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Rock Music And Confined Sexual Repression In The 1960's

1054 words - 4 pages

In the 1960s, rock music had an increasing impact in teen culture. According to teenage girl response to the confined sexual repression, rock music created many controversial consequences. Music became a commodity that served escapism from reality instead of creating options and choices and brought the teen cultures to go against the mainstream culture to bring forth identities that are more coherent and ideal. Rock and roll was the most compelling commodity to enter the teen consumer culture. Gender roles being unequal created a sexist double standard and women were the object of needs and desire of men. Teen peer groups became incomparable in terms of language and style as sexual release and freedom were available to girls and women. In the teen culture, girls were using their music as an escape from the predictable life paths, as music becomes a commodity that serves escapism from the real world. In a male dominant teen culture, girls were part with societal limitations and that gender hierarchies and a sexual double standard were absolutely bounded up with the sexual ideology of ‘rock and roll’ in the 1950s and 1960s.
Rock and roll was the most compelling commodity to enter the teen consumer culture. Rock operated as both a form of sexual expression, and a form of sexual control which privileged the presentation and marketing of masculine styles. Music genres and idols such as Elvis Presley and the Beatles shaped the sexual ideology of adolescents. Frith states that “Elvis Presley’s sexuality, for example, meant different things to his male and female fans”, enforcing the idea of a double standard by creating tension between male appropriation and female appropriation such that male and female sexuality were organized in quite different ways (Frith 261). The epidemic female ‘hysteria’ of the late nineteenth century took the forms of fits and convulsions that was a product of sexual repression. Girls released sexual energy as a form of rebellion which went against the double standard, and Ehrenreich states: “boys have sports as an outlet; girls have only the screaming and swooning afforded by Beatlemania, which could be seen as a ‘release of sexual energy’” (Ehrenreich 527). This explains that adolescents were going through a strenuous period of emotional and physical growth, which led to a need for expressiveness, especially in girls. The Beatles were portrayed as sexy and the girls were the ones who perceived them in this way. They acknowledged an ungovernable force while it was rebellious (especially for the very young fans) to lay claim to sexual feelings but helped teens get some sexual release by breaking free of their passive roles. The Beatles were the objects while the girls were their pursuers. Accordingly, most teens put musicians as their main role models as freedom and escapism became the main purpose.
Teen peer groups became incomparable in terms of language and style as sexual release and freedom were available to girls and...

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