The experience was one of many in my 20-year career that have made me feel awkward and conflicted about simply trying to do my job: experiences that annoyed me, but that I knew I should find flattering; that have made for scintillating shoptalk at cocktail parties; that have made some friends laugh, and some envious; that seemed funny to me, too, but now make me cringe; that have made me look back and try to rationalize my lack of outrage or action at the time. I’ve had some memorable conversations with music icons over the years, but at some point I realized I had been disrespected as well.Backstage and beyond, women music journalists must regularly navigate conflicted feelings and complicated gray areas that we face as both critics and fans. Our profession presents us with a distinct set of challenges and unforgiving double standards as we strive to be taken seriously, particularly when starting out.