Ah, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. One of those musical milestones that sounds really important and prestigious, but how important and prestigious is it really? Is it really even about rock and roll anymore considering the likes of Tupac Shakur, N.W.A., and Run-DMC have been inducted? This topic is something that has been debated by industry professionals and artists alike, with no clear consensus. There is, however, something that is glaringly obvious to everyone in the music community: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is seriously lacking in women inductees.
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic
Before I go on, let me preface this by saying I went through and tallied actual INDIVIDUALS inducted from each act and didn’t base this on the total number of acts in the Hall itself. After this year’s induction of the Queen of the Coven Stevie Nicks (for the second time!!) and Janet Jackson (Miss Jackson, if ya nasty), the total number of women who are members of the Hall is shy of 100, while men are nearing a thousand. That is a crazy discrepancy which so clearly paints men as the arbiters of rock and roll when women too have made significant impacts on the genre and on music itself. So why is this?
I was recently having a conversation about the industry with a classmate who simply chalked up bad behavior by male artists to the ethos of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll. But the idea of the “rock 'n roll” lifestyle permitted so much more than that. It not only gave men permission to behave badly because it was “part of the culture,” it also allowed people to dismiss women pursuing careers in music, specifically in rock genres. The rough-and-tumble lifestyle of a musician was seen as one only attainable by men, because women simply couldn’t handle it. I mean, after all, rock and roll shows are no place for any well-respected lady.
Does this sound familiar? Of course! Women are often not taken seriously when entering spaces that are predominantly male, regardless of the industry. Of course women are having a hard time receiving these sorts of lifetime achievement awards now -- it’s simply because they were never given the chance to shine in the first place. It’s a story we’ve seen time and time again, and one that seriously needs to be rewritten.
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
In her acceptance speech, Miss Jackson called on the Hall of Fame to induct more women in 2020, and I second that call! Let’s start giving more women credit where credit has been due to men without question. I’d like to personally nominate Cher, for literally being CHER, No Doubt for giving girls permission to be loud and opinionated and to not give a damn (here’s looking at you Gwen), and TLC for their fierceness and blessing me with my go-to karaoke song “No Scrubs.”
Who do you wanna see get nominated next year? Let me know by commenting on this piece or finding me on social media below!
#TheCrush Report is a monthly recap of what's happening in the biz by music publicist Chloe Cardio. You can follow Chloe at @chlo_vah on Instagram and Twitter.
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