Objectification and Branding of Women in the Guitar World

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by narad, May 17, 2018.

  1. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    That only works if you are aware that your decision is questionable. But also, I'll admit that if I was in the position of deciding what art to put on a boutique amp, I would not be polling people on whether or not they find it objectionable. I would assume that my own values fall under common sense. Which I probably shouldn't assume. But I still would.
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Given that I live in the Ottawa area (technically not in Ottawa, but close enough), I find that this kind of tension is all over the place. I stopped listening to local radio because it's basically all they ever talk about. Every morning, someone new is accused of harassment, or getting fired for what they thought was a harmless remark, or for having hit on someone he shouldn't have a decade ago, etc. I'm not against the idea of putting people in their place if they've done something deserving - but without having much detail on any of the cases it's hard to tell what is or isn't deserving (the radio tends to err towards it's always deserved), and given how they've ramped up reporting of this kind of stuff, it's very..... tense? Feels witch-hunt-y? I hate saying something like "it's tiring" cause wording it that way I'm sure opens me up to something like "oh, you're tired of us making social progress?" or something like that, but it's kind of true.

    It leaves you in a weird walking-on-eggshells frame of mind. I go into the office and worry that if I expressed the wrong opinion, or spoke about anything in my private life, or tell band stories or something, I'll get branded a sexist or something and put my job at risk. There's a sort of unspoken political leaning to the kind of business/office we are, and it's difficult to navigate when you don't agree 100% with the values certain parts of your company or industry puts forward.

    I dunno, kinda going off on a weird tangent that isn't super relevant to the conversation/thread.

    Edit: To be clear, I'm talking about the exaggerated frame of mind I'm left in after listening to the news. I don't really fear the loss of my job. While I don't always see eye to eye with everyone (I mean, that's not realistic), I do work with good people who understand the idea of nuanced discussion, or varying opinions, for the most part.
     
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  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Popular opinion is also extremely fickle. I'm sure if that exact image were on an amp from the 1980's, no one would have batted an eye.
     
  4. xzacx

    xzacx SS.org Regular

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    I'm usually pretty impressed with how civil people around here are able to keep things, even in disagreement. Don't get me wrong, there are those who's opinions I think are moronic (and they probably think mine are too), but I appreciate the fact that I can still have a conversation with most of them. I feel like that's pretty rare for the internet in 2018. It sure makes this place a lot more appealing to actually visit than RT.
     
  5. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Maybe it's just me, but I find it much easier to have difficult conversations without those reputation bar things we used to have. It's hard to keep things civil and on track when little mini arguments about reputation points are mixed in.
     
  6. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I think it's absolutely relevant to the conversation.

    I don't have to worry about it, I think, because I work in a department that's 100% male and ~90% conservative. But that's an onion ready to have the layers peeled back! The guys in this department seem perfectly fine with insulting each other daily, using slurs, etc. etc., so why would anyone want to work here? I don't think the bosses would ever consider placing a woman over here, merely out of fear of how much trouble a couple of the guys over here would get themselves into. In fact, there once was a colleague from Europe who came here to work with some of the guys here, and one of the big bosses came over to remind everyone not to be their typical asshole selves and get into trouble. The moment was very telling, I think.

    I think there is a good way to approach this and that is to consider what is harmful to other people. Some people might simply be on a path of self-destruction and think that everything is generally harmful to them, but most people have enough of a thick skin for most problems to be resolved civilly. I think that all that needs to happen is for some body of people to be granted enough authority to come up with a sort of ten commandments or something like that, that people can easily read and understand and modify their behaviours. Maybe that's too much, but if the people get together and determine that something like that is too much, then it gives credence to the idea that some of these reactions are overblown. You know? Either way, by having someone be placed in some sort of authority position saying something is not okay, it makes an impression, and it's very easy to reference.
     
  7. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Hey now, you know what I mean. Within a particular context.
     
  8. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    The amp is supposedly going after the Dumble sound, so the name is derived from that: Dumble = Dumbbell, so the clone/inspired by amp is the opposite, a Smart Belle. This is a pretty common naming tactic in the boutique amp/FX pedal/amp modelling world.

    So are we concerned with the name (I notice that narad uses quotation marks around it), the image, or both? (For what it's worth, I agree that the image could be better).
     
  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    In the spirit of taking this conversation (and every other, for that matter) off topic, I'll bring up something I heard on the radio today, about how 9.9% of Americans decide local government policies that affect everyone. The story talked about how difficult it is to become a doctor, because you have to go to school, and in order to go to school, you have to be very smart, and in order to be very smart, you probably need to have been raised by people with money. So it's sooooo unfair, or something of that nature. Well, damn, if I need surgery to save my life, do I want Dr. Smarty McSmartypants, who went to Harvard Medical School to operate on me, or do I want some random schmuck pulled off the street? I dunno, that whole story made me unreasonably cross.

    But here's the thing about women. They are 51% or more of the population. If they banded together as one solid demographic, they could do pretty much anything. But that's simply not specific enough to be a demographic in any real situation. Just like "men" isn't a demographic.

    I think there's a breakdown here. We're looking at a group of guitarists willing to spend $4k on a vintage-voiced amplifier. And that group is >95% white middle-aged men. The imagery used on the amp is just the tip of a very large iceberg.
     
  10. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I feel like, as much as we understood what was meant in context, there's still an interesting point here. I think it's worthwhile exploring how, in so many different contexts, a group that makes up almost literally 50% of everyone still ends up becoming the minority. Most of the things I do (music, work, etc.) end up being mostly male dominated. There's a pattern for sure.

    Edit: Ninja'd
     
  11. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    But there are musical genres that are not male-dominated, and there are fields of work that are not male-dominated. I would say that most males end up in industries that are male-dominated, simply because, well, it's kind of a tautology. Is it okay to have some career fields be primarily filled with personnel of one sex or the other?

    There was a tennis player, John McEnroe, who made a comment on air about women tennis players not being able to compete against men. I think his statement was pretty much an objective statement, but he took a lot of political flack for it, and I mean a lot. Some women were pissed as hell at the notion that a retired professional tennis player would put down an entire gender or whatever. Yes, Bobby Riggs had been beaten by a woman before, but there are a lot of asterisks. I think a much much stronger point is that Karsten Braasch, at the time ranked 203 best male tennis player, took on both Venus and Serena Williams (each who achieve number 1 in women's tennis over the 3 years following this match), in 1998, not only beat the sisters, but crushed them 6-1 or 6-2. The idea McEnroe stated that co-ed tennis would end up being pretty much all male in the top 200 or more, seems to be an accurate statement, based off of that evidence.
     
  12. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I know some people who would answer this with a simple no, without really thinking about it first.

    The question I'd find more interesting is whether or not this happens more often for men, or if there's a particular pattern of what kinds of roles or activities tend to be male dominated. If there are 10 male-dominated domains for every 1 female domain, maybe there's something worth looking into there. But more importantly, the question becomes whether or not there's a good reason for that imbalance, whether or not the imbalance is something that happened naturally vs. through some kind of social power in play, etc. Like if more men play certain contact sports- fine, who cares (other than women who want to get more into said sports), or more women care about things like needlecraft I don't think anyone's going to get up in arms about there not being enough men knitting. If more men are in positions of political authority... then there's a domain worth asking questions about.
     
  13. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Hmm. Is there, though? I know stereotypes are dangerous, but when you are talking about trends in the behaviour of a population of people, you have to look at statistics and treat those statistics as evidence.

    Given any one particular man or woman, there is really nothing anyone can say about them, but given men and women in general, there are differences. In general, men are taller than women. So, if you put a man and a woman in a room together, I couldn't guess which one was taller, but, if you put a hundred women and a hundred men in a room together, randomly chosen, I would guess that the average height of the 100 men would be more than the average height of the 100 women.

    If that sort of talk offends anyone, then, well, I don't know what to tell them, except maybe study some more mathematics and don't bother reading the rest of my post.

    As a general population, men and women are wired to think differently. One approach is, by no means, more valuable, in general, than the other, but, for certain tasks, some approaches are more popular than others. Again, this doesn't count for extreme cases, and it means nothing about individual people's traits, only the general traits of a population as observed through the lens of statistics.

    Generally speaking, women are more nurturing, patient, empathetic, and general-minded. Generally speaking, men are more stern, more apt to take shortcuts, and more focused on single tasks. It should be expected, then, by the logic I lay out here, that careers where a single task is to be focused upon more fervently, have a larger proportion of male workers, and careers that require juggling a larger number of tasks should have a larger proportion of female workers.

    No doubt that society takes these roles and reinforces them. If Ug the caveman wanted to stay in the cave and prepare porridge and wash the boarskins whilst his wife Ugga went out to hunt sabre-tooth tiger, the couple would have likely been shunned by the others in the tribe. Nowadays, you have people like Danica Patrick, who can drive a car in an oval just as well as the guys, yet I imagine she might have heard a lot of "interesting" things when she made her career decision. Yet, still, due in part to genetic pre-dispositions, and probably due moreso to social behaviour reinforcements, you have NASCAR drivers being overwhelmingly male.

    Then there's politics. To me, a stereotype woman politician sounds like a good idea, in that I would not mind having someone running the show who is nurturing, more able to balance a large number of tasks simultaneously, more patient, and more empathetic to constituents. For some reason, though, even when women are able to raise more money than men for an election, there's a 6% gap between male and female candidates in votes, all else being equal, and that trend, maybe not surprisingly, is just as distinct, if not more, for female voters than for male voters ( https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1005198906982 ).
     
  14. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    I think this is a dangerous direction to move in. I'm a sciencey person too so you're not going to scare me with the acknowledgement that male and female are different and our brains are going to be different too. I just think we're no where near understanding what a male brain (on average) is good at vs. what a female brain (on average) is good at. Or, barring talk of good or better/worse, simply different tendencies chosen.

    I'm reminded of The Bell Curve, and the episode of Waking Up podcast with Sam Harris where he had Charles Murray on. One of my favorite episodes of that show. The super short summary is that Charles is a scientist fascinated by intelligence and in particular, how to assess and quantify it. So he did very broad IQ test studies (if you're ever told IQ doesn't matter, he's also an interesting person to listen to on that topic), and of course when you're doing a broad study you look at how particular groups do with respect to other groups. I've never looked at these studies but I guess the gist of it is that blacks and latinos scored lower than whites.

    I remember in high school when this was brought up, and I don't think thoroughly discussed -- I just remember thinking like, yes! More proof that I'm smart! Then, off to college, had a little more context, talk about socioeconomic factors and how this book was terrible pseudoscience, published mostly to push a racial agenda.

    It wasn't until I heard the podcast that I felt I got the full story, which is that this guy doesn't seem to have an agenda -- besides understanding intelligence. Unfortunately some groups do better than others on this test. The most important takeaway is that the variance within a population is far larger than the one across populations, to the point where you can't make any real-world decision based on race or gender, even if you're so narrow-minded that you're trying to only select high-IQ people. And you're going to get scales along any group divide, yet we don't talk about blondes being smarter than redheads being smarter than brunettes. Somehow those don't merit as much discussion despite being strong associate with particular genetics, which naturally have some effect.

    So this is what this discussion reminds me of. You've just put the female mind forward as being associated with all these stereotypically female behaviors, and the male one with the stereotypically male behaviors. But is the science behind that sound? Is the variance within a gender so much narrower than it is across gender that we should even speak in these terms? I really imagine that it's not the case, and that there is really no need to try to find a cause that goes as far back as a genetic predisposition to have a certain brain that pursues certain careers.

    Like we used to have the hunterer/gatherer idea of primitive man, and then in that model women would stay home and men would go out hunting. And women would do stuff with babies, so any study that sort of supports that gets bonus points there, and men have to be cunning and be out there fighting to stay alive, and any study that supports brains good for that gets bonus points. But then, it seems for now, that model is being discarded. Hunting was often an endurance race, involving both genders (at least, this is a recent theory...subject to be totally wrong just as much as others)
     
  15. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I meant to say that those very broad differences, when speaking in general, might be able to explain some of those disparities, but I don't think it explains all of them.

    Politics in specific is an area where I would accept the "we should probably have a diverse set a points of view" argument, and it's not hard to find examples where diversity is lacking in positions of authority. I don't think any of the above generalizations can either explain or justify those cases, given that this is an area that can benefit from those differences. If we ask the question "why has there been no female president?", there's no generalization that can be made to say that it's a role more suited to males. And to bring it back around to the original topic, you could say "why are there relatively few female guitar heros?" or "why are there no boutique amps that target women specifically?", and there are certainly answers to those questions, but those answers don't or can't boil down to any generalization about what each sex might be better suited to do.
     
  16. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    If you heard a podcast that said that whites, on average, score higher than latinos, on average, on IQ tests, and took that to mean that you were smarter, then I think you missed the whole "on average" part entirely.

    Check out this article: http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2016-10262-002 Like I have been saying, it investigates gender biases in hundreds of samples, and concludes that women should be better at political leadership than men, on average.
     
  17. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire baritone zone

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    I'm so sick of people acting like men and women are completely equal in all aspects. We can treat each other equally, but we should respect each other's differences (both biological and cultural,etc). Men and women are not and will not ever really be equal physically. The anatomical differences alone give men advantages (we have bigger lungs, increased muscle mass and larger upper torsos/arms compared to women).

    I've seen it happen time and time again in martial arts where (regardless of gender) the fighter who's better at controlling the pace and utilizing their strengths better wins. Size, reach and power all matter. Skill can only mitigate those traits to some extent. There are some really exceptionally tough and skilled females out there, but they still have a lot of trouble with men that are naturally bigger and stronger than them. There was a high level female kickboxer (Lucia Rijker) who got absolutely rinsed by a low level male fighter simply due to his size/reach/power advantage.

    To give another example, I've worked with a lot of female medics in the army. A lot of them are not able to effectively drag a wounded soldier out of harm's way by themselves, especially if the soldier is wearing full combat gear (which adds at least a good 40 lbs to their body weight). Granted, I've seen some exceptionally strong females in the army, but there's only so much they can do on their own if the patient is significantly larger than them. It's hard for me to do it at times, and I'm a relatively big guy (6'0 230lbs) who's used to lifting/moving people my size or bigger. I once had to carry/drag a guy that weighed close to 300 lbs with all of his gear on, and that was basically a two man drag by the end, and a four man carry. If I'm having trouble doing that, then a 130lb woman is going to have a hell of a time trying to move him. One of my instructors loved to find the strongest female in each class, and then make them carry the biggest patients he could find during lane training, just so they'd understand how hard it is to move a patient in real life (especially if they're by themselves).


    The same thing happens in the hospital all the time. A lot of the female nurses just aren't big/strong enough to really help with patient transfers or moving patients from their bed to the toilet (if they're somewhat ambulatory). Since they struggle with moving patients, most of the female nurses get good at delegating those kind of roles to the orderlies or some of the male nurses. They still help if possible, but there's only so much they can do some times. It's the same for the female medics, they're usually the first people to designate big burly guys to help them with grabbing patients. Most of the nurses/medics I work with make no attempt to try and prove that they're just as strong as a man or anything like that. They accept their own limitations and that some people are better suited to certain roles. It's part of making an effective team, which is critical in the hospital. The newer nurses tend to get frazzled and burn out quickly partly because they think they can do everything on their own. Nothing is funnier than watching a 130lb nurse try and move a 250lb diabetic patient by themselves, all because they don't want to ask for help.
    the Lucia Rijker video:
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
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  18. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    That wasn't on the podcast. That was me in like early high school age (~1996) hearing in passing about this study for the first time.

    I'm not going to pay $12 to assess the article, but again, on average doesn't mean anything. Blondes are better at political leadership than brunettes (or vice versa, not going to run that study), on average. Variance means something.
     
  19. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Anyway, what is "dangerous" about looking at the data from aptitude and personality tests, looking at the demographics for a particular career and saying "gee that makes sense," or, "gee, that seems counter-intuitive?"

    Honestly, what I think is more dangerous is what I see more people doing, which is more along the lines of looking at the demographics in a particular career field, ignoring the other data, and saying "we need fewer of this particular demographic in this career field, so we need to a) hand out more scholarships that exclude that particular majority demographic and b) apply hiring practices that penalize job candidates who fit that majority demographic."
     
  20. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    All I know is that I missed the Guitar World annual Buyer's Guide the last couple of years. :lol:
     

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