Sex and Feminism, revisited — the club scene and Second Wave Feminism 1974 — 1984

So, I want to give you some clips on Patriarchy and what that term means, to feminists.  One thing that feminists concerned themselves with was Patriarchy and Domestic Violence during the Second Wave.

Here is a clip from the movie The Deer Hunter on that:

There was a tremendous move on the white feminist sisterhood’s part to see that women didn’t suffer what you see Meryl Streep going through in the clip above.  What the concept of the “sisterhood” was about was women helping women to have more personal power.  In the heterosexual part of the sisterhood this meant power in their relationships with men.  Being able to make choices about how women chose to live.  In other words, if a man was beating up a woman, she did not have to put up with it.  Concepts in Patriarchy are passed down generationally from father to son.  At that time, in the late 70’s men took out their frustrations on women by punching them — just like in this clip.  As a very young girl, I once saw my father act like this towards my mother.  By the time the 70’s and feminism rolled into American culture, I knew I was one.  My mother left him when I was a young teen.

It’s interesting to look at this clip of the music from the film Saturday Night Fever, so many years later.  I was 21 and my girlfriends were 31 in that era.  We went out nightclubbing all the time.  This is how white patriarchy looked in those days.  What is interesting looking at the visuals now is that you can see the “husk” of what was left of the “nuclear family” in the houses and ruins they are walking through:

This is the kind of music we listened to, when we went out clubbing.  We would usually go in a group of about six or seven.  When the movie Saturday Night Fever came out, I went to see it in Westwood with my friend Cheryl.   In that era, the women would sit at little tables and men would ask them to dance.  You would spend the night dancing, and usually go  to an “after hours” club to dance some more.  My girlfriends had much more experience with nightclubbing because they were from New York, and they were ten years older than I.  I only spent about a year or two in the Disco clubs in that era, because the music was about to undergo a big change — after that I went to punk rock clubs.  The entire atmosphere was different in a punk club.

Here is a sound mix that brings back the disco era to me — and the glitter balls:

Yesterday we talked about the concept of the “one night stand.”

What that meant was that, people might dance all night and then go home together.  There was no “dating” in this era, between men and women.  There was a dance floor, and the one night stand.  My girlfriend Cheryl and I were both in relationships at that time.  She wanted to marry her long term live in boyfriend, and she expected she was going to.  He left her.  I recall that she had an abortion just before that.  Because they were breaking up.

She and her friends wanted to see Chippendale’s when it opened, and one night I went with them.

I never went back to those clubs after that, with them.  But, that is where Disco ended — in clubs like Chippendales.  So?  Was feminism part of the stripping males genre?  Don’t know.  But, one night stands were still going on, even into the other kinds of clubs in the early 80’s.  It was exactly like in the movie Looking for Mr. Goodbar.

This is very funny to watch, a guy explaining how his father taught him about sex.  That’s pretty much about what my mother said as well.  Her conversation with me lasted all of five minutes, once.  There was no sex education at the schools I went to either.

I recall my mother saying to me, let me know and I’ll get you the pill.

The choices for birth control in the late 70’s and 80’s were condoms, the pill, a diaphragm or an IUD. Basically the children of the 70’s were the generation who inherited and lived out the ideas of the original “Free Love” generation of the 60’s.

My generation of teenagers had seen the movie Summer of ’42.  You can see a clip below:

As girls in that era, most of us depended on men to teach us about birth control.  It was up to men to either wear condoms or practice the withdrawal method.  We carried our diaphragms with us in those days.

A lot of women did not want to take the pill, and there was a huge controversy about the Dalkon Shield IUD.  We preferred more “natural” birth control.  Also, birth control had fallen to women in the 1970’s.  Women from my generation wanted the responsibility of it to be a shared thing.

In the end, if a woman had an unplanned pregnancy she was the one who was going to have to deal with it, all by herself.  White women from my social class could not go home as unwed mothers.  It simply wasn’t done.  Period.

And men, who were balling every woman in sight in that era did not care so much about consequences.

Marriage was the last thing on their minds.  In the movie “Summer of 42” you can watch what it was like for those of us who were teen girls in the 1970’s.  You were on your own at the parties — just like the scenes in this movie.

This is wonderful news from Meryl Streep for the FEMININE HISTORY of America.

How very many years ago, we saw her in the film The Deer Hunter.  Her character in that movie is part of American feminist history in terms of how most women saw their place in society change.  Her character goes to work?  It’s a really interesting study of the Baby Boom woman — to watch that, so many years later.  Streep’s character is a “modern feminist.”

How far women in America have advanced since then.

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