Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The "Women in Audio" Debate Continues

The debate has been heating up over the last few days.

The day after my article on women in audio was published on the Part-Time Audiophile website, Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney's piece appeared on the same website. Her article, "No Girls Allowed: Why I Hate 'Wife Acceptance Factor," made a much bigger splash than mine did--probably because she's a woman and that's the point, we want to hear from women on this issue and second, her piece is just brilliant. I went to bed that night and had a weird dream, a dream like none other I've ever had, where I had written and directed a Broadway play (I'm not not a big fan of the theater), and when I stepped out on the stage to thank the audience the lights had already come on, the microphone had been turned off and most of the audience had already left.

I don't know, there might have been a connection. (Oh, and for some strange reason the dream morphed and revealed a new aspect of my play--that I had quietly been on stage the whole time playing a homeless man swaddled in blankets and sleeping on the sidewalk. W. T. F.)

Anyway, a couple of days later Scot Hull, chief bottle washer at Part-Time Audiophile, also published a piece by Cookie Marenco, owner and founder of the awesome label Blue Coast Records. Her piece, "Of WAF and Wimps," is yet another brilliant piece on women in audio, written by a woman. While I'm suddenly feeling a little self-conscious about my article--I'm just another guy writing about what women supposedly think about something--I do feel proud to be a part of something that's gaining momentum.

I've seen a few other men chime in with their thoughts on the subject, even re-hashing old articles they've written on WAF in the past. But let's face it...who cares what the men think? It doesn't matter. The "wimmens," as Kirsten likes to say with her tongue in her cheek, know the answers to all these questions from male audiophiles, and the men simply aren't interested in shutting up and listening. On the original forum discussion that prompted Kirsten and me to write our articles, one man keeps asking for other women to chime in on the subject...women other than Kirsten, of course. It's as if he's saying that he needs a consensus of women to tell him he's part of the problem--one single intelligent and thoughtful woman won't do. In other words, we still have a long way to go.

And to the man who keeps asking me what Colleen thinks about all this, well, Colleen and I wrote an article some time ago for Positive Feedback Online called "He Said, She Said: Pink Turntables on Parade." We often think about writing a follow-up or turning it into a series, but we haven't been able to think of more subjects. Now, thanks to all this renewed interest in women in audio, maybe we will.

But for now I'll take my own advice and stay out of the discussion. Like the old saying goes, we have two ears and only one mouth for a reason.


  1. Kirsten Brodbeck-KenneyDecember 9, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    I would love it if you guys did a follow up to that piece!

    (And thanks for the kind words!)

    1. We were halfway finished with the second in the survey when we just got distracted and never finished it. The subject? WAF.