“Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere. In freedom it gives itself unreservedly, abundantly, completely. All the laws on the statutes, all the courts in the universe, cannot tear it from the soil, once love has taken root.”
A concept that originated in the mid-nineteenth century, free love meant an absence of legal ties rather than promiscuity, as frequently misunderstood and more frequently charged in the press. Emma Goldman (1869-1940) became a celebrated left-libertarian spokesperson of the free love cause, criticizing marriage and male domination. She was won for a free society with universal education and worker's rights. The women's liberation movement later made a strident critique of “free love” as practiced by the New Left in the sixties. In polemical essays and pamphlets, the objections became important new statements of free love principles. Until then, liberated love often had been a mark of bohemian lifestyles.