Last updateWed, 13 Dec 2017 8am


Ladies Who Rock

Ladies RockWe all know that women have had their struggles in the work force and in society in general. The question here is, do we also see this problem in the music industry? Why does it seem that male musicians and boy bands are more popular than female recording artists? Is there a double standard in the music industry where more is expected of women than men?

If we think back in history, there have been plenty of girl musicians that were influential in the industry, such as The Ronettes and Joan Jet. Liam Frank, a junior music industry student, said, “There certainly has been no shortage of influential and famous female musicians throughout the history of rock and roll. Since we are used to a male dominated rock history, it might take more thought for some to mention these female musicians than it would be to mention the legends like The Beatles or Led Zeppelin.”

“The male musicians definitely have seemed to get more notoriety, but that doesn’t mean the women in the industry get no credit,” Frank continued.

Joe Rapolla, the Director of the Music Industry program at the University, believes that rock and roll music was always seen as radical for anybody, but even more so for women because they broke out of their traditional housewife duties to become a face for the music world.

Fast forward to 2015 and as we look at the world of music, especially in pop, we see a 50/50 split between male and female artists.

Rapolla, who has been in the music business for over 20 years, believes, “The criteria to be a successful artist in the music industry was never based on gender.” Rapolla explained that the music industry is probably the most open to diversity and it always has been. There is no gender bias in the industry, only a goal in mind of what will sell and who will buy it. The market is driven by 18 to 35 year old females and what they want hear is what is going to sell.

So what kind of music do young females want to hear? Brittany Cannarozzi, a junior music industry student, described how male artists tend to write about romance and love while female artists tend to write about revenge and empowerment.

Bands like One Direction write songs about love and admitting that they, as guys, were wrong, whereas female artists like Taylor Swift write songs about how they hate their exes.

“While all of these subjects are awesome and hard-hitting, I think fans get more passionate when songs are super personal and relatable. And let’s face it, every girl dreams about a boy singing those sweet songs to her,” said Cannarozzi.

She clarified that although both genders write great music, the market that the industry is focusing on, which is mostly female, really wants to hear music from guys.

This idea that there is a double standard in the music industry may not be true. Women may not always have had complete equality to men, but the music industry is a place where women can flourish the most it seems.

As seen in the past and even more so now, women can become iconic musical figures. Although it may not be as common, it is not a sexist issue. The fact is, the industry takes what they can sell.

If Taylor Swift, Joan Jet, or Paramore, with front woman Hayley Williams, can sell out stadiums night after night, any woman can.

Even the University’s student-run record label, Blue Hawk Records, has seen great female musicians like Natalie Zeller, Jessica Leigh, Abby Cornero, and this semester’s compilation album features female vocalist Amanda McTigue. There are women rocking the industry on campus and in the world, you might just have to look a little bit harder to find them.


Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151