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Daughters of Aquarius : women of the sixties counterculture / Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo.

By: Lemke-Santangelo, Gretchen.
Material type: TextTextSeries: Culture America: Publisher: Lawrence, Kan. : University Press of Kansas, [2009]Copyright date: ©2009Description: x, 234 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780700616336 (cloth : alk. paper); 0700616330 (cloth : alk. paper).Subject(s): Counterculture -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Hippies -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Young women -- United States -- History -- 20th century | United States -- Social life and customs -- 1945-1970 | Nineteen sixtiesAdditional physical formats: Online version:: Daughters of Aquarius.DDC classification: 305.48/969097309046
Contents:
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.
Summary: 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.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
HQ799.7 .L45 2009 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001970524

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.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Not surprisingly, Tim Hodgdon's Manhood in the Age of Aquarius: Masculinity in Two Countercultural Communities, 1965-83 appears in the selected bibliography of Lemke-Santangelo's book on hippie women. Both books look at the counterculture and alternative lifestyles that became popular among younger people beginning in the 1960s, and they share an academic writing style (not to mention the use of the same Irwin Klein photograph, "Alan and Mickey in Meadow"). Manhood began as Hodgdon's dissertation, and it reads like one: earnest and kind of plodding. Lemke-Santangelo (history, St. Mary's Coll. of California) similarly generalizes and strives to explain things (like why communes relied on food stamps), using quotes from a seemingly random selection of folks who were there, interspersed with out-of-context bons mots from people like Benjamin Spock and Barbara Ehrenreich. For a really fun read and a nice cultural history of the times, Sheila Weller's Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon-And the Journey of a Generation goes over a lot better. Daughters of Aquarius may be of interest, however, to students and specialists on 1960s America.-Ellen Gilbert, Princeton, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Lemke-Santangelo (St. Mary's College of California) feels that the women involved in the hippie counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s have been unfairly marginalized; her task is to remedy that neglect, and she does an excellent job. Through a combination of archival research and interviews with movement participants, Lemke-Santangelo is able to provide a strong sense of women's day-to-day lives in both loosely affiliated counterculture groups and formal communes, and to explain how women felt about their roles within those communities. She does not romanticize the counterculture or ignore the often-sexist essentialism that was a large part of the hippie philosophy, nor does she deny the seedier, exploitative aspects of the demand for free love and voluntary poverty. However, she dignifies her historical actors with agency, showing the ways in which counterculture women demanded greater autonomy and control. The author also makes a compelling argument that counterculture women were vitally important in spreading and normalizing the acceptance of fundamentally countercultural attitudes toward everything from Eastern philosophy and new types of spirituality to the importance of eating fresh local food. This work fills a previously empty area of cultural and women's history. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. R. A. Standish San Joaquin Delta College

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