Saturday, June 2

Flower-power worked

Canada's baby boomers have been waiting to hear this: Flower-power worked. The hippies' giddy make-love-not-war-movement of four decades ago actually resulted in a more loving country.

University of Victoria historian Dominique Clément says today's plethora of human-rights legislation and institutions can be traced directly back to the demands by young people in the 1960s and 1970s for a Canada that would be more caring and sensitive toward their marginalized fellow citizens: the poor, the disadvantaged, homosexuals and racial minorities.

“Biology alone did not define the baby-boom generation,” he says in a paper presented at this week's Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan.

.............Lobby groups proliferated by the hundreds for blacks, aboriginals and gays. Human-rights associations were formed in every province.

One of the strongest legacies of Sixties activism was the women's movement in Canada, Dr. Clément says. It carried, at times, a heavy dose of irony.

“Disgusted at the rampant sexism among student radicals, women formed the first women's liberation groups in Canada. The generational gap within the women's movement was most evident in the Voice of Women [created during this period], which acted as a bridge between older and younger feminists. Many of the new gay and lesbian groups, from the Lesbian Organization of Toronto to the Gay Alliance Towards Equality, epitomized the generational gap.”

LINK: Globe and Mail

No comments: