I was born in 1957, things were a lot different in those days. I was recently reflecting on some of the sociological changes I have witnessed in my 46 years here the USA.. I remember when women who were married were not in the work force, when a man who couldn’t provide for his family without the income of his wife, was considered to be an unfit husband. For the most part women worked only until they got married, then their job was to stay home and raise the kids.
Their lives were generally subservient to their husband. Sex wasn’t something that they generally enjoyed and if they did, they kept their mouths shut about it lest they be branded a harlot. A wife wouldn’t think of telling her husband that he needed some work when it came to her sexual satisfaction. In many cases criticism would have led to assault and in many states beating your wife wasn’t even a crime.
Women were held down, as John Lennon aptly put it some years later, “woman is the nigger of the world”, certainly she was at the time.
Even though women had been granted the right to vote in 1920 few dared vote against the man her husband voted for.
Then came the 60s, and the introduction of Enovid, the first oral contraceptive, Frank B Colton who developed Enovid had no way of knowing the profound sociological changes his invention would help bring about.
The 60s would begin to bring about civil unrest that this country had not experienced since the civil war. The Viet Nam conflict, The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Bay of Pigs, Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. To say that this country narrowly escaped another civil war would be wrong, we didn’t escape it, we fought it, it was certainly more of a war than “The Cold War”. You think no Americans lost their lives, tell that to friends and families of Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer, and William Schroeder, the four students at Kent State who were killed in cold blood by National Guardsmen. But I digress.
The anti war protest crowd, the civil rights crowd and the women’s rights crowd all had common ground and they banded together, out of that came Rock and Roll with a political message, turn on, tune in, drop out. Turn on with drugs, tune into sociological change and drop out of the establishment.
When the war was over the alliance had won, Nobody knows exactly what day the war ended but August 8th, 1974 is probably as close as you can get. That’s the day that Richard M Nixon resigned as President of the United States.
Of all the groups that won something in that war, the least likely was the one that experienced the most profound changes, women. They were joining the work force in droves, they had complete control over their reproductive cycles and the “Free Love” movement had given them the power to enjoy sex and be proud of it.
Now women wanted to be paid the same as men for doing the same work, no longer happy with the social injustices, the Equal Rights Amendment starts to get a big push. Ultimately on June 30th 1982 it falls three states short of ratification, but the message had been heard, women had power, and lots of it.
Now after reading this you probably are thinking, that covers a long time. Truth is the time span it covers, in the grand scheme of things is a wink of an eye. Women have gone from kitchens to positions of high political office in a mere 40 years, that’s barely 2 generations, and they grow more influential every day. Considering that for all of our existence here prior to that they were really nothing more than property and that is quite a change indeed.
They still have a long way to go. John Ashcroft for example has every intention of using an iron fist to keep them down. He and others like him, who couldn’t give birth if they wanted to, still seem to think that they have some divine right to tell you that you have to give birth, or that his ugly ass may go topless on a beach or appear topless on television but by God women won’t. There are still sodomy laws on the books in many states, though they wouldn’t likely pass constitutional muster the original intent was to limit sexual activity, largely criminalizing acts that women would perform for hire, giving them additional laws to charge prostitutes with violating.
You see what I am seeing here?
Women have the power, more than any other group, if they banded together and asserted this power the domination of men in politics, business and even the bedroom would quickly tumble. If they were the risk takers that men are they would already have enslaved us.
The days when a naked breast on prime time television cause a national uproar are going to end as soon as women realize that their breasts are not indecent.
At least that’s the way I see it.