Monday, March 3, 2008

Beatlemania, the beginnings of the Second Wave

The famous gathering of 300,000 Beatles fans in Adelaide, Australia.

"The masses are forced to see themselves everywhere: this, they are always aware of themselves, often in the aesthetically seductive form of an ornament or an effective image. All the mythical powers which the masses are capable of developing are exploited for the purpose of underscoring the significance of the masses as a mass. To many it then appears as though they were elevated in the masses above themselves."

-Siegfried Kracauer :Masse und Propaganda. Eine Untersuchung uber die fascistishe Propaganda" (1936)

Young women, at a highly developmental moment (puberty) both witnessed and took part in an international "mass power" that was gendered almost entirely feminine for the first time in the modern mass mediated society. Did the rush of the feminine mass spectacle play a part in the development of second wave feminism? It's hard to say for sure, but I will merely stress the fact that the women "of age" for Beatlemania were the age group who would later go on mobilize the feminist movement.

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