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  Up until the 1970’s, gender- and race-based discrimination was largely accepted, while outdated, draconian laws still governed sexual behaviour, particularly among gay persons.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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New Critical Perspectives, Part II: The Female in Beatles’ Fandom

(Erin is recovering from the flu so I’m posting this on her behalf.  KH)

It’s been noted by a number of bloggers, (including myself) just how male-dominated the field of Beatles historiography is. Every major work in the Beatles canon, including but not limited to those by authors such as Davies, Norman, MacDonald, and Lewisohn, were written by males. This male domination goes back to the band’s earliest days, when the interviews the band provided were almost unerringly granted to male journalists, because that one gender dominated both the field of journalism in general and the rock journalist profession almost entirely. This one-sided perspective becomes even more difficult to reconcile given the apparent gender equity of Beatles audiences and fans, both then and now; unlike the Rolling Stones, the Beatles were a band that, by most estimates, had a fan base that was at least fifty percent female.

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