Is 2016 the new 1960s?

I’ve always thought that the 1960s were the most fascinating time period. It was a time of revolution and social change, where protesters took to the street to fight for their rights. It was a time when tensions were high, but national strides were made to combat racism, sexism and homophobia. I can’t help but compare the 1960s to today’s world, where the Black Lives Matter movement has gained international attention, and where people are protesting Trump for his terrible comments to minorities, women and the LGBT community. It seems as though history is prone to repeat itself. So are we experiencing the 60s over again?

Photo credit: Paddylastinc.com

Many of the hot button issues that got people fired up in the 60s are still causing controversy today. The fight for women’s rights is still ongoing in 2016, and we are still fighting for some of the same rights as the women in the 60s. In the 60s women were finally able to obtain oral birth control, which was controversial at the time, but gave women reproductive freedom. Since Trump was elected, many women are rushing to get IUDs and more permanent forms of birth control because they are concerned that birth control will become less easily accessible under a Trump presidency. 60s women also fought to tackle the wage gap, an issue that we’re still fighting for today. Another issue today that has roots in the 60s is the fight for more representation of women in the government. In the 60s women began to run for government positions, while this year Hillary Clinton made history by being the first woman to gain a presidential nomination and was also the first woman to win the popular vote.

Photo credit: lifegate.com

Another similarity between these two time periods is the movement for gay rights. Those in the LGBTQ community in the early 60s couldn’t reveal themselves; at the very least they could be fired from their jobs, at the very worst they could be arrested or attacked. At the time homosexuality was considered a medical disorder, although many protests with slogans such as “Gay is Good” and “Gay Power” helped to change this. In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage, and pride parades have become a tradition in many cities. Upon the election of Donald Trump however, many members of the LGBTQ community are fearful for their futures. Many are worried that Trump’s appointed Supreme Court justices will overturn same-sex marriage, and are concerned about Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, who has been an infamous opponent of gay rights. As a congressman Pence supported conversion therapy, and signed legislation to allow discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Trump’s election has inspired many to take to the streets in order to protect LGBT rights.

Photo credit: twitter.com

In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington, which was quite possibly one of the most famous protests of the 60s civil rights movement. Organized protests brought about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination on the basis of race, religion and gender. Today, instances of police brutality against African Americans are all over the media. This has spurred the Black Lives Matter movement, a group that protests racial profiling and police brutality against African Americans.

Photo credit: The Farrell File

There was also an environmental revolution going on in the 60s. Rachel Carson published her book Silent Spring, which warned about the detrimental effects of using the pesticide DDT to protect crops. Although she was ridiculed at first, she was later proven correct, which brought about a mandatory reform in pesticide use. In 2016 we’re fighting to combat global warming. Over 150 countries met in Paris in 2015 to discuss how to combat climate change, and all set goals to become more environmentally friendly.

There are certainly many differences between the 60s now, and these protests definitely have their differences. Yet Trump’s presidency may spark movements similar to those in the 60s. It may be too soon to tell, but judging by the activists already taking to the streets, we may have another much needed political and social revolution on our hands.

Photo credit: thefeministwire.com