Hippies Influenctial Pull into the 21st Century

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Vachel Lindsay exemplified what it meant to be a hippie and their ideology. During times of turmoil for the United States, the hippies set out to change the way society functioned and to protest all the hate within the world. Starting in the early 1970’s, the movement known as the hippie movements began in California. Mostly white, teenagers and young adults, flooded to the streets of San Francisco in order to make bold statements about the injustices within the United States. In midst of the Vietnam war, thousands of teenagers left home and went to live a free life.

This mass migration created a major statement to the US government and caught the attention of society. Everyone was concerned with all the young citizens running loose without rules on the San Francisco streets. With the approximate 100,000 hippies running amuck, it allowed certain freedoms that weren’t allowed to the majority of society. Some of the freedoms were: smoking marijuana, taking hallucinogenic drugs, being sexually active, and generally living without any rules.

This created a great platform to get out their main message, “Make love not war.” With the world turning their eyes to watch what these liberal activists were doing, it began to change how society acted. Timothy Leary started how, “[Hippies] combated racism. They liberated sexual stereotypes, encouraged change, individual pride, and self confidence.” In a fairly conservative society, Hippies felt the need to liberate the way music was listened to, break down sexual barriers and fight against the extreme racism occurring throughout the country. Hippies outlandish way of thinking and acts of liberation pulled society into the 21st century.

Hippies felt as though the LGBTQ community and women should have more of a say in their sexual lives and pushed for a society to change it’s standards and norms. During this time, many societal standards were starting to change. The hippies took the opportunity to create more equality for the majority of the population. Women in the 1960s were starting to have careers and lives outside of being a housewife alongside with the gay community starting to become more apparent. More specifically, “by the late 1960s, social institutions emerged to facilitate non-marital sexual relationships” (Escoffier). The hippie subculture took this and ran with it, especially the women within the hippie subculture. The hippie subculture not being judgemental of women who had premarital sex was empowering for women and they felt as though they were more of an equal because of it. Because of this empowerment brought by the hippies, the noticeable, “emergence of feminism and the women’s movement at the end of the 1960s” occurred (Escoffier). Within the hippie culture specifically, people were not concerned with the gender, sexual orientation or skin tone as much as other subcultures were at this time. This showed society that people can live in peace and they caught the attention of the entire world to show them how amazing a life without hate can be. A major part of this was showing support for all the gay people being abused by government officials and police officers. Hippies staged a, “gay liberation movement’s dramatic Stonewall rebellion in 1969, in which homosexuals in New York City demonstrated against the police” (Escoffier). This was critical in showing that people were people no matter their sexual orientation. This also empowered the gay community, just like how the women were empowered. Although gay rights are still a major disagreement within the United States, there wouldn’t be even a discussion without the empowerment and love the hippies brought to the table. The freedom and judgement free environment that was established within the hippies subculture allowed, “Both feminists and gay activists [to use] the sexual revolution to bring down social and legal barriers that had been restricting their activities for centuries” (Tunc). Without the hippies making a clear statement that they did not care about the proper etiquettes, the world would not have been as open to the idea of accepting the minority of the population. Women and the gay community were not the only ones that hippies empowered and helped; hippies fought against the racial injustices of the Vietnam War as well.

The majority of the troops were poorer Americans and minorities, the hippies fought against this fact claiming they should have the same rights as any other American if they were going to die for the same country. Hippies felt that people who were dying overseas, in a war that they felt the USA should not be involved in, should not be dominantly black and other minorities. “ Many Americans believed that we should not have had troops in Vietnam because it was not our war to fight. After President Lyndon B. Johnson was elected and sent around five hundred thousand American troops into Vietnam, American families became outraged” (Stockton Edu). With the high rate at which American troops were dying, it became a major controversy within the country. Hippies took a strong standpoint against the war and stood up for how they felt the war should have never involved the United States of America in the first place. Hippies peacefully took to the streets and college campuses to show their disapprovement of the government decision. During these protests, hippies would say, “things such as, “Make Love, Not War” or “U.S. Troops Get Out Of Vietnam” or simply hold up peace signs. They would also chant and sing through the streets and play music that promoted peace” (Stockton Edu). These famous sayings rang through the ears of all Americans and the world. They never resulted to violence in order to not be hypocritical with their beliefs and this set the stage for how many Americans began protesting.

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Hippies Influenctial Pull into the 21st Century. (2019, Mar 27). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/hippies-influenctial-pull-into-the-21st-century/

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