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Sexism is present in every work field. It is rampant especially in the Indian Music Industry.
Female singers hardly sing in films. Journalist Gurman Bhatia had analysed more than 24,000 Bollywood songs from the 50 highest-grossing movies of every year since 1950 and discovered that the amount of songs sung by women is rapidly declining. People might say it’s dependent on the movie’s story line but even female-led films face a lack of female singers in their movies.
However, it was not always the case. In the 50s and 60s, the most popular films had female lead singers such as the Mangeshkar sisters who dominated the Indian Music Industry and sung more than their male counterparts.
Many in the Industry underestimate women and their capability just because of their gender. They wouldn’t have the same attitude with the men in the music industry.
In fact, if you were to name a song sung by a female singer, it would most likely be an item song. Item songs are very problematic. These songs glorify harassment, stalking and rape. They objectify women. Just about every iconic Bollywood song has misogynistic lyrics. But, it is still popular even today. I think it’s because not many know of the meaning of the songs. As a result, this influences teenagers and they might enact the behavior. This is what happens when there is a lack of female singers, songwriters, producers, engineers and directors.
Many female singers are calling out the sexism in the music industry. They are questioning the lack of representation for female singers and male singers are doing it too. There needs to be an equal amount of singers from both genders, not just in female led films or item songs. We also need to be mindful of the media we consume.