged to be composers but women aren’t. Nobody’s suggesting you should go to Canada, fell trees, or become a brain surgeon.

    Comment by nick — March 5, 2015 @ 07:24 | Reply

  6. We absorb so much in the environment that is often unnecessary to tell someone something, they simply see it and it becomes part of their psyche. When I was growing up, all television doctors were men, all nurses were women, all pilots were men, all flight attendants were women — you get the message. It wasn’t said, but implied everyday in a thousand ways. A young lady studying music may search the tomes of composers and never see a single song in the classics composed by a female. You don’t have to say it. It is already done. Give her a blank sheet and encourage her to step into the future. That shatters the glass ceiling once and for all!!

    Comment by reneejohnsonwrites — March 6, 2015 @ 20:52 | Reply

  7. At some point in my life, possibly when I was in my 40s, some young thing said to me “if you had been my age you would be able to do anything” apparently there was a trend that “girls can do anything and be as good as a boy” – I remember in the mid 60’s there was a another young woman in my class who was going to be a mechanic but everyone thought that daft – I wonder did she do it!

    Comment by cedar51 — March 7, 2015 @ 03:18 | Reply

  8. I’m a conductor slash composer- female—and freelance. Why so few women in the field? 1. composing is a specific talent. In my opinion neither male nor female. 2. I have lost jobs because the wife or girlfriend of a male colleague was pregnant “and HE needs the money.” Like I don’t? (when a female composer/conductor gets pregnant, jobs are NOT thrown their way because they need the money.) 3. When I set up a retirement fund, since I freelance, the return came back as a joint account. Woman at the bank “since you are married, it is the morally right thing to do.” Seriously? 4. But I have also lost jobs singing gospel because I’m not black. Yes, that happens over here in Europe. Which brings me to the core of matter: The problem, as I see it, is not anti-female. it is anti-whatever issue you can use to give you an unfair advantage in the job market, an unfortunate sideline of the world financial problems at the moment. Add to that the insecurity of living in a dangerous, rapidly changing and ever more technological world, and society develops a real need for easily recognizable labels, like our cute little identifying pictures on social media. And to find a way to simplify life to the absolute kindergarten level of instant recognition. And instant labeling. And, unfortunately, sometimes instant hate. So does any of this apply to the question of what women want to do with their lives? Only if we as females recognize that we are actually, gasp, in the majority. And, that if we, as the majority, would just stop fooling around and fighting one another, and work to help those who want to compose compose, and those that don’t don’t do whatever it is they feel they are called to do with their lives, without passing judgement, we could get a world in which men, the minority, and women, who, through in-fighting, divide themselves into minorities, become secure enough with themselves to not have to fight anyone.

    Comment by Dun-Na-Sead — March 25, 2015 @ 07:30 | Reply


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