Charlotte Church hit out at what she describes as a “juvenile” attitude towards gender and sexuality in the music industry during the third annual John Peel Lecture.
Church delivered a speech focusing on the representation of women in music at the Radio Festival 2013 in Salford last night (October 14) which can be heard in full via the BBC iPlayer here. In the speech Church repeatedly criticised the music industry as well as labelling Robin Thicke “mediocre” and “indefensible”.
Using her own experience in the music world, Church criticised the highly sexualised world of pop music videos and stated: “It is a male-dominated industry, with a juvenile perspective on gender and sexuality.” Singling out artists such as Rihanna and Britney Spears, Church went on to add: “To my mind what this industry seems to want of it’s women increasingly is sex objects that appear childlike.”
However, the lecture was not entirely critical with female artists such as Grimes, Haim, Poliça and Janelle Monáe pointed to as positive examples. Church concluded the lecture by saying: “If the power was taken away from sex in pop by making it harder for younger viewers to access it, then maybe the focus would shift to making works of artistic beauty and conscience.”
2011’s inaugural John Peel Lecture was given by The Who‘s Pete Townshend. In 2012, Billy Bragg gave the speech, rallying against the decline of state educated musicians in the UK Top 40.