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Subject: Re: A Bitter Pill For Feminists
From: London Tier <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:London Tier <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 2 Dec 2016 19:29:37 -0800
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The eminent Austro-German music critic Hans Keller (1919-85) put this
important issue in a nutshell: to differentiate is not to discriminate.
That is to say, men and women have different, complementary and
(importantly) overlapping abilties, but are not in any meaningful way
'equal', and to recognise this is not to show prejudice against women (or
for that matter men) but to face facts. As far as women composers go, they
have had every help over the last 30-40 years, and have rewarded society
with some good pieces. But as yet they have not produced figures who can
stand in the Pantheon of the greatest male composers in the way that has
happened with other arts. I don't think anyone would deny that.


Will it happen? Probably not - but I'm happy nevertheless that women
composers should no longer feel there is a glass ceiling in their
compositional careers.





On Friday, December 2, 2016, Genevieve Castle Room <
[log in to unmask]
<javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml',[log in to unmask]);>> wrote:

> Yesterday morning on Twitter a woman named Rebecca Lentjes who describes
> herself as 'an ethnomusicologist in training and a feminist activist'
> tweeted the following:
>
>
> >"Today we marvel NOT ONLY at Kaija Saariaho's impressive achievement [her
> opera L'Amour de Loin] BUT ALSO the extreme long-form misogyny of the
> Metropolitan Opera"
>
>
> https://mobile.twitter.com/rsl318/status/804317972491857921
>
>
> This ridiculous kind of assertion is part of the PC culture in this country
> that is currently in decline.... Or so I hope. Personally, I would happily
> acknowledge the greatness of a work by a female composer. And so would most
> lovers of music... especially those in New York City, one of the most
> liberal-minded cities in the United States. But the problem has been that
> women composers of extraordinary talent have been few and far between. Not
> so with talented women writers who have been plentiful even though they
> have suffered much discrimination: the Brontë sisters, Virginia Woolf, Jane
> Austen, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Louisa May Alcott,
> Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Mitchell, J. K. Rowling and countless others!
> But I can't think of a single major female composer... not a single one.
>
> Kaija Saariaho is still not a known quantity and other female composers
> today like Jennifer Higdon, Ellen Taafe Zwilich, Thea Musgrave, and those
> from the past (Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Wieck Schumann, Mary Cheney) have
> never made a substantial mark.
>
> The late musicologist Karen Monson said years ago that you cannot suppress
> a talent on the order of Mozart and since no female composer ever
> demonstrated anything approaching that it is obvious that music is not an
> area in which women excel. They may be the equal or even superior to men in
> literature or other arts... but in music the evidence suggests otherwise.
> It may be a bitter pill for feminists to swallow but that's the way it is.
>
> Here is my question.
>
> What is it about this PC culture that makes so many people pretend to
> believe that both genders and all ethnic groups are perfectly equal in all
> endeavors? Maybe the Greeks actually were greater philosophers than the
> Spartans. And maybe the English actually produced literary works greater
> than the Norwegians. And I'll go out on a limb here - maybe German
> composers were actually superior to Indonesian ones.... Those who deny the
> obvious to be politically correct are the same ones who insist that at
> airport checkpoints Swedish grandmothers must be searched just as carefully
> as young Muslim males from the Middle East.
>
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