Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Guest post – why music needs women-only awards

The Ticket’s production supremo Anthea McTeirnan has an interesting piece in today’s paper about why music needs women-only awards. Given the success of past ventures like Ladyfest, it may – or, indeed, may not – be something worth considering. Anyway, …

Fri, Mar 7, 2008, 09:18

   

The Ticket’s production supremo Anthea McTeirnan has an interesting piece in today’s paper about why music needs women-only awards. Given the success of past ventures like Ladyfest, it may – or, indeed, may not – be something worth considering. Anyway, we thought we’d put the piece in the blog as well to see what people thought. Over to Anthea….

They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said . . . wait a minute I’ll just finish the vacuuming, turn off the cooker and put the kids to bed. Rock’n’ roll enough for you boys? Obviously not.

So, big up to Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, Mama Cass, Karen Carpenter and whole rockin’ girl crew who have proven that we ladies can turn it up to 11 in the self-abuse stakes as well as the next guy. Great. They have won the sneaking R-E-S-P-E-C-T of the boys who write the history of rock.

Those same boys are currently mid-climax over the emergence of the latest tranche of lady talent. I give you Kate Nash, Adele, Duffy, even Lily bloody Allen. Girls, we are told, are now “officially” on top.

In fact, double X chromosome carriers are so in the ascendant that, here’s an idea (thanks Mr Brian Boyd, writing in last week’s Ticket): there is no longer any need for separate awards for male and female artists at music industry love-ins.

“Female is not a genre” declared Ms Kate Nash at the recent Brit awards. You bet it’s not a genre, Kate. That’s what makes it so easy to ignore, which is what would happen if you dropped the distinction. And in case you didn’t notice, there were seven other Brit awards that weren’t gender-specific. None was won by women.

They gave out 20 gongs at last week’s NME awards. Four went to women. Kate “Germaine” Nash picked up best solo artist. I am so bitter. But the other three lady trophies went to Amy Winehouse (Worst Dressed), Britney Spears (Worst Album) and Kylie Minogue (Sexiest Woman). Case closed.

And feel the shame. This publication isn’t immune. Last week The Ticket offered up our top 40 Irish albums – ever! Guess what? Only one was by a female solo artist. SinĂ©ad O’Connor, take a bow.

Very few women get a passport to that boys’-own world of rock’n’ roll. Those who do are the gals the male-driven music industry approves of. Kate, Amy, Adele et al are not in the vanguard of some sort of feminist revolution. There’s nothing new about the music business pushing a bunch of female solo singers. The industry loves a girl who can belt out a dirge. It’s less keen on women who wield a bass, smash a cymbal or display a penchant for crowd surfing. (Thanks, Beth Ditto, for putting yourself on the radar).

As for girl power, yes, The Spice Girls were a male-constructed sham. D’oh. We got that bit. So’s the whole industry. At least I was able to vote for the members of Girls Aloud on TV. They weren’t hand-picked from The Brit School by some beardy mogul.

Never mind the bollocks. Next year let’s have our own women-only awards ceremony. Oh, and Kate Nash . . . you’re not getting one.

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