Triple J can and should play an active and crucial role in encouraging, fostering, and promoting female musical talent. Triple J, it's time to acknowledge there is a problem and be an active player in the fight for gender equality in the music industry!
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We believe that Triple J can, and should, play an active and crucial role in encouraging, fostering, and promoting female musical talent. We therefore call on Triple J management to;
1. Play more awesome music by women, for everyone.
2. Acknowledge that the under representation of women in the Hottest 100 is a problem and research possible explanations for why women are under represented in the Hottest 100 poll.
3. Commit to being an active player in the fight for gender equality in the music industry.
4. Engage with the music community to develop and implement concrete strategies to encourage, foster and promote female musical talent. Some suggestions include;
a. Introduce a weekly segment dedicated to playing only women artists.
b. Engage key women musicians and stakeholders to discuss and evaluate ideas to increase gender equality.
c. Create a gender equality policy, including gender quotas for presenters and artists on regular rotation, with public and regular reporting.
d. Create a women only page on the Triple J website to promote new and established female artists. This page could also be referred to during the next Hottest 100 to remind voters of all the excellent songs by women to consider voting for next January.
We love Triple J.
#Women4Hottest100 was created by a group of 20- and 30- somethings who love Triple J and listen to the Hottest 100 every year. We love that Triple J is a successful national broadcaster that promotes Australian music, hosts gigs in regional towns, builds and is responsive to youth culture. The #Tay4hottest100 campaign, while disqualified for legitimate reasons, brought back into focus the significant drought of women artists making it into the poll, particularly in the top 20. We wanted to do something constructive to improve the gender equality in future Triple J Hottest 100 lists and also start a conversation about how we can promote more women artists, particularly Australian women.
Promoting music on Triple J translates to success, including votes in the Hottest 100.
For forty years, Triple J has been instrumental in unearthing and promoting Australian music. Their efforts to promote Australian music are evident in the latest Hottest 100 poll where nearly 60% of songs were by Australian artists, with the next highest county represented, the USA, only scored about 15% of the entries.
Women are consistently underrepresented.
However, it is evident that women artists are consistently underrepresented in the Triple J Hottest 100. In 2015, only 21 of the 100 songs featured women in prominent roles (Koziol, 2015). When you look at the individual musicians, of the 273 musicians in this year's countdown, only 34 of which were women – and these ratios are similar each year (Briggs, 2015). The Hottest 100 of all time notoriously polled zero female artists. Not a single one. Only six acts contained a female instrumentalist or guest vocalist (Koziol, 2015).
Women are often taken less seriously than men in the music industry.
Women artists regularly deal with sexism in the music industry, including not being taken seriously and being encouraged to be ‘sexy’ in a way that men are not. Tatiana Alvarez recently told her story to the Telegraph where she found herself having to dress as a man for a year to be taken seriously as a DJ – and suddenly booked gigs easily as her male alter ego (de Bertodano, 2015).
When it comes to voting, our internal gender bias kicks in.
No-one is suggesting that voters in the Triple J Hottest 100 actively avoid voting for women artists. Triple J’s post-Hottest 100 infographic shows a reasonably even gender split of voters with 48% women and 52% men of the 2 million plus voters (Triple J, 2015). However, the outcome shows an incredible gender bias towards male artists. Interestingly, Triple J did not include the gender break down of artists in this infographic, which suggests management is aware of the problem. Which brings us to…
We believe that Triple J can and should play an active and crucial role in encouraging, fostering, and promoting female musical talent.
Triple J’s active support and promotion of Australian music has shown that this support directly contributes to increasing the success of Australian artists, including their likelihood of making it into the Triple J Hottest 100 poll. It’s time to start promoting women too.
Briggs, Casey. The hottest 100 by numbers. Accessed 27 January 2015.http://www.caseybriggs.com/blog/2015/1/26/the-2014-hottest-100-by-the-numbe:rs; http://caseybriggs.tumblr.com/post/52540078370/women-in-the-hottest-100-some-numbers
de Bertodano, Helena. Why I had to dress up as a man to get ahead. The Telegraph, 25 January 2015.
Koziol, Michael. It's a man's world. Sydney Morning Herald, 27 January 2015. http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/triple-j-hottest-100-its-a-mans-world-20150127-12yx4x.html
Triple J. Hottest 100 in numbers. Accessed 27 January 2015.
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