This paper looks specifically at two influential newspapers of the American underground
press during the 1960s. Using the Berkeley Barb and the San Francisco Oracle, the paper proposes two arguments: first, that the inability of the countercultural
press to envisage real alternatives to sexuality and sex roles stifled any wider attempt
within the countercultural movement to address concerns around gender relations; and
second, the limitation of the ‘radical’ imagination invites us to question the extent
to which these papers can be considered radical or countercultural. The reinforcement
of heterosexism, especially the primacy of the male gaze, gave little space for any
radical challenge to gender norms.