Adding to an already confused decade – old sexual taboos were crumbling by the second.
Click on the Link: The Sexual Revolution – 1968
If the 1960’s weren’t upheaval enough, in the area of politics, art, music and culture, the whole question of sex and sexuality got tossed in for good measure. Social and sexual taboos were being challenged. Sexism, Homosexuality and pre-marital sex were on the front burner and it made a lot of people uncomfortable – but also, for once, it made a lot of people realize it was okay to be gay, to have sex without getting married first, to live together, to talk about it.
It may not make a lot of sense if you weren’t around during this time. There is a lot that was considered horrifying in the 1960’s that is not only commonplace today, but not thought anything about, and that may be hard to imagine.
It also may be hard to imagine this radio documentary, first broadcast in 1968, which I’m posting today, was considered wildly controversial at the time. From the mainstream standpoint, this episode of NBC Radio’s Second Sunday talked about things no one ever talked about, at least openly, on the air. And that was the big problem, growing up in the 60’s – the continuous battle of change.
Listening to this piece, it may seem very strange – quaintly backwards and painfully naive. The music references along are cringe provoking. It is also unconsciously sexist and homophobic – there is an interview with a Lesbian group in New York where the descriptions are, at best, awkward. So, on the one hand this can be viewed as a strange curio of a bygone time, or viewed as an indication of just how confused we still are as a people, since this was 44 years ago and in the grand scheme of things, not that far back in time.
But if you were ever wondering if our society has changed in any way – you can start by listening to this and realize, in some ways we have. Like they say, progress not perfection.
Here is Second Sunday for November 1968 – The Sexual Revolution, narrated by Edwin Newman.