Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Do Women Have Against Loud Music?

"Mind if I turn it down a tad, honey?"
What’s wrong with this picture? Last night I was ironing and listening to music when my 15-year-old daughter came into the room and said, “Dad, can you please turn it down? I’m trying to study.” For Christ's sake, girl, dump those books and get down to the golf course with a bottle of vodka in a brown paper bag, some cigarettes, and a boy to snog. Kids today, eh?

Or it could just have been her gender-dictated disposition to turn down music. Stick with me here. I’m not prone to making generalisations about the opposite sex, because the feminist peers my dad claims metaphorically castrated me during my formative years taught me otherwise. And believe me, I’m 100 per cent behind any female’s right to empowerment, a career, and even a driver’s licence. But experience has taught me that any time a woman walks into a room where music is playing, the first thing she’ll do is walk over to the amplifier and turn it down.

A chauvinist would say that it’s because a female can not bear any competition to the sound of her own voice. If I’m listening to music, then I might not be giving the female my full attention. I am appreciating the beauty of something besides the female.

Fortunately, I’m not a chauvinist, so I realise this is complete nonsense. Unfortunately, I
can’t think of any other reasons. When I protest as the sound is reduced to a murmur that might as well be OFF, the actual reason always given is the utterly unreasonable, “It’s too loud!” My brilliant counter-argument is, “No, it’s not!” I’m always tempted to add, “You just don’t understand why this music is astonishing, because you haven’t taken the time to sit down and repeatedly listen to it, and other artistes of the genre, SO JUST TAKE YOUR FUCKING FINGER OFF MY VOLUME BUTTON.” Because every time this happens I have to really, really fight the urge to get mad that someone, who just always happens to be female, walked into the room and, without even asking, turned down my music.

It happens in cars as well (often accompanied by the comment, "Jesus, what is this crap?"), as if there was anything else to do in a car besides drive and listen to music. I don’t understand it, and no one can offer me an explanation. It’s almost like there are people in this world who think that conversation should take priority over art. As though there are really pressing matters that need to be discussed before the CD has reached the end of its final track. How can this possibly be?

9 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

So why don't you put on some head phones then? You could turn it up as much as you wanted and leave your daughter in peace. Damn you for a middle-aged beatnik!

Stay-At-Home Indie-Pop said...

Headphones are impractical when you're ironing. Plus, I have this idea that one day she'll come up to me and say, "What is this, it's brilliant! And I've retrospectively realized that everything else in your music collection is too and I want to copy the lot! Thanks, dad!"

AMD said...

Sing along loudly and off-key to the music. They'll be glad for anything that drowns out that.

No Good Boyo said...

Your problem with the fairer sex is summed up in the phrase "I was ironing".

Stay-At-Home Indie-Pop said...

Ironing is reflection and relaxation time for me - a sort of multi-tasking meditation. And I like making creased things flat and then ordering them in a pile.

What?

Nathan Duin said...

Generally I am in agreement, but I have seen many women at Swans and My Bloody Valentine shows. It does not get any louder than that.

In the car, my wife requires melodies. So Autechre and the like get turned off rather than down.

Nathan Duin said...

I know this is a family blog, but I knew a woman who claimed that she came when Only Shallow kicked in live.

Sonja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sonja said...

Funny - it's always men turning down the volume of the music in my car. Men that I generously offer transport because they don't possess or are not able to drive a car! And the people on the street shouting at me because I listen to music in my car - instead of just enjoying the most beautiful sound a car makes - are men as well as women. But then, on the other hand, I really do not like ironing ...
(thanks for your e-mail, by the way. I promise I have not forgotten that I should answer. And another package to you is almost on its way)