Pink quotas in music: this is why they are necessary

We left you last week with a bitter reflection regarding the gender disparity with respect to STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and we welcome you today with new bad news: music is a feminine term, certainly not a feminist. To say it is not me, but "Inclusion in the Recording Studio?", A report created by Professor Staty l. Smith, supported by some collaborators and financed by Spotify.

The study sponsored by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative of the University of South Carolina, analyzing the genre and race of singers, writers and producers on a sample of 800 songs that appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 year-End Charts from 2012 to 2019, reveals how much the gender equality is still a mirage. The male component, in fact, continues to remain well anchored to its position of domination. Even the musical one, therefore, must be added to the list of areas in which women have to work tirelessly to have their merits recognized and win a place that is only theirs, earned with double the effort compared to their male colleagues.

In Sanremo 7 women out of 24 singers

To better understand the phenomenon, we can consider an all-Italian reality: only 7 women out of a total of 24 artists will perform on the stage of Sanremo, the Festival of Italian music. As Michela Murgia, Italian writer and playwright explains, "the fact can only have two explanations: either women sing worse than men ... or someone is convinced". It is not, therefore, a question of meritocracy: in fact, women are not discriminated against as less deserving than men, women are discriminated against as women, based on their gender, a burden for which they are not guilty.

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The most alarming figure for women producers

The report also brings to our attention the even more discriminating condition faced by women producers. Through an analysis that took into consideration a period of time equal to 5 years, it is clear that the number of women employed as producers is equal to 2.6%, or one woman for every 37 men.

She Is The Music: an "organization for equal opportunities in music

It is in this context that initiatives aimed at eliminating the gender gap in music are born. For example, She Is The Music, a non-profit organization that aims to provide psychological and material support to women working in the recording industry, following a philosophy centered on equality, inclusiveness and opportunities, should be mentioned.

Let's not lose hope

Despite everything, Professor Smith is keen to emphasize that, in 2019, 22.5% of the best songs were female singers. A positive figure if we consider that in 2018 the percentage stood at 16.8%. Also, in 2019, more than half of the artists on the popular charts were women of color. Which is comforting compared to another discrimination, that of racialism.

And to close with a flourish, with a modicum of optimism and hope that, why not, can stimulate and inspire us, we want to celebrate two women who have won the Grammy Awards. Billie Eilish who, at 18, is the youngest artist in history to have been nominated in the four main categories, Best Album, Best Recording, Best Song and Best Revelation Artist, winning all of them and Lizzo who, black and over-size, breaks aesthetic and racial prototypes and wins the award for Best Performance and Best Contemporary Urban Album.

Two artists, singers and, above all, women, who have learned to make their voices heard. Brave!

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