A warrior woman raises her voice. She writes, sings, and speaks the stories that must be told. She offers prayers, wails in grief, makes music in celebration, and shouts in protest.
I fell in love with how regal and confident this woman appears. It made me think of all the women I know who bring their stories to life through music and the many women who have inspired, motivated, comforted, and liberated me with their music. So many memories connected to listening, singing, dancing, and drumming. I can only be deeply, humbly grateful.
We feel like we have so many powerful women role models in music because they easily come to mind. However, what are their experiences?
Researching the history of women reveals that it has never been easy. In a latest study looking at the years 2011-2020, the number of women in the music industry actually dropped with women today representing less than a 1/3 of artists, 12.6% of songwriters, and a mere 3% of producers. As with many other industries, there is also a pay gap. Women artists earn $.70 to every $1.00 of male artists. A look back at the history of women in music over the past 400 years also shows how much women have been under represented through all genres of music.
In reflecting on this image of a powerful, confident woman, a memory came to mind. In 1964, I was 15 and completely swept up by the Beatles after I attended their concert at Boston Garden. Not content to be just one of the many ardent fans, 3 of my friends and I decided to form an "all-girl" band to cover their music. All girl bands were unheard of at this time. I don't even know how we thought of it. At that time, girl groups were singers, like the fabulous Supremes or Ronettes. Somehow, we just put ourselves out there in our black turtlenecks and boots singing "Eight Days a Week". I think people just didn't know what to think of us.....maybe we were a just bit ahead of our time.
To dig deeper into the history of women in music and also hear women talk about their experiences in today's music environment, check out these links: