By Joseph Valencia ’17
Men and women differ in opinion regrading countless topics, and music is no exception.
Musicmachinery.com provides Spotify statistics that show who the top artists were for men and women were in 2014.
Some artists are nearly equal in rank with men and women, such as Bruno Mars, who is ranked as the second most popular artist for women and the fourth most popular for men. Other artists have vastly different rankings, like Beyoncé, who is ranked third most popular with women, but 24th among men.
The most popular artist for men at the time was Eminem, while the most popular artist for women was Rihanna.
These preferences are shaped by more than just the gender of the listener.
At times, it can seem like men are pressured into listening to certain artists, and more importantly, pressured into not listening to others.
Sometimes men could be swayed from not listening to what is perceived as feminine music, usually by a female artist or group.
For example, during my sophomore year I was participating in a game in my Spanish class, where the losing team would be subjected to some sort of light punishment.
The winning team decided that the losing team had to sing along to a video of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” Naturally, the losing team was mortified, with the winning team eagerly waiting to capture the spectacle on their iPads.
Really, being forced to sing along to a Taylor Swift song shouldn’t be that bad, but for some reason it was humiliating.
Students have different opinions on how people could be judged for their music tastes.
“People who listen to what’s new and in style are usually the people who fit in well,” said Daniel Antillon ’19. “Others who have different tastes in music typically don’t blend the same way into the crowd. I know both types of people.”
Other students such as Matt Scheller ’19 have noticed that there are biases against music produced by women.
“Music is a subjective thing, and everyone has their own tastes. At the end of the day, you should listen to what you enjoy,” he said. “However, I do think guys here might get flak for listening to ‘girly’ music, like Taylor Swift, Sia and others.”
I think we can see that just like society as a whole, how music is perceived depends on who’s listening to it.