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'The Negative Effects of Gender Stereotypes on Women in Music' by Hannah Perry

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posted on 22.06.2021, 13:50 by Hannah Perry
SPARC 2021 Poster No. 13

Gender inequality in music has been well documented for decades. Academics have analysed lack of access to musical spaces for people identifying as women; the so called “boys’ club” excluding women from networking; and mechanisms in the documentation of the musical cannon focusing on male achievements. However, the current academic debate rarely uses a combined approach linking both numerical data with a theoretical sociological analysis, nor does recent study in the field use wide-ranging data sets. This study aims to contribute to the discussion of women in music by understanding gender stereotypes in music and explore how these occur in society. Through a mixed methodology approach, the study will count the
number of women present in musical platforms such as Glastonbury Festival, Coachella Festival, Leeds and Reading Festival, Download Festival, Rolling Stone Magazine, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Air Guitar Championships, which will be examined through several theoretical lenses: genre and sociological analysis, Michel Foucault’s gaze theory, and feminist theory - including concepts of the “other” and the somatic norm. I argue that musical genre has replicated gender stereotypes performed in society, thus creating extreme gender inequality in music. Ultimately, the study displays a shocking deficit of female performers in major musical spaces of visibility from the 1970s to 2019, which does not dramatically improve over time, despite the proclaimed postfeminist advances in Anglophone societies. I argue that musical genres have replicated gender stereotypes practiced in society, thus creating extreme gender inequality in music.