Musical composition is the one art in which, until lately, women have not shone. The reason is not mysterious. Writing notes, with its attendant chores of copying, orchestration, and the cajoling of the mostly male entrepreneurs who might bring these notes to life, simply takes more time away from child-rearing than, say, writing poems. Today there are perhaps as many women as men composers. But in today's world -- even in the elite intellectual world of this very Academy -- few give a damn. It's safe to say that indifference to female composers is no more evident than to males.What on earth is he talking about?
Is it a claim that musical life is so dreary that all composers are treated like lowly women these days? Maybe he's trying to be funny. Or clever. Does he really believe that women who write music haven't been taken seriously by the musical powers that be (and that were) because the time they spend rearing their children cut into the time it takes for the grueling mechanical process of writing music? What kind of an incompetent gender does he think we are?
Me, I'll take anything by Ruth Crawford Seeger (who reared Pete, Peggy, and Mike Seeger) over anything by Ned Rorem any day.