✭ Title: Denouncing all agents of sexual repression and chasing the divine instead through sexual liberation

The Sexual Revolution

The sexual revolution can be traced back to the 1960s, the era of free love. It was in this decade that young people especially decided to make a break from the stifling norms imposed on them by the conservative, restrictive societies they lived in. This decision wasnt just a matter of discourse or politics, it was enabled more by a specific technological development. More precisely, that technological development was the medical miracle that was the birth control pill making its way into circulation. Now, finally women could be less wary about the unwanted side-effect of sexual encounters. Woman found they had gained a substantial amount of control over their bodies and this new-found control led to them breaking away from the restrictions imposed by biology, and by extension tradition. And as many predicted, and feared, many young women rushed headlong into promiscuity. The Summer of Love in 1967 was aptly named. With nuclear war an ever present threat, why deny yourself sexual pleasure when the major fear of what it could lead to was now gone? The 1960s then were a wonderfully liberating time, with women unburdened of the one restriction keeping them from playing freely. The impact of the revolution cannot be underestimated, and it is worth thinking about just how repressive the sexual economy was before the advent of the pill.

The Evils of Sexual Repression

Sexual repression takes on many forms, some explicit and others only implied and subtle. The control of, especially woman's bodies can take many forms, from phsyical and sexual violence through to means which society effectively deems "normal" like fat-shaming and slut-shaming. A good example of something once considered normal was the idea of a woman only being able to find sexual expression and contact within the bounds of a contract like marriage. Any deviation from that contract would see the woman cast out from society in some way or another. Women were either those of good standing who religiously stayed within the confines of societally excepted sex, or they were dangerous, unclean, and unpure of spirit tarts who sought to wreck marriages and spread disease. To go further with the implied and the subtle, repression found expression in all kinds of ways - how a woman was meant to move her body, cross her legs, wear her hair, which makeup, which jewellery. The most mundane biological tasks such as eating and sleeping were sexualised and restricted by cultural expectations. These long-held ideas still persist to some extent almost everywhere, even in contemporary and modern societies, but they hold far less power than they used to. The sexual revolution - a sea change in all sorts of social norms enabled by a biomedical breakthrough - cannot be underestimated in just how radically it altered our societies. And it’s waves continue to swell and push back repression.

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