Music genres don’t fucking need genders.

Associating music genres with gender stereotypes has always been a prevalent culture in the society — as it becomes a habit with the passing of time, little do most people realize that it is actually stigmatic. If it were up to me alone, music genres have nothing to do with gender stereotypes. Your gender doesn’t define what music you’re supposed to listen and whatnot — there should never be boundaries that scrutinize you about whether your music preference is suitable for your gender or not.

For years, I’ve been observing people around me — friends and acquaintances — that a myriad of times I’ve come across people describing the disparities between each other’s music preferences with gender-related terms; deeming certain music genres as masculine and certain others as feminine. Just like how people tend to put on gender stereotypes in relation to colours, they also construe generalizations regarding which genres are only socially acceptable to be listened by men and which are only socially acceptable to be listened by women. It also has reached the point where misogyny takes a part in this issue; people are prone to glorify women who listen to the so-called “masculine” genres — because in the eye of society, women having interest towards things that men are fond of is superior — and on the contrary, bash men who listen to the so-called “feminine” genres with homophobic slurs.

In the circle of fan communities of several bands I am a fan of, I can decipher how misogyny and sexism vehemently run amongst the fans. Several times I came across several fans of certain bands (in which, most of the fans are men) who see certain women — whose physical features are attractive by society’s standards and have mutual music preferences with most men — as an object to fulfill their sexual pleasures. And it has always been a toxic fallacy, how men who hold affinity towards music that most women listen to, are very prone to receive offensive insults. Several musicians, from the genres that have more male audiences, are stereotypically perceived as “legends” and “quality music” in the music industry — and vice versa, when it comes to several musicians from the genres that have more female audiences, mostly teenage girls, the society tends to skeptically discern them as a disgrace to the music history. This scope of sexism also has implicitly indoctrinated music industries to set target audience based on genders. Musicians that have more female fans began to intentionally write songs that women can relate, and sometimes, the same goes with musicians with more male fans — so that the sexism grows stronger and the segmentation between “which music is for men” and “which music is for women” gets more distinctive.

As much as I am concerned about this issue, I am determined to raise awareness about it too — that we are entitled to listen to whatever we want without judgment from the society, regardless of our gender. Music is supposed to be a form of art that is universal and wide open for everyone with no boundaries. Being a fan of a certain musician is about appreciating the sounds, the musicians as individuals, and the significance of the songs — and obviously, has nothing to do with gender stereotypes. So why can’t we, as sung by Ghost on their song Monstrance Clock, “come together, together as a one”?

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