As a kid, learning never to judge a book by its cover is such an important metaphor. But after you grow up, its value as an idiom ebbs. Books have covers, often the result of much deliberation and consultation. Why wouldn't you judge it? Some middle ground is surely the way to go, like actually reading the book, but snap decisions are decisions nonetheless. For Courtney Smith's book Record Collecting For Girls, which has not yet been released, it has suffered a heap of rash derision based on the basic information released. Its premise presumes to be that women need a guide through the process of becoming music nerds. The unwritten companion to that statement is that men need no such tutorial, as they are naturally inclined to become music nerds. This assumption is similar to the one that got former Harvard president (and recent Obama cabinet member) into a heap of trouble after declaring that women were possibly genetically disadvantaged when it comes to studying science. Or is it? We haven't read the book and most likely neither have the people deriding it. Regardless, in the talk-quick/think-slow world of the internet, the book has been heavily defamed on its Amazon page in the form of customer tags:
Someone also started a forum to discuss the book:
It's possible that Record Collecting For Girls suffers from an unfortunate title and that inside is an illuminating narrative for people of both sexes. It's also possible that it's extremely reductive. Whatever the case, it's probably going to be worth reading to find out. Another idiom, no publicity is bad publicity, may in this case turn out to be true.