1950s and 1960s
In the 1960s, mainstream voices in the English society hoped to protect the sexual purity of young people. They constantly advocated a happy life after marriage, implying that girls should shun away from sex before getting married. However, girls at this time were far different from Victorian girls. They grew up with easy access to public secondary education. A lot of them had jobs and were financially independent. As new girls, they were also consumers with strong spending power. They were eager to break free from the shackles of society on youth’s and women’s sexuality.
During this period, pop, rock and jazz music won countless girls’ love, together with many conservatives’ aversion. While girls sought pleasure and empowerment from modern music, the latter saw them allures of leading girls to go off the rails. The Beatles took this tension to a new stage: so many girls were obsessed with this band that many of them spent money and publicly confessed to them. This intense fan frenzy, which was also called beatlemania, was actually an unprecedented open expression of desire from female groups. When society contemptuously, or aggrievedly, called these beat girls as fangirls with no brains, did it ever cross their mind that beatlemania could be an outcry from the girls who challenged societal oppression on teenage girls’ sexuality?