Australia’s biggest music awards are saying goodbye to gendered categories and embracing genderless categories.
No longer will there be the best male artist and best female artist award. Instead, the ARIA’S will combine the categories and have now created a new genderless award, Best Artist.
The music awards said in a statement that this move, “reflects our commitment to embrace equality and true diversity.”
The ARIA’S are seemingly following in the footsteps of the Grammys which removed all gendered categories back in 2012.
This year, ARIA are also proud to announce the new category Best Artist which will be replacing Best Female and Best Male which reflects our commitment to embrace equality and the true diversity of the music industry in 2021. #ARIAs pic.twitter.com/qkmrZ8LuO0
— ARIA (@ARIA_Official) September 14, 2021
In a statement, ARIA, CEO, Annabelle Herd, said: “The time for separating artists based on gendered categories that exclude non-binary artists altogether has passed.”
In a statement, ARIA, chair, Natalie Waller, said: “A key principle of ARIA and the Australian music community is that peers are given equal opportunity and treated to the unity they deserve.
“Therefore, we are incredibly proud to enter the next chapter of ARIA’s ever-evolving journey by removing the gender-based award categories, reconstructing the way in which the event has been traditionally held.
“Removing the gender titles and celebrating all artists together within their respective genre groups feels like an organic step for the future of ARIA.”
While the awards will now more accurately reflect the diverse Australian music scene, people did take to Twitter to voice their concerns that gender-neutral awards would mean female artists would miss out.
Interesting idea and will be a welcome change for NB artists. But I wonder if they'll commit to gender equity in nominations? What if this leads to female artists being overlooked? The gendered category forced judges to recognise female talent https://t.co/1MHOjSnSvN
— Ange McCormack (@_angemccormack) September 15, 2021
Supporting gender equity and diversity should not be at the expense of recognising the achievements of people who identify as women. #aria
— Naomi Dinnen, BA. MPET (@naomid_au) September 15, 2021
The reason gendered categories were introduced in the first place is because female artists often got overlooked in favour of male artists.
So now female artists will be overlooked because ARIA wants to cater to a handful of attention seekers who pretend they're a third gender.
— Slothpilled 🦥 (@slothpilled) September 15, 2021
However, it’s also important to note that genderless awards allow for non-binary artists to be recognised by the ARIAs without having to be misgendered.
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