Pitchfork Is Part Of GQ (Gentleman’s Quarterly) - What Were Ladies Doing Anywhere Near Music Journalism Anyway?

19 January 2024 | 10:49 am | Liz Giuffre

There is something important in the symbolism of an icon of music journalism and culture now being part of a “gentleman’s” title.


Pitchfork (Supplied)

More Kylie Minogue More Kylie Minogue

It was announced yesterday that the indie beacon of cool Pitchfork is to be formally folded into GQ. In case you ever wondered, that’s “Gentleman’s Quarterly”.

Of course, we live in modern times - click whatever link you want; buy whatever title you want; be as diverse, or narrow, with your algorithm and record stylus choices as your heart desires. But there is something important in the symbolism of an icon of music journalism and culture now being part of a “gentleman’s” title.

Ladies (and non-gentleman), we are subtly told again that we’re on the outer when it comes to music. Sure, we might buy truckloads of tunes and tickets - so much so that we have made Taylor Swift the first ever artist to be the Time Person of the Year, and perhaps even a genre in her own right. Combined with the box office boom led by Barbie, some might say that we non-gentleman are keeping the entertainment industry moving. In Australia, the highest-selling locally-born artist of all time is Kylie Minogue—another non-gentleman with a huge non-gentleman fan base. 

Let’s look at how those artists and their fans (us) are treated.

Barbie and Taylor at the Golden Globes. Ha ha. They both have extraordinary cultural influence, including representing and re-representing the expectations placed on women and girls, but also, they have boobs and are into boys and stuff. So let’s focus on that, eh?

And Kylie - isn’t it great she’s kept going, eh? A lady is still working well into her 50s. Aw, bless. Getting better at her craft, even? How remarkable. Although - is it? Yet ageism and sexism seem to have been a factor in how long it has taken.

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If the gentle undermining were just one host of just one awards show, that would be gross but okay. However, it’s not. It’s talkback radio; it’s mainstream media ‘opinion’ pieces by gentlemen who still dominate column space and airtime and who can barely believe they are somehow able to enjoy what should be frivolous pink nonsense. Except it’s not nonsense. It’s just non-gentlemen-centric.

Remember that we’re at least 50% of the population despite being a clear ‘minority’ when it comes to positions of power, financial freedom, physical freedom and opportunity.

And that’s before we even talk about intersectional non-gentlemaness. If you’re not relatively wealthy, relatively able-bodied and relatively white, then your minority status in terms of representation and basic respect goes through the floor.

Pitchfork was a place for relative diversity in terms of the writers who wrote and the artists they featured. Even a casual browser can see through their ‘best of’ round-ups that there are no ‘best of the women’ or ‘best of the latest minority’ lists, but just everyone, all in, being best together.

Will Pitchfork be able to keep that all-encompassing spirit under “Gentleman Quarterly”? Or will the default be ‘gentleman’, and the rest of us end up as whatever odd category box we’ve been put into this week?