How much more puritanical will America shift?

I grew up in the seventies. We got the benefits of the relaxed attitudes that sprung from the 60’s. I had a shag haircut done to my shirt collar in high school and college. Trimmed beard until I was thirty-five. Sex was easy to come by. The country’s attitude was just so much more relaxed about everything.

Then came political correctness. Bill Clinton admits toking a joint but didn’t inhale. Bit by bit all the freedoms won in the 60’s are being taken away. Schools have dress codes again.

I thought this was a joke at first. A politician resigns because he visited a titty bar? :dubious: A titty bar??? That is supposed to be some great sin now? Hell, I’ve visited strip clubs with colleagues every damn time I’ve gone to computer conventions.

Are we headed back to the tight ass Eisenhower days? But worse because we got political correctness too?

If you believe in the “pendulum” theory, we’re due for a return to a more liberal set of cultural sexual mores. Any day now. Real soon. Could happen the day after tomorrow. Imminent. Very.

I think the pendulum model has some validity. Each new generation likes to distance itself from the rules set down by the parents’ – and grandparents’ – generation.

Also, sex is so much fun, and abstinence is so damn boring, Puritanism has a titanic built-in self-limitation.

Okay, are you only talking about sex and drugs, or are you really talking about “everything” being more relaxed, like you said?

Political correctness is not the problem. In fact the puritanical types are usually very against what they call political correctness. They tend to romanticize the 1950s and earlier, not exactly the most “politically correct” times.

There seems to be more pressure to conform these days. I mentioned schools bringing back dress codes. Even colleges are starting to monitor drinking and activities of their students. All reminiscent of the pre 1960’s days.

I notice it more because I grew up in probably the freest period we’ve ever had. There were no expectations on how you dressed or conducted your life. I took a college class about 8 years ago and the teacher enforced a late policy. Miss three classes and get a grade drop. We never had rules like that when I went to college in 1979-1983. We were adults. If we wanted to waste our time & tuition by skipping class then it was our loss. Teachers weren’t our nannys.

Funny thing, Baby Boomers are running America today. The same kids that fought the establishment. Staged Peace Rallys. Marched with Martin Luther King.

What happened to these people? Where did their ideals go?

I am frequently shocked by how prudish people younger than I can be - I think I was raised at the height of permissiveness, if you will, and assumed thing would keep going that direction.

after hearing Thom Hartmann talk about it I thinking about reading** The Fourth Turning**, which describes generations through history in a more comprehensive way than just a pendulum going back and forth from two extremes.

http://www.fourthturning.com/html/fourth_turning.html

I don’t mean to hijack your thread because I think it’s on-topic but I don’t know about the 4 generations to describe them so I hope someone else here does.

Yes, I see what you’re saying, I just don’t know where you’re getting “politically correct” from it.

I see political correctness as a way of controlling people’s behavior. Don’t tell that sexist joke or else. Comics these days are constantly getting in trouble for over stepping whatever society has decided to defend. A slip of the tongue can get you in trouble at work or even within a group of friends. It can really be bad if something is said in social media like twitter or facebook.

I try to ignore offensive speech. Maybe the guys having a bad day. It’s not my concern what views someone else may espouse. Unless it’s clearly hateful or violent. Or someones pursuing a clear agenda. Ban all the… from here kind of thing.

I’m of the generation that came of age in the late 80’s and early 90’s. AIDS went from being a “gay” disease to all bets are off, straight people are getting it too. Swinging, free love and all of it suddenly could lead to a death sentence. Couple that with Ronald Reagan getting chummy with Jerry Falwell and his “Moral” Majority and that’s what got us here.

In the last 10 to 15 years, with the debate over Women’s reproductive health and the fire storm that it has stirred up and the whole Gay rights issue and it seems that the pendulum is heading back in the other direction. I believe we’re heading into a more liberal phase of our history, but the “puritanical” faction will not let it happen quietly…

Puritans couldn’t give a fuck about sexism, actually they embrace it. They just don’t like vulgarity.

They tend to romanticize the 1950s, period. Not even educated Americans know much about pre-WW2 society anymore.

I’ve asked the same thing to my mom (she would have been a young teenager in the late 60’s). She once told me with a straight face that her smoking weed in the 60’s was completely different from me doing it as a teenager, because when she did it, she was “making a political statement.”

Really mom? Well if your generation was the one that was burning draft cards, getting high and having sex “for political reasons,” protesting injustices left and right, etc. WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED? When did you decide to return to the way things were before?

To be fair, it wasn’t the Puritans (who winked at premarital sex, practiced bundling*, and insisted it was a grave wrong for a husband and wife to not have sex) who are to blame. It was the Victorians.

*Unmarrried couples sharing a bed to “keep warm” in winter. A board was supposed to separate them, but everyone knew it was a scant discouragement.

It isn’t as prudish as people think now. The conservative social issues voters are a bunch of hypocrites anyway. These social issues are usually proxy issues.

I’m so confused. I’m glad we have school uniforms, especially in areas like mine where gang-colored clothing and the…er…teenage hooker uniform are the norm.

Hey, you don’t have to know anything about the thing you’re romanticizing, in fact it helps if you don’t.

I’ve heard people romanticize the Depression! Because people weren’t so indulgent and stuff then you know. Just good old-fashioned trying not to starve to death like the Lord intended, they say from in their air-conditioned house in the suburbs.

I believe that contrary to their own propaganda, a large part if not an outright majority of Boomers did not* really* fight the establishment, stage Peace Rallys or march with Dr. King. They just kinda cheered from the sidelines or were free-riders merely going along with the prevailing trend and the most radical stick-it-to-the-Man thing they ever did was smoke dope, neglect their grooming, and in the case of the ruling class dodge the draft with student deferments so as to then go on to a career path to the top. Then they went right ahead and voted for Reagan when given the chance.

How does your gladness negate the OP’s assertion of prudishness?

I was born in 1983 and it seemed like the USA became polarized in my lifetime, one side becoming more puritanical and one more permissive. You mention drugs well how do you account for the fact in some parts of the USA marijuana is sold openly under thin legal fictions(most medical marijuana) at storefronts and you can see people openly smoking it in public and police not caring, YET in the same country some people have their hair and urine tested for THC constantly and an admission you once smoked marijuana can hurt you greatly, it can even impact your medical care.

It seems to me that the USA has separated into cultures with wildly different norms, rather than being more homogenous when I was growing up.

AFAICT, we have a huge silent majority of love-and-let-live types who are largely apathetic to the howls of indecency or prudishness. Call me “Tricky Dick” if you like for saying that, I think the culture wars are mostly just media masturbation.

And, no, the country as a whole is not significantly more polarized than any other given time, we are just too addicted to that same noise machine.

What “noise machine”? You mean reality, please point out which example I gave is a media created fantasy?