The Beatles And Their Cultural Impact On Gender

~by Karen Hooper

Although the 1960’s was a time of tremendous social change, the social mores of previous decades remained largely entrenched.  Up until the 1970’s, gender- and race-based discrimination was largely accepted, while outdated, draconian laws still governed sexual behaviour, particularly among gay persons.   In ways still not fully understood, The Beatles heralded a sea change in our social and cultural attitudes, while their specific impact upon our understanding of gender–what it means to be a man or a woman– cannot be overstated.

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A shift in direction

Everyone,

Longtime watchers of this blog have surely realized that, in the past few months, there has been a lull in its output, and particularly in what is supposed to be its bread and butter: Beatles books reviewed and analyzed via the standards of historical methodology. This is not due to lack of interest in the subject either on my part, or on Karen’s: I have greatly appreciated all the likes, shares, new followers, and posters we have garnered over the existence of the blog, and genuinely enjoyed the in-depth, nuanced discussions our posters have provided.

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Lennon Audio Diaries

(The following is part of a piece I wrote a few years ago for Hey Dullblog. I thought our readers here would like to have a kick at the can during the post-Christmas lull. Looking forward to your comments. ~Karen) 

In the fall of 1979, John sat down with a tape recorder and began to tell his life story.  But these Lennon audio diaries were a non-starter: in true Lennon fashion, he got bored after 1.25 minutes and let his thoughts drift to his usual preoccupations—Paul McCartney, his mother Julia, and his fear of professional redundancy.

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The Beatles and the Phenomenology of Fame

To declare that the Beatles were, from 1963 on, famous, is a mind-numbingly obvious statement. For all of Beatles historiography’s numerous debates, the Fab Four’s stratospheric amount of fame — both as a quartet and as individuals — is unquestioned. Countless anecdotes, stories and direct comments from Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr, as well as others close to them, reinforce that fame impacted them as individuals and as a group; influencing their friendships, their family relations, their attempts to live semi-normal lives, and their futures. Fame was also an element contributing to the tragedies of the stabbing attack on George Harrison and the murder of John Lennon.

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