J. Glo, Angie Tonton Complain of Gender Inequality in the Liberian Music Industry

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Recording artist, J-Glo

R&B singers J. Glo and Angie Tonton have said the increase in gender inequality this year in the Liberia music industry, which has never been seen before, is the primary factor for the huge decline of female musicians in the industry.

J. Glo and Angie Tonton, who are the first female artists to publicly talk about inequality in the music industry, added that although this problem has been in the industry for years, it is now at an unprecedented high, to the extent that they (females) are seriously being underrepresented in the industry and are not getting fair airplay from radio stations and club DJs.

The two singers noted that the current surge in inequality is seriously crippling the career of female musicians making fans to think that they are not serious.

J. Glo and Tonton explained that whether it is radio or club airplay, festival lineups or industry awards, male artists remain overwhelmingly dominant in the music industry on a number of levels, and it ought not to be so.

“I’m a living witness of this bad treatment in the industry, and because of it, I’m little known in the country, although my songs are recognized outside. The males who control the industry want to silence us. This is a cultural problem that has been in the industry for years and is now at an unprecedented rate,” Tonton said.

Recording artist Angie Tonton

“Of the 100 most played songs on commercial radio daily, I have noticed that only 15 were by female artists or act with a female lead. When you look at the gender breakdown for more technical roles such as sound engineering and music production, the gap becomes even wider because of the hostile environment created by the men. Nowadays, the only way, they want to help you is that your either give in their demand for sex or you are out of the picture,” Angie Tonton said.

J. Glo, echoing her colleague’s view, said the music industry is heavily biased and that males who dominate the industry are not gender sensitive.

“The situation now is like selling your body for promotion. And since females are refusing, they have decided to block us from the industry by not playing our songs. If you look at the awards board, radio and club airplays, women are underrepresented, creating a situation to make people think that there’s a shortage of talented women in the industry. No, we have too many of them including myself whose songs are not getting the support.

“But the playing field is not level. If you look at two to three years back, there were lots of women in the industry, but the increase in gender inequality has made things difficult for us. Now they have achieved this by making us remain in their shadows. They think that we belong to the home and should not compete with them now. They stereotype us everyday, and this is ridiculous,” J.Glo said.

Both artists clarified that they are speaking up now to call public attention to the problem and to find a solution.

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1 COMMENT

  1. My dear Liberian sister, thanks for saying enough is enough!!! It’s time to stand up for your rights! Too many talented young Liberian women, just to move ahead in their careers, are sexually harassed by their boss or some male individuals with power.

    This sexual black-mail makes these harassed ladies too afraid to come forward to report sexual harassment at the work place or school. They have become silent victims to sexual harassment just to keep their jobs, just to stay in school, or just to promote their music, or to see advancement in their professional careers.

    When will this misogynistic (mistreatment of women) attitude stop in a male dominated society like Liberia? Our Liberian girls, African girls and black girls in general demand respect! These ladies need to be given equal opportunities to develop their God given potentials without men demanding sexual favors in return.

    I give credit to President Sirleaf for her fearless advocacy to have stringent rape laws in Liberia. Rape was used as a weapon of war in Liberia to pray on the vulnerable Liberian female population. This male sexual predatory behavior is still rampant in Liberia. It will take drastic action on law enforcement to curtail this barbaric behavior on our female population.

    This same advocacy that was used to pass the rape law should be propagated towards sexual harassment that is rampant in Liberia’s schools, Liberia’s work place and other entities. These ladies should take courage for making public sexual harassment behavior in Liberia just as the #METOO Movement in America is bringing down big Movie and Media Moguls in the United States.

    Liberian women have been through many traumatic events in Liberia during the 14 years Civil war: they have been raped; brutalized; mutilated; sexually abused, and they experienced many unspeakable acts. Liberian women should be given equal opportunities just as their male counterparts: they need to be given equal education; they need to be given equal rights, and last but not least: they need to be paid equally for equal work done.

    May God bless these young brave Liberian musicians (J. Glo & Angie Tonton) for exposing the negative sexual harassment culture that is prevalent in Liberia?

    With your musical talent being exposed on YouTube, one day, someone in the World might give you the equal opportunity you long desired without you being sexually harassed!!!!

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