This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Sexuality And Gender Roles In Popular Music

1633 words - 7 pages

Without a doubt, popular music is a primary, if not the primary, leisure
resource in late modern society.
- Andy Bennett

As Bennett (2001) implies, and as supported by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s study “Generation m2”, teenagers spend on average 2.20 hours listening to music. Its importance lies not only in providing for a mass market but also its ability to reflect and express popular culture. The perpetuation of popular music to be able to serve as a timeline; the protest songs of the 1960’s, the rock hits of the 1970’s, the power ballads of the 1980’s, k-pop today, not only acknowledges the issues of then, but also addresses, even if indirectly, the issues of today’s society. This ...view middle of the document...

To examine the ways in which popular music is used as a way of addressing these issues, the concepts of gender and sexuality must first be distinctly defined. According to Zemke (2013) sexuality is ‘what you biologically are; male or female according to what your genitalia looks like’. Gender, on the other side is ‘nothing to do with male or female counterparts but the way you are taught to act’. Understanding this, I will be addressing gender in the form of gender identities and sexuality through what society assumes and sometimes accuses, of both male and female sexes in popular music.
Walser’s (1993) approach to popular music in ‘Forging Masculinity’ focuses on heavy metal as a discourse shaped by patriarchy. The TV show ‘The A-Team’ is presented as an example of the ideal world without women, which allows for an interpersonal dependency among the members of a ‘hero team’ that serves as a masculine performance. Heavy metal promoted traditional notions of male power and the subordination of women and homosexuals. This can be supported by Harrison’s statement on patriarchal power within popular music which refers to the fact that men have ‘historically and traditionally dominated culture and have been privileged by it’ (2008). However, it must be noted that heavy metal has also had a significant effect on gay communities (Gay Metal Society) women and primarily androgynous individuals which illustrates that not only has popular music, via metal, become a site for the perpetuation of what was assumed to be morally right but has also created these gendered identities by which they have come to be known by. Walser explains that masculinity, like popular music, has the inability to be stable, consistent or ‘natural’ which ‘produces the need for its constant reachievement’. The development of heavy metal is, I believe, an extension of these re-enactments, that led to the broadening appeal of heavy metal starting in the 1980’s which under the influence of a broadened audience led also to a slightly ‘less masculine’ culture of contemporary heavy metal. Notwithstanding, the 20th century saw a shift towards a more ballad-based musical style otherwise known as ‘soft rock’ which at the same time attracted a greater female metal audience (Harrison, 2008). Androgyny (showing characteristics of both sexes, in this case particularly men) has also, now been understood, in the case of bands such as Poison, to be an act of dealing with the anxieties of masculinity. This portrays an important message of masculinity affecting men as much as women as men become oppressed by the models to which they are expected to conform. Not being able to conform to these gender boundaries blur the identity of a person in which stereotyping comes into play. This also demonstrates an important message about how modern day society operates and the marginalization of those who do not meet the requirements of ‘normalcy’ as Walser reports, ‘Gender constructions in heavy metal music...

Other Papers Like Sexuality and Gender Roles in Popular Music

Examining Gender Roles In Man And Superman

2318 words - 10 pages evolution in Shaw’s work, creates the ability to begin to understand how Shaw constructed his characters and argues for removing gender from Shavian critiques. Although, to attempt to remove gender entirely from an analysis of Man and Superman may prove to be arbitrary. Despite the efforts of Shaw to support equality among humans, regardless of sexuality or gender, the social order of everyday life is still largely regulated by gender roles and

Sexism and Gender Roles in Twelfth Night

542 words - 3 pages Gender Roles and Sexism in Twelfth Night Twelfth Night is written in the era where the roles of men and women are severely detached. This is clearly demonstrated through the actions and thoughts of the characters in this play. Sexism, which is related to gender roles, is evident throughout the course of this play and is conveyed in various aspects. A form of gender roles is expressed at the very beginning of the book by Viola. Viola had

Evolution of Sexuality, Gender and Feminism in Cyber Culture

1697 words - 7 pages Evolution of Sexuality, Gender and Feminism in Cyber Culture Within the ever-evolving cyber world, in which many people find themselves living, there are traditional aspects of a previous culture which are re-emerging with technological advances. There are changing expectations of almost all themes and ideas in life, including gender and sexuality that are emerging with different notions and concepts which accompany them. In Neuromancer

Religious and Gender Roles in Ancient India

647 words - 3 pages RELIGIOUS AND GENDER ROLES IN ANCIENT INDIA Bureaucracy is the key to establishing a successful empire. In Ancient India, their bureaucratic system was the Caste System which was developed for social, economic, cultural and religious reasons. In this system, you were born into a particular caste and it would never change. The Law of Manu states that “the Exceedingly Resplendent One [the Creator of the Universe] assigned separate duties to the

Gender, Sexuality and Visual Representation

1899 words - 8 pages Gender, sexuality and visual representation Introduction Artist Mary Stevenson Cassatt, who shared the revolutionary ideas of artists such as Degas and Monet, was born on 22 May 1844 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although women were not encouraged to pursue a career, Mary enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts at the age of sixteen. She quickly felt frustrated by the male faculty and students who were patronising and

Gender Roles in Animation

1166 words - 5 pages while singing and humming and without complaint. This shows what “proper” gender roles of the time were, being released in 1937. This is shown also in Cinderella. Cinderella did the domestic work as an act of submission. She accepted, with no complaint the chores her step-mother requested and always sang and smiled pleasantly. However, the men are never seen doing domestic work and are expected to. These gender roles and how they are portrayed in

Gender Roles and Relationshios

1247 words - 5 pages Assess the view that gender roles and relationships have become more equal in the modern family life The item suggests that ‘a number of changes have taken place in gender roles and relationships within families’ so in today’s society, there are a number of sociological views, which agree that change between equality has taken place in gender roles and between the relationships within the family, making it more equal. Some argue that in modern

Gender Roles and Macbeth

2084 words - 9 pages consumed by his own drive. The prophecies he once thrived upon have turned against him and left him virtually helpless to alter his own destiny. The characters in Macbeth are frequently dwelling on the confining issue of gender, which ultimately dictates a majority of their actions throughout the play. This is evident in the contrasts between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, the idea of manipulation through gender, and the reversed gender roles found in some

Alternate Gender Roles in Native American and Hindu Societies

1730 words - 7 pages Alternate Gender Roles in Native American and Hindu Societies Sara Boater Anthropology 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Cal Overton January 09, 2014 While many cultures have defined societal gender roles that are specifically male or female, there are some cultures that also recognize that some individuals belong to an alternate gender role. Individuals that may participate in alternate gender roles are

Women's Gender Roles in Religion

3449 words - 14 pages Carolina Oquendo Sociology of Gender Final Project Gender roles in religion have always been a controversial topic. All of the major world religions belittle women to some degree. It is not a secret that women have historically gotten the short end of the stick, so to speak, when it comes to how they are treated and viewed in religion. After researching this topic, I can safely say that the women do all the work and the men take all the

Gender Roles in Disney Movies

1574 words - 7 pages Gender Roles in Disney Movies It is undeniable that the company that is leading to many generations in their child age is Disney. Who does not remember Mickey and Minnie Mouse?, Who has not thrown a tear when Snow White was poisoned by the evil witch?, Who did not want to ever be in the place of handsome John Smith or Pocahontas herself to revive their love story?, that tender these films, is not it, for example the Little Mermaid and Sebastian

Related Essays

Gender And Sexuality In The Wasteland

2053 words - 9 pages reiterates the need for reform through faith and responsibility. Throughout The Waste Land, Eliot portrays numerous occasions of sexuality and gender roles to illustrate fertility, yet at the same time, ironically depict impotency. With scenes abruptly shifting and characters constantly changing, the poem effectively engages the reader to see beyond that of conventional society and focus more on the underlying problems that define it. In The Waste Land

Gender And Sexuality In Crime Tv

2330 words - 10 pages The portrayal of gender and sexuality in crime television has evolved over the past six decades. Some aspects stayed the same while others have changed for various reasons, ranging from changing stereotypes to the media. Indeed we are living a new era, one in which women are gradually moving away from their gender role, strongly depicted in the 50’s and 60’s. However, the media's power lies in its popularity and the palatability of what it

Constructing Gender And Sexuality Essay

842 words - 4 pages socialization. ==> When we are babies we are already learning how to imitate the people around us. By the time we are 2 we learn genders and then we learn the roles associated with that gender from our family and we imitate that. In school we learn which gender is preferred, which gender is stronger, more intelligent. By high school we are learning how men and women “should” act in order to “popular” and “successful.” The media sets the standard for

Music And Popular Culture Essay

1741 words - 7 pages Music Review Abstract This paper will examine music and social issues. Suicide rates have increased among teenagers, young adults and an epidemic in our military with the prolonged wars. Songs that are composed about suicide and the loss of someone whom has committed suicide has also increased in recent decades. Key words: suicide, music, social problems, demographics and lyrics. MUSIC REVIEW Music is easily accessed today