In its early years, Cleveland’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame had a “metal problem.” Its voters didn’t understand or appreciate heavy metal music enough to nominate the appropriate artists for induction. This led to some understandable backlash, so the Hall did something about it: It added some metal-savvy people, including Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, to its nominating committee. Now, suggests writer Courtney E. Smith in an editorial at Lenny, the time has come for the Hall to acknowledge that it has a problem with women, too. Not nearly enough women are getting inducted, Smith says, and this could ultimately skew the public’s perception of rock history. If there aren’t more women Hall Of Famers, people might get the impression that rock was made by and for guys only, most often straight white guys at that. Recently, the Hall had the opportunity to induct Chaka Khan and Janet Jackson, but they went with Deep Purple, Chicago, and Steve Miller instead.
The Hall’s chauvinism is getting a little ridiculous. Smith points out that Carole King “has not yet been inducted on her own as a performing artist, which is a travesty since every member of The Beatles has.” Fortunately, the article proposes a solution to the problem. The Hall needs to reach out to more women to be part of the nominating and voting process. There are plenty of knowledgeable rock journalists, musicians, critics, and songwriters who would be up for the job. Smith names several of them, including Carrie Brownstein, Kim Gordon, and Diane Warren. The next decade could be a great one for the Hall, with plenty of female rock artists becoming eligible for inclusion. This is the time, Smith writes, “to induct more of the distinguished and deserving women in the history of music.”