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America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation - Term Paper Example

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America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril and Liberation Analysis and Discussion of How the Book Relates to the Cold War and Postwar Eras Approval of the oral contraceptive for marketing and distribution came in the spring of 1960 and it marked the beginning of a new time in birth contraception…
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America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation
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America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation

Download file to see previous pages... More than just a pill, the contraceptive represented a way for women to gain control of their lives, to separate themselves from childbearing until they chose to be involved, and to take advantages of the opportunities that were now available to them. Coming at the height of the Cold War, the pill offered many promises, not just for contraception, but for solving the problem of overpopulation, for increasing the stability and happiness of marriages as well as eradicating poverty. This is the premise of the book America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril and Liberationi. This essay will evaluate and examine some of the themes presented by the author including the effects of the cold war, connection to feminism and the effects that the pill had on sexual relations. The Cold War was a war of fear rather than of violence, a war marked by institution and by codes of conduct. The war ran from the end of the Second World War until the 1980s, when the economy of the Soviet Union collapsed, unable to match the strength of the Westii. The Cold War was a time of intense fear where people had no idea what was going to happen to them, and their future was something that they had little control of. Government propaganda stressed the safety of fallout shelters in the event that nuclear war did occur, and they were touted as areas of security, privacy and isolation particularly for couples. During this time couples were marrying earlier and families were established at a younger ageiii. It was mid way through this period that the pill was developed and released to the public. The pill was available through prescription from Doctors and grew rapidly in popularity. The pill acted to empower women, giving them power over their own bodies and their own decisions. As a consequence, it played a key role in the emancipation of women and became a crucial agent for change in the years that were to follow. Towards the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s women experienced a substantial change in their role. Prior to the development of the pill when women married they generally became tied to the home, quickly becoming pregnant. This acted to prevent them from entering the work force or beginning a career. Following the development of the pill, this pattern changed significantly, with women becoming increasingly involved in careers, as they were now able to refrain from having children until when they desired toiv. As May explains, feminism was always involved in the pill, as its two creators, Margaret Sanger and Katharine McCormick had been feminists their entire lives, and had been involved in activism concerning the rights of women long before the pill was ever imaginedv. One of the roles that the pill played was the dissociation of sex from reproduction, the consequence of which was the sexual revolution of the 1960svi. With the advent of the pill, many of the consequences of casual sex, or sex with multiple partners were eliminated. Quickly, the idea of sex before marriage became extolled as something that one shouldn’t be ashamed of, and that had many benefits. Prior to this, sex before marriage was considered to be immoral and a woman discovered to have committed such an offense could easily see their marriage destroyed as a consequencevii. However, for a man to commit such a ‘crime’ was encouraged and considered an indication of their virilityviii. Thus the advent of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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