Friedlander Gender Roles

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In the reading for this week, Friedlander discusses how the rise of female musicians in the early 1960s reflected the sexism inherent in society at the time through the labelling of talented performers simply as “girl groups” (pg. 72). This term infantilized artists like The Ronettes, The Shirelles and The Crystals, and by extension, implied that rock music was still a male domain. This is supported by the fact that the production teams behind hit records such as ‘Be My Baby’ were predominantly male. According to Friedlander, if a “girl group” achieved a million-seller record in the early 1960s, they would collectively only receive around $30,000-$40,000 to split between members thanks to a 3-4% royalty rate (pg. 74). Although singles like ‘Da Doo Ron Ron’ (The Crystals) and ‘Baby, I Love You’ (The Ronettes) involved little creative contribution from the performers (both of these examples were produced and co-written by Phil…show more content…
It is evident that in the ten years that separated these artists, very little progress was made in rectifying sexism within the entertainment industry. Despite the fact that women were starting to gain prominence as rock and roll artists in the early 1960s, they were treated like commodities by their male overlords and marketed in a belittling fashion. Although the internet has allowed anyone to record and distribute their own compositions in recent years, I believe that gender inequality is still an issue within rock music; mainstream artists are still predominantly male, while magazines about rock music typically cater to a male audience. When Rolling Stone unveiled its list of the “100 Greatest Songwriters of all Time” earlier in 2015, only 9 members of the list were women. A similar trend can be found in almost any supposedly definitive list of best albums, songs or groups from the last fifty

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