Are women truly rare amongst record collectors?

That’s the question my sister asked a group of over 500 women on a private Facebook group we belong to. She wrote:

Are any [of you women] also enthusiastic vinyl collectors? I’ve toyed with the idea of bringing together ladies who love vinyl for one musical evening/afternoon of sharing tunes and meeting each other. In all honesty, I won’t be able to host until I figure out how to have a dance party in my rickety apartment that doesn’t cause the turntable to skip, but I’m exasperated after one-too-many online comments of “ooh, a FEMALE collector?! I didn’t know they exist.” We exist. We’re not an anomaly. Right?

Based on the lack of responses on the Facebook group, perhaps that’s the reality… and YET, I refuse to believe that there aren’t many women record collectors. Is it really a male dominated realm?

Going by what I saw in Red Cat Records today, one of my favourite Vancouver record shops, that certainly wasn’t the case. It seemed like women outnumbered the men 4-1 today. But it is starting to make me wonder…

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I did buy a bunch of records today.  I came out of the shop with the following on (used) vinyl:

Galaxie 500 This Is Out Music

The Dandy Warhols This Machine

Thomas Dolby Blinded By Science

Volcano Choir - Unmap

That’s Galaxie 500’s This Is Our Music (1990), the latest Dandy Warhols release, This Machine (2012), Thomas Dolby’s Blinded By Science EP (1982), as well as Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver fame)’s Volcano Choir Unmap (2009).

They were all sitting there in the used “New Arrivals” section just waiting to be listened to. I wasn’t planning to spend a dime today, but you know, being a female record collector and all, I couldn’t help it, and now I’m $50 poorer and musically a tad richer. In fact, Galaxie 500’s cover of Yoko Ono’s “Listen, The Snow Is Falling” is rather sublime right now, especially while sipping on a South African Shiraz… 

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  1. Yes, female record collectors are more common than you think, but not as common as male record collectors, and male record collectors also tend to be more tech-focused, which is why audiophiles are almost exclusively men, women rarely collect 78s/historical recordings, and almost exclusively men restore old tube radios/phonographs/wind up players. Female record collectors, I have noticed, tend to buy records for the aesthetic artifact rather than the collectability or scarcity of the record.

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