Lemke-Santangelo, Gretchen.

Daughters of Aquarius : women of the sixties counterculture / Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo. - x, 234 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm. - CultureAmerica . - Culture America. .

Includes bibliographical references (pages 209-216) and index.

Goddesses, chicks, Earth mothers, and groupies: confronting the stereotypes of hip womanhood -- "We wanted to break away" : women's journey from the 'burbs to the counterculture -- In harmonious intercourse: gender constructs, sexuality, body image, relationships, and reproduction -- "It never seemed like drudgery" : women's economic survival strategies -- I was opening up like a tender flower: women's psychedelic, spiritual, and travel adventures -- Little sisters: girls of the counterculture -- "We were the true Aquarians" : hippie women, feminism, and the new age.

It was a sign of the sixties. Drawn by the promise of spiritual and creative freedom, thousands of women from white middle-class homes rejected the suburban domesticity of their mothers to adopt lifestyles more like those of their great-grandmothers. They eagerly learned "new" skills, from composting to quilting, as they took up the decade's quest for self-realization. "Hippie women" have alternately been seen as Earth mothers or love goddesses, virgins or vamps, images that have obscured the real complexity of their lives. The author now takes readers back to Haight Ashbury and country communes to reveal how they experienced and shaped the counterculture. She draws on the personal recollections of women who were there, including such pivotal figures as Lenore Kendall, Diane DiPrima, and Carolyn Adams, to gain insight into what made counterculture women tick, how they lived their days, and how they envisioned their lives. This book to focuses specifically on women of the counterculture. It describes how gender was perceived within the movement, with women taking on much of the responsibility for sustaining communes. It also examines the lives of younger runaways and daughters who shared the lifestyle. And while it explores the search for self enlightenment at the core of the counter-culture experience, it also recounts the problems faced by those who resisted the expectations of "free love" and discusses the sexism experienced by women in the arts. The author's work also extends our understanding of second-wave feminism. She argues that counterculture women, despite their embrace of traditional roles, claimed power by virtue of gender difference and revived an older agrarian ideal that assigned greater value to female productive labor. Perhaps most important, she shows how they used these values to move counterculture practices into the mainstream, helping transform middle-class attitudes toward everything from spirituality to childrearing to the environment. Featuring photographs and poster art that bring the era to life, this book provides both an inside look at a defining movement and a corrective to long-held stereotypes of the counterculture. For everyone who was part of that scene, or just wonders what it was like, this book offers a new perspective on those experiences and on cultural innovations that have affected all our lives.

9780700616336 (cloth : alk. paper) 0700616330 (cloth : alk. paper)

2008048044

GBA934191 bnb

015104331 Uk


Counterculture--History--United States--20th century.
Hippies--History--United States--20th century.
Young women--History--United States--20th century.
Nineteen sixties.


United States--Social life and customs--1945-1970.

HQ799.7 / .L45 2009

305.48/969097309046