In recent days, Iceland’s male Eurovision stars have given state broadcaster RÚV a proper tongue lashing. As you may recall, Friðrik Ómar openly criticized the newly introduced rule for Iceland’s Eurovision selection, which called for 50% gender equality among composers and songwriters. Paul Oscar joined Friðrik on the subject, screaming that the rule was “demeaning for women”.
Well there’s been another bender in this debate over gender. RÚV has officially bumped the gender rule off the table. Great news for all supporters of equality….both men and women, right?
NO! Greta Salóme, Iceland’s one and only female composer ever to make it to the big stage at Eurovision, has spoken out on her Facebook page, saying she was all for the quota.
I’ve been following the debates for some days now, and the headline: “Demeaning for women” caught my attention. I personally think that there are many other things that are way worse than a gender quota for composers in Eurovision. The new rule is not something I think has any decisive influence on women creating music. But they’ve changed their mind and ditched the rule, so everybody can sleep soundly tonight. Or can we?
She went on to explain how men dominate Iceland’s music scene. Apparently the Channel 2 radio station only has 11 women in management (there are 33 men in similar roles). And 90% of funding for music shows is awarded to male artists and producers rather than women.
Many of Iceland’s elite song goddesses agree with Greta—and rightfully so. In the almost 30 years of Iceland participating in ESC, Greta Salóme remains the only woman to be calling the shots on stage.
Was it the right decision to set a rule like this? Or did RÚV do the right thing by removing it from the handbook? Let us know below. And then enjoy this encore performance of Greta singing in Baku.
Photo: Greta Salome