It's a problem rarely discussed. The treatment of women in the music industry by their labels, producers, and fellow artists. While the sexualization and objectification cannot be contested, as it has been front and center for the last couple decades, there are far darker circumstances female artists and other women face in this industry. Circumstances that require a closer look...
While there are many female artists on the scene right now, there are not nearly as many women working behind the scenes as label heads and producers. In fact, according to an article found on BBC, not only are 95% of record producers and sound engineers men, but only three women have been nominated for Producer Of The Year and neither won. This is a notoriously male dominated industry and chances are many of the issues women in this industry face can be traced back the lack of female authority. Perhaps having women in powerful positions will ensure more equality in the music world.
Graphic and sexually explicit lyrics are one thing, but mentions of sexual assault and violence towards women are another. Robin Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I.'s 2013 smash summer hit Blurred Lines is still one of the highest grossing singles in history. The song is fun, "sexy", and upbeat and sounds ok until you really listen to the lyrics. Lyrics such as "I know you want it." To put it plainly this song is about date rape. The fact that this song spent 10 weeks at the top of charts is troubling and problematic. Blurred Lines is one of many songs that feature disturbing lyrics like these. Date rape is a very serious issue and should never be glamorized or marketed as "sexy."
ABUSE BY PRODUCERS
Many of you will be familiar with the #FreeKesha movement. A protest which emerged in the wake of a lawsuit in which former pop singer Kesha who sued producer and manager Dr. Luke (Lukas Gottwald) Kesha alleged that Gottwald had among other things, emotionally and sexually abused her in the course of their working relationship. Kesha hoped to get out of her contract with Gottwald, but her efforts did not prevail as The matter has gone to court and is ongoing. Mistreatment of female artists by their producers is more common than one would think. Female artists have come forward with allegations much like those made by Kesha.
Jackie Fox of the Runaways alleged that producer Kim Fowley raped her at a party 40 years ago. She opened up about the ordeal in a feature story for The Huffington Post. Which you can read for yourself here.
Lady Gaga, who showed public support for Kesha, recently revealed that she was raped by a producer during the early years of her career when she was only 19. Gaga recalled being completely traumatized as a result.
I wrote this article to shine a light on a situation and problem not many are aware of. I did not write it suggesting all male producers are rapists, nor do I believe that all men in the music deserve to villainized for the actions of others in this business. This was simply to raise awareness and maybe to remind you to be conscious of what you are supporting when you buy this music.