A few days ago we reported that Iceland’s national broadcaster, RÚV has introduced new rules for Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2015, the Icelandic national selection. The rules state that 50% of the composers who earn the right to enter the contest must be female. That sounds progressive, but is it?

Friðrik Ómar, Iceland’s former representative and a member of Euroband, went on Icelandic radio to say the new rule is demeaning for women.

Who is really benefitting from this? The contest or women? I honestly just don’t get it. Most likely, they want to encourage women to enter. Well, I don’t think this is encouraging at all! I think this is demeaning for women. When competing in a contest like this, it’s not the gender that should determine if a song goes through or not, it’s the quality of the song.

He also points out that it will be rather tricky to uphold this new rule, since composers must submit their songs under a pseudonym.

And for the record, this new rule is entirely RÚVs decision. It’s not a request from the EBU. Time will tell if this new twist will be maintained, or if RÚV executives will reconsider.

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Melissa J
Guest

I agree too. When you try to impose rules about who needs to enter, the contest becomes less organic, less about who has the best song.

Jake
Guest
Jake

All this results in is male songwriters/musicians adding a woman to their teams to meet a quota and to guarantee that their song is chosen because there likely still be more male-written entries. And MF last year was laughable with the quotas because all it resulted in was some songs having 3-4 male writers and then 1 female writer. And Sharon Vaughn and Joy Deb had like 10 entries in the contest between them and only 3 of the Final 10 entries were co-written by women.

D
Guest
D

I agree, I didn’t like when Sweden enacted this rule either as it’s completely stupid in my opinion. Encouraging women to take part is one thing but requiring 50% of the songs to be written by women is a horrible idea and stupid on the broadcaster’s part considering it might force them to reject really good songs that happen to be written by men just because they need more songs written by women.

JeanM.
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JeanM.

I agree with him. The gender shouldn’t matter. But I don’t think its demeaning to women, they’re just trying to have more women submit songs (which is great!)