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The Beatles and the Topic of Androgyny - Essay Example

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Name> The Beatles and the Topic of Androgyny Introduction In the context of Jane Tompkins “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, the term androgynous is used to describe gender identity that exists in a society whose roles of gender do not entirely fit within the constructs of masculinity or femininity roles as designed by the process of social advancement…
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The Beatles and the Topic of Androgyny
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"The Beatles and the Topic of Androgyny"

Download file to see previous pages In other words, androgyny is the state of breaking away from the rigid following of cultural principles, especially regarding the issue of gender roles. Ideally, application of androgyny is reported to have gained popularly from 1960s, but by 1950s and before, people used to strictly follow their cultural practices. As such, androgyny is a component of societal revolution and cultural changes, an aspect that is portrayed succinctly by Jane Tompkins in her “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. This essay will delve into the lifestyles of the Beatles music band, and the manner in which they advanced androgyny during their reign. The essay will close with a personal reflection on different Tompkins’ opinions regarding androgyny and the cultures of nineteen fifties and sixties. Discussion In her autobiography, Jane Tompkins reveals how her exposure to Beatle’s music transformed her life. She portrays Beatle’s music band as androgynous, something that was apparently likable by the women and hence encouraging them to become androgynous. Jane Tompkins grew up as shy person who, like any other persons who resembled her character, is interested in only the ordinary formalities of life. As such, she was less concerned with the interests of her contemporary peers, and in fact her gender role was defined by the American popular culture of the 1950s, an era in which gender roles were inflexible. Her perception about popular artists such as the Rolling-stones is very negative, and that is why she says that they were violent humans and that they possessed male chauvinist traits, a penchant she affirms that is associated with hostility towards the opposite gender. In the 1950s, the roles of gender were firmly based on guiding principles designed by the society. For example, masculinity was represented by roughness of a male as a person. Tompkins says Beatles seemed human because of the way they sing about “love” which she did not understand well. This shows that she is endured to the emotional aspect of their culture, which was uncommon in the music of 1950s. She confirms this when she says that most of the popular songs she used to listen were not human in this sense (Womack and Todd 216). What Tompkins loves about Beatle’s music most is the fact that it was innocent and appealing; it had childlike quality and it focused on quality, rather than being world-weary and knowing. What’s more, their songs were very simple and they did not pretend to be righteous or possess sheer masculinity, again supporting them in breaking away from following of rigid roles of gender, which she describes as being androgynous. Beatles had compassion for people other than themselves, because they told real stories, which again is a cultural transformation – breaking away from self-aggrandizement to thinking about others. To her, this is a reprieve because the songs by Beatles did not have the authoritarian baritone of many males’ singers whose tone declared the superiority of the male opinion, which was an advancement of male sexism. This is also seen where the author says that the singers of the sixties had stopped having authoritarian baritone of many male singers. She adds that this change is not only generational, but it has something to do with gender, being vulnerable, authority, showing your feelings, and wanting to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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