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  • Emily Sung

#MusicSoMale

Updated: Dec 11, 2021

by Emily Sung


 

It started with #OscarsSoWhite and has now turned to #GrammysSoMale. Alessia Cara is

the only woman that received a solo woman award in the 2017 Grammys ignited a spark among fans across the globe, saying that the Grammys were biased towards male singers and did not even give a mere opportunity for women to shine. Both awards show displayed blatant

discrimination toward minorities, and people sought for a change.


It is also statistically shown, according to the Forbes, that the Grammy nominees between

2013 to 2019 included merely 10.4 percent of women and that they have a significantly lesser

chance of winning as well. The 2015 Grammys Song of the Year went to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”, the 2017 award to “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars, and the 2018 one

to Childish Gambino’s “This is America.”


Not only is the disparity between genders portrayed through the irregular distribution of

awards, but it also is exhibited by the views of the public towards these singers. Male singers

such as Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, or Charlie Puth are regarded as highly respectful, true musicians, whereas female singers, including Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga are viewed as people begging for attention simply because of the public stereotype. It is normal to simply view female singers and their stages in that manner, and it has been so deeply ingrained in people’s minds that it is now regarded as a conventional pop culture to segregate the stages and performances of female and male singers. It is also shown that the talent that female singers have is also degraded due to the constant compliments about body shape or facial features, which significantly decrease when the subject turns to men. For instance, the comments for videos posted on platforms such as YouTube drastically differ for male and female singers, where male singers are complimented for their voice and stage manner, but female singers for their looks, body, and makeup.


Even in the more familiar setting of South Korea and K-pop, the generic male group

concept would be perceived as attractive and musically talented. However, the public does not expect anything more from female groups than to be sexy or cute. Female groups, without the freedom to explore other concepts, are trapped in a box requiring them to be like simple dolls for the public. That is why the stage clothes of female groups and singers in South Korea are so revealing-- for the public to admire their body shape instead of focusing on their vocal talent. The reason why the makeup of female singers tend to be thicker than male singers because they need to look attractive for their group can gain popularity.


The sad reality of gender disparity seems to be unending. However, it is visible that the public is currently aiming to minimize this gap. Although opinions on this issue differ, people are slowly starting to respect females for their talent, complimenting female singers on their voice, vocal range, and stage presence, which did not previously exist. Constant efforts from the public including hashtag movements and petitions to large music corporations are striving for a change in musical power for women, and the future seems bright as positive change seems to be happening in the status quo.

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