It’s like 1962 without the good music

April 19, 2012

in Feminism

Recently, I’ve wondered if we’ve somehow entered a time warp. Even though the calendar says 2012, many of the headlines I’ve been reading and many of the conversations I’ve been hearing could have taken place in 1962.

For example, are we really debating birth control in 2012? One would think the Pill had just been introduced.

What about Cuba? Fifty years later and the island is still a political hot potato, even though not many Cubans on the island have potatoes to heat.

Nuclear threats? Op-ed writers use the Cuban Missile Crisis to explain the dangers of Iran’s nuclear growth.

Women’s roles? Anne Romney is criticized for “never working a day in her life” and Sarah Palin is taken to task for running for office after giving birth to her fifth child, who happened to have a disability. While Hillary Clinton is busy as Secretary of State, folks still find a way to criticize her hair style. Didn’t we fight this battle years ago? It seems to me the outcome was that women-and men-could make the choice  of working or not as best benefits their family, right?

I came across an article for The Columbus Dispatch by Doug Caruso about predictions citizens of Columbus made in 1962 to be revealed during the city’s bicentennial celebration in 2012. Right on target were predictions for electronic debit cards, organ transplants and rental movies (with no ads!) for home television.

But they were a bit off base in predicting interplanetary travel, buildings that float in the air and closets that clean clothes with sound waves. (I’m thinking the clothes-cleaning closet should be followed up on. How about you?)

Caruso interviewed David Staley, an adjunct history professor and futurist at Ohio State University. Staley points out, “There’s nothing in there about social and cultural changes, mainly about women. They missed the whole notion that women would have active public lives and roles in the public sector. We see the values that people hold at the time reflected in their predictions.”

If Columbus, Ohio is indeed the ideal cross-section of America as recently revealed on CBS’s 6o Minutes, we’ll be reading the same headlines on the future version of our iPads and still wondering how things can change so much and still be the same.

Sigh. At least I’ve got a solid selection of  ’60’s music in my iTunes library.


Previous post:

Next post: