"Whoa, impressive taste for a teen-girl mag!" This comment, in one form or another, often gets directed at us on Twitter, especially on Friday nights, right after we post our weekly playlists. It’s also something I hear a lot in real life when I tell people - especially grown men - who I write for. "Wow!" they’ll say. "Good work, ladies!" Their surprise might be based on our staff’s working knowledge of punk rock history (yes, we know who the Wipers are) or on the fact that Rookie's articles are actually thoughtful and well written, but it's always condescending and insulting, and never itself much of a surprise.
Now, I know I’m coming dangerously close to generalizing about ALL men the way I’m complaining that SOME of them generalize about young women. There are, of course, many male critics who celebrate teen-girl fandom and our voices as cultural consumers and analysts and don’t roll their eyes when we gush about 1D or whatever. Thank you for that, dudes. But because men have more power across the board than women in our culture, they get the message, from birth, that their opinions about things are the Most Important Opinions. Whether they choose to believe this is up to them, but rejecting it is a lot harder than sitting back and enjoying it.