When it comes to calling out sexist behaviour, you can trust country music queen Kacey Musgraves to come through – and this week was no exception.
It all kicked off yesterday when Variety editor Chris Willman joked about hearing two female musicians in a row on an L.A. country station. “I turned on the 105.1 country station in L.A. just now, and they were playing the new song by Gabby Barrett, and then, without any pause or interruption at all, they went into a Kelsea Ballerini song. Can’t they get fined for that?” he tweeted.
It only got worse when Michigan radio station 98 KCQ Country responded in a since-deleted tweet: “We cannot play two females back-to-back. Not even Lady Antebellum or Little Big Town against another female. I applaud the courage.”
This obviously didn’t go down well and Kacey Musgraves was quick to chime in. “Smells like white male bullsh*t and why LONG ago I decided they cannot stop me.”
“And yet the can play 18 white dudes who sound exactly the same back to back. Makes total sense,” she tweeted.
Fellow country singer Kelsea Ballerini also responded to the BS, tweeting: “AIEXA [sic] PLAY LBT LADY A CARRIE MIRANDA KACEY CARLY GABBY MAREN INGRID RUNAWAY JUNE M&T LAUREN. ALL IN A ROW.”
This isn’t the first time country radio has been called out for being sexist. In fact, a 2019 study conducted by Jada Watson of the University of Ottawa found that total annual spins for male artists in the top 150 increased from 5.8M in 2000 to 10.3M in 2018, while spins for women have decreased from 1.8 to 1.1M resulting in a 9.7 to 1 ratio by 2018.
As Refinery29 reported, this kind of ratio plays into the idea that if a country radio playlist is a salad, “women should be the tomatoes – sparse and colourful – but the bulk of the plate is lettuce (men).”
Not only is this sexist rhetoric harmful to female country artists, but it perpetuates unequal pay and the incredibly harmful social constructs we’ve all become desensitised to. Kudos to Kacey Musgraves and her peers for speaking out and not putting up with this kind of BS in 2020, and beyond.