Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Free Love Movement

By: Jordan Devan

In the 1960s, America was much of a sexualized society. But while a segment of the middle-class youth pursued sexual pleasure in the name of consumerism, another group confronted it and rejected the materialistic sense of modern capitalism. These young people separated the state from sexual matter. They wanted to be free, and love freely most importantly. [1]Sexual matters were separated from marriage, birth control, and adultery but instead sexual matters were concerned with the individuals involved with each other, no one else.

Since many of the sexual rights discriminated against women, the free love advocates stressed women’s rights more than anything, wanting to stop marriages laws and anti-birth control measures. These young people were also stressing that they wanted something different than their parents. Not even money, religion, or status, but a far greater degree of sexual freedom and self-expression. In the video, “Sex in 69” we watched in class, they interview a lady who lived through this time period. She says, “Going to work every day and coming home to my white picket fence wasn’t going to be enough for me”, “I wanted to be where the music and people were,, I don’t know, I wanted adventure”. [2]People like this women wanted to be free and not worry about the expectations the world had about sexuality, but instead have free love. These people were also known as hippies during this time.

So like mentioned above, the people of the free love movement wanted to change society. They wanted it to be free for all people to explore humanity in itself and doing so with those around them as well. Haight & Ashbury Street brought these people together; looking for something different in life so together; they took care of each other, and developed new ways to think about sex in life. Everyone was in a mindset of experimenting, so everyone was trying all kinds of new lifestyles.

This was definitely a time of no guilt but a time to be proud and express sexuality with no shame. But what had started to happen was that the free love movement was reaching the media and so people form everywhere and any type of person came to Haight Street, where this movement was. Disturbed kids, runaways, drug attics all came, all looking for sex which was not what this movement was about. It was truly about finding something different and being free in life and people with the wrong intentions messed that view up.

[1] McElroy, Wendy. “The Free Love Movement and Radical Individualism.” http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle1996/le961210.html (accessed April 28, 2014)
[2] Moore, Crystal. “Sex in 69.” Video. University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC.

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