Thursday, July 23, 2015
CNN 70s: "Feminism Makes Waves" and so do gay rights
CNN’s series “The Seventies: One Nation Under Change” continued Thursday night with “Feminism Makes Waves”. The best link seems to be here.
Most of the broadcast concerned the controversy over the failed Equal Rights Amendment. Stay-at-home moms felt threatened and denigrated by the movement, and there was a general fear that men would not find monogamous marriage to dependent spouses “interesting” anymore because of new cultural competition.
Sometimes the rhetoric was that the ERA would increase homosexuality, and would increase men not supporting their wives. But there was no legal requirement that men actually do so.
Along the way came Roe v. Wade in 1973, which posed a different debate in terms of “pro life” v. pro choice”.
In the followup of Stonewall in 1969, gay pride marches started in the 1970s. While the right of gay people to their own “private lives” started to become much more accepted in most places by, say, around 1973, some people wanted to blame gays for the cultural battle over the sexes, leading to Anita Bryant’s campaign against an anti-discrimination ordinance in Miami in 1977. Bryant unbelievably talked about hunting down homosexuals when a pie was put in her face. She also claimed to “love” the homosexuals if they would become ex-gays.
In 1978, voters in California voted down the Briggs initiative, which would have banned gay teachers.
Part of the broadcast also covered the rapidly increasing acceptance of adult pornography, starting with the Supreme Court’s overruling a Georgia law than affected having adult pornography even in private. The film “Deep Throat”, with Linda Lovelace, which I saw near Times Square in 1973, was at the heart of the controversy.