Cyberfeminism revisited - Men as a minority group


Subject: Cyberfeminism revisited - Men as a minority group
From: miriam clinton (iriXx) (iriXx@iriXx.org)
Date: Tue Jan 11 2005 - 07:43:27 EST


Richard Nance wrote:

>Wondering about two possibilities:
>
>One, that there IS a gender bias and the field might not be that interesting
>to women in the same proportion as men.
>
don't be so sure... see below... its a /personality/ bias, not gender,
which determines an individual's ability to assert themselves, work
within different studio environments, lean towards particular styles of
installation / composition / multimedia etc. i'll get to the topic of
Myers-Briggs personality tests in a moment (which i believe to be the
more scientific approach).

unless you mean the gender bias which comes in the form of the
over-assertion of "women's rights" in music that has raised its ugly
head in the last 20 years, to the exclusion of men? men are now the
minority group, with a heavy bias of grants, lectureships and positions
in courses being given to women composers, to the exclusion of men. i
write this as a woman, and one who has been guilty in the past of using
the system to get grants, based on minority groupings and 'affirmative
action'. it's a game - and those who were 'affirmatively' granted
priveleges are now in the /majority/, with the average white male left
out in the cold.

feminism has bred an ugly type of woman, an agressive feminazi, who is
so un-womanly as to be nearly inhuman. inhumane, for certain. i would
hate to hear her type of music. in fact, i dread it so much as to have
avoided any conference on 'women's music' for this very reason. i also
abhor the notion that all women compose some particular type of music -
well if they choose to, count me out.

overemphasis on male versus female composers leads one into the trap of
feminazism... its a dangerous path to take - when in fact the truth is
that it is more likely that different /personality types or traits/, in
/both/ men and women, are the cause of certain individuals choosing
studio composition.

>The women I know in the states that
>do sonic art (leaving paper composition aside) are (for the most part)
>painter,s sculptors and performance artists that treat sound as just another
>logical avenue towards the same ends.
>
>
indeed. i do not subscribe to or attribute male or female
characteristics to composition, this is stereotyping in an extreme, what
i would see more valuable in study would be Myers-Briggs personality
typing, as i mention later.

what /is/ interesting, as a tangent, is the solutions and preferences in
music or e/a which men and women may (i emphasis /may/) have. a very
wise former (instrumental composition) tutor of mine once looked at a
work of mine and decided that his suggestions were from his own point of
view, and that i had to come up with a feminine solution. likewise i
notice great classical works which men are more drawn towards than
women. men and women have unique natures, which are designed to work
/together/, not to be biased one against the other, or seperated into
camps and petri-dishes to be studied. this has been our downfall over
the last 20 years - the overemphasis on and over-studying of women's music.

far from coming up with stereotypes, because there /is/ no stereotype
for taste, but it is interesting to /observe/ men's and women's
solutions to a compositional problem. some may be the same, and some may
be different. i am of the opinion that there is no way to know - no two
women or men are the same, and this is where it is dangerous to band all
women, and men, into one camp. usually the men into a concentration-camp
- men are continually portrayed as 'The Bad Guys', inhibiting women in
the studio, yet i have always found this to be rubbish - my closest
colleagues have and always have been male.

the choice of solutions is simply something to observe, and not control
- by means of favouritism towards /either/ sex. the sexes were designed
to work together (that includes groups of men, or groups of women,
also). so is our music, as men and women, designed to work together in
complement.

>Two: Is there a bias in the way the software interfaces are written that
>favors a more masculine mindset? Could the tools be gender biased?
>
>
the mindsets i see as biased are more a case of Myers-Briggs personality
typing, and visual vs. verbal thinking. for example, i am dyslexic, so
that rules out Max, Csound and SuperCollider - but i find ProTools,
AudioSculpt, Ceres and any image-to-sound translation tool absolutely
transparent. dyslexics are by nature visual thinkers, btw. - the
tendency of visual over verbal thinking etc is located in the temporal
lobes, studies of which have revealed that among many other conditions
(i do not term them disabilities or disorders - ambidexterity is a side
effect of dyspraxia, which i also have) reside in the temporal lobes of
the brain.

as for personality typing, i think this is a far more accurate tool to
use than men vs. women. there are sixteen different personality types
(see www.keirsey.com) along which everyone fits in a sliding scale -
there are no absolutes. and this uses only four of the multitude of
personality traits - introvert/extrovert, intuitive/sensing,
feeling/thinking, and perception/judgement. these are extreme poles,
upon which everyone fits at a certain point - or a sliding scale, as is
often the case with introverts and extroverts - along a line. it is not
an absolute.

however, this gives us sixteen groups whose choices in music and
supposed 'bias' in the studio would be more valuable, and scientific, to
study. do people choose to compose electronic music because they have a
particular ability to observe logical processes? or do they feel these
sounds within their nature, and have a need to release them through e/a
as a natural medium? there are endless options - and if you take a look
at the celebrity examples of the personality types, you'll find women
often as equally represented as men. bang goes the whole 'women have it
so bad' theory. however, certain personality types are rare, and found
in only a tiny percentage of the population. these types may well be the
types drawn to particular kinds of sound... now there is a study waiting
to be commissioned. i'll lay my copyright on it first thanks ;).

mC~

-- 
99% of aliens prefer Earth
--Eminem

www.iriXx.org www.copyleftmedia.org.uk

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