The sexual liberation of women

The sexual liberation of women

 The sexual liberation of women was a direct result of the second wave of feminism that engulfed western countries through the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Second World War gave the opportunity for women to step out of their houses and take part in the business of war, be it as nurses or as radio operators. For the first time in the modern history, women could get an employment.

 Industrial revolution contributed to a lessening of household chores for women due to inventions like the Washing machine, the Microwave, etc.

 The feminist movement wanted to break free the restrictions placed on a woman’s body.  As women got educated and started working, their independence and money power grew. They focused on their career instead of following the age-old tradition of getting married early and being a ‘housewife’

 Thanks to baby boomers, there was a huge gap in the number of men versus the number of women from the 60s. The choice of partners turned out to be harder as there were 75 men for every 100 women, leading to competition.

 One major milestone in the sexual liberation of women was the invention of the contraceptive pill. It gave them a chance to be worry-free about the consequences of unprotected sex.  The pill was first introduced in 1961 for married women and then expanded to include everyone from 1967. In addition, the 1967 Abortion Act in the UK made it legal for women to access abortion.

Unexpected pregnancies were one of the big reasons for a young couple to get married. With the invention of the pill and support for abortions, men and women were no longer at the mercy of society’s disapproval due to pregnancy. This allowed women to be free to choose their partners and have sex without the fear of consequences.

 Casual sex became a norm. Although it was not encouraged by the society, casual sex was no longer a taboo.

Ultra-Feminists believe the Sexual liberation was anti-feminist.

The movement took sexuality out of the shadows and brought it to the forefront. This was a major socio-cultural change. It led to the objectification of women and brought other ideas like pornography to the mainstream.

So who benefited from the Sexual liberation?

Men!

This answer may surprise many people.

Men prefer to have ‘no strings attached’ sex with as many women as possible. But women need an emotional connection before even thinking about sex.

 In the late sixties, as the man to women ratio was skewed, women had to compete for male attention. Men preferred to be with women who were more open to sexual encounters without the strings of commitment and marriage. Women were forced to change their behaviour to be more like men. And it became ok to have emotionless sex and not feel guilty after the act.

Some sociologists believe that Sexual Liberation is not the same as Sexual Freedom and that women are still fighting to get equality in their choices. The long-term implications of the Sexual Liberation are yet to be analysed.



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