Music and the sexes

I listen to an acoustic album by Scorpions while I write this. The same album was playing, when a female colleague of mine mentioned, in a moving car, a white Indigo, that she loved my music collection. This comment was not born at that instance, but courtesy my iPod which has over 21000 songs.In the days of online streaming that doesn’t account for a lot, especially with genres growing shoots all around the year, however that is not the point I try to make here.

Women don’t crave music, the way guys do. A friend; female; mentioned this to me a few weeks back and although convinced instantly, I have failed to understand why. This article; is an attempt to do so.

I have witnessed multiple instances that support however do not prove this statement. Guys are fussier when it comes to choosing a venue for Saturday evening. I have seen it across Indian cities, across groups. A part of this is born out of the fact that a lot of Indian guys are not particular fans of dancing and will prefer to have their whiskey seated, while listening to good music. However, I have seen it also in mixed Indian groups where none wanted to dance.

Women, who own cars are greatly particular about the sound system they install, but will seldom invest in 200 bucks for a good auxiliary cable. No one listens to CDs these days. Guys either have their music on a pen drive or are particular enough to get the cable for their mobile phones or iPods. Women usually prefer the radio. “It’s easier”, one of them told me.

Few people listen to music while they work. Most of us, who do so, do to drown out the confusion outside, to help us focus better on glittering characters before us. However, the very few who would consider exploring new music while working; shockingly constitute a lot more guys. Beware people, if you decide to talk trash before a female colleague who has earphones on while she clicks away mercilessly. She’s probably not even listening to anything.

Don’t misinterpret the situation. Women appreciate great music, it’s just that they don’t seem so keen to go out of their way to make sure it’s always there, always available Few women complain about the mediocrity of the tunes, fewer still would dare to control playlists. Their judgment of music is often impeccable, but their “10 must haves for the Leh trip” wouldn’t contain their best collection of music. It was number 1 for me.

Perhaps I overplay a simple observation. Perhaps, it is because I get jittery on a day where I believe I haven’t heard a single great tune. Perhaps there are music lovers and there are those who are not and the sets have nothing to do with the sexes, all of this is just a figment of my imagination. Perhaps; but since I’m still convinced of the same, here’s why I believe it is indeed true.

Women are more focused, generally speaking. If it’s a conversation they want, more of their resources are focused on the conversation than guys who wouldn’t mind as much if at least the music was good. If they wanted to dance, they would irrespective of Rasputin or Rihanna. The two sets never merge for guys. If women had to drive to work, they’d drive. Consider now, the number of times, someone, anyone, sat down telling themselves, “Now I shall hear some good music”. It happens rarely, most of the music we hear is an accompaniment, it plays by design somewhere. How many of the times is the design yours, is what this is about.

Guys are lonelier. Music helps fill that void. Sitting in cafes alone, having a meal by yourself, not chatting in the elevator comes slightly easier to this sex than the other, which consequently increases the dependence on the addiction that is music.

Women prefer control, more than guys. You might say, if that was true, they’d love to control their music more than guys as well and here lies the fallacy of this proposition. Not quite. You see, controlling music is impossible. You can start it, try to maneuver it around or crash it to a halt, but tunes, they take their own turn. So when the radio plays nothing of her liking, she would rather switch it off while he frantically struggles to locate the next best, reasonable sounding station. Compromise is a must. “Genius” doesn’t deliver all of your favorites all the time, because it’s not supposed to.

You never convince someone of any fact by stating that women are focused, company seeking, control freaks and I do not intend to. The article has some hope only if you believe that the proposition is true and would try to think, why? As for me, I still don’t know, but I would like to encourage more women to help guys get acquainted with Norah Jones the same way they inducted you into Dylan’s harmonica fan club.