EN WOOTTON: Making Brit awards gender-neutral will do women no favours and is yet another woke surrender to a hysterical minority
During the first ever Brit Awards in 1977, held to mark die koningin’s Silver Jubilee, Shirley Bassey won the inaugural and much-coveted British Female Solo Artist prize.
The gong is not surprisingly one of the highlights of her storied career – she spoke with some joy about it when she returned to present the same award in 2010 to an ungrateful Lily Allen se eksman Sam Cooper trou met Indië Windsor-Clive – given that she triumphed over more-fancied nominees including Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark.
During that famous presentation 43 years ago at the Wembley Conference Centre, hosted by Michael Aspel and broadcast on ITV, it was abundantly obvious to all in attendance why a category for our female stars of the music industry was a necessity.
The British Male Solo Artist category was dominated by giants – Cliff Richard saw off nominees Elton John, Rod Stewart and Tom Jones.
The new uber woke bosses of the Brit Awards have made the unconscionable decision to permanently axe the sole category for British female solo artists. No doubt the attention-seeking American starlet Demi Lovato’s decision to also define themselves as neither male or female this year would have heaped the pressure on further
And every other major category was a mainly male affair too, with The Beatles winning British Album and British Group, Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water being named International Album, and Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale tying with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody as British Single.
While you’d like to think four decades has overhauled the gender imbalance, the Brits has remained stubbornly male-dominated outside of bespoke female categories.
In 41 ceremonies, only two groups with female members (Five Star in 1987 and Little Mix this year) have ever won the British Group gong, byvoorbeeld.
And just a quarter of British Album winners have been female, with only Dua Lipa, Adele and Emeli Sande winning in the past decade.
If Sam Smith thinks their latest album is a more female skewing, then they can compete for British Female
But today the new uber woke bosses of the Brit Awards have made the unconscionable decision to permanently axe the sole category for British female solo artists, won by legends like Annie Lennox, Kate Bush, Amy Winehouse and Ellie Goulding.
The ludicrous and dangerous decision appears to have been made after two years of handwringing since triple Brit winner Sam Smith declared they were non-binary and thus unable to enter either the British Female or British Male categories.
No doubt the attention-seeking American starlet Demi Lovato’s decision to also define themselves as neither male or female this year would have heaped the pressure on further.
Ironies genoeg, the decision is being made by a man – record company Polydor Co-President Tom March, who has taken over the running of the Brits.
Announcing the decision this afternoon, hy het gesê: ‘It is important that the Brits continue to evolve and aim to be as inclusive as possible. It feels completely the right time to celebrate the achievements of artists for the music that they create, and the work that they do, irrespective of gender.’
Dan Wootton: The ludicrous and dangerous decision appears to have been made after two years of handwringing since triple Brit winner Sam Smith declared they were non-binary and thus unable to enter either the British Female or British Male categories
He seems to conveniently forget the consequences for female artists are dire.
To get around the nightmare scenario of all-male winners, the Brits will introduce FOUR new categories open to women and men – Alternative/Rock Act, Pop/R&B Act, Dance Act, Hip Hop/Rap/Grime Act – that will be voted for by the public.
Brits chief executive Geoff Taylor went one step further about the significance of the decision, declaring arrogantly: ‘The Brit Awards are not just a celebration of British music, they are a reflection of British culture.’
It makes me laugh when people say I am being hysterical for pointing out the woke mob are advocating the complete erasure of both sex and gender from mainstream society when the rhetoric from Brit bosses proves that’s exactly what is happening.
Next the Oscars will axe its Best Actress category and soon schools will say there is no place for a Head Boy and Girl, simply a Best Person.
The irony of this whole experiment is that it will almost certainly result in far fewer brilliant female singers winning the biggest prizes in British music.
We could end up in the nonsensical place where quotas have to be introduced to ensure there are enough female nominees, even though gender is no longer meant to matter.
I think the Brit Awards decided to announce the decision now, after dithering for over two years, because they believe Adele – a bona fide music giant – has a strong chance of cleaning up at February’s awards.
It’s so disappointing – but entirely predictable – to see the Brits and ITV go down this rabbit hole.
The people in charge are all members of London’s metropolitan elite who are completely out of touch with the real inequalities facing the British people.
My solution would have been simple: Keep the female and male categories but allow non-binary singers to choose which they would prefer to enter.
If Sam Smith thinks their latest album is a more female skewing, then they can compete for British Female.
While it might not be ideal, given the tiny proportion of the population involved, it makes far more sense than literally deleting historic categories for women that have helped create a generation of British superstar divas.
By giving into a hysterical minority, the Brit Awards have today done a disservice to all British females that will have lasting damage.