Robert Crumb, On The Myth Of The Counterculture Feminist Man


“The hippie culture of Haight-Ashbury, where it all started for me, was full of men doing nothing all day and expecting women to bring them food. The ‘chick’ had to provide a home for them, cook meals for them, even pay the rent. It was still very much ingrained from the earlier patriarchal mentality of our fathers, except that our fathers, generally, were providers. Free love meant free sex and food for men. Sure, women enjoyed it, too, and had a lot of sex, but then they served men. Even among left-wing political groups, women were always relegated to secretarial, menial jobs. We were all on LSD, so it took a few years for the smoke to dissipate and for women to realize what a raw deal they were getting with the ne’er-do-well hippie male. Men who acquired preeminence at the time were all frauds, fake gurus who were paying lip service to peace and love, charismatic cons who just wanted to fuck all their adoring disciples. Timothy Leary was like that. A big phony.”

–Robert Crumb


[NY Observer, 2016]

6 thoughts on “Robert Crumb, On The Myth Of The Counterculture Feminist Man”

  1. Nations heavily influenced by the/a “counter culture” (20th Century utopian Sec-Prog’ism) are week and can’t even justify their own existence, let alone actually defend themselves. Look at Europe, soon to be Eurabia.

  2. This piece by Robert Crumb, infamous cartoonist, is over-simplified. Was there ‘sexism’ in the counter culture? Well, duh! What do you expect from a generation born from the ashes of the 1950’s? Did feminism arise from the counter culture? Yep, sure did. But, somehow, in Crumb’s mind, children of 1950’s parents were supposed to have been born immaculate, with no baggage.

    What a ridiculous statement to say the ‘chicks’ were busy during the 60’s doing nothing more than ‘serving’ the males. That is not the way I remember it. I remember dialogue, dialectics, argument, mutual discussion, ideas being exchanged…and the evolution and growth and change that comes from that. Change which helped lead us all to a larger perspective, which included feminism.

    The women I was around in the late 1960’s were also a product of 1950’s parents. It wasn’t exactly the case that women were educating us from the outset about the error of our ways. But they did begin to do just that as consciousness changed. And guess what happened? Men responded by learning. Fortunately, simplistic minds like Chairman Crumb’s weren’t so dominant that we politically incorrect males got sent to gulags or reeducation camps.

    I read The Feminine Mystique, The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution by Shulamith Firestone, and others but very few, if any, women I know have read The Myth of Male Power, or Why Men Are the Way They Are, both by Warren Farrell. I have seen women who try to read these books throw them down in anger because the books challenge their beliefs that women are the only victims of our messed-up culture, and because these books make women take a hard look in the mirror of how they—women—contribute to this dysfunction.

    So let’s all give a shout out for the men who helped pioneer the counter culture. They helped to catalyze so much, including the empowerment of women. (And please note: I didn’t just say that *only* men were catalysts for the counter culture or the empowerment of women).

    And, P.S., Timothy Leary—who Crumb criticizes for having a sex drive–did more than a thousand R. Crumbs to shake us out of our rapacious worldview and instead give us a much larger perspective. Everything changed after people started to expand their consciousness which included—but was not limited to—mind-altering drugs. It is an understatement to say rock music was influenced by taking psychedelic drugs, which Harvard Professor Dr Timothy Leary, popularized. And it is no coincidence that the environmental movement—launched by Rachel Carson in 1962 with ‘Silent Spring’—got a huge boost into orbit *after* people heard Timothy Leary say ‘Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out’.

    1. Sorry, I don’t think the 60’s counterculture empowered anybody, let alone women. But I appreciate the detailed input.

  3. Guess who else is “big phony” ? Give me a T give me a R give me a U give me a M give me a P . Old school grifter made it to the white house.

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