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Steve Peake

2013 Rock Hall Class Has Potential to Shrink Gender Gap

By October 10, 2012

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h10898zh2ls.jpgI don't know if it will happen (hey, it probably won't), but with five of 13 performers containing at least partial female membership, 2013's list of nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has the opportunity to make at least a modest dent in the historical male domination of that institution. Hard to believe perhaps (even with a clear grasp of major gender inequality in rock music), but of the nearly 700 individuals inducted into the Rock Hall since its inception 26 years ago, fewer than 10 percent have been female. That number is especially cringe-worthy and shocking for the youngest generation of pop music fans, who routinely see women dominate the charts and make a mark in multiple genres. However, even for members of the '80s music generation like many of this site's readers and myself, it comes as a bit of a surprise just how low that percentage is.

Still, this could be the year for some improvement in this figure, as recently announced 2013 Rock Hall nominees include three legendary female rock and pop artists that just may get the nod: Heart, Joan Jett and Donna Summer. Some probably believe that the latter's untimely 2012 death may increase her chances (and the notion of such a so-called "sympathy" nod is certainly arguable), but the other two noted nominees really deserve enshrinement for their impact and influence on guitar-based arena rock and hard rock. If I had to make a guess, I'd say there will probably be more than a few disappointing omissions for the spectrum of music fans when the inductees are finally announced (Deep Purple and Rush certain to be among them on what are amazingly those bands' first opportunities to get in). So fans of female rockers should probably refrain from getting their hopes too high. Even so, these are solid examples of a possible turning of the tide that will be welcome as rock music prepares to enter its seventh decade within just a few more calendar clicks.

Album Cover Image Courtesy of Sony

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