I had no idea what to write regarding the 1960s, because we watched a video about the students uprising in Paris in 1968 during the class, and I kind of understood the theme in class without having written much.
Until I came home with no notes and had no idea what to write.
But recently, just recently, I had been reading a few articles regarding the era, and it was surprisingly interesting. The politics influenced the movements so much that if you want to understand the era itself, you have to at least have some knowledge of what events happened.
Well, to mention some: the assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and JF Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the ever-legendary Woodstock festival.
A prominent movement generated in the 1960s was the counter-culture. The counter-culture was a movement that opposed almost everything the society regarded as acceptable things. It was a rebellious movement, that reminds me of the rebellious years of teenagers, that originated in USA as a form of protest against USA’s involvement in the Vietnam War. It is basically a movement liberating the youths from the social norms of the time, leading to revolutions in other aspects of life.
The peace symbol, born in the UK for the campaign for nuclear disarmament, became the symbol for this movement.
The generation gap was wider in the area. Young people liberated themselves by sporting very attractive and unusual body accessories, such as the Afro hair, mini dresses and other revealing clothes, and long hair for men. These were uncommon before the counterculture.
With the ongoing Cold War, people protested all kinds of violent engagements and proposed peace for all. This was not unreasonable, as nuclear threats seemed apparent in particularly the cities in USA and some parts of Soviet Union (this resulted in the anti-nuclear movement). The seemingly unnecessary involvement of USA in the Vietnam War also triggered student movements, particularly in USA, to protest against the war. This might also had happened because the young people, who were obliged to enlist for military service, were so not keen as to having to report for duty in a war that was originally none of their business, nor of the American government.
The feminism movement also came to surface as part of the counterculture. Remember the “We Can Do It” pose that Christina Aguilera sported in this post? During the automobile culture, the role of women was questioned because as the men went for war, the women could not support themselves and their children by staying at home; they had to go to work. This was a key to the women’s independence, which re-surged in this counter-culture movement. Why do women stay home? Do the women have to stay home?
I guess the answer would depend on every person. For me, personally, I would love to go out and work, but when I get married, I would rather look after my child until they reach a certain age where they would be independent enough. Duh.
The sexual revolution also sparked the gay liberation movement, in which for the first time in US history did the gay people fight back against the oppression they had been receiving. A classmate of mine made a video regarding this topic, and cited Judy Garland’s death as a trigger to the gay liberation movement (or so that was what I remembered; I remember things poorly). Nevertheless, the sexual revolution introduced in the counterculture movement also triggered the gay liberation movement.
Then came the drugs. Yes, my dear reader, the drugs. The liberal views of the counterculture movements also liberated the use of drugs, especially marijuana and LSD. The uses were apparent especially during the Summer of Love in San Fransisco and Woodstock Festival in Woodstock.
Sexual liberation and feminism was widely interpreted as “I can go naked whenever and wherever I want”. Don’t forget the weed.
But the sexual liberation did not only affect the women; men & women alike are welcome to undress in public.
The counterculture movement continues to affect the modern society. This being said, I end this post 🙂