Dear Jimmy Iovine,
I’m writing this open letter to you because I’m worried about you. I’m worried that you bumped your head, woke up, and have been living your life like it’s 1953. If this is true, I’m sorry. That must be terribly confusing and possibly scary for you.
There are two main reasons why I believe something serious like this has happened to you. They both stem from your recent appearance on a morning talk show, where you discussed how women listen to music. Here’s quote number one:
I always knew that women find it very difficult at times—some women—to find music.
This thought, as a woman living in 2015, is alarming to me. Because the women I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by are independent as fuck. We are intelligent, savvy, and passionate. If we want to find new music, we find it. Just the other day, my friend called me and said she found the full YouTube video of a concert we went to in 2005. See? We’re clever as hell, and we clearly know how to use a computer.
If you did suffer a serious head injury recently and think we’re operating in the 1950s, then I can see how you would think this. I think I saw an episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy gets a new blender and can’t figure out how to take it out of the box. Frustrated, she calls Ricky and he comes home from work to help her. But the women in 2015? Nah, we know how to handle things ourselves.
The second quote is—if you can believe it Jimmy—even more troubling:
I just thought of a problem, you know: girls are sitting around, you know, talking about boys. Or complaining about boys, you know, when they’re heartbroken or whatever. And they need music for that, right?
Oh man, Jimmy. Let me tell you, when I heard this I thought to myself, “Why isn’t anyone on the show calling 911?! Seriously, this man has a life-threatening head injury and we need to move fast. God dammit CBS!” In 2015, you can’t POSSIBLY think all women do is sit around and complain about boys, right? We’re in a society where women are doing more than they ever have. I mean, we might have our first woman president in 2016. Do you think she sitting around, crying about boys, wishing she could find the appropriate playlist to match her mood?
When you speak about women in these terms, you reduce us to quivering, unstable, emotional nutbags who just need a playlist of “Songs Like ‘Someone Like You’” in order to survive. In reality, the women of today are authors, world leaders, CEOs, lawyers, artists, engineers, and doctors. We’re successful not because of the man we are with, but because of who we are and what we know we’re capable of. If you want to make something that appeals to us, why not acknowledge that? Why not make a playlist for women to listen to when studying for the bar exam? Why not make a playlist for women to listen to when finishing their MBA program? Why not make a playlist for women to listen to when they’re crafting their presidential campaign for 2020?
You see Jimmy, I’m a kindergarten teacher. And every day I tell my girls that they can be whatever they want to be. I tell them that if they want to be an astronaut who is also a zookeeper on the moon (that is a real career goal for one of mine), they can be it. But when you go around in public making statements like these? Well, you’re undoing all the work I’ve done for my girls. Because what you’re inadvertently saying is that none of their career goals matter. Girls only care about boys, and regardless of what they want to achieve, they too will probably just end up crying about some guy like every other girl ever in the history of girl world.
I hope you can see where my concern is coming from. If something did happen and you do think this is 1953, please know: it is not. I hope someone in your camp is alerting you to this right now. If not, then I can only hope you will do better in the future Jimmy.
Sincerely (and still worried),