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Nova 1965–1970: Love, Masculinity and Feminism, but Not as We Know It

  • Hera Cook
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History Series book series (GSX)

Abstract

In 1980, historian and feminist Elizabeth Wilson commented in her account of women in postwar Britain that ‘the romantic myth still holds sway, not as a form of “conditioning” which can be stripped off, peeled away, but inside us, part of us’.1 Implicit in her comment was an understanding of romantic love as a culturally constructed ‘myth,’ rather than a biochemical embodied event. This perspective was opposed to a common sense perception of romantic love as natural, happening regardless of social mores and sexes, part of being human though more central to the lives of women than those of men. Natural or biological behaviour was understood as fixed and unchanging but, if behaviour was socially constructed, it was open to change. Wilson was expressing a new feminist realization that an individual woman’s awareness that feelings and beliefs were formed by infant and child socialization did not enable her to slough them off in favour of alternative emotions.

Keywords

Sexual Desire Romantic Love Sexual Revolution Sexual Mores Sexual Jealousy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Select Bibliography

  1. Cook, H. (2004) The Long Sexual Revolution: English Women, Sex and Contraception, 1800–1975 (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  2. Cook, H. (2014) ‘Angela Carter’s The Sadeian Woman and Female Desire in England 1960–1977’, Women’s History Review, 1–19.Google Scholar
  3. Ferguson, M. (1985) Forever Feminine: Women’s Magazines and the Cult of Femininity (Aldershot: Gower).Google Scholar
  4. Hacking, I. (1999) The Social Construction of What? (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).Google Scholar
  5. Hillman, D., H. Peccinotti and D. Gibbs (1993) Nova, 1965–1975 (London: Pavilion Books).Google Scholar
  6. Langhamer, C. (2012) ‘Love, Selfhood and Authenticity in Post-War Britain’, Cultural and Social History 9(2), 277–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  8. Wilson, E. (1980) Only Halfway to Paradise: Women in Postwar Britain, 1945–1968 (London: Tavistock).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hera Cook 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hera Cook

There are no affiliations available

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