Inherently Sexist Music Industry v Charlotte Church - Can She Make a Difference?
We know which side we're on...
Charlotte Church seems willing to take on one of the biggest businesses in the world as she denounces the "culture of demeaning women" in the contemporary music industry. The 27-year-old singer made her comments as she delivered the keynote speech for the John Peel Lecture.
Having suffered the very same fate she accuses the music industry of inflicting on young female artists, Church has emerged as a popular voice of reason in a spectrum clearly lacking reason and forethought.
Miley Cyrus’s increased sexualisation of herself, and inanimate objects like foam fingers and wrecking balls, has catalysed the concern regarding an underlying culture of sexism and exploitation.
That’s not to say concerns were never felt until now, but they’ve certainly been crystallised by an increasing lack of censorship.
The music business is "a male dominated industry with a juvenile perspective on gender and sexuality" and increasingly wants "sex objects that appear child-like", Church claimed in her lecture. Young, female are made "to present themselves as hypersexualised, unrealistic, cartoonish, as objects, reducing female sexuality to a prize you can win," she added. (BBC)
"When I was 19 or 20 I found myself in this position, being pressurised into wearing more and more revealing outfits. The lines that I had spun at me again and again - generally by middle-aged men - were: 'You look great, you've got a great body, why not show it off?'
Of course, Church’s voice isn’t the first in recent times to address the growing trend of scantily clad and influential music icons selling their music via a chemistry of sex and merchandise.
Annie Lennox recently called for music video age ratings, while Sinead O’Connor – who penned an open letter to Cyrus, pleading for her to re-think her image – have both expressed concern. But in Church’s case, she represents the most contemporary voice speaking out on this matter.
Despite being the legends they are, 16-year-old girls don’t tend to make Lennox or O’Connor’s words their gospel. At least with Church fighting the good fight, one gets the impression a younger demographic will heed her words.
"As Tony Hall, the BBC's director general, announces the new iPlayer channel for Radio 1, the question must be asked - should programmers take into consideration the image of an artist when deciding whether to play and promote their music?” added Church in the keynote speech.
"There are countless examples from the last few years of songs that have been in high rotation, that have little to no artistic worth, but are just plain rude."
Charlotte Church performs at G.A.Y