Brit Awards: weird, I agree with Nadine Dorries that music awards shouldn’t be gender neutral – Aidan Smith

Dua Lipa may be the latest British Female Solo Artist winner now that Brit Awards are gender neutral

Long ago there was no woman in sight. Actually there had to be a few scattered around, enough to be included in the “Best Rock Chick” and “Best Token Girl” categories, but try as we could, my long haired junior chauvinist friends and I could- we even think of one?

How times have changed. Obviously these categories are jokes, but music seemed to be a man’s world in the 1970s, and it certainly was if my record collection was typical.

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It seems to me now that I only buy women’s albums (Lana Del Ray, St Vincent, Jenny Lewis, Haim, Laura Marling, Lorde). The women dominate, and Lorde, she over the men. Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish and Lizzo are the most fascinating, provocative and trendy characters.

I didn’t even mention Madonna, who can still make the headlines just by rummaging on the living room carpet, looking under the sofa for the TV remote or the wrapping of her macaron bar (you saw these photos the other day?). And I didn’t even mention Adele.

Not that it is a competition, women against men. Except it’s sort of now. At the upcoming Brit Awards, women will not only be competing against each other but with men. The event has become gender-neutral.

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A good thing? I can’t decide. And – proof that you are never too old for a new experience – I am inclined to agree with Nadine Dorries. Britain’s Culture Secretary said it was “sad” that separate prices for men and women had been removed. This is her perspective as a woman supporting other female artists, who historically across the spectrum of awards ceremonies have tended to lose to men.

Wait, though, where was Dorries in the days of the last British when women were sucking the prizes? Dua Lipa has claimed three, including the now abandoned British Female Solo Artist.

Perhaps, given that Dorries and I are the same age, she was once also obsessed with choosing between Led Zeppelin’s “Bonzo” and Black Sabbath’s Bill Ward for best drummer, although I doubt it would. one way or another. But her criticism of male dominance has definitely applied to Britons in the past, and no later than 2020, when there was only one British woman nominated in 25 categories.

So here’s the question: Will gender-neutral winning statuettes enhance recognition of women and promote empowerment? In February, if a woman is named at the top of the overall standings, beating Ed Sheeran – and Adele surely will – then the answer could be yes. But if this was a time when men were preeminent, and it was to continue for a while, then the answer would surely be no.

Here’s another question: will the statuettes have to be sent back to the casting factory to have their bobbly pieces smoothed out, so they’re neither Sonny or Cher, Ike or Tina? Turner, nor Peters or Lee? Do you think I’m not taking the problem seriously? Come on, it’s the British we’re talking about …

From the start, it was impossible to take the British seriously. Pop is a world-class British industry, just as cinema is a world-class American industry. The British, although a much younger event, want to be like the Oscars but struggle to match the credibility or class of the Oscars which, by the way, still garland women in their own categories.

In a play of association of words, the mention of the British incites to the “ass” for the moment when Jarvis Cocker revealed his to Michael Jackson during a strange demonstration. Or “dead sheep” (the strange protest of the KLF). Or “Chumbawamba” (who threw water on John Prescott). Or “Brandon Block” (the DJ, tricked by friends into believing he had won an award, who ended up in a fight with Ronnie Wood).

Or “mid-Atlantic accent” (Joss Stone forgetting his Devon roots). Or “big dancer” (from Liam Gallagher to Robbie Williams). Or “knobhead” (Peter Kaye to Gallagher). Or “vagina” (the giant stage staged for Geri Halliwell’s entrance). Or “Mick ‘n’ Sam” (Fleetwood and Fox’s epic and terrible turn as co-hosts, which shut down live broadcasts for the next 17 years).

Because the ceremony was harassed – and puffed up – by the rude behavior of the winners who sulked and scowled their way through acceptance speeches as TV cameras shot round tables in anonymous industry costumes and well. Refreshed, it’s hard to avoid being cynical about the motivations of the British here and asking if the shift to non-sex isn’t just attention seeking.

Piers Morgan, the scourge of virtue signalers, calls it “awakened garbage”. “Scary,” is the reaction of Queen guitarist Brian May, and I can’t be the only one who isn’t disappointed that he didn’t offer a more comprehensive response like, “Thunder and lightning, very, very scary. “

In those 1970s, the chin-scratching male muso blamed Yoko Ono for the Beatles’ break-up, a myth that she says can now be dispelled thanks to Peter Jackson’s rock argument Get Back. Meanwhile, the muso’s little brother was eyeing Stacia who was dancing naked during Hawkwind’s concerts.

Previously seen as an irritation or a decoration, women in pop have come a long way since the days when berks like me were too ignorant to think of a nomination for the NME poll. Now everyone is aware of the likely and worthy contenders for such awards as British Female Solo Artist and I really don’t consider them lesser honors.

So let’s keep the best man and the best woman and then why not have them compete for the champion of champions? Not quite Stacia vs Bonzo, but still an intriguing contest.

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