My wife says to me, "That's the second morning in a row that you've instantly switched away from a female singer."
We've already established that I tend to prefer listening to male singers over female singers, but I had to pause for a moment to consider my gut reaction. Was I being subconsciously misogynistic, changing the station so quickly? No...I'd do the same for Dave Matthews.
Yes. Dave Matthews. Let's not argue about taste; it's just going to get worse.
I sat there at the red light, mulling over the female singers I do like...but, of course, I could only come up with the ones I don't like. Adele? Cheese grater to the ear. Natalie Merchant? A slow, lingering death by boredom. Rihanna? I couldn't name a single song she's done, but every time I feel myself going "ick" to something on the radio, it's usually her. I knew there were female singers I enjoyed listening to, but I couldn't come up with a single one of them.
At least, not on the radio. I come from a musical family, and have sung in a lot of choirs over the years; I've enjoyed listening to (and singing with!) my mother, my sister, my wife, and a host of other altos and sopranos—even my grandmother, whose warbly voice I remember with fondness. The female voice is not inherently abrasive to me, so there must be something else at work here.
Giving it some more thought, I was able to come up with Enya as a female I'd gladly listen to. I might skip a few of her songs that have been overplayed, but that's no different from any other artist, male or female. Once I'd thought of Enya, the rest was easy—Celtic singers, in general, I find appealing. Modern mainstream American singers? Not as much. Sometimes, but not as much. And really, that's what's on the radio nowadays.
Actually, a lot of the female artists I listen to are international ones—Shakira, Client, Little Boots, Ladytron, Aqua, Sade, Within Temptation, Nena, Dido, Charlie Dore, and Alanis Morissette (yes, Canada is international). Then you've got a slew of American artists from all different decades: Pat Benatar, Fleetwood Mac, Blondie, The B-52's, Suzanne Vega, The Mamas & the Papas, Michelle Branch, even Kelly Clarkson among them. I like Cascada, Evanescence, Blackmore's Night, and at least one song by The Weather Girls...not to mention the theme songs to Neon Genesis Evangelion, Azumanga Daioh!, The Vision of Escaflowne, and Revolutionary Girl Utena—all anime series with a chanteuse at the musical helm. Also, the ending theme to Portal? C'mon. So don't tell me I don't like women singers.
Besides, I'm pretty sure it was the same Taylor Swift song both times I changed the station.