What Does Our Gender Got to do With It? Focusing on (Female) Musicians

Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Rebecca Overmyer-Velazquez


The purpose of the research study is to propose a better understanding of what female musicians go through while experiencing gendered inequality in the male dominated space(s) throughout the music industry. We know, that there is inequality that has been present since women began showing up in the music industry…but it is hard to find the answer as to why this inequality is present if music spaces and communities are supposed to be welcoming to everybody. The research question I have been asking throughout my research is, “Do the challenges and experiences that female musicians face tell us how and why gender inequality begins in the music industry?”. Is there a deeper meaning to all the shared experiences or is it all just a big misunderstanding? The methods used during my research were, One-on-one interviews, Observational field notes, Participatory field notes, and media findings of bands and musicians taken from online websites such as; Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

I asked a total of seven questions to the women I interviewed with the questions ranging from how they first became involved in music to their thoughts on how they get treated as musicians. I conducted a total of 5 interviews with the musicians and these were done in person, facetime, and email. One of my participants decided to withdraw from the research due to her publicist suggesting that the research may affect her image within her community of musicians. The Observational Field notes were conducted at the music venue Whisky A Go-Go on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, CA on the night of January 15th, 2020.

The stories being told are stories of female musicians between the ages of 21 and 45, all who are highly involved within the music industry ranging from genres and sub genres of pop punk, heavy metal, country, punk rock, and rockabilly music. This research is more of a storytelling and a conversation, because my position as the researcher is very special to this project. I have either experienced situations such as the subjects involved or have seen it first-hand. The research study will answer as to why female musicians have similar backgrounds throughout their music careers and analyzing how early on this inequality begins with the help of starting to open up the conversation of what it is that these musicians are feeling, as women in this male dominated industry.


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