Blog 9: Social Revolution Did Not happen Overnight

Often the 1960s are placed on a pedestal of change and social revolution, but that change was slower and more gradual than most people realize. It was not one moment specifically in history that sparked a revolution, but it was a grouping of events over time that made a change. In the case of the feminist movement, the second wave of feminism began with Kennedy commissioning a group of women to create writings on the status of women. Then a new group followed known as (NOW) National Organization of Women, in NOW mostly older women organized to empower women and make sure women were being fulfilled even in there lives as housewives or whatever it was that they were doing.  Later came the Women’s liberation movement that was mostly made up of NOW’s children who drew ideas from the Black Panther party and organized to liberate women at all costs. In this movement, they did not want the mundane unfulfilling life of the housewife they wanted equal rights in the workforce and equal pay for the work similar to that of a man. They challenged the system of men that oppressed them and wanted to keep them at home. They came from movements such as the anti-war movement in which they were seen as coffee runners and minute takers and not as equal members. They stood for antiwar movements but did it as a group of women who were against the war, that way they could not be oppressed by men. Often in these movements, the men who were oppressing them were leading large movements yet they did not seem women as equal partners. Through these movements, we can see how change was gradual. Over time women were able to make progress by the revolution did not happen at a particular moment, it was over generations of time. The 1960s also housed change in ideas of sexuality. Today, if someone from the 1950s or 1960s came and witnessed our blatancy of sexuality they would be shocked (Bailey, Sexual Revolutions). However, our balance took a long time achieve and still does not entirely challenge the traditional ideas. During this time college students, per usual, had a lot to say about sexual freedom. Female college students were especially oppressed. They had curfews, parietals, and regulations to try and keep women from having sex. If a woman was caught having premarital sex they were socially outcasted or expelled from school. While all of these things were in place people were still having sex. They were just doing it in nontraditional settings (cars, lounges, etc.) it just meant that privacy was not assured. Even today religious college settings like Notre Dame still have no coed dormitories and things like parietals and as my friend who attends Notre Dame has told me it doesn’t really stop sexual relations. Gradually over time, it has become more acceptable for men and women to live together before they are married. It has taken a long time though in the 1970s it became more socially acceptable, even my parents in the 1990s who decided to live together before they were married felt a lot of pressure. My grandmother was furious with them for making this decision and because of this pressured them into marriage soon after they moved in together. Today my parents encourage me and my siblings to live with people of the opposite gender either romantically or not. Right now one of my roommates is male and my mom encouraged this. She sees it as a  way to keep the apartment grounded. She also encourages us to live with our partners before we marry them so there are no surprises after the wedding, she says you don’t really know someone until you’ve lived with them. All of this has transpired over many generations in my family and shows that change did not happen overnight.

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