Men Do Not Value Art Made By Women: Mary Lucia Edition

Hello Darling Ones,

It should come as no surprise that it seems The Current, and probably MPR (Minnesota Public Radio, of which The Current is a part of) in general, has a woman problem. And this problem is they do not value are made by women, specifically the art or work the women in their organization do. I feel pretty comfortable making that statement.

I do not work for The Current. I also don’t know on a personal level outside of social media anybody who works for The Current. All my opinions are based on being a radio listener and knowing that men do not value art made by women.

To catch you up, Mary Lucia, much-loved DJ at The Current quit, pretty abruptly it seemed, last week after seventeen years at the station. She ended her last shift, Thursday, with “It’s Only Rock & Roll” by The Rolling Stones. Shortly after her sign-off news broke that The Current’s Program Director, Jim McGuinn was fired. According to the StarTribune:

“Two sources who have worked for the Current and did not want to be named for fear of reprisal said McGuinn was the main source of Lucia’s complaints. They said he too frequently gave female staffers lower raises and less-positive reviews than their male counterparts.”

Again with the lack of surprise. Even without knowing what Jim McGuinn was like as a boss or leader, I could have guessed he was shitty to female employees. Wanna know why? Because I listened to McGuinn on the radio.

I stopped listening to Teenage Kicks, the Saturday morning throwback show, when he took over after Jacquie Fuller left in 2015. He rarely played music made by women and thus rarely talked about it. He was the head of a station whose listeners and DJs continually put out all dude Top 10 lists. When they put together a list to choose from for one poll, it included 169 male musicians and 51 female musicians.

Anyone who listened to The Current could have guessed Jim McGuinn would under pay women and give them poor reviews. It was right there on the airwaves. And when it wasn’t on the airwaves it was in the news, it took Marianne Combs’ leaving MPR before The Current did anything about DJ Eric Malmberg who had several allegations against him for being a creepy dirtbag to women.

This is why I’m endlessly furious about men not valuing women’s art. And I mean hashtag all men. All of them. The ones I know and love, the ones I know and like, the ones I do not know. Dudes whenever you endlessly yammer on about art made by men be it books, music, movies, tv, visual art, etc. without spending you continuously devalue what women create. You are part of the problem. When you continue to lift up the thoughts and voices of male critics about these topics you are devaluing women’s art. Yes, criticism is an art.

When you continue to value art created by men over art created by anyone else, it has real world, actual consequences on lives. It effects pay and opportunities. Because men continue to value art made by men Chuck Klostermen gets to keep writing shitty books that erase women from pop cultural history.

It’s all so infuriating. I’d get into the othering of music made by people who are not men, but my fingers are starting to hurt from banging the keys hard in an attempt to get out my frustration. Instead, I’ll just leave it to Neko Case.

Love,
Jodi

P.S.
It’s not easy diversifying the media you consume. It takes work, but if you love the art form it’s worth the effort. It’s also super rewarding. If you’re a pop culture junkie you know how great it feels to introduce someone to a new singer or writer. It’s even better when you’re introducing someone to a new voice outside the dominate white cishet world.

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