Apparently because there was nothing more important to comment about on November 17, 1967, Helena\’s Independent Record began its editorial:
Some of the young men attending Eastern Montana College in Billings staged a panty raid a few nights ago.
|SAY CHEESE, BOYS – WE GOT \’EM!|
What news! Surely a stalwart establishment paper like the Independent can somehow use this scandalous nugget to bash hippies:
This is probably looked upon in some quarters as a corny retrogression to the Fabulous Fifties, in contrast to the Swingin\’ Sixties manifested by beards, bathlessness, pot parties and protest demonstrations. One fellow editorialist mildly chided the EMC panty raid as a meaningless act in an age when young people are struggling to find meaning in a meaningless world.
Yes, this \”fellow editorialist\” apparently believes going on panty raids can help young people \”find meaning in a meaningless world.\” And the rest of the editorialists agree!
… we\’d prefer to look on the panty raid as a rather harmless bit of frivolity that college kids should engage in once in a while. It\’s a better escape from this meaningless world than marijuana and LSD.
YES! The world is meaningless. And dope and acid don\’t make it any less so. But sweet release is waiting, on the other end of hormone-driven B & E.
And we\’d prefer to see young men express some masculine interest in the opposite sex rather than the lispy, limpwristed swishes who write dirty words on signs and spit obscenities at cops and soldiers.
How refreshing it is to see REAL, MASCULINE men shoving their hands in piles of female underwear instead of those \”limpwristed swishes\” who stand up to the crushing authority of the state.
The Independent\’s editorial is a classic example of how those with establishment views in the Sixties made every attempt, no matter how farfetched, to de-legitimize the counterculture. By harkening back to the good-old-days Fifties (you know, a simpler, whimsical time, when panty raids outnumbered pot parties), the board condemned hippies as effeminate druggies and portrayed a weird fetish crime as All-American mischief. Even \”harmless bits of frivolity\” were politicized in Cold War America.
Source: \”Page of Comment: Panties and Other Unmentionables,\” The Independent Record, November 17, 1967. Accessed via newspaperarchive.com.