Getting their due: Misogyny and Women in music in the 80s/90s


When I think back on the late 80s and 90s, there were a hell of a lot of women writing fantastic music that at the time were roundly mocked and marginalized by the mainstream culture - Alanis, Tori Amos, Sinead, Aimee Mann, Indigo Girls, Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega, Bjork, Missy Elliot, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, etc, etc. That doesn’t even get to the post-punk riot grrl movement, either. So many great woman who will probably never get the respect they deserve in their lifetimes because the music industry is still a deeply white male space.


Erykah Badu was mocked…? Yeesh.

Missy Elliott’s “She’s a Bitch” is still the best hip hop/dance video ever made, imo.




These were some of my favorite artists of the period, and I know I wasn’t alone. Many of those women received critical acclaim in that period as well. So I don’t think it’s entirely true that they were “roundly mocked”.


This is where I’m not sure we’re on the same planet… at least speaking for Alanis, Sinead, Indigo Girls, Tracy Chapman, Vega, and Bjork: these are/were people who have not only got their due, some of them were overplayed to the point of being laughable and/or parodied. These artists I point out I have a song/album for each that was positively inescapable for a period of time. I’d challenge anyone in the summer of 95 to flip around the radio and not hear Alanis Morissette.

Many of them are still going strong. Some are on the mend but reclaiming some of their past mojo. Like Sinead:

Edit - same song 25 yrs ago. I like both equally:

1 Like

Glad that’s sorted

She has had to wade through bullshit through out her career and yet she’s still here to inspire us. But of course, there are some that it was just a figments of our imaginations, that there was never a sustained campaign of misogyny aimed at artists like Sinead.

In what way? Am I wrong? Is my lived experience false?

Wait, no, trick question… of course men have a more objective point of view…


He’s agreeing with you and disagreeing at the same time. Not sure why or even how.


This was absolutely my take as well at the time - I was an Alanis, Tori Amos, Bjork, Natalie Imbruglia, Holly McNarland, Vanessa Carlton fan during that time, and nearly every one of those artists was roundly ignored by not only most of my peers, but also any serious music media I listened to / read back then, as anything more than “mindless pop”. I was trying to tell everyone I could that this was not so, but was roundly mocked for the attempt for the most part.


Thank you. I’m glad to know that others also saw this at the time.


Because women’s views, even if factual correct, need to be subverted to men’s views, especially on popular culture.


You know, the Emperor’s New Clothes is especially about how women are continually undermined. She has a habit of speaking not only truth to power, but women’s truth to masculine power, yet, the narrative about her is that she’s fucking crazy. :woman_shrugging: But there wasn’t any misogyny aimed at women in the music industry during this time? That’s pure bullshit. There is misogyny aimed at women in the music industry right this very second, not to mention in the 90s.

[ETA] In specific case of Sinead… she was right…

she was right…

But she was derided as a “crazy bitch” when she was highlighting systemic abuse of children… But that’s not misogyny, right? /s


@Mindysan33 yeah totally agree. I’m now gonna head down the YouTube rabbit hole of Sinead live performances. Shit’s solid gold.


Simply pointing out that it’s hard to claim that artists who were phenomenally popular and influential in their time were somehow marginalized or didn’t get their due.

It’s interesting to compare her own struggles with mental illness against a backdrop of constant misogyny to how men were handled. Compare her treatment’s to Bowie’s for example.

Go google Sinead and mental illness to see how she was treated, especially in the US, despite her speaking what we all know is now the truth about how the Church protected those who committed acts of sexual abuse. :woman_shrugging:


Yeah - I’m a longtime fan and have kept up to speed on her issues. I’m still unclear how she sings so well and smokes so much…must be them genetics.

1 Like

there is nothing like the music women produced during that period… they understood the experiences of women and of men…


the music itself addressed these issues…

“Why do we crucify ourselves”… well, WTF do you think she’s talking about?


Wasn’t that the album that if you kept it going after the last song was finished, and waited a bit through the silence, finally “Me and a Gun” would play?