Recently I watched a documentary called So, which band is your boyfriend in? about the imbalance of gender equality in Music.
This isn’t something that tends to be at the forefront of our minds… after all we see plenty of Female artists dominating the charts, don’t we? Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Adele… surely this is static proof of gender balance?!
If you scratch the surface, however, there is in fact a somewhat grim layer of sexism enveloping the music industry even today.
In a study conducted by Female Pressure an international collective of female artists, women comprise only 9.3% of artists listed on music label rosters.
This shocking data, if accurate, suggests that female presence in music is hugely overshadowed by male presence, to the sum of over 90%!!!
As a small show of solidarity to Women in the Music Industry… and in homage to our own female music teachers and students here at The Music Rooms, we have composed a list of our Top Inspirational Women in Music, in no particular order.
Ellie Rowsell (Wolf Alice)
London born Ellie is the front woman (guitar & vocals) of the alternative rock group Wolf Alice.
“There are and always has been a number of women in rock music to look up to and admire, but not nearly enough and I do feel we still have a long way to go in encouraging young girls to pick up a guitar or drumsticks and get involved in rock / alternative music.”
This 3 piece band of American Pop Rock Sisters insist that… “We’re a band. Not a girl band!”
Icelandic artist Bjork has been described by some as a restlessly experimental creative force.
She has recently written an open letter addressing the sexism she claims to have received, stating that female artists are criticised if they don’t “cut our chest open and bleed about the men in our lives.”
Irish singer/ songwriter Sinead is said to have cut her hair off in response to male record executives who’d been trying to goad her into wearing miniskirts, into appearing more traditionally feminine.
Nicknamed the “godmother of punk” and famed also for her work in Poetry and influences on bands such as U2 and Garbage. Admittedly not overly zealous about the feminist movement Smith says… “As far as I’m concerned being any gender is a drag”
American Rock trio Sleater Kinney are renowned for their feminist and left-leaning political views.
“Culture is what we make it/ Yes it is/ Now is the time/ To invent it”
Emily Haines (Metric)
Lead Singer, songwriter and keyboardist of the Canadian Rock band Metric.
“sadly I think it continues to be the case with women where as an artist you are only going to be compared with other women”
Australian singer-songwriter, producer and music video director… Sias refusal to be critiqued on her appearance has seen her perform live on Late Night with Seth Myers, lying face down on a bed as Lena Dunham danced around the stage.
Shirley Manson (Garbage) Singer, songwriter and lead vocalist of the rock band Garbage. Manson is known for her feminist views and rebellious attitude…
“I think any woman that breaks conventional rules, stereotyping, is fighting the good fight,”
Hats off to ALL Musicians. Men, Women, Children. Because gender equality is not a Woman issue, it’s a Human issue.