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Digitial Humanities @ uOttawa

Gender Representation



This first graph shows the disparity between the airplay men and women receive on active rock radio stations. In the 11 years the yearend songs were reported, only 8% of the total songs included a woman artist. Even more shocking, only four artists or bands are composed of women with Bishop Briggs and Alice Merton each making the charts once (2016 and 2018, respectively), JJ Wilde charting twice in 2020 with two different songs and The Beaches charting seven times over a four-year span. Although the songs are only seen towards the end of the 11-year period, the bar chart puts into perspective the importance the space these 11 songs hold. Additionally, it is worth noting that the same year women artists made the charts, the songs from men artists decreased and the total songs by men-only stayed under 90% for five years straight. The third graph below highlights how infrequently women or mixed gender ensembles ranked within the top 10 positions annually. As with the frequency that female artists were included in the top 100 positions, women are appearing on the charts in larger numbers in more recent years. 

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To examine the gender representation from another perspective, the last graph reveals the artists that ranked in the top 10 over the 11 year-period. Once again the men's presence occupy almost the whole chart, making JJ Wilde's "The Rush" stand out as the only song by a woman to rank in the top 10. JJ Wilde is a white Canadian artist who appears twice in the top 100 of 2020 (2nd and 26th position). When looking at the whole dataset, "The Rush" ranks 17th with 10,410 total spins.

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Featured Artist

Released on January 21, 2014, Against Me!'s sixth studio album, titled Transgender Dysphoria Blues, draws a line between the concepts of identity and ideology (Larson, 2014). Their song "Black Me Out" ranked 28th in the Top 100 in 2014. It was the band's first album and first song on the charts since lead singer Laura Jane Grace came out as transgender in 2012. When reviewing the data, it was important to capture and give accurate representation of each artist in the dataset which is why the band was recorded twice in the data, once as an all male band that charted in 2010 and once as a female-lead, mixed ensemble band for the song "Black Me Out".