Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies

'Sheilas and Pooftas': Hyper-Heteromasculinity in 1970s Australian Popular Music Cultures by Rebecca Hawkings

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Rebecca Hawkings

Macquarie University 

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'Sheilas and Pooftas': Hyper-Heteromasculinity in 1970s Australian Popular Music Cultures


In 1978, a letter-writer to Rock Australia Music (RAM) magazine wrote disparagingly of pop music’s 'sheilas and pooftas' and depicted them as the antithesis to 'Aussie rock and roll'. The colloquial language employed by the letter-writer reveals a deeper fear and loathing of non-masculine ('sheila') and non-heterosexual ('poofta') influences on Australian music culture. Indeed, gender and sexuality were two ways by which ‘Australianness’ in popular music during the 1970s was recognised and categorised, and this article seeks to unpack and problematise those demarcations.

Using the framework of performative hyper-heteromasculinity, this article will examine three key case studies of popular music in 1970s Australia – the ‘ocker’ of Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs, ABBA’s 1977 tour of Australia, and the ‘flamboyant ockerism’ of The Angels and Skyhooks – in order to better understand the complex nexus of gender, sexuality, and cultural nationalism. 

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Hawkings article [PDF, 537.8 KB]
Updated 10 Dec 2014


Hawkings article [RTF, 3.2 MB]
Updated 10 Dec 2014


 

Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies

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