Alanis Morissette Thanks the Patriarchy for "Crumbling and Falling" at 2019 Billboard Women in Music

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After receiving the Icon Award at Thursday night's Women in Music honors, the singer described the media and public perception of her as "this one-dimensionalizing thing that would happen a lot."

Alanis Morissette received the Icon Award at Thursday night's Women in Music honors at the Hollywood Paladium in Los Angeles, and was presented the award by Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters, who played drums with Morissette on tour in the mid-'90s. 

"I don't normally give speeches — I play drums for a living," Hawkins began his intro. "And one of the reasons I play drums for a living is because of the amazing woman who is here tonight, Alanis Morissette." He went on to call her an "amazing boss," and claimed that he "would be delivering pizzas if it wasn't for her." 

Upon accepting the award, Morissette explained that her first reaction to the award was to go, "'I can't, I'm Canadian, I can't go accept this award...' But I'm Canadian, so I also said yes." 

Morissette talked about feeling vulnerable as a performer, and finding the strength in that. "I wanna salute the women who go to work who are really, really sensitive and are terrified ... and still go," she said.  

The Icon Award winner addressed some of the challenges of being a young touring female musician in the '90s, saying she "really wanted to be friends with these artists who were touring at the same time as me ... but it was an unusual time of my playing with a lot of different gentlemen bands. And it was challenging, because it was like, if there was not going to be any sex or any kind of romantic interaction, then they didn't know what to do with me. So they ignored me offstage."

Morissette also described the media and public perception of her as "this one-dimensionalizing thing that would happen a lot," saying she was consistently summarized as being just "one thing...  'she's really, really angry...' OK... then a few years later, 'she's very spiritual...' OK...  Then I was was quirky, then I was really dumb, because of a malapropism. Then I was also, 'Isn't she like, 90?' I was called an elephant man, I was loved and ignored, and adored and hated, then I was considered really hip, and then totally irrelevant, and then totally relevant again, and then I was considered a boss, and a podcaster." She summarized her point by saying that "these roles, these archetypes, are within all of us — all the women in the room here."

She ended her speech with an unexpected-but-timely shoutout: "Thank you patriarchy, for crumbling and falling."

This story first appeared on Billboard.com.