Tag Archives: feminism

Who Needs Feminism?

Who needs feminism? The music industry does for starters. The launch of the brilliant new blog ‘Who Needs Feminism?’ Has sparked women to hold up pieces of paper to share why they need feminism. These sum up why we started this cause:

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tumblr_mewc7ojkoY1rmnjg6o1_500We need feminism because there is no such thing as ‘Blurred Lines’, no means no.

We need feminism because women should be treated as equals in music videos not play things.

We need feminism because women in music should be judged on their talent and not just their sex appeal.

Why do you need feminism? Tell us below.

-Rocheen.

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The Gender Gap In Music

Is the music industry sexist?

This is the question posed by Kirsty Brown in an article published on the Women’s Agenda website. Discussing how the ARIA’s only have 18 female nominations out of 27 categories excluding the best international artists sector. How is it that in 2013 there is so little representation of women being nominated for accolades in the music industry?

‘So while the ARIA Awards shine a light on the discrepancy between male and female performing artists, they also reflect a broader industry in which women are still dramatically under-represented in crucial, taste-making roles.’

Brown discusses how this gap continues in most areas of the music industry with music producing roles being the most under represented. In terms of air time female artists receive, I was not surprised to learn that international pop acts are dominating. However it was the indie scene that took me by surprise. With males dominating 71% of the airwaves on alternative radio station Triple J, it’s not hard to see how females aren’t getting ARIA nominations.

Solutions to these problems that Brown brings up include quotas of female content, and more industry bodies representing women. But will this fix the problem or just create more? Quotas could lead to resentment, and accusations that women are only getting the airtime because of a requirement rather than talent. Like Brown I think they just need to recognise and address the problem.

‘I genuinely do not think it is that hard for the industry to look beyond using the same men for every conference, award ceremony, radio playlist and event.’

There are so many talented women in the music industry, and it’s about time they were recognised with awards, promotions, and air time. At least discussing the issue with cold hard facts will get the conversation started.

Are you a woman working in a male dominated music industry like music, and want to know what your what your wage would be like if you were a man? Check out this pay gap calculator on Women’s Agenda:

http://www.womensagenda.com.au/

Do you have any ideas on how to help fix this gender gap in the music industry?

-Rocheen

Gender and power in the music industry

Rae Harvey was asked to write about the discrepancy between men and women and why there weren’t more women in the AMID Power 50 list. 

She doesn’t think there is one. 

Looking at my inbox at this very moment I have 23 emails waiting for a response. 12 are from males and 11 are from females. I don’t see a massive discrepancy there!

Harvey says women and men are fundamentally different, which changes the way they present themselves. She says men are more egotistical and so put themselves forward more easily and confidently than women, while women are better organised and prepare better. 

Does this mean I think men should be at the forefront in recognition whilst the women take a back seat? Of course not. Looking at this AMID Power 50 I see some people I don’t consider powerful, but do consider influential. I see some people I don’t consider powerful in Australia, but powerful internationally.  And of course I see people I think should be higher or lower. It’s a controversial list by anyone’s standards.

The list can be found here. Do you think she has a point? 

 

Miley Unwrecked

Miley Cyrus has released a director’s cut version of Wrecking Ball.

People have responded with confusion and forgiveness for her earlier footage.

This is confusing on a number of levels.

“Oh, well if that’s what she really meant to do, then it’s not as bad.”

Ok, but why would she do it if she had direct control over her image, as so many people (including Cyrus, herself) have suggested? Why would she and the label spend so much on that other weird concrete stuff if it was not really in the original vision?

“Ah, now I see how it was meant to be like Sinead’s Nothing Compares to You. Just a face! Aha!”

Except, the original video was the one Cyrus was comparing to that clip. She’s dulled it down to support her argument about the video.

I think that the most disappointing part of this is that Cyrus tried to defend the video and eventually caved. Why? Wouldn’t her point be more easily made if she stuck to her guns?

I don’t know. Does it matter? What’s the point?

The Coercion of Charlotte Church

One way I know that fighting sexism in music is necessary is by searching for the term “sexist music”. Every day there’s something new. And every day there’s something actually classed as “news”. 

The most recent of these is a story about Charlotte Church, a Welsh singer whose attack on sexism in the music industry over national radio made headlines yesterday. 

Having experienced coercion from male label bosses to wear revealing clothing and act in a sexually demonstrative way, she is angry about women being forced to show their sexuality as “a prize to be won” and a toy. 

She said her “history” in music videos has almost certainly limited her ability to market her music in certain areas where it would probably be best received. 

She also said her performances and appearances led to internet and social media harassment, seeing her called “slut”, “whore” and a “catalogue of other indignities”. 

This is a common phenomena, where women are both forced into taking their clothes off for music footage and performances, while simultaneously being vilified for it by viewers. 

She said the backlash against Miley Cyrus is a good example. 

What do you think? Promiscuity in video clips – liberating or limiting?

Justifying our guilty pleasures

I look back on music I loved when I was in highschool and I cringe like hell. Mariana’s Trench, The Fratellis, Cobra Starship, even Fall Out Boy. Their music was catchy and made me feel lots of things and was generally pretty decent. The songs I still remember the words to, even now. 

I almost have the attitude that, well, if I didn’t know the songs were sexist or misogynist back then, maybe neither did they. Wanting to forgive so I can still enjoy. I am so disappointed when I listen to songs that I love (in a nostalgic way…) and can barely justify the way I used to think. 

I am better disciplined now. If music I hear sounds like the singer judges women, objectifies women, hates women, or has unrealistic expectations of women (that last one is somewhat flexible, and I don’t know how to feel about Cake’s Short Skirt Long Jacket because, frankly, it’s just a bit confusing with that deadpan, melody-free voice he’s got) I generally can’t listen to it.

When I’m in clubs (on my biannual visits), I know I just have to deal with it. I make mental notes of how much I’m not enjoying myself, and that I probably just shouldn’t come back, but I know I can’t change it. 

I try to avoid criticizing friends’ choices of music because it’s one of those “pick your battles” kind of situations, and I’d rather keep my friends than feel morally superior for ten minutes. 

But when it comes to music I choose to listen to, I am selective like crazy. I know there is a popular way of dealing with skeazy music, which is generally to “compartmentalise” as Ann Friedman writes about in her article, Blurring the Lines: How to Enjoy Maybe-Sexist Music, but I am unable to abide. 

I am so angry at Thicke and West and Timberlake for their disrespect, laziness and unoriginality, that I can’t even WANT to listen as a guilty pleasure. It would be too guilty and not even close to pleasurable enough to bother forcing.

What do you think? How do you justify listening to music with an iffy moral message?