‘Obligatory Cosmopolitan Musical Viewpoint’?: Gender and Sexuality in the 1970s Music Press

  • Patrick Glen
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures and Popular Music book series (PSHSPM)


This chapters concentrates upon how music papers in the mid-1970s approached key aspects of so-called permissiveness: gender, sexuality and sex. It finds that music papers were not only male dominated but also put forwards reductive and sexist representations of women. It argues that journalists were complicit in a culture of silence that contributed to sexual abuse and shows that feminism largely remained a taboo subject due to concerns about alienating male consumers. It then moves to male homosexuality starting with David Bowie coming out as bisexual. The chapter traces how he and others were understood by journalists to pre-1967 tropes created by heterosexuals to narrate gay men as deviants. The music press’s unease with homosexuality is then followed through to the later-1970s.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Glen
    • 1
  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK

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