Alice – widow and strong single mother

Actress Linda Lavin starred as Alice Hyatt in a CBS series called Alice.  This show premiered in 1976 as a spin-off from the movie Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. (Alice (1976) – Plot Summary, n.d.)

Alice Hyatt become a widow and decided to move away from her previous home to Arizona with her young son. Along the way she found herself working at Mel’s Diner, a small, roadside diner. (Alice (1976) – Plot Summary, n.d.) She had to start her life over in a new place as a single mother.

This show showcased the liberation of women and the movement towards power and independence. Prior to this show in the movie Alive Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Alice Hyatt was in a very different part of her life. “Alice Hyatt is a 35-year-old homemaker in suburban Arizona, whose husband works for the Coca Cola Company as a truck driver.” (Smith, 2010) She was viewed as a homemaker early in the movie, but was gradually changing with the situations happening around her. (Smith, 2010) The spin-off show capitalized the evolution of her life as a widowed, single mother.

 

Standing on her feet and working was a great reflection of changing time in society. Reality was that women were becoming strong and independent. Although Alice’s situation wasn’t ideal, she worked hard to make a life for her son. It took courage and belief to leave the familiar behind to move towards change.

My perspective: Coming from a divorced family myself, I find that I respect Alice’s character. My mom raised my sisters and I on a normal day-to-day basis. She juggled running her own business, caring for us, and providing for our daily needs. In today’s society it is very common to see single women raise children and provide for them. In the past, women were seen as only caretakers and the male figure provided to money and home. I think Alice’s character brings to light the struggles single mothers have to go through and people grow to see that they can do it. The liberation movement helped women find their right to be respected.

Alice (1976) – Plot Summary. (n.d.). IMDb. Retrieved November 27, 2012, from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073955/plotsum

Smith, A. (2010). Pell Scholars and Senior Theses. Leading Ladies?: Feminism and the Hollywood New Wave. Paper 53. http://escholar.salve.edu/pell_theses/53

One Day at a Time – overcoming obstacles as a single mother

“This Is Life, the One You Get, So Go and Have a Ball!” 

 One Day at a Time starred actress Bonnie Franklin as Ann Romano, a divorced mother of two teenagers. (Napikoski, n.d.) Actress Mackenzie Phillips played daughter Julie and actress Valerie Bertinelli starred as daughter Barbara.  (Napikoski, n.d.)

“The feminism of One Day at a Time clearly presented ideas of the 1970s Women’s Liberation Movement, yet was grounded in real day-to-day situations.” (Napikoski, n.d.)

Ann Romano found herself more liberated and free than ever. After her divorce, she started a new chapter in her life and found power and independence. (Napikoski, n.d.) Moving her family to Indianapolis brought lots of issues and a lot of the stress came from the rebellious daughter, Julia. (Napikoski, n.d.)  Some of the issues that the mother of two had to face and deal with were:

  1. Sexuality
  2. Birth control
  3. Drug use
  4. Infidelity
  5. Attempted suicide
  6. Finances
  7. Marriage
  8. Harassment

“The women’s liberation movement consisted of women’s liberation groups, advocacy, protests, consciousness-raising, feminist theory and a variety of diverse individual and group actions on behalf of women and freedom.” (Napikoski, n.d.) Women were seeking change and power. As a society full of men leading the way and overpowering women was over and women didn’t want to take the back seat anymore. This show’s depiction of a women seeking a new life, dealing with children as a single parent and finding herself was a mirror of reality. One Day at a Time stands as a family of females who struggle to define themselves and discover independence, success and happiness. (Napikoski, n.d.)  This show stood on the grounds of feminism.

 

My perspective: Learning about this show only strengthened my idea of the feminism movement and how television was a great platform to showcase this issue. One Day at a Time brilliantly highlights the struggles a divorced mom goes through. Presenting a mother in the role as head of the household, main provider and caretaker was not common before the Liberation Movement; however, shows like this one helped paved the path for further generations. Ann Romano could do it all and dealt with controversial issues that effective society as well.

About the Actress:  Bonnie Franklin was born on January 6, 1944. She grew up in California and become an actress. She is best known for her role on One Day at a Time and has been nominated for an Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe Award. (Mills, 1987)

Mills, N. (1987). Franklin Still Making Noise, One Role at a Time. Los Angeles Times. Page 1

Napikoski, L. (n.d.). 1970s Feminist Sitcoms: One Day at a Time. About.com. Retrieved November 18, 2012, from http://womenshistory.about.com/od/feminismandpopculture/a/One-Day-At-A-Time.htm

All in the Family – a gap in generations

Archie Bunker might have been a traditional, one-minded, opinionated man, but the characters around him promoted feminism around him. It would the reaction those around Archie that stood for something more than a one-way thinker. (1970s Feminist Sitcoms: All in the Family, n.d.)

All in the Family brought laughter to many homes, but also stood for the changing society. “The set-up of the four characters reveals the feminism of All in the Family through the disconnect between the older and younger generations.” (1970s Feminist Sitcoms: All in the Family, n.d.)

There are many examples of the evolving world that Archie Bunker is not comfortable with. His daughter, Gloria and son-in-law, Mike move in with him and it brings a lot of change to his life and the Bunker household. (1970s Feminist Sitcoms: All in the Family, n.d.) The turbulence isn’t that they moved in; however, they brought their liberal political views with them. (1970s Feminist Sitcoms: All in the Family, n.d.) “The young ones voice liberal, open-minded viewpoints that clash mightily with Archie’s narrow-minded views of the world.” (1970s Feminist Sitcoms: All in the Family, n.d.)

My perspective: With the idea of the generation gap, I feel this show clearly showcases this idea well. In society at the time of the Liberation Movement, the younger generation was willing to accept the change and was the standing force behind it. The older generation was hard to convince and change. Archie Bunker’s character was the perfect depiction of this concept.

I feel this topic of a generation gap stands true today. After this past election, we have seen a lot of this. A lot of the younger generation is more liberal and votes that way. People are afraid of change and especially those of older generation. They are use to one way of thinking, living, and believing. The younger generation has grown up adapting, changing, and evolving. As a female in the younger generation, I feel its important for us to continue to adapt and change with time. No matter if it was in the past or now, there will always be a generation gap.

1970s Feminist Sitcoms: All in the Family. (n.d.). About.com. Retrieved November 15, 2012, from http://womenshistory.about.com/od/feminismandpopculture/a/All-In-The-Family.htm

The Bionic Woman – power and a superhuman

The Bionic Woman aired from 1976 to 1978, lasting for three seasons. Actress Lindsay Wagner found herself starring as Jaime Sommers, the superhuman. Sommers’s character spun-off from The Six Million Dollar Man. (The Bionic Woman, n.d.) In The Six Million Dollar Man, she was a former tennis pro who was in a terrible sky-diving accident.

“Jaime’s character was meant to attract a larger adult audience, but neither ABC nor the show’s creators wanted Austin to be tied down with a marriage (presumably because it would limit the types of action-adventure plots available to the writers), so they decided to kill Sommers at the end of the two-part episode by having her body reject its bionics.” (Jenkins, 2011)

There was a ton of backlash for killing off such a beloved character. With the overload in complaints and protests, ABC networks knew this character could make a new hit show. (Jenkins, 2011) They decided to bring Sommers back with superhuman abilities through the bionic implants and prosthetics she received from her accident. (The Bionic Woman, n.d.)

The Six Million Dollar Man focus on space and superhuman abilities and was predominately a male-dominated genre. (Jenkins, 2011) Have the The Bionic Woman spin-off was necessary in the 1970s. “The series appealed to liberal feminists by carving out a new space for female agency in a traditionally male-dominated genre and thus symbolically championed the inclusion of more women in the workforce.” (Jenkins, 2011) Women were changing and wanting to tap into world where only men were seen at before. This show proved that a woman could be a hit star in a role that only men played before.

 

My perspective: I believe Jaime Sommers stood for a powerful woman. The Bionic Woman was a futuristic, sci-fi type of series that showcased a woman as the main role. I feel this show helped women see the potential to succeed in any industry. This bionic woman was a depiction of the power and unstoppable qualities of women.

 

About Lindsay Wagner: Lindsay Wagner is an American actress best known for her role as Jaime Sommers in The Bionic Woman. She won an Emmy award for her phenomenal portrayal in this role. (Lindsay Wagner, n.d.)

 

 

 

 

 

Linsday Wanger. (n.d.). Wikipedia – the free online encyclopedia. Retrieved November 12, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindsay_Wagner

Jenkins, T. (2011). Nationalism and Gender: The 1970s, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman. Journal of Popular Culture, 44(1), 93-113. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from the EBSCOHost database.

The Bionic Woman. (n.d.). Wikia. Retrieved November 12, 2012, from http://bionic.wikia.com/wiki/The_Bionic_Woman

 

Rhoda: a record-breaking show full of feminism

 

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a very successful series that focused its center around a divorced, independent woman. Rhoda Morgenstern was Mary’s neighbor that made a splash into this phenomenon. Rhoda, played by Valerie Harper, was another unmarried thirty-something who contributes sarcastic wit and an ongoing search for good dates and a husband during The Mary Tyler Moore Show series. This show set the stage for what would become a spin-off show called Rhoda. (Napikoski, n.d.)

 

You may remember the opening of Rhoda as she states her background: 

“My name is Rhoda Morgenstern. I was born in the Bronx, New York in December, 1941. I’ve always felt responsible for World War II. The first thing I remember liking that liked me back was food. I had a bad puberty, it lasted 17 years. I’m a high school graduate, I went to art school. My entrance exam was on a book of matches. I decided to move out of the house when I was 24, my mother still refers to this as the time I ran away from home. Eventually I ran to Minneapolis where it’s cold, and I figured I’d keep better. Now I’m back in Manhattan. New York, this is your last chance!” (Rhoda, n.d.)

 

“When Rhoda premiered on CBS-TV on Monday, September 9, 1974 at 9:30 PM, it became the first program ever to capture first place in the Nielsen ratings with its first exposure.” (Moritz, 1975) This show stood as an epic premier and a series that would relate to the feminism happening in reality at this time. “Rhoda’s character arc over the years mirrors the feminism of the Women’s Liberation Movement.” (Napikoski, n.d.) This powerful, witty woman wasn’t afraid to make a statement and be someone powerful.

This series started out with Rhoda meeting a man named Joe. The quickly fell in love and got married. This seemed to be the best thing for Rhoda until they separated. This left Rhoda’s character alone in New York as a 30-something year old. (Rhoda TV Show CBS, n.d.) This was a perfect scenario to relate to the times changing in reality. The society was moving towards liberty for women. The Liberation Movement promoted strong, independent women. Also, it helped women see that they didn’t need a man to make it in the world. Rhoda related to those women.

My perspective: In a society of women that was fighting for change, this show couldn’t have been produced at a better time. Not only was it successful, it was a show that women could relate to. I feel Rhoda’s character stood for a brave and honest person. Getting divorced in a judging society can be hard and it still is in today’s society at times. Her character; however, got through the pain and continued to soar as a very independent woman. I applaud this show as helping pave the path for women and their voices.

About Valarie Harper: Valarie is an American actress best known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the spin-off show Rhoda. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and is one of the Hollywood Board of Director members. (Valerie Harper, n.d.)

 

 

 

 

Moritz, C. (1975) Current Biography Yearbook vol. 36. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, pages 183-184

Napikoski, L. (n.d.). 1970s Feminist Sitcoms: The Mary Tyler Moore Show. About.com. Retrieved November 10, 2012, from http://womenshistory.about.com/od/feminismandpopculture/a/Mary-Tyler-Moore-Show.htm

Rhoda. (n.d.). TV.com. Retrieved November 10, 2012, from http://www.tv.com/shows/rhoda/

Rhoda TV Show CBS. (n.d.). TVRage.Com. Retrieved November 10, 2012, from http://www.tvrage.com/shows/id-4997

Valarie Harper. (n.d.). Wikipedia – the free online encyclopedia. Retrieved November 10, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Harper

Charlie’s Angels : An example of a controversial feminism

Imagine your life as a woman working in a world driven by men. You are a secret agent working in a fast-paced, dangerous industry. In current time this would be seen as no big deal. In the past; however, women didn’t have the chance working in a man’s world.  Once the 1970s television started gearing towards the Liberation Movement, we see the incline in women power. Charlie’s Angels was the first television show to depict women in a role only men would have been seen before. “In the decade of the feminist movement, Charlie’s Angels was the first detective series to feature three female leads.” (Gale, 2012)

“Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the police academy. And they were each assigned very hazardous duties but I took them all away from all that and now they work for me. My name is Charlie.” – Those were the famous words that started each episode for 5 seasons. (Charlie’s Angel, n.d.)

This high crime and drama series starred three sexy women actresses: Farah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith. These girls were otherwise known as the original Charlie’s Angels. Kate Jackson starred as Sabrina Duncan, Farah starred as Jill Munroe, Jaclyn Smith starred as Kelly Garrett, and John Forsythe was the voice of their boss, Charles “Charlie” Townsend.  (Weiner, 1992)

“Charlie’s Angels’ demonstrated that girls could grow up to be women who controlled their own destinies without looking like we just mowed the lawn and scrubbed the floor.” (Westerfield, 2009) This show allowed women to be viewed as powerful, sexy, and independent; however, many feminist critics saw this show as non-feminism.

My Perspective: I wanted to highlight this show as a part of feminism because it was viewed as a negative aspect of feminism and a positive aspect. From my point-of-view, I see this show as a way of feminism to a degree. It showcased these women through success, power, and owning a man’s job. The critics believed this show was anti-feminist because it showcased these sexy women in an unrealistic way. (Westerfield, 2009) Their idea of this perfect figure, beautiful hair, and great fashion was too Barbie-like for a feminist.

I can see the point to those critics, but feel the idea of a strong, independent, and career focused woman was the main message from this show. I believe it was a show of feminism.

About the actresses: Farrah Fawcett was an American actress and star of Charlie’s Angels for the first season. Fawcett was a sex symbol and an international pop culture icon. She died of cancer in 2009. (Farrah Fawcett, n.d.)

 

 

 

 

Kate Jackson is an actress, director, and producer. She is best known for her role as Sabrina Duncan in Charlie’s Angels. She has been nominated for Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. (Kate Jackson, n.d.)

 

 

 

 

 

Jaclyn Smith is an actress and businesswoman. She is best known for her role as an angel in Charlie’s Angels. She was the only original angel through all 5 seasons of the show. (Jaclyn Smith, n.d.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie’s Angels. (n.d.). TV.com. Retrieved November 6, 2012, from http://www.tv.com/shows/charlies-angels/

Farrah Fawcett (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farrah_Fawcett

Gale, T. (2012, September 26). Best of Farrah Fawcett. Pop Culture Tales. Retrieved November 6, 2012, from http://popculturetales.com/tag/charlies-angels/

Jaclyn Smith (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaclyn_Smith

Kate Jackson (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Jackson

Weiner, E. (1992). The TV guide TV book: 40 years of the all-time greatest. New York, NY: HarperPerennial.

Westerfield, L. (2009, June 25). Farrah Fawcett: an American feminist icon – Kansas City Literature | Examiner.com. Examiner.com. Retrieved November 6, 2012, from http://www.examiner.com/article/farrah-fawcett-an-american-feminist-icon

Three’s Company- co-ed living, sexuality, and independence

“Come and knock on our door…

We’ve been waiting for you…

Where the kisses are hers and hers and his,

Three’s company too.”

(Three’s Company Lyrics – Theme Song Lyrics, n.d.)

http://www.tvland.com/video-clips/threes-company/three-s-company-theme-song 

Three’s Company, a comedy that was based on the British sitcom Man About the House, aired in March of 1977. (Three’s Company, n.d.)  This show starred Jack Tripper played by actor John Ritter, Janet Wood played by actress Joyce DeWitt, and Chrissy Snow played by actress Suzanne Somers. Something not seen in the past was woman and men living together. These three shared apartment 201 in Malibu, California. (Three’s Company- Wikipedia, n.d.) Jack was a chef and found himself unable to afford an apartment by himself. He ran into Janet (a florist) and Chrissy (a secretary) looking for a new roommate. In society, it was seen as a bad thing to have co-ed living situations if you were not related or married.

 

The landlord of the apartment complex, Stanley Roper, was like many people. He didn’t believe in co-ed living. With his strict policy, Jack told him he was gay. “When it first aired, the notion of a man sharing an apartment with two women who weren’t relatives was novel; having the man also pretend to be openly gay made it racy and groundbreaking. This was titillating stuff for 1977.” (Three’s Company, n.d.) Having such a controversial living situation and the openness of sexuality was a change in television. This was a path for change and moving towards a more liberal society. (Three’s Company, n.d.) Along with showcasing independent, workingwomen, this show brings to light more liberal issues involving Jack.

My perspective: Growing up in a liberal household with options and freedom, as a woman has been a blessing. I reflect back on the past and the struggles women had to go through to get where they are today. Every show during the 1970s that reflected change and took risks helped the efforts of the Liberation Movement. Women wanted to be independent, work, and have a voice. Three’s Company not only showcased those independent women, but it brought up topics of gays and living co-ed without a marriage certificate. I think those are powerful topics to showcase to America. Liberation means change and it means opportunities to be who you want to be. I think this show helped bring those issues to the forefront.

About the main characters: John Ritter was an actor, comedian, and a voice-over artist. He was born in 1948 and was best known for his role as Jack Tripper in Three’s Company, which he won an Emmy and Golden Globe for. He died suddenly in 2003 while starring in the ABC hit 8 Simples Rules. (John Ritter- Wikipedia, n.d.) 

 

 

 

 

 

Joyce Anne Dewitt was born in 1949 in Wheeling, West Virginia. As an actress, she was best known for her role as Janet Wood in Three’s Company. (Joyce DeWitt –Wikipedia, n.d.)

 

 

 

 

 

Suzanne Somers was born on October 16, 1946. She is an actress, author, singer, and businesswoman. She has written self-help books and is known for her roles as Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company and as Carol Lambert on Step-by-Step. (Suzanne Somers- Wikipedia, n.d.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Ritter. (n.d.). Wikipedia- The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ritter

Joyce DeWitt. (n.d.). Wikipedia- The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joyce_DeWitt

Suzanne Somers (n.d.). Wikipedia- The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzanne_Somers

Three’s Company. (n.d.). TVland. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://www.tvland.com/shows/threes-company

Three’s Company -Wikipedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 1, 2012, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three’s_Company

Three’s Company Lyrics – Theme Song Lyrics. (n.d.). Lyrics On Demand. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from http://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/threescompanylyrics.html

Maude – the most controversial, opinionated woman of the 1970s

In September 1972 , Maude premiered on television in many American homes. This show would destroy stereotypes and break down the barriers of women in 1970s.

Actress Bea Arthur starred as Maude Findlay, a woman not afraid to voice her own opinion. She was a middle-aged, married to her fourth husband, liberal woman living in Tuckahoe, New York. (Wikipedia)

This show was a spin-off from All in the Family. Maude was Edith’s cousin (character on All in the Family). (Bergman, n.d) Maude was a mother, a wife, and a strong, independent woman. In the past women were reserved, obeyed their husbands, and were insignificant compared to a man’s role.

Maude had many supporting actors — Maude’s fourth husband, Walter, her daughter from a previous marriage, Carol, her housekeeper, Florida, and many others. (Maude – TV.com, n.d.)

Maude represented a change in television sitcoms during the early 1970s. Many 1960s sitcoms reflected the context and values of white middle America, where gender and family roles were fixed and problems encountered in the program rarely reached beyond the confines of nuclear family relationships.” (Fry, n.d.)

Maude was a very controversial show and her strong personality was the reason it would forever be remembered. One huge topic that had never been featured on television before was the issue of abortion. “Maude wasted no time becoming one of the most controversial shows ever when she, at age 47, became pregnant and decided to get an abortion (the first show to ever have the lead character get an abortion).” (Maude – TV.com, n.d.)

Other controversial topics highlighted in Maude:

  • Divorce
  • Women in government
  • Birth Control and men
  • Bankruptcy
  • Plastic surgery 

My perspective: Maude showcased a woman who didn’t answer to anyone. She did what she wanted to do and believed in what she wanted to believe in. No man was going to shape her.

I admire the character Maude stood for. She was voice for women during a time when women were fighting for a voice. She had the power to share her opinions, and I think it helped society see a more liberal side to women.  Another note to take away from this television show is the risk of controversial topics. Maude discussed many of the topics not accepted in society at this time. This was a risk that I feel paid off. Presenting real problems and issues could have steered viewers away from this show; however, it opened their eyes to reality.

About Bea Arthur: Actress Bea Arthur was born in May 1922. She was an American actress, comedian and singer who had a great career. She is known for her role in Maude, All in the Family, and The Golden Girls. (Wikipedia)

Check these clips from Maude:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arOa5geOED0&feature=endscreen&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9NY8R-LmIw

Bea Arthur –Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, (n.d.) Wikipedia. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bea_Arthur

Bergman, M. (n.d.). Maude (TV Series 1972–1978) – IMDb. IMDb – Movies, TV and Celebrities. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068103/

Fry, K. (n.d.). The Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=maude

Maude (TV series) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maude_(TV_series)

Maude – TV.com. (n.d.). TV.com – Free Full Episodes & Clips, Show Info and TV Listings Guide. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://www.tv.com/shows/maude/

Laverne & Shirley Incorporated – the power of womenhood

You may remember the chant: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated,” followed by the theme song “Making Our Dreams Come True.” This famous TV show opening came from the classic comedy of Laverne & Shirley.

This show, aired on ABC in January of 1976, was a comedy that showcased two single women from Milwaukee. Actress Penny Marshall played Laverne DeFazio and actress Cindy Williams starred as Shirley Feeney. (Laverne & Shirley, n.d.)  This spin-off comedy of Happy Days reveals that the two friends knew Fonzie (character on Happy Days). (Laverne & Shirley, n.d.) Laverne and Shirley worked in a Milwaukee brewery called Shotz Brewery. (Laverne & Shirley, n.d.)

Laverne & Shirley was set in the working environment. (Marcus, n.d.) The two single women, worked hard in the city to make a living for themselves. Although this show was based in the fifties, it showcases the idea of feminism. (Marcus, n.d.) The show may not have been set in the 70s, but it aired throughout the 70s. During this time, feminism was popular and the movement towards power for women continued. “Laverne and Shirley’s toughness and willingness to flout social convention could be viewed as either working class, feminism of 1970s icons Mary Tyler Moore and Barbara Walters thus could be enjoyed form a multiplicity of viewing positions.” (Marcus, n.d.) This show allowed women to see the power of womanhood.

It was not common for woman to hold such roles as independent, working assets to society. This television show allowed audiences to see that side of a woman. Most women took the backseat and allowed men to provide for them, especially the married women. Obviously, Laverne and Shirley did not need a man to help them survive. Their independence and friendship with one another stood strong enough.

These two characters allowed that voice of strength and power for women to be heard. Through a time of change, this show helped reflect the Liberation Movement by showcases those qualities that men were only viewed to obtain in the past.

My perspective: When reflecting on the iconic show, Laverne & Shirley, I find myself relating to these characters. They were hard workers trying to enjoy life. As a college student working my way through school, I can connect to the idea of feminism and the workingwoman. Without the Liberation Movement and TV shows like Laverne & Shirley, I wouldn’t be able to be as independent as I am today. These shows helped pave the path for women and promote opportunities and rights for women through the changing time.

 

About the characters: Penny Marshall was born in 1942 as Carole Penelope Marshall. She is known as an actress, producer, and director.  As Laverne DeFazio, she was nominated for three Golden Globes. (Penny Marshall, n.d.)

 

Cindy Williams was born in 1947 as Cynthia Jane Williams. She is best known for her role in Laverne & Shirley and her role as Laurie Henderson in the classic film American Graffiti. (Cindy Williams, n.d.)

 

 

Cindy Williams, (n.d.).  Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 27, 2012, from www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cindy_Williams

Laverne & Shirley. (n.d.). Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 27, 2012, from www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laverne_and_Shirley

Marcus, D. (n.d.). Happy Days and Wonder Years: The Fifties and the Sixties in Contemporary – Daniel Marcus –      Google Books. Google Books. Retrieved October 27, 2012, from  http://books.google.com/booksid=ru2lJyJXU44C&lpg=PA29&ots=56xFPLewLi&dq=laverne%20and%20shirley%20and%20feminism&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=laverne%20and%20shirley%20and%20feminism&f=false

Penny Marshall, (n.d). Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 27, 2012, from www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_Marshall

 

 

 

Wonder Woman – Power and Honor

Wonder Woman, a TV movie turned TV series based off a comic book, premiered for its first season on Dec. 18, 1975 starring Lynda Carter as the Wonder Woman. This series was known as The New Original Wonder Woman. (The Wonder Woman Pages: Television, n.d.) ABC television networks thought this movie could bring women to life and depicted them as powerful and CBS would later air this series on their station. (Wikipedia)

Let’s look back at how the character Wonder Woman came to life on the TV screen. As a character that started from a comic book, the Wonder Woman character would live out her role in many other platforms. “[Wonder Woman] is an Amazon, raised on Paradise Island (or Themyscira) who journeys to man’s world on a mission of peace.” (Wonder Woman (comic book character), n.d.) Her character is a woman of strength and power and she was a perfect role model for those women in the 1970s that were fighting for their rights in the Liberation Movement.

In July of 1972, Ms. magazine published full-length illustration of Wonder Woman on their cover. “Wonder Woman for President” was the title of the issue. The illustration showcased the powerful female figure in America and the expressed the goals for liberal feminists. (Clark, 2009) The comic book itself stands as a cultural influence in America.

“ …Granting Wonder Women agency over a whole miniaturized world spanning the realms of an idealized American public sphere—an idyllic main street with its church, water tower, automobiles, and happy families strolling the streets and sidewalks—and an exoticized,war-torn world of straw huts, swamps, and military war machinery of tanks, parachutes, and places.” (Clark, 2009)

In the 1970s, America was overwhelmed with a ton of uncertainties about itself, the media found a surprising source of reassuring “Americanness” through the idea of the fantasy female superhero. (Clark, 2009) This idea of feminism and seeing a superhero stand up and fight for power and honor, helped women and American see the changing time. This story happened during WWI, but seeing in years later and relate it to the current time of the Liberation Movement, has many parallels.

My perspective: I believe the story of the Wonder Woman, related to the 1970s society. Times were changing and women were fighting for power and honor. Wonder Woman was a national figure of those qualities. Having the TV series air during a time of woman empowerment had to have effect on society at that time.

Facts about Lynda Carter: Actress Lynda Carter was born on July 24, 1951 in Phoenix, Arizona. She became an actress after being a contestant in Miss World USA in 1972. She is best known for her role in the television series The New Original Wonder Woman and The New Adventures of Wonder Woman. (Wikipedia)

The Wonder Woman Pages: Television. (n.d.).The Wonder Woman Pages: Main Menu. Retrieved September 27, 2012, from http://www.wonderwoman-online.com/tvshow.html

Wonder Woman (TV series). (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved September 22, 2012, from          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Woman_(TV_Series)

Wonder Woman (comic book character). (n.d.). Comic Reviews, News, and Forums – Comic Vine. Retrieved October 22, 2012, from http://www.comicvine.com/wonder-woman/29-2048/