In the most recent issue of Time Out Chicago, Brent DiCrescenzo interviews Jack White. I’m not a big fan or follower of White’s music, but the interview caught my eye because the most pressing question was:

Why, exactly, does Jack White work with women so much? Seriously, what’s the deal?

Cue my head hitting my desk.

To be fair to DiCrescenzo, I think the Time Out editors ramped up the tone of the question with their provocative headlines. But still. The very fact that the question has to be asked goes a long way to demonstrate women’s status in rock. And how rare it is to find a male rock superstar who actively, intentionally supports the work of women musicians. As it turns out, that’s exactly what White does.

I don’t agree with every word out of White’s mouth, but the spirit of his advocacy seems to be right on. Let me reprint the question and answer in its entirety so that you can enjoy the cool, refreshing experience of seeing a famous male musician point out sexism in print.

TOC You seem drawn to working with female musicians, even with this interview. Can you all try to elucidate the differences between how women approach making music and how men approach making music?
JW
 I think it’s funny how the perception is still backdated. It’s still considered a novelty if a girl goes onstage and has a guitar in her hands. It’s considered nifty or it’s a oh-isn’t-that-sweet kind of ridiculous prejudice that should have went away 40, 50 years ago.… The only difference I can see is that it’s easier to produce records or work along with females because a lot of the ego or whatever else—the hang-ups—that a guy has are not present and it’s about getting down to art and music and the work at hand.

You’re welcome. Happy Monday!

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