I’m writing this piece of feminist history in terms of what the feminist movement was about during the years post Roe v Wade. I decided to end on the film Eraserhead here, because, ironically perhaps this film sums up males in the period. It was made in 1977. So the period I am referring to is approximately 1974 — 1984.
The women’s movement was something that I was profoundly aware of as a young girl. I was surrounded by my mother’s books and her ideas, and she was divorced by the time I was in my teens in the 1970’s. Cultural surround in the 70’s looked like this.
This film was very popular in 1976. “Lipstick.”
The film “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” was another — these two films show the way the late 70’s was in terms of the climate of sexuality for men and women in the era just before AIDS. This is what it was like for young, single professional women.
By the time we were out of high school, in 1975, we were on our own in terms of men and what was going to happen. I was a late bloomer compared to my friends — I waited until I was nineteen to have my first relationship. He was much older than I was, too.
During High School, I didn’t date — nor did my friends and I go to the prom or anything like that. These things were considered “uncool” in California in the 70’s. I went to high school with this family. Watching this now, it will give you a sense of what the late 70’s looked like in terms of fashion as well as attitudes. When you look at the girls, I was in the grade between them — listen to how she says “I have more to me…”
This is how women and people felt at that time…
and the way things looked for the rock and roll set in California in 1973.
What people have not talked about is the number of relationships my generation had, in this era. This was the era where “the one night stand” began. Watch this video to see the cultural surround and music…
Men expected to go home with women for one night stands. Because women had access to birth control like The Pill, or men had access to condoms this happened all the time. What has not been discussed, though is what happened if the one night stand resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. Men expected women to have abortions in the era of the “Lost Generation” of the Baby Boom.
Women in that era were not protected by anything except themselves, and birth control. Men had no intention of taking responsibilty for women if they got pregnant. What they did want was to ball as many women as they could. Ball is slang for the F word.
It’s a huge silent spot right now that people are not talking about. Both Democratic men and Republican men acted like this.
Women were meat in my generation.
I can only speak for white women and men, because that is my experience.
At the same time, women who were feminists were marching against what men were doing in terms of objectifying women.
And men really didn’t like that. At all.
I did not know any lesbian women in the 1970’s. If they were a subset of the feminist movement — or half the feminist movement for my generation that would have been a secret to me. It wasn’t until i was in my forties that I met some lesbian women for the first time, at a party I went to. I’m just going to assume they were closeted or in an underground community.
In my generation men of all races were coming at you at all times. Men catcalled at women, and men expected you would go home with them on one night stands. There is not one man in the Republican or Democratic party who can dispute this fact either. Women in my generation were nothing but fuckable objects to the vast majority of men.
Tomorrow I will talk about women and abortion post Roe v Wade.
This is lived FEMINIST HISTORY.