The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has released its list of nominees and we are stoked to see three slots with women in them this year. Chaka Khan and Janet Jackson, as well as two members of Chic (Norma Jean Wright and Luci Martin), represent for the ladies this year but only make up about 21% of the nominees. This slim margin is unfortunately pretty standard for the RRHF, who only inducted ten women/women’s groups in the past ten years. That averages out to around one winning slot out of the four to six people/groups inducted as performers into the Hall of Fame each year.
The RRHF began inducting artists in 1986 but it wasn’t until a year later that it inducted its first lady in the form of Aretha Franklin (#respect). And as of 2011, women accounted for a mere 14% of inductees. So is that percentage accurate to the involvement of women in the history of rock and roll? Whoever is voting seems to think so. But who are these voters?… The RRHF website vaguely refers to them as “an international voting body of more than 600 artists, historians and members of the music industry.” We don’t know who’s included amoung this elite electorate but I imagine it looks like most boys’ clubs–old and white.
I guess at the end of the day, the RRHF can induct whoever they want but when 50% of the population only gets 14% representation in an award for a genre as wide as popular music, that institution looses its legitimacy. My challenge to the RRHF is to let go of the notion that rock and roll is a dude thing and consider women in a more than nominal way. Otherwise, it’s not a real award, it’s a bunch of white guys patting each other on the back.
Images via: Facebook/Chaka Khan and giphy.com
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