DAN WOOTTON: Making Brit Awards non-sexist won’t do women a favor


At the very first Brit Awards in 1977, held to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, Shirley Bassey won the inaugural and coveted British Female Solo Artist Award.

The gong is not surprisingly one of the highlights of her rich career – she spoke about it with some joy when she returned to present the same award in 2010 to an ungrateful Lily Allen – given that she triumphed. more sophisticated nominees, including Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark.

During this famous presentation 43 years ago at the Wembley Conference Center, hosted by Michael Aspel and broadcast on ITV, it was obvious to all attendees why a category for our female music industry stars was a necessity.

The British Male Solo Artist category was dominated by giants – Cliff Richard knocked out nominees Elton John, Rod Stewart and Tom Jones.

The new uber woke bosses of the Brit Awards have taken the unreasonable decision to do away with the UK solo artist category alone. No doubt the decision of attention-seeking American starlet Demi Lovato to also define herself as neither male nor female this year would have increased the pressure on

And all of the other major categories were a predominantly male affair as well, with The Beatles winning the UK album and the UK group, Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water being named as an international album and Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale on par with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody as a UK single. .

While you would like to think that four decades reshuffled the gender imbalance, Britons have remained stubbornly male dominated outside of the bespoke female categories.

In 41 ceremonies, only two groups with female members (Five Star in 1987 and Little Mix this year) have ever won the British group’s gong, for example.

And only a quarter of UK album winners are women, with only Dua Lipa, Adele and Emeli Sande having won in the last decade.

If Sam Smith thinks their latest album is more feminine, then they can compete for British Female.

If Sam Smith thinks their latest album is more feminine, then they can compete for British Female.

But today, the super-awakened new bosses of the Brit Awards have made the ineligible decision to permanently drop the UK’s only solo artist category, won by legends like Annie Lennox, Kate Bush, Amy Winehouse and Ellie Goulding.

The ridiculous and dangerous decision appears to have been taken after two years of tussling since three-time British winner Sam Smith said they were not binary and therefore unable to enter the British Female or British Male categories.

No doubt the decision of attention-seeking American starlet Demi Lovato to also define herself as neither male nor female this year would have increased the pressure.

Ironically, the decision is made by one man – the co-chairman of the Polydor record company, Tom March, who has taken over the management of the British.

Announcing the decision this afternoon, he said: “It is important that the British continue to evolve and aim to be as inclusive as possible. This is just the right time to celebrate the achievements of artists for music they create and the work they do, regardless of their gender.

Dan Wootton: The ridiculous and dangerous decision appears to have been taken after two years of turmoil since three-time British winner Sam Smith said they were not binary and therefore unable to enter the British female or British male categories

Dan Wootton: The ridiculous and dangerous decision appears to have been taken after two years of turmoil since three-time British winner Sam Smith said they were not binary and therefore unable to enter the British female or British male categories

He seems to conveniently forget that the consequences for women artists are dire.

To get around the nightmarish scenario of all-male winners, the British will introduce FOUR new categories open to both women and men – Alternative / Rock Act, Pop / R & B Act, Dance Act, Hip Hop / Rap / Grime Act – which will be voted for by the public.

British Managing Director Geoff Taylor went further on the importance of the decision, arrogantly declaring: “The Brit Awards are not just a celebration of British music, they are a reflection of British culture”.

It makes me laugh when people say I’m hysterical pointing out that the waking crowd advocates the complete erasure of sex and gender from mainstream society as the rhetoric from British bosses proves that is exactly what is happening.

Then the Oscars will remove her Best Actress category and soon schools will say that there is no room for a Prefect and a Chief Girl, just a better person.

The irony of this whole experience is that it will almost certainly result in a lot less brilliant female singers winning the biggest prizes in British music.

We could find ourselves in the absurd place where quotas have to be introduced to ensure that there are enough female candidates, even if gender doesn’t matter anymore.

I think the Brit Awards have decided to announce the decision now, after procrastinating for over two years, because they believe Adele – a true music giant – has a good chance of cleaning up at the show February prices.

It’s so disappointing – but utterly predictable – to see the British and ITV take down that rabbit hole.

Those responsible are all members of the London metropolitan elite who are completely out of touch with the real inequalities that the British people face.

My solution would have been simple: keep the female and male categories but allow non-binary singers to choose which they would prefer to enter.

If Sam Smith thinks their latest album is more feminine, then they can compete for British Female.

While this may not be ideal, given the small proportion of the population affected, it makes a lot more sense than literally removing the historical categories for women who helped create a generation of superstar British divas. .

By yielding to a hysterical minority, the Brit Awards have today done a disservice to all British women who will suffer lasting damage.


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