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The Bad SixtiesHollywood Memories of the Counterculture, Antiwar, and Black Power Movements$
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Kristen Hoerl

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496817235

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496817235.001.0001

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Good Citizens, Ambivalent Activists, and Macho Militants in Forrest Gump and The ’60s

Good Citizens, Ambivalent Activists, and Macho Militants in Forrest Gump and The ’60s

Chapter:
(p.93) Chapter Three Good Citizens, Ambivalent Activists, and Macho Militants in Forrest Gump and The ’60s
Source:
The Bad Sixties
Author(s):

Kristen Hoerl

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496817235.003.0004

This chapter looks at how the motion picture Forrest Gump and the ABC miniseries The ‘60s contributed to heteronormative and gendered meanings about the counterculture and anti-Vietnam War movements. The interpersonal conflicts portrayed in this movie and miniseries metaphorically represent the nation divided by disagreement over the Vietnam War and changing family structures. Through a discussion of three recurring character types—the good citizen, the ambivalent activist, and the macho militant—, this chapter argues that Forrest Gump and The ‘60s constructed narratives of national reconciliation and white masculine redemption. These narratives contributed to the backlash against feminism that animated political campaign and policy rhetoric during the mid-to-late nineties.

Keywords:   white masculinity, national identity, antifeminist backlash, Forrest Gump, The ‘60s (miniseries)

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