Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Hippie Redux: #32 Why I'm Glad I'm Over 65!

From Marilyn to Angela

When I have watched a Marilyn Monroe movie, that beautiful woman has always disappointed. It is hard to imagine today the role thought appropriate for women in 1960. It was basically being a housewife and subservience to men. Marilyn never had a chance to appear as a real person.

In 1964 a congressman suggested that gender equality be included in the Civil Rights Act, he was greeted with laughter, but the law passed with the amendment intact.

There were a number of factors that enabled a new role for women in the Sixties. Childcare came on the radar. Abortion, generally clandestine, became an option. The Pill was approved. Economic and social changes required more women in the workforce.

The Sixties saw a massive wave of activism on the part of woman. That most of the current activist organizations were dominated by male chauvinism became obvious, so women formed their own structures. The FBI infiltrated the movement, considering it the enemy. There was considerable dissension within the movement between mainstream and radical elements, but overall it was a time of great gains.

Many powerful woman came forward, either as activists or in print. Germaine Greer, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Simone de Beauvoir and Angela Davis (pictured).

Successful events included the protest at the Miss America Pageant in 1968, the Women’s Strike for Equality in 1970.

As with the struggle for racial equality, the struggle for women’s rights continues.

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