“Whether your entry advances in a song contest or not should not be dependant upon your gender”, says Friðrik Ómar. The Icelandic Eurovision singer was speaking on radio regarding the new rule by RÚV where 50% of the selected songs in the country’s Eurovision selection must be composed by female and male songwriters.
The official rule – similar to that with SVT in Sweden – states
“RUV will actively strive to maintain gender equality among songwriters by ensuring that 50% of the songs that will be selected for the tryouts will have at least one woman songwriter.”
Friðrik Ómar participated at Eurovision in 2008 as half of the Euroband and came 14th in the Grand Final with the song ‘This is my life’. He returned to the contest in 2009 as a backing singer for Yohanna’s ‘Is it True’ and gave Iceland their joint best result at Eurovision – 2nd place. Ómar has been echoing questions that many songwriters and musicians have towards these new gender rules
“I don’t see for whose benefit this rule is, the competition or women. I just don’t get it. Whether your entry advances in a song contest or not should not be dependant upon your gender.”
When asked what he thought was the motivation behind the new rule being implemented was – he said
“I think the intention is to encourage women to take part. That must be the reason. But I don’t think it is, it’s more degrading for them. That their advancement in the competition is because of a gender quota is absurd.”
Asked if he had heard of other responses from his fellow Icelandic singers and songwriters he said that both genders found it preposterous.
“It would be nice to get answers to why this has found its way into the rules. I think it’s degrading. Women are perfectly capable of writing awesome songs, this is unnecessary. The female musicians I’ve heard from about this agree with me.”
So what do you think of this rule in Iceland and Sweden where there must be an equal number of male and female songwriters selected for the live shows? Could this see potentially better songs missing out on being selected due to exceeded gender quotas? Is it necessary to have these rules? You tell us.
Author/Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall
Source : Visir.is