Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thoughts on the Sexual Revolution

"Born in 1969, I missed the sixties and, for the most part, the seventies," begins David Allyn in his book, Make Love, Not War - The Sexual Revolution: An Unfettered History. "But I have always been fascinated by stories of the days of sexual liberation."

Like David, I have always been in awe from what I heard about sixties and seventies, knowing that I missed out on the most important part of history in the 20th century - possibly the most radical times this country - world - will ever see.

While I'm still reading the book - which I purchased back in 2006 in order to cite passages from it in a research paper entitled "After Kinsey" for my Beat Generation class - I noted somethings I found rather irksome. Just to name one, the American Civil Liberties Union.

In the book, Allyn reports that:
Although the American Civil Liberties Union was founded to protect freedom of speech, ACLU officials in the fifties shied away from attacking the censorship of sexual materials. The group's executive director assure critics that the ACLU had never intervened in federal efforts to stop the mailing of "smutty post cards," strip-tease pictures," or "nudes." As far as he was concerned, the federal government had every right to suppress such literature. As another ACLU official stated, "Nor do we believe that the obscenity laws are interfering with freedom of the press in any way."
I know organization alter their beliefs and practices over the years, and the ACLU is no different, but what irks me most is how they were not willing to stand up for actual freedom of speech during that point in American history, yet are so willing to aid teens who create what has been dubbed child pornography (as you can see, this is social commentary - of sorts - on the present day ACLU).

Perhaps the ACLU doesn't see its own stupidity of past and present. Or perhaps they have lost touch with what really matters. I don't know. I seriously hope, however, that they crumble or reform into something that makes sense.

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