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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

curated: why little girls love female pop stars

A sequel to my essay about why little girls love princesses

posted in:
easter eggs
  • Bluejay

    Excellent article.

    And there’s indeed a lot of sexism underlying the derision for pop music aimed at girls — or ANY pop cultural product aimed at girls, whether it’s “chick lit” or rom-coms or YA fantasies like Twilight. It’s not that those works are all perfect or should be immune from criticism; everything is problematic, and Sturgeon’s Law applies to everything. But so often these works get trashed or ignored simply because of the audience they appeal to. Taylor Swift isn’t unproblematic, but it’s notable that many of the music critics who sneered at her last album suddenly found the same lyrics and chord progressions worthy of fawning analysis when covered by Ryan Adams.


  • Kathy_A

    When I was an early-to-mid-teen back in the early ’80s, I was all about women like Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, and my favorite, Chrissie Hynde. The Go-Gos and Katrina of Katrina and the Waves came a bit later, but I loved them as well. I really didn’t get into the male-dominated groups until college, like U2, Tears for Fears, and Dire Straits.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Shades of the years when rock fans hated disco music when it was sung by blacks, gays and Latins in the 1970s but loved the same type of music when it was sung by white Britons in the 1980s.

  • Bluejay

    But see, when white Britons sing disco, it’s ironic! And therefore more artistic! :-/

    This may only be tangentially relevant, but Ariana Grande is an incredible vocalist.


  • Danielm80

    Even more tangentially, I like her Disney sitcom much more than I reasonably should.

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  • Yup. Just as many male film critics will go out of there way to find something positive to say about, oh, Michael Bay’s movies but just instantly dismiss, say, the *Twilight* movies.

  • Danielm80

    Not disco, not ironic:


  • Bluejay

    Whoever says technical virtuosity in pop music necessarily diminishes emotional sincerity doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

  • Danielm80

    I like to think that when our civilization finally dies out, whoever comes after us will find a recording of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and, even if most traces of our culture have disappeared, they’ll know that we did contribute something of value to the world.

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