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Know It Alls and Culture Snobs

The other night a friend and I were discussing a certain type of music snob. These are people who think they know better than you no matter what. That any music you like and they don’t automatically invalidates your opinion. In my experience, these people are always men. Of course I also know women who fit into the category of music snob. A lot of my friends might consider me one. But I’ve never met a woman who absolutely insists that her preferences are right and yours are wrong. Nor have I ever met a woman who believed that liking a certain band or style of music that she herself didn’t like, meant you couldn’t also like music she herself enjoyed (I was once sucked into an argument with a man who refused to believe that I could like the British pop band Arctic Monkeys and also like Bob Dylan. He thought I was pretending to like Dylan in order to legitimize my opinion – as if my opinion needed to be legitimized). Over and over again, the message comes across that women’s opinions are ill-informed, valueless, silly, or just not as important as a man’s. 

And of course, this happens in all areas of culture (and all areas generally) as I was reminded this morning while listening to a Fresh Air interview online. Terry Gross was interviewing an actor about his role on a new midseason TV show. As I was scrolling ...