Tag Archives: gender

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? 



“Older” women in music

Women are kicked out of music when they get older. 

That isn’t an opinion. 

Of course, it’s not 100% of the time, but it’s so damn close that we’re loathe to admit that. 

Think about the women over 40 years old that you can name who are still making music that tops pop charts. How many are there? 

Now think about the men, or male-dominated bands. 

If there’s not a distinct imbalance, we’re worried you’re not thinking hard enough. Or thinking too hard, perhaps. 

A recent post on thelavalizard.com explored this issue. 

Using Mariah Carey as an example, the article showed the progression from young, dominating star to laughable has-been.

“After being introduced to consumers as the innocent, MOR (middle of the road) girl next door in the early 1990s, the diva was reborn in 1997 as a sexy butterfly with a point to prove to her then estranged husband, Tommy Mottola.

“Sadly, Carey’s experienced several personal and professional upsets at the turn of the century as her career seemingly came to an end. In addition to being labelled insane – her Hello Kitty obsession clearly didn’t help her cause – the public’s interest in her sex appeal began to fade and there were several calls by critics for her to cover her lovely lady lumps. What else coincidentally happened around that time? Carey turned 30.”

The article does well to pinpoint the issue as it appears today: “…music is a product, women are used to sell those products and the primary target audience for media companies are men.”

The recent obsession with image and visual stimulation has meant that women are no longer seen as talent, and are now seen as bodies. The ageist agenda of music and the mainstream music industry means that women past 40 aren’t competitive. They’re ignored. They’re clowns. They’re done. 

What do you think? Are women less marketable in music once they get older? Do you see a difference between men and women in visual value? Are you convinced?