Men Cry too - Masculinity and the feminization of lovers’ rock

Date
2014-12-05
Authors
Palmer, Lisa Amanda
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Publisher
Ashgate
Peer reviewed
Abstract
This chapter explores lovers’ rock and the ambiguities that exist around the gendered and sexual politics of the genre. It considers how lovers’ rock has become 'feminized' as ‘female’ reggae music. While black female artists and audiences cannot simply be categorised as passive participants and recipients of lovers rock, their access, participation and autonomy is negotiated upon a masculinized and patriarchal terrain. The chapter considers the ways in which this process of feminization works to conceal masculine power and masculine vulnerabilities within lovers’ rock in spite of the fact that the genre is often praised for providing a platform for black female performers to take centre stage in reggae music. I argue that the centrality of masculinity actually structures lovers’ rock’s historical development, its musical production and circulation as well as the thematic concerns of the genre.
Description
Keywords
Lovers rock, reggae, music, popular culture, black feminism
Citation
Palmer, L. (2014) Men Cry too - Masculinity and the feminization of lovers’ rock. In: Straton, J. and Zuberi, N. (Eds.) Black Popular Music in Britain since 1945, Abingdon: Ashgate
Research Institute