Chicks Don’t Rock

It was great to see all your lists of things you’re thankful for–and to get more music suggestions. Hope everyone had a nice Turkey Day. And to the reader who wants to know if I know Stephanie Meyer’s email address or what Bella’s wedding dress looks like–sorry, I don’t. But you might try her website or a fan forum, and if you don’t find the answers there, you could try her publisher, which is Little Brown.

I had an interesting experience yesterday, and by interesting I mean annoying and dismaying.

I went to B&N and was looking through the large magazine section (one of my guilty pleasures) when I wandered to the music magazine section. I’ve always loved reading music magazines. Growing up, I read Rolling Stone and Creem and Spin, sometimes NME and Melody Maker. When I worked in advertising, one of our accounts was a music channel, and I added Vibe and Source to my stack. And I think everyone knows that I’m a music freak, that I love it.

So, anyway, I perused a cover story on Led Zeppelin (huzzah!) and thought about buying PAPER to read the interview with Ryan Adams. I thumbed a copy of Rolling Stone. And then, as I’m circling back to the Led Zep piece and reading about John Paul Jones, I happen to look up at the rack and notice that the header on the section is “Men’s Interest.”

That’s right–all the music magazines are shelved under “Men’s Interest.” Because, you know, chicks don’t rock.


There’s a guy on a chair shelving magazines to my left, and I think, okay, maybe I should just let this go. The categories are so general. I’m sure it’s not intentional. Blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, ya–

“Hey,” I say, unable to contain it. “Can I ask you something? How come all the music magazines are labeled Men’s Interest.?”

“Yeah,” the guy says, having the decency to look embarrassed about it. “We don’t have enough room and we need more shelf cards, so things just kind of get shelved wherever. Entertaining is in Women’s Interest.”

I think this is supposed to make me feel better. It doesn’t.

“Yeah,” I say, unable to keep the sarcastic Valley Girl accent from roiling up from the depths of my annoyance and leaping right onto my tongue. “‘Cause, you know, like, we girls are soooo not into music and stuff. I mean, like, maybe if y’all made the covers all pink and sparkly and stuff, or if you put Celine Dion on the cover, then, like, we might be into it and stuff.” Big smile.

(Okay, at this point, I know I’m reaching for the Assholier-Than-Thou crown, but I can’t stop myself. Because someone has arbitrarily decided that Women Don’t Read Music Magazines, and that pisses me off.)

So when my son and I go to pay for our books, I say to the young woman behind the counter, “Hey, do you think we can do something about the fact that all the music magazines are shelved under Men’s Interest?”

She rolls her eyes. “Yeah, all the tattoo magazines are, too. Even the ones with girls on the covers.” (FYI: She is tattooed.)

“It’s so uncool,” I say, rather lamely. “It’s almost 2008.”

“Tell me about it,” she says.

I think we need more shelf cards. Or maybe none at all. Maybe we should just let people search for what they’d like to read and assign their own category to it: Literary Magazines I Wish I Read More Often. Home Magazines I Buy Too Many Of. Beauty Magazines that Make Me Feel Bad About Myself. Men’s Magazines that Foster Posturing. Music Magazines for Men AND Women Who Rock. Political Magazines That Aren’t Saying Anything.

Just a thought.

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