This Is What Women's Rights Look Like
Meet Voice of Baceprot, a young Muslim women metal band from Indonesia confronting gender and religious stereotypes to share their passion of heavy music. Talk about girl power! They have been called blasphemous and devil worshippers as well as being threatened on social media. Someone even threw stones at them after a recording session. But they continue to follow their bliss and to be strong for all of us women still fighting the fight for equal rights (1). Most importantly, beyond feminism, they are extremely talented and definitely worth a listen. Check out their YouTube channel here:
Also read the full article about Voice of Baceprot written by Joyce Chu in TheWeek.com here:
It's hard to believe that women have not always been allowed to sing and that they still aren't today in some countries or yet are not free to sing what they want. From medieval times to the beginning of the 20th century, it has long been considered immoral for women to sing and particularly to perform any kind of music publicly.
A woman's mouth on a flute or a cello between her legs were suggestive. We were excluded from church choirs. Castrati replaced us in opera. When women were finally allowed a musical education, it was restricted to the basics because composition, counterpoint and orchestration were deemed too complicated for us to understand.
Women have fought to earn the right to dance, play music, sing and compose since the middle of the second century. With the support of their musician husband or father, women were eventually able to make a name for themselves and be acknowledged.
We have come a long way. This might not appear to be an issue in the Western World anymore, meanwhile gender inequality is nonetheless still happening in the music industry... Right here, right now, right on our own turf. The imbalance comes from male domination.
According to WomenAndHollywood.com, just 17.1 percent of artists with songs on the Hot 100 charts in 2018 were women. Across the previous 7 years, women represented only 21.7 percent of artists and 12.3 percent of songwriters (2).
But that's not all. While women are getting some exposure and success in the music business, we are at the mercy of men when it comes to production with a shocking 97.9% of male producers. So who calls the big shots, do you think? Who's really in control? For what audience is the music written and performed? And according to who's likes and dislikes?
The disproportionate number of men in the music business leads to the prevailing sexualization of women in music. We can see the extent of this problem with the portrayal of female singers on social media, in music videos, photo shoots and live performances. This is just the tip of the iceberg. This is also happening behind the scenes.
For example, I have been asked to wear lingerie for music interviews (which I turned down obviously). When offering vocal coaching services to a famous rock star, his manager's answer was: “He's married!” Another one called me boring when I refused alcohol during his after show party.
There is power to be found in sexual liberation without being overly sexualized. So many of us have similar stories. It has been empowering in the last few years to see women stand up for themselves by sharing them and in some cases, pressing charges.
So yes... it is important to keep the conversation going. Respect and equal rights is for everyone. And I do acknowledge that men are also sometimes victimized by both men or women.
But on March 8th, we are celebrating International Women's Day. We acknowledge women's achievements. We raise awareness about inequalities, we lobby for accelerated gender parity and we fundraise for women-focused charities (3).
I am proud of all of you ladies daring to be your unique fabulous selves! We thank men in our lives for their support and tokens of confidence. Thank you for being our #1 fans and best partners in crime! Thanks also to all of those male producers and technicians who help develop female artists to incredible standards through their skills and insights.
Because your beauty runs deeper than your skin, see your worth and don't hang around people who don't. Your voice needs to be heard and celebrated. Do you know a woman who took no non-sense from anyone to do her thing? Who went places she wasn't allowed? Who inspires you with her charisma, advice and ability to positively influence people's lives?
On International Women's Day, tell a woman that she is special. That she is loved. That she can be whoever she wants to be because she is smart, wise, caring and gorgeous!
Continue to defy traditional expectations and be the change you want to see. Invest in yourself to nurture that voice that is yearning to be heard, loud and clear. What better way than singing to channel emotions and connect with your heart centre? To vibrate to the sound of your own existence? To LOVE life and live in the energy of your dreams?
I would love to help you get passed the basics of singing to truly experience the exhilarating ecstasy of vocal freedom, a form of expression you deserve. One hundred percent! Change your voice, change your life!
Are you ready to transform your voice? To reinvent yourself through singing? I'd be more than happy to assist you on your vocal journey. Let's talk about your goals and aspirations! Together, we can make the world a better place. One song at a time!
Get your free phone consultation by clicking on the link below:
P.S.: Voices of Baceprot doesn't appear to have a website but you can find out more about their amazing story in the article I added to the footnotes.
1 Chu, Joyce, The Week, "https://theweek.com/captured/760745/allgirl-muslim-metal-band-smashing-through-indonesia" Photo credits: Putu Sayoga
2 Women and Hollywood, www.WomenAndHollywood.com. “https://womenandhollywood.com/less-than-20-of-top.../”