The music industry is a breeding ground for sexism. While the pandemic has helped spark an unprecedented movement to liberate the voices of victims of sexist and sexual violence in the community, women still have to overcome many obstacles to find a place for themselves. decryption.
The Midia Research Institute has investigated the place of women in the music world. It is clear that this industry does not leave them much behind. 81% of the 401 women surveyed by the institute believe that it is more difficult for female artists to be recognized than their male colleagues. Even more disturbing, nine in ten respondents say the music industry treats its professionals differently based on their gender.
A particularly hostile environment for women
Several factors contribute to this unfinished egalitarian dynamic. Among them are the many instances of gender-based and sexual violence that have plagued the profession for many years. By 2020, the MusicToo collective had collected more than 300 testimonials about the abuses faced by women in the music world. They’re just the tip of the iceberg: 67% of women who work in the music industry (artists or professionals) in the United States say they’ve been the victim of sexual harassment at least once, according to a 2018 survey by the Music Industry Research Association.
The hypersexualization of artists, ageism, the festive atmosphere and the uncertainty of the profession are all peculiarities that can make the music industry particularly hostile to women. More than 80% of professionals surveyed by Midia Research agree that women must necessarily “have good looks (appearance, image, visual performance) and sound” to break into the industry. Russian DJ Nina Kraviz paid the price. “People were suspicious of a beautiful woman who made music on her own, with a vision. They couldn’t control me. It was like, ‘It can’t be possible to wear lipstick and make music’”she told the Guardian in 2018.
Fight gender stereotypes
Another major concern for women in music is their age. Many say they worry about getting older, regardless of their age. “The music industry wants female performers to be young — which is partly symptomatic of the industry’s obsession with youth, but also of women being successful before they’re supposed to be mothers.”, reads the Midia Research report. Women can find it difficult to get rid of these gender stereotypes, especially in certain very “masculine” branches of the music industry. Two-thirds of the respondents feel particularly excluded from composing and producing music.
More and more professionals in the sector are setting up collectives to encourage the music industry to review its functioning. And it could work. A third of study participants (35%) believe that mentoring and coaching could encourage more women to pursue careers in music, as well as structural and legislative changes. Quotas are also a solution suggested by 29% of respondents. Several music festivals have made the choice and are now ensuring parity in their programming. But there is still a long way to go before the music industry is equally equal.
(ETX Daily Up)