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Gender and Sexuality in Music





Gender and Sexuality in Music

This paper will evaluate the effect of gender and sexuality in music and would do so through analyzing the performances of several musicians in history. David Bowie a celebrated musician of the 1970s attracted a huge youth following and set up several visual patterns in terms of his personal appearance. This was in the form of his dyed hair and even his makeup. He consequently achieved a cult ovation in the early 70s and was variously involved in incarnations such as Mr. Newton, Ziggy Stardust, Alladin Sane, and more miserably, the Blond Fuehrer. His style created a novel sexually indistinct image for the youth cohorts. This was particularly so for those who were brave enough and willing to stand up to the disgraceful ordinary stereotypes traditionally available to the middle class men and women.

All Bowie concerts performed in Victorian town halls and dowdy provincial cinemas attracted a horde of astounding Bowie doubles, who were by all purposes cool under gangster hats that obscured (at least till the doors were opened) hair speckled with gold and silver, rinsed with a brilliant vermilion, strikingly scarlet or orange. These superb creatures were balanced nervously on podium shoes or slumped in the plastic sandals of the 50s, cigarettes held carelessly in their hands and their shoulders were set in certain angles; it was an unsure triumph by the oppressed. They were involved in a make believe game that has dismayed many rock analysts who showed their concern for the oppositional content and the authenticity of youth culture.

Bowie was not only uninterested in politics, working class life, or social issues but was predisposed to a perpetual avoidance of reality. However, he opened up many questions on sexual identity, which had been pushed under the carpet. At the end of the glitter spectrum, all music emphatically shifted from youth and class to gender sexual stereotyping. He and his fanatics questioned the meaning of adolescence and evolution to work. They did so by mystifying the images of the men and women through which this passage to maturity was conventionally accomplished.

The spice girls, riot girls, and cyber girls movements represented girls’ popular culture replicated this in the 90s. The spice girls capitalized on the fact that feminisms belong to the well-liked cultural field, which has been a force to reckon in the 20th century discourse on women. The consumers of their songs were pre-teen girls since their products were tailored towards this cohort. In the eighteen months in which they appeared they generated number one singles in more than 30 countries.

The spice girls’ success generated feminist politics on how girls can identify with their fellow girls. On the other hand, Riot girls were a confused lot like Bowie and his concerts had complex objectives. They have been defined by the spice girls as sexless, dull, self pitying, dour, and whining. Apparently, they have also described the spice girls in the same definitive terms. Despite their differences, they both question whether the girls possess an extraordinary expression formula that is particular to them.

Like Bowie before them, the Riot girls and the Spice girls were involved in a consumer capitalism attempt to restructure a reliant, adolescent class that colluded as reflexive teenage consumers in purchasing leisure. This occurred before they assumed adulthood rather than being a youth cohort who stand up to critique from whichever cultural perception the underlying principle behind adolescent .


Carter A. The message in the spiked heel: Spare Rib. (1976):16

Catherine Driscoll. Girl Culture, Revenge and Global Capitalism: Australian Feminist studies Vol 14, No.29, (1999): 178-181

Dick Hebdige. Glam and Glitter Rock: David Bowie-Sexuality and Gender Typing (2012): 105-106

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