Lesson 3 – It Was The Seventies, What Can I Say?

1973 started on a Monday; which seemed like a nice civilized way to start a year, but it was to be anything but that if you were a young woman at that time. Though the war in Vietnam was ending and peace protest no longer consuming the news, the heart of a young person during that time was still one of rebellion. The Hippie movement wanted to shake the establishment up and blow out all the old norms. “The Summer of Love,” in the Haight Ashbury area of San Francisco in 1967 had a profound effect on Southern California teens as it did the rest of the world, but we no longer wanted the “turn on, tune in, and drop out,” mentality of our older siblings. We weren’t satisfied with just getting high; we wanted to enjoy the sexual revolution and, “all just get along.”Three’s Company was a popular sitcom at the time about two pretty young girls and their antics living on their own with a guy who was just their roommate. My best friend and I couldn’t wait to get our first apartment. Gloria Steinem, had published her MS. Magazine 2 years before and sold 300,000 copies in eight days to women who were no longer satisfied with their lives. The first birth control pills had been approved in 1960, but in 1972 the Eisenstadt v. Baird court case made birth control legal for unmarried couples to use. In 1973, the Supreme Court establishes a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion; overriding the anti-abortion laws of many states. We wanted the freedom to choose our own reproductive options, use birth control if we wanted, or stop an unwanted pregnancy.  We felt domestic violence, sexual abuse, and disrespect of woman needed to be foremost in men’s minds.  Woman wanted to be allowed to be equal to men and live our lives as uninhibited as they did. We wanted to cohabitate with whomever we wanted without the fear of not being, “suitable for marriage,” because we chose to have sex before marriage. This was a very liberating time to be a woman, or so we thought. Woman were marching in parades and burning bras in solidarity with their draft card burning brothers. Playgirl magazine had an annual readership of over 20 million. With full frontal nude pictures of men, this magazine ignited a women’s exploration of their newly found sexuality. It was my first year in college during this time and I was spending my time waiting in long lines at the gas pump. We had an oil shortage and you were only allowed to purchase gas on your designated day, depending on your license plate number. When your car only got 10 miles to the gallon, you usual spent at least 2 to 3 days a week in long lines of cars waiting. I always took my books with me to read for class, but I found it hard to concentrate on my college subjects with all the sexuality that was infusing the media. 




About Retiredrn

Just retired after 37 years as an RN. Looking to write my memoirs.
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