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The Beatles as feminists
15 November 2020
11.37am
lydiarosefm
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Hi, I'm a university student writing a large essay based on how The Beatles defeat the female stereotype and if they still do that to this day!

 

I would be so grateful if you Beatles' fans could fill out this short survey.

 

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/QXCTHBL

 

Thank you!

The following people thank lydiarosefm for this post:

vonbontee
15 November 2020
9.12pm
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Dark Overlord
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Rishikesh
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Welcome @lydiarosefm i'm glad you decided to join the forum.

While your survey was interesting, i don't think i'd consider The Beatles to be feminists. Sure, they wanted all people to be treated the same but that's not really feminism, that's just being a decent human being and there's plenty of instances where they did some very un-feminist things.

A great example of this is how Yellow Submarine has an all male cast (bar a few non-speaking background characters). Don't get me wrong, i LOVE this film (their best IMO) and have no problem with this personally but a key component of feminism is diversity, of which there is none.

Also, as much as i HATE to bring this up, all 4 Beatles cheated on their wives (or fiancée in Paul's case). Of course, all 4 of them later regretted it and became better husbands later in life but feminists (as well as women in general) want their husbands to be loyal to them and The Beatles didn't become better husbands until after they broke up.

Not to mention, they regularly objectified women, something feminists hate. Take this comment from Ringo regarding the time he met German actor Marlene Dietrich during their iconic 1963 performance at the Royal Variety Show:

Marlene Dietrich was also on. I met her and I remember staring at her legs – which were great – as she slouched against a chair. I’m a leg-man: ‘Look at those pins!’
Now this isn't to say that The Beatles were against feminism or never supported feminist talking points. For example, they challenged male stereotypes by growing their hair out and they were one of the first rock bands to write songs that weren't about romantic love, with Rubber Soul having 3 (Nowhere Man , The Word , and In My Life ). But to call them feminists would be a huge stretch IMO.

If you're reading this, you are looking for something to do.

16 November 2020
1.04pm
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sir walter raleigh
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Lennon was a self-identified feminist, engaging in lots of feminist activity alongside Yoko, although his reputation with women is terrible because of his abuse of Cynthia. I do believe that John cared about feminism and as genuinely upset by the inequality that he saw. "Woman is the N****r of the World is a great example of him really trying to understand women's struggles.

As for George, he isn't quite as clear, however, his attitude towards Patty Boyd with Eric Clapton seems to be at the very least non-possessive. He just asks if she's coming home with him or Eric, then later remarks how it's better she be with him than some bum or something to that extent. So while his infidelities were rampant, it doesn't seem like he was hypocritical or control over his wife, even as a younger man. George is also tied to classical institutions of Indian music and philosophy, which unfortunately have deeply rooted histories in controlling women's bodies and excluding women and other non-elite from practicing in these classical institutions. Ravi Shankar and His daughter have actually done a lot to progress the field in recent decades, combined with the popular surge aided by George.

George himself gave the Maharishi the benefit of the doubt over Mia Farrow's sexual assault allegation (although the origin of the allegation is controversial) while John immediately chose to condemn the Maharishi for his behavior. 

Paul and Ringo are still alive, and while they've both had some uncomfortable history with women, particularly Ringo who unfortunately has a slightly violent history of domestic issues during his heavy alcoholism days. I'm sure both are very supportive of the feminist cause in today's day and age through social media.

Generally, the Beatles aren't associated with the progressive sides of Racial and Sexual politics, despite being under the radar advocates throughout their careers while directly or indirectly contributing to sexist institutions racial inequality in the music industry. It is unfortunate and complicated. I like to hope most Beatles aren't proud of their history with women or the complicated way in which they usurped rock and roll from black America, however, there likely are some horrible people who are happy about these things.

The following people thank sir walter raleigh for this post:

vonbontee, The Hole Got Fixed

"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

-Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

"We could ride and surf together while our love would grow"

-Brian Wilson, Surfer Girl

24 November 2020
8.33am
gabhold1
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although i'm not writing an essay about The Beatles as feminists, i was always wondering similar things. thanks for sharing, i really love hearing more stuff like this. any other update is much appreciated

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