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The Guerrilla Skirmishes of the Sexual Revolution

The front page of the The Daily Princetonian


Fifty years ago this week, panty-seeking college boys lit the fuse on the 1960s.

“Imagine being the typical 20-year-old American-male college student in May of 1952. You have come of age in the new era of the American teenager. You are living in close quarters with thousands of peers amid a campus boom made possible by the GI Bill. Whether you study rocket science or history, you are being trained to win the Cold War. You are eligible to be drafted to kill and die in Korea, but you cannot vote, and you cannot spend the night with your girlfriend, and you cannot console yourself by rocking out to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” because Mick Jagger is still 8 years old. Which is not even to mention that homosexuality is grounds for expulsion. You have been waiting for spring. You have been studying Robert Herrick in English lit. The leaves are on the trees. The sun is in the leaves. The personal is the political, but there aren’t yet any second-wave feminists to say so. The sap is rising in the trunk. The panty-raider’s pursuit of unmentionables is sometimes a conscious act of political speech, sometimes the unconscious expression of teen lust in a repressive climate.”

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