Essay on Popular Music and Gender

Submitted By doitmeow
Words: 1732
Pages: 7

Popular Music and Gender.

Is the music industry ruled by a certain gender? Today the popular music industry seems to be ruled by men. You rarely rock up to a gig and see a female audio technician, a female roadie, a female tour manager, a female lighting technician or for that matter a female musician who isn’t just a singer. Why is that? Women are just as capable as men to be an audio technician or a producer, they have ears just like men do, and are quite capable of mixing a band’s sound. You never hear a band say “yeah for our new album we went into the studio with “Insert woman’s name here” and we produced and recorded it with her” – I’ve never heard that once. But that’s not to say female producers aren’t out there but all in all there certainly isn’t enough ‘behind the scenes’ women in the music industry today. Most of the woman we see are the ones onstage wearing barely anything selling their music with their bodies and talentless auto tune. So does being a certain gender in the Popular Music Industry matter? Does being a certain gender determine your success in the music industry?

In today’s music, or any era of music for that matter you rarely see any female musicians who aren’t a just a singer. You never see a girl drummer rockin’ it onstage who is the equivalent in technical proficiency on drums like Mike Portney, Jeff Bowders or Marco Minnemann. You never see a girl rocking out on a guitar as good as Steve Vai, John Petrucci or Guthrie Govan just to name a few. There is no equivalent. Sure there are girls like Orianthi, and Jennifer Baton who both played guitar for Michael Jackson and are both amazing, but neither of them have the technical skills like the named guitarist above. Out of all the amazing drummers, guitarists and bassists, I doubt that there would even be one female musician considered in the top 100 of technical musicians. It’s sad that society has formed such a view that a female doesn’t put time into perfecting and honing their skills at a specific instrument to the level as some of the names above. There are also barely any female session musicians because the appeal society has made to young women is that they have to be the ones in the spot light and that’s the only way they will be successful.
What is so bad about a female putting all her time into mastering an instrument such as the drums or guitar? If men can do it why can’t women? There is said to be a femininity of a guitar the guitar being curvy like a woman, and the way that a man plays it - shares a male to female connection. In fact many male guitarists even named their guitar after a girls name, B.B. King calls his guitar Lucile, Steve Vai calls his guitars Evo and Flo. This shows how much of a male dominant instrument it is, making it less appealing for women to play something that men name after past female lovers or women they have cared about.

Why are there no female roadies? Sure, females aren’t as strong as men to be able to be a roadie, but with todays technology and the underlying need for equality who’s to say female’s can’t get the job done? Woman can be trained to use fork lifts and other machinery to move stages and stage sets and are strong enough to be able to move bands gear, why is it that it’s so uncommon? This is because society has made jobs like these unappealing to woman, they’ve shown them that it’s only acceptable to be at home cooking, cleaning and looking after their kids while their husband is out making the money, and if the woman was to have a job it must be an office job, waitressing, being a nurse or a receptionist etc. and in doing these jobs they are not actually doing the main job at hand they are more so the middle man, for example being a waitress - they are delivering the food, they aren’t the chef they didn’t cook the food they are just delivering it.
Receptionist – they inform their employer of client’s arrivals, schedule appointments etc. they don’t actually do the job that they