Gender, Gender Norms And Sexuality In Gimme Shelter

Decent Essays
Gender, Gender Norms and Sexuality in Gimme Shelter

In 1969, the Rolling Stones played a free concert in San Francisco; the 

Altamonte Festival, with the goal of having a ‘thank you’ concert for fans, a day of

unity, celebration, a prime example of classic 1960’s freedom. However, the Altamont concert

turned into what was arguably one of the biggest disasters in musical history, going from an

event that was supposed to capture the essence of the era; a time of peace and love, instead

turning into an utter catastrophe, involving drinking, drugs, thefts, people being arrested, fist 

fights, and four deaths, including the fatal stabbing of an 18 year old man of colour, Meredith

“Curly” Hunter, by a member of the Hell's Angels, Alan Passaro, who had been ‘paid’ in beer to
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Throughout the documentary, a significant theme is the role of 

gender, gender norms and sexuality, as well as the way that the breaking and bending these 

gender roles is displayed. Specifically, the bending and breaking of gender norms by Mick 

Jagger’s “preforming” of various forms of gender and gender fluidity, and through the way that 

he dresses, dances and acts.

While the 1970s were a time of true hippie fashion; peace, love, sexual liberation and 

freedom, the 70s also signified the decline of classic, more 

traditional social norms, values and gender expectations. Women began to enter the workforce, 

as opposed to being full-time homemakers and the primary source of childcare. Yet, 

women, people of colour, Native Americans, people who identified as gay
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