Male Dominance : The Femcee Syndrome
Once upon a time, a lecturer paused, drifted, and rambled on about the values of women. She said the reason why men are so dominant in music and art, and are ahead of creative processes in science, politics, economics and pretty much every other thing is because men can’t create anything as valuable and complex like women. Women basically create life and men can not . So in this way, men try to compensate themselves with every other thing. What a way to look at it. Anything that makes her sleep at night.
I have literally paid attention every time people (mostly women) talk about concepts like Feminism, patriarchy, male-dominance,etc. But beneath their romanticized speeches is just somewhat of an excuse. I know I maybe coming off as ignorant right now but I’ll give it a tongue.
A few days ago I stumbled upon a Facebook post which had about 200 hits (three cheers to that). The writer basically had a sour opinion about the Nigerian Music Industry. Her article is heavily suggestive that female artists or rather, female hip-hop artists don’t progress like the their male counterparts because the industry is male-dominated. Some female artists feel this way too. It rather leaves me with the curiosity -what is the cause of the much talked about male dominance ?
For the surely benighted, the term male-dominance simply means male bias. A label characterized by an unequal power relation between men and women. Everything is dictated and controlled by men. Just like patriarchy.
Here is an excerpt from The Times,1966:
‘There is not a single country country in the world today whose top political position is held by a woman. Although, during the last decade, women have entered the fields previously barred to them, men still monopolize the key positions in government, industry, and military institution. The question remains : Are there innate biological barriers that prevent women from attaining equal power? Or, is there something built in to the human male that makes it natural for him to command females than for females to to command him?’
A lot of things have changed since 1966, and I personally do not fell like raised in a male-dominated society or country even though statistics may protest .
I might have a different definition of male-dominance. What I think – I really do not think of having a lot of men do what they are interested in and excelling in it exceptionally or being in a powerful position as “male-domination”. I think of male-domination more in terms of men having more rights rights than women legally and being able to see / treat women like objects and refuse them to make decisions freely .
I don’t think the society I’m from condones or fits that description. Women can practically do whatever they want ( most of the time) with their lives at least have a go at it and never have to feel threatened or owned. If you feel threatened or owned , it is up to an extent your choice to be where you feel that way and not a law . Surely, I have never met a woman who was deprived of an opportunity because of her gender. The case is always the other way around.
The problem I have with people who see more male CEOs, or more male heads of state as male-domination is that they have completely ignored the stats. The people who occupy these godly positions did not just get there because of their gender; they literally worked their way to the top, not because it is their legal right. I don’t see having an equal amount of male and female CEOs as a measure of equality.
Just look at it from this angle; while there are many men at the top, there are also more men at the bottom. There are more male CEOs, politicians and Nobel laureate. There are also more men who are homeless, in prison or murdered. This is not because there are more men on earth , simply because there are more men going for it .
The statement claiming that Nigerian hip-hop is grossly male-dominated is surely a benighted and an ignorant one. It is often said that the male influence in the industry shrouds a lot of females voices and has left a lot of beautiful stories untold. But check the stats, it’s only natural. The Industry has more male artists, song writers, and producers, it only natural that they overshadow their female counterpart. I think women thrive in Nigerian Music Industry because it’s very competitive and most women don’t like that, just like they politics .
Over the years, the Industry has produced stars who seem to burn out too quickly – instantaneously. Sometimes I just wonder what happened to to them all. I’m like, “what really happened to Blaise and Kel?” They were were promising, then “poof”, they disappeared without a trace, like it was all a magic trick. Have you ever wondered what happened to Weird MC after “Ijoya”? Or what happened to Soty after “Malaria”? Don’t kill the messenger, but these artists are simply not good enough. They are in lack of they need to succeed in the path they have chosen. Really, to be mentioned in the same conversation as M.I or mode9 you have to be as consistent, productive etc. Do you really think an artist like 2face would have his present status intact if he had left the music scene for a while to start a family? You think M.I would be remembered if went mute after “Safe”? Please.
For clarity , the reason we have more males at the top of Nigerian Music rap chain is simply because we have more males competing to be at the top in almost the ratio of 50:1 against women . Fans don’t simply refuse to download a female rap song simply because she is a woman ?
Truth be told, the music industry is tough and more than lyrical loftiness and a couple of bops are needed in order to survive. But really, I don’t think women fully understand or appreciate the sacrifices and the amount of effort these male artist invest in their career just to break through the ceiling.
A quick general question : Do you think Cardi B would have been as successful as she is now if she was a man with just her lyrics to offer ? An honest answer would would change what you already supposed about male dominance .
Written by. Ekechi Gerard