Women and Popular Music explores the changing role of women musicians and the ways in which their songs resonate in popular culture. Sheila Whiteley begins by examining the counter-culture's reactionary attitudes to women through the lyrics of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. She explores the ways in which artists like Joplin and Joni Mitchell confronted issues of sexuality and freedom, redefining women's participation in the industry, and assesses the personal cost of their achievements. She considers how stars such as Annie Lennox, Madonna and k.d. lang have confronted issues of gender stereotyping and sexuality, through pop videos for 'Justify My Love' and 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)', and looks at the enduring importance of the singer-songwriter through artists such as Tracey Chapman. Lastly, she assesses the contribution of contemporary artists including Tori Amos, P.J. Harvey and Courtney Love, and asks whether the Spice Girls are just a 'cartoon feminist pop group' or if they provide positive role models for teenage girls.

chapter |21 pages


chapter 1|10 pages

Wonderful World, Beautiful People

The 1960s' counter culture and its ideological relationship to women

chapter 2|12 pages

Repressive Representations

Patriarchy, femininities and 1960s' rock

chapter 3|7 pages

The Personal Is Political

Women's liberation, sexuality, gender, freedom and repression

chapter 4|21 pages

Try, Just A Little Bit Harder

chapter 5|6 pages

The Times They Are A Changin'

Folk and the singer songwriter

chapter 6|17 pages

The Lonely Road

chapter 7|24 pages

Daughters Of Chaos

Patti Smith, Siouxsie Sioux and the feminisation of rock

chapter 8|17 pages

Challenging The Feminine

Annie Lennox, androgyneity and illusions of identity

chapter 11|25 pages

Talkin' 'Bout A Revolution

Tracy Chapman, political uprisings, domestic violence and love

chapter 12|18 pages

Authenticity, Truthfulness And Community

Tori Amos, Courtney Love, P.J. Harvey and Björk