Pounding in your ears, deafening screams and cheers coming from all around. Standing, surrounded by a massive crowd of strangers and friends, shoulders touching as you watch the colorful flashing lights up high. A heated night with soul touching words, and a tall metal platform in the way of you and the voice that is touching your soul. Something crosses your mind, where are the women on the platform? Are there any? Do they have a chance?
Are women still fighting for gender equality? It is far from being accepted completely but it has come a far way thus not enough to remove completely, in some peoples minds women should have to look like a half naked Barbie doll to be famous. In some circumstances the music industries are proud of women who make it high on the music charts because it is harder for women than it is for men to get noticed unless they are attractive. If you look at musicians solo or in bands, the females will more than likely be attractive, it doesn’t mean they have gotten as far as they have by looks but people still believe sex sells. Now is this the industries fault or the public’s. Steven Cannatelli, who has seen the music industry inside and out believes sexism is a cultural issue.
‘Sexism is not a musical issue it’s a cultural one,’ said Cannatelli. ‘Women aren’t sexualised in the music industry to the degree that they were in the 70’s and 80’s but to say it doesn’t happen would be a lie.’
Could Unify be sexist? Outrage struck when the two thousand and seventeen heavy music gathering event in Gippsland, have sparks flying on social media with the matter of only two female performers from two bands, this is out of twenty six bands on Unify’s lineup list, you would think Unify only likes male acts but that is not the case, in the music industry it just so happens to be a Male-saturated business. Women are not usually neglected but only that the matter is there are more males and little females in the industry, for a festival to find twenty six bands which they can afford, manage to get the bands on the days needed, get the genres needed, and as well as compete with what the public wants, that is not an easy task. Unify is not the only festival under fire from sexism, Strawberry Fields, a music and arts festival just outside of Melbourne, also goes under controversy from social media, after their music event has been accused of also consisting of a sausage fest – not the kind you eat. The all-male lineup announcement left the public thinking the music festival was being sexist. The event organizers say the debate is centered around the quality of artists’ music, not their gender. Is this truly the case? Music Director of Strawberry Fields, Tara Benny, fights back for the belief that it was not done on purpose.
“Gender bias played absolutely no part in the decisions made,” Benny said to ‘Pedestrian’ in an article.
She explains the bands are not booked by gender but by if the organizers ‘like their music.’
The public plays a big part in what genre and people go into a performance, the same with festivals.
There are more males in the music industry therefore there is more likely to be more males at festivals, however this is not much of an excuse for a festival to be a sausage fest, it is primarily a reason as to why there are more males on stage. The public control what musicians become famous therefore they are mostly at fault for the high percent of male bands.
Are women still sexualised in the music industry? This subject is a two edged sword, attacked by the opposite side from which your opinions are. Some people believe solo acts like Miley Cyrus and Beyonce are sexualised in the music industry, the public believe that musicians are put on display as Barbie dolls and if they didn’t dress in swimsuits or ride sausages on stage they wouldn’t be as famous as they are. Others believe Miley Cyrus was just growing up like an average teenager does and wanted to have fun, she just did it all on stage. Could the public be putting too much pressure on females in the music industry to look like the perfect Barbie doll? Is this why women are sexualised in the industry? So are females judged on their looks and if they don’t look attractive on stage they will lose business? Women are not as sexualised in the music industry as much as they use to be but it is still a mind set. The public believe sex sells, although the music industry has come a long way, it is far from erasing sexism and women being sexualised.
Video 1 Credit: Unify – A heavy music gathering – YouTube
Video 2 Credit: Strawberry Fields Festival – YouTube
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