FEMALE EMPOWERMENT - 4
Everyday this week I’m bringing you guest blogs on the topic of 'Female Empowerment' / 'Empowering Women in song'. Please check out the links to each of these talented people:
Sara Vian - Singer Songwriter
When I look at those words [Female Empowerment] I think of Grace.
Just like the Queen I think if we look up and get the love and approval we need from above/within instead of people, we can walk with independent authority over our own lives and project self-acceptance and confidence which in turn makes others respect us and meet us equally (the Spirit level!).
Molly-Anne - Singer Songwriter
The empowerment of women is a tricky subject, with the music industry still amplifying white, cis-gender, male voices more than any other and pay gaps reflecting a systematic sexism that is supported by big, corporate business. Radio stations all over the world are operating on a 7:1 ratio of male to female music. Festival headliners are more likely to be male by 82%. Is there a lack of female artists? Where are all the female songwriters?
Trust me. We're here. We exist. We demand to be heard.
In many genres of music women are still being objectified. The most obvious being in rap and hip-hop where women are often described as 'bitches' or 'hoes' and are seen as possessions to be commodified. Country music is another contender. Enter: The badass, smokin' hot chick in denim hotpants slamming on an electric guitar. Enter; the virtuous farmer's daughter too angelic and pure to be touched by a man.
Women in the music industry are struggling everyday with stereotypes like these, alongside ingrained misogyny and sexism, not to mention the unattainable Eurocentric beauty standards we are expected to adhere to. Name me one major non-binary, BAEM voice currently well-known within the music industry. Can't? Didn't think so.
The empowerment of women cannot just come from women. This cannot be and should not be a fight for our voices. In order for the world to be righted our voices must be amplified by those favoured by society. This is a responsibility for all men to be humbled and note that simply by being born with a penis you will never have to face the experience of constantly fighting to be taken seriously as a musician or songwriter.
To be assumed to always be 'just the pretty face at the front of the band' and all your music is written and performed by men.
To be talked over by sound engineers, producers, stage technicians (...) who automatically assume you have no idea what you're doing.
To be underpaid. Constantly.
To lose headline spots to men and male bands.
To be told what to write and sing about.
To be told how to dress and to wear more makeup. Less makeup. Then more again.
To be told your musicianship is 'good for a girl'.
To have your image, clothes, actions and words picked apart by people who will never know you.
To be warned your performing career will 'end at 30' because women over 30 aren't worth an investment.
To struggle to build a fanbase online unless you fit the Eurocentric beauty standards. Men do not have this problem.
To always be described as 'sexy' or 'beautiful' instead of 'talented' and 'hardworking'.
The list goes on.
Sure everybody has hardships and I don't doubt you face your own prejudices. But if you are a white, cis-gender man reading this and your first thought is "women don't have it that bad, they have equal rights nowadays!" you are a part of the problem. It takes a strong human soul to amplify another's voice over their own in a bid to lift our society out of thousands of years of systematic sexism. Don't put us in your boxes. Don't expect us to look, sound, act, sing, write or be any certain way. We will not adhere to your standards. We are all individuals. We are all different.
We must lift one another in order to rise together. Together we must take the first step.