Issues of inequality regarding gender had been around so long that in the early 20th century they were rarely regarded as issues at all, since sexual privileging seemed as normal as anatomical differences. The Women's Suffrage movement begun in the 19th century finally succeeded after WW I, in 1920, in giving all eligible women in the U.S. the right to vote. Their induction into the male labor force during WW II (again made necessary by the war effort) resulted in increasing postwar expectations for equality and job opportunities in the workplace and a greater voice in political issues.
Feminist issues involved, among other things, equal pay for equal work, a critiquing of domestic versus public spheres of activity for women, and the special demands on politically active women of color. Official attitudes toward the public boundaries of sexual preference were challenged by a gay rebellion at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, which marked the shift toward acknowledgment of gay and lesbian rights
The Vietnam war protests brought together a range of activists who spoke out against abuses of hegemonic authority of whatever stripe and made common cause for freedom of life-style in a society that had begun to question the rightness of the status quo in which repression of minorities of every stripe was accepted as the normative state of affairs. To its many victims corruption, greed and power seemed to be synonymous with the American Way.