- Has the traditional male dominated gender role in contempo...
Has the traditional male dominated gender role in contemporary popular music been affected by sexual representation of female artists?
This piece of work aims to identify the extent to which popular
international female recording artists have changed/influenced
traditional theories of gender politics in popular music over the
course of the last twenty years. I also intend to outline the
ways in which they have succeeded in challenging traditional
stereotypes in accordance with the current discourses on feminism
of that particular period. I shall, through the course of
this work, refer chronologically to key performers from the world
of music who have significantly influenced the representation of
women by adopting into their personas a form of sexual
characteristics that have been traditionally associated and
restricted to male performers. My aim is to offer an
evaluation of Frith and McRobbie's theory that ''male domination of
the music industry leads to representations of masculinity in
contemporary pop music'' (Longhurst, 1995).
Since it emerged as a dominant form of youth culture in the
1950s and 1960s with the explosion of popular music and rock and
roll in particular the music industry has been characterized by a
pervasive sexism (Shuker, 1994). The majority of performers
at this time were male, as this is still arguably the case, as were
the main decision-makers in the broader music industry.
Sexism is defined as the denial of equal rights and power to women,
as well as discrimination against female voices in music resulting
in the marginalistion of women in the industry.
Other songs raised awareness about female issues and aimed to
empower fellow African American women. In 1991 Salt n Pepa's
Let's talk about sex raised the issue of female sexuality and it's
double standards while in 1998 TLC 's Unpretty criticized the
social pressure placed on women to conform to stereotypical
ideas of beauty and appearance.
''Women rappers present not only sisterly messages of
inspiration and encouragement, but also harsh critiques of one
another designed to elicit a higher consciousness about women's
oppressions as well as women's inherent worth and