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Failure to recognize female artists during 2018 Grammys underlines misogyny in field

Nina Schimcek

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This year, the 60th Grammy Award Show was interesting to watch because the social change that people have been fighting for over the past few years take place. Kendrick Lamar, who won five awards, rapped and had choreography about what it is like to be a black man in America. Latinos had representation with the performance of Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, which has a record breaking music video with over 500 billion views. Sam Smith, an openly gay musician, was able to perform a song about reaching to God for guidance. Childish Gambino brought out an African American boy, JD McCrary, to perform with him, promoting black excellence among youth. Camila Cabello talked briefly about her experiences of being the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the need to protect Dreamers.  However, the representation of female artists was appalling, to put it simply.

Many people are outraged over the fact that Ed Sheeran beat out a group full of women for the awards Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance. SZA, the most nominated female, lost in the categories Best New Artist, Best R&B Song, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best R&B Performance. Out of the nine awards presented live, only one winner was female and Lorde, the only female to be nominated for Album of The Year, was the only one in that category not asked to perform.

While it is easy to pin this on the male winners and performers, it is important to remember that this is not their fault. The blame should be placed on the Grammy president, Neil Portnow, and the voting members. The winning artists and albums are not based off of record sales or how high up on the charts they got; the nominees are voted on by “experts.”

During an interview backstage with Variety, Portnow is quoted saying “I think it has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and their souls who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, who want to be producers, who want to be part of the industry on an executive level to step up.”

In the music industry, women have always had to work harder than men to get their music recognized in a way that it deserves. Ke$ha wrote and sang about how she overcame the emotional trauma her rapist, producer Dr. Luke,  put her through, Lady Gaga wrote about her deceased aunt and P!nk wrote about how women should not give up their fight. They lost to Ed Sheeran, who won because he wrote about the how he loves the shape of a woman’s body.

Men are in for a rude awakening, especially Portnow, if they think women have yet to “step up” and have been slacking off in their music. The music industry is no longer a place for sexism to thrive. People are fighting back against Portnow with a petition that already has 10,000 signatures to remove him from The Recording Academy.

Award shows such as the Grammys bring to light the importance of fighting for feminism. It lets us see how men are still holding women to different standards that are much higher than other men. It is vital for men in the music industry to check themselves and make sure women are always getting equal treatment. If they see injustice, they must speak up or take further action to prevent it from continuing. This is a major problem with seemingly easy solutions – men just need to realize they are not better than women because of their gender.

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Failure to recognize female artists during 2018 Grammys underlines misogyny in field