Let’s Discuss The Grammys.

Brianne Guanaga, news editor

On Sunday, I wrote my predictions for Grammy winners based on popularity. As part of this strategy, I now realize I forgot to mention, I took into account the factor of the usual male dominance over award show winners. In fact, that was the largest factor in how I predicted who was going to win, and as you can see, I was fairly successful.

According to USA Today, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow said that women need to “step up”in order to win. Given the context of the current issues that face the entertainment industry, Portnow’s inappropriate statement was especially profound.  

The underlying theme of the Grammys, as well as all other award shows this year, is the movement working to end sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood, spearheaded by campaigns like #MeToo and Time’s Up.

For instance, Kesha’s performance of “Praying” served as her statement of solidarity and a demonstration of strength after her own lengthy battle with her abuser, Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald. Janelle Mońae’s speech was a statement on justice for women. People wore white roses to signify their support of the Me Too and Time’s Up movement. So how else do these female artists need to step up?
According to Rolling Stone, the disparity between the percentages of male and female winners was, though truly incredible, predictable. 9.3 percent of Grammy winners over the past six years have been women, meaning that 90.7 percent of the winners have been men. That’s not to say that men do not deserve these awards because that is far from true.

The male artists who won yesterday such as Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Tony Bennett are fantastic artists and worked very hard to get where they are. That said, it is not fair for the president of the Recording Academy to tell women they need to step up when in fact he, along with a group of other people, votes on the winners. Never in the 60 year history of the Grammys have the votes been based on chance, appeal or the general public.

Every artist who was nominated deserved to be nominated because of his or her talents and hard work. Artists like Lorde, SZA and Lana Del Rey deserve awards just as much as the next person, but the president believes that they need to do something more, something extra to put them above men of equal talent.

These artists, both women and men, create their music with creativity and hard work. In no way is it the female artists’ fault that they did not win. It was not based on millions of peoples opinion because, chances are, results would have been very different if it was. It isn’t because these female artists are not as talented as men. They did not win solely because of the opinions of a group of “experts”.

So what exactly do these women need to do to step up? Music is not about the awards or about the articles. It is about artists showing their true identity to the public and connecting people all around the world. Music is about having a voice and creating movements.

I am talking directly to the Recording Academy president and everyone who believes that these women are not deserving of all the awards in the world; to those who feel the need to give their opinion on artists based solely on awards and not on what the change their music attempts to inspire. To all of you I ask: where’s your movement?